It’s a question as old as time itself: Why do many gay men idolize straight guys?
I’ve heard many people suggest a simple answer: people want what they can’t have. I don’t buy it. There are a lot of things that I can’t have and don’t want. (A house on the moon immediately comes to mind. Or a vagina of my own.) If it was as simple as wanting what you can’t have, many more straight women would swoon over gay male sex.
I think the true answer is much deeper, and much more personal.
And if you don’t believe me that many gay men idolize straight guys, do a search for gay porn featuring “straight” boys. The proof is in the… ahhh… pudding.
First, let me say that I am among those gay men that are enamored by straight guys. Tom Brady, for example, makes me weak in the knees. Sigh. I’m not preaching from a high horse; instead, I’m sharing my experience and insight.
So, here is my theory:
If you hate an aspect of yourself, you’ll hate that aspect in other people. This is why many of the most homophobic bullies are actually gay themselves. The most outspoken critics of gay rights or homosexuality, be it in the class room as a child or the pulpit as an adult, often are harboring feelings of attraction toward the same sex. They hate their own gayness, and thus hate it in others. Just look at Republican Larry Craig, any number of homophobic evangelists and the bullies from your school experience. Gay, gay and gay.
I think many gay men hate their femininity. We’re picked on because of our femininity as a child. Our parents tease us or tell us it’s wrong; we’re taught to hide or repress it. As we grow older, those same standards are reinforced by gay culture; femininity is rarely seen as an attractive trait in the gay male world. How often have you heard someone say, “I’m so attracted to him because he’s so feminine.” It doesn’t happen.
So, as we hate our own femininity, we hate that same femininity in men. On the flip side, we love masculinity. Enter Tom Brady. What is more masculine than a straight guy?
In conclusion, I believe that many gay men, myself included, idolize straight men because of our own internalized homophobia. Our infatuation comes from a place of self-hate.
As we learn to love and embrace all aspects of our identity, including our femininity (no small feat, indeed), I suspect the idolization of straight men will melt away.
PS Today I’m grateful for the 3rd rainy jog home from the gym in a row, computer repair shops, chocolate yogurt bread, Scotty Dynamo and uncertainty.