I enjoy playing poker. I used to play nickel poker. The stakes weren’t high, but the amount of fun was worth the $20 in nickels. From poker I learned there are some combinations of cards that are “better” than others.

Two pair beat one pair. A straight beats three of a kind and the Grand Poobah is the royal flush. If gay men were to sit down and play a game of poker our royal flush would be “the masculine guy.”

A sampling of Craigslist ads reveal one thing: masculinity is in.

Annapolis, Md.: “white athletic discreet here. into other discreet athletic guys. not interested in guys who are fat, fem, or over 40.”

San Francisco, Calif.: “Very Discreet, very masculine, dominant top looking to host a young (18-28) sub in my hotel.”

Charlotte, N.C.:“Sup dudes, Looking for someone in Charlotte that acts like a dude, good looking and cool to hang with and have a little fun and be friends with benefits or something like that. I am 165 lbs, blond shaggy hair, masc, not out, swimmers build. Hit me up if your interested with a FACE pic and your stats and I will reply. Please no one over 25. Later”

Two things struck me. First, I didn’t really see anything that indicated these guys were interested in anything but sex. Second, they didn’t mention anything about looking for a quality guy.

Men also referred to themselves as “fem” looking for “str8 acting.”

It has come to the point that to refer to yourself as masculine has become a badge of honor, something to be proud about. People in the gay community are proud when someone doesn’t know they’re gay at first.

What does that say about gay society? Where does the logic for that come from?

I want a guy who is smart and can construct a sentence that doesn’t look like a text message. I want to be able to have a conversation about how I enjoy the book “1984” and how the symbolism that existed in that novel could fill annals. I want someone who will make me laugh — at myself. I want a guy whose interests I can learn and find excitement in new things to me that bring him so much happiness. I don’t care if he is straight acting, what I care about is that he cares about me too.

We have debased ourselves.

Did a straight agenda begin to influence us? Was a thought put into our collective mind that being gay was so bad that we wanted to be straight and it was a good thing if we “looked” like we were heterosexual? Is it better to be “passable?”

I know — we all have our preferences. I have my preferences, too. I just can’t imagine creating a person in my head who must fall into so many strict parameters or they just aren’t getting a shot.

What exactly is a masculine man? How do we reconcile at the end of the day what a man is?

Is a masculine man someone who has a job, can pay his own bills, takes care of his family? Does he need to have a chest covered with a dusting of black hair, know how to change a tire, change his oil or like to drink beer? I do all of those things and I’m not a masculine guy…or am I?

Queens are a lot better. A drag queen hurled one of the first blows at the Stonewall Inn riots. It is like the comedian Ant once said, “Four queens always beat a straight.” : :

Nathan James is a former editorial intern for QNotes.

2 replies on “Str8 acting looking for same”

  1. I’m not sure which troubles me more, the valid point in this article, or the fact that M4M ads on Craigslist can provide so much insight into the psyche of gay male culture. I think I will go with equal parts disturbing on this one.

    I know others are going to say that those are just ads for sex, and they don’t represent the whole persona of the gay community. And it doesn’t represent the whole, that is true, but it does represent what is presented to the rest of the world as who we are as gay men, and more so what young gay men come to think of as being required to be a good “gay boi”. Well at least until some motherly queen whacks them upside the head with a platform heel.

    Which by the way, one should never underestimate a queen. A well known comment was made regarding Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, to get to the point, they were both great dancers, except she had to do it backwards and in heels. I think that trumped Astaire’s work just a bit.

    Meanwhile, the queens of the world have them both topped, they have to also do it in foam rubber, duct tape, and a society focused on presenting a masculine image. Did I mention heels?

    Its easy to be straight acting, for a challenge try remaining calm in a cocktail dress at Wendy’s, all while you have a penis. That takes real cajones!

    Straight acting by comparison is nothing more than it sounds, an act. Its also a lie we tell ourselves to try to hide the shame of being “the lesser man”. And let’s face it, if you buy into that idea, of being less of a man because you go gaga for the boys, you have never see two gay men have a fight.

    True we don’t fight over the toilet seat being up, just what color it should be and whether or not it should coordinate or contrast. That is not an argument won by anything other than fierce competition, rivaling that of gladiatorfights and football. Convince youself as you will that at the end of the day that its better to pass as straight, but just realize you are missing out.

    The time and energy it takes to stage the production you call your life could be spent hanging out with a queen who can teach you more about being a man than John Wayne could have imagined.

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