Friday, May 05, 2006

Do You Mind Being Asked If You Are Gay?



Found myself reading yet another short but thought provoking article in the recent Details magazine and thought I'd share it.

Using our gaydar, we can almost always pick out a brother in the crowd. But is it okay when a straight person askes us about our sexual orientation? It really doesn't bother me when a women asks. I just tell her. But when a guy asks, I have to think twice.

I do so cautiously because this guy may be just inquisitive about gay life (I can handle that), or is really testing me and can have that "fag bashing" thought deep inside his brain. So it can be a coin toss where I am evasive or open in answering the question.

A funny suggestion quoted in the article by David Hauslaib, publisher of queerty.com, is "If you happen to be in a state with more than three square edges, (think Utah), then aod the subject entirely." So I guess it is up to the individual and the situation. Some of us live in places where we could face awful consequences if we reveal our sexual orientation.

It shouldn't be anybodys business. Sometimes I do think actions speak louder than words. But again size up the situation. Don't be tempted in public to slap a guy on the butt or plant a big wet kiss on his lips, or hug his pecs if you really aren't sure he's gay. Maybe the best advice may be to not ask or answer the question in casual conversation.

14 comments:

Greek Stories said...

Are there still places in the western civilized world where a person can face awful experinecs by adminitting he's gay if asked by a straight man? I must admit it sounds a bit strange to me as in the countries where I come from and live in these consequences are almost history or just extremely harmless. Why not admit it? Why not say yes? As long as a gay person does not provoke with his behavior, i.e. being too provocatively feminin just for the sake of it or makes advancements to a straight guy when not sure whereas these are welcome or not, I don't see why the answer should not be yes. At the end of the day it's a free world (or we should make it be one).

Greekstories

MEK the Bear said...

I don't mind being asked at all. And I always say yes as it can open up great discussions. However, I've lived in two major cities for the past 10 years, and moved shortly after coming out.

If I lived in the suburbs of Detroit or in the hills of Kentucky where my family is from, I might be singing a different tune.

Also, I've never been asked by a 'straight guy' unless we were in a play together, and the fact that he's doing theatre pretty much says he's going to be ok with queers, since we do comprise a very large portion of the artistic community.

Besides at 6'4" and a football players build, I don't know too many gay bashers who might want to try tackling me.

The_Gay_Dude said...

I found your blog cuz of a comment u left on Gay Men Rule....and I'm glad u dropped by!!! Just recently I had a guy going around asking everyone if I was gay...(he would always do this when I wasn't around....when I'd return people would tell me he'd asked this)....I am totally out but this guy is so backwards he couldn't figure it out for himself.....So whenever he left.....I started asking everyone if he was str8....

Andrew said...

Still waiting to be asked. In Australia, it would be fairly rare for a straight guy to ask such a question of a gay guy. It is just a bit too direct. The straight guy would go about finding out in more subtle ways.

Denis said...

Only a person who doesn't really know you would have to ask you, and not knowing you makes the question intrusive...

Usually, the only people who ask me now are ones are boozed up and wouldn't enquire otherwise. I tell 'em to Get Fucked. If it's someone you wouldn't even engage in normal circumstances, why on earth would you answer a personal question like that.

I used to get that in secondary (high?) school as well, where boundaries were generally only defended by a fist into the face..

As for protecting myself, I don't believe I've ever come across a situation where I'd have to lie to save myself in the way you have described.

Spider said...

It really depends on the person asking with me. People who ask who are naive' about the proper way to find out, people who I know or have known for a long time, I have no problem telling. If he is cute, hot and my possibly be the least bit interested in me, I have NO PROBLEM telling.

It is the people who ask with alterive motives, who are trying to embarass or create a scene or who I just don't like that I have a problem with. When asked by them "Are you gay?" I usually respond with either "Are you stupid?", "I am and THANK GOD you are not?" or the all time classic "Are you straight?"

Teddy Pig said...

The better part of valour is discretion; in the which better part I have saved my life.

JB said...

Where do you get those pecs, er, pics...

Teddy Pig said...

Now see what you have done Buff. I even posted a Movie Review based on your last post.

Will said...

I can't remember being asked by anyone outside my family, and that was eons ago..

Here in Massachusetts, we're so liberal that you'd think greek stories was right. But the fact is that there are pockets of homophobia--even murderous homophobia, as they found out at that bar in Rhode Island recently--everywhere.

Generally, when I meet people, I size up the feeling of the meeting and if I think they're people I might want to keep in my life, I let out the word "husband" or the phrase "as a gay man, I . . . " so that my cards are out on the table and they can let me know about themselves via their reaction. If it's negative, then I know they are NOT people I need in my life, thank you very much, and i don't need to waste any more time on them.

madgayhousewife said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
madgayhousewife said...

I ask people all the time. Sort of like do you watch 'Lost.'? No biggie.

JayToday said...

I think people shouldn't be asking the question as it is in fact rather inapropriate in polite conversation, but putting some thought into it, I have never hesitated to answer the question.

SO I suppose the coin has two sides.

TOS said...

I waver on the question, but mostly based on the tone. I feel the same way when people ask me if I have a girlfriend (especially if it is coming from a woman who looks interested).

I will say I can be kindof a pussy in certain situations, like at work. I am about as out, proud and loud as one can get. Everybody at work pretty much knows and has known for a long time. I have no problem dropping the subtle hints or just flat out mentioning the Boo's name as my bf etc.

One thing though... I work with some old professors who are republicans and backwards. I've not said anything to them nor have they asked. My only worry is that they will ask someday and of course I cannot and will not closet myself. So I guess they will have to deal with it.

I guess I'm not ashamed or offended so much as I'm afraid that I'll shoot my mouth off if somebody tries to be a dick about it... ;-)