Why Gay Men Should Worry More About Their Maturity Than Their Masculinity

Why Gay Men Should Worry More About Their Maturity Than Their Masculinity

Written by David Hudson and originally published on gaystarnews.com

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I don’t tend to expect enlightenment from gay hook-up apps, but I was struck by the words I read recently on one man’s profile.

‘My dad taught me that a real man is someone who makes others feel comfortable in their presence.’

What an admirable quality to aim for: to make others feel comfortable and at ease around one’s self. How many of us consciously or unconsciously strive for that?

To make others feel comfortable shows compassion and kindness: two qualities not linked very often with masculinity.

Instead, masculinity is linked with ‘courage’, ‘strength’, the impulse to hold it all together and not talk about our feelings.

Most of us know how toxic notions of masculinity can be. Statistics show suicide to be the number one killer of young men in many nations. Men who tried too hard to hold it all together or didn’t think they could ask for help.

Gay men, in particular, struggle with notions of masculinity.

We often grow up in societies that tell us we are the antithesis of masculine. Sometimes this leads to over-compensation. We adopt ‘straight-acting’ personas or hyper-masculine clothing, as if to say, ‘Look, I’m just as much of a man as anyone else!’

Thinking more on those profile words though, it occurred to me that ‘making others feel comfortable’ shouldn’t be a ‘man’ trait.

The writer’s father no doubt came from a more gentlemanly age: one defined by gender-specific manners. Today, gender lines are crumbling. Trans models feature on the cover of fashion magazines. Toy stores are eliminating ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ sections. High-street clothing retailers are following suit.

‘Making others feel comfortable’ is not a ‘man’, ‘woman’ or non-binary thing, but surely just a sign of maturity. Something we all, as adults, should strive for.

But we don’t. Some people feel empowered to intimidate others. Some people get a kick out of putting others down. Others can’t wait to point out the faults or shortcomings of friends or acquaintances, whether their criticism was sought or not.

Again, sometimes gay people are guilty here. In fact, for a whole raft of reasons, often rooted in poor self-esteem, internalized homophobia or shame, I’ve known gay men to behave in a very immature fashion.

The ‘bitchy queen’ stereotype exists for a reason.

I’ve been there myself.

Of course, behaving in an immature fashion is not the preserve of LGBTI people. Successful individuals and powerful figures across society – even world leaders! – can behave with a shocking lack of maturity at times.

That’s when it occurred to me: rather than getting tangled up in whether I’m masculine enough, or manly enough, the bigger challenge is whether I’m behaving with maturity.

Anyone can ‘act’ straight. It’s much harder to resist our more childish impulses.

Did I behave like a man? Or did I behave like an adult?

Rather than promoting yourself as ‘Masc4Masc’, you may be surprised how much more of a catch you are if you strive to behave simply like a compassionate grown-up.

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8 Comments

  1. Kenny
    October 15, 07:13 Reply

    The last paragraph ? ? ?

  2. Mandy
    October 15, 08:19 Reply

    ?????

    Foxydevil, coman collect your KD-sized sub. ?

    • Black Dynasty
      October 15, 09:24 Reply

      This!!!!! It was almost written for him. ☺.

      Excellently written article.

  3. mike
    October 15, 11:10 Reply

    hmm, something to think about, funny thing is men size each other up all the type on all spheres of existence, its gonna be hard not aiming to shake under peoples feet, but honestly, there is a difference between being masculinity and being yourself, be yourself with a select few, be masculine with the rest of the world,why? its a dog eat dog world.

  4. Delle
    October 15, 14:01 Reply

    I endorse this post!!! ????

  5. Ken George
    October 15, 20:10 Reply

    This post makes so much sense. Sometimes its like men (no matter how feminine) have their brain beneath their balls. Many of us react kindly to people strictly based on our sexual appetite. Its always “if hes not nice catch in bed then why bother”. Even the ones that claim to be “sapiosexual” ( which is one of the common tags on social media) often turn out to be the most shallowest of shallows. Smh

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