Gay Men Misconceptions

“Gay men are involved with theater, singing and the performing arts.” “They are especially dramatic and use a lot of hand gestures.”

Your sexual/romantic orientation does not solely determine what kind of activities you are into. Those who are men and very expressive can be gay, straight, bi, or any other sexual/romantic orientation. In addition, being gay does not determine your behavior. This is a stereotype that gay men are involved in these activities, dramatic and use a lot of hand gestures. There is always someone who fits the stereotype but forcing all gay men into this little box is rude and offensive to gay men.

 

“Gay men are attracted to all men and can’t control their desires.”

There are a few problems with this statement. First of all, gay men are not attracted to all men, just like how straight men are not attracted to every women they see. Both Gay and straight men have preferences like height, hair, personality, etc. to be attracted to a particular person. So, for those who are worried that their gay friend is attracted to them, just ask if it really bothers you but if they get very angry then do not say that I didn’t warn you so. Also, this idea that gay men are attracted to all men contributes to the idea that gay men are sexual predators and the need to fear them because of their high libido (sex drive). You can see this sexualization in media as well when the gay person in the medium of choice is seen in a sexual way or having sex.

 

“Gay men are obsessed with sex and can’t be monogamous.”

The sexual behavior of gay men varies from person to person. Some gay men are celibate like straight/heterosexual men. It is a gross generalization to say that all gay men are obsessed with sex because of the extensive variety of views towards sex, positivity and libido (sex drive) within the gay community.

 

“Gay men are focused on anal sex.”

This is a stereotype. Not all gay men are focused and enjoy anal sex. Some enjoy other sexual activities for a variety of reasons. Just because gay men can’t do penetration into a vagina, does not mean that they are only focused on penetration with the anal.  

 

“Gay men attempt to mimic male and female sex roles.”

Some gay men do, but it cannot be said of all of them. This idea of male and female sex roles is projecting the heterosexual relationship and gender roles onto gay men which do not even apply to all heterosexual relationships.

“Gay men have more sexual partners than their straight counterparts.”

This is best explained through statistics and quotes:

“We looked at OK Cupid’s  status (based on 4 million people) to see how much sex and how many sexual partners gay men have. The media number of reported sexual partners was actually the same across the board, regardless of gender or sexuality” (“Do gay people really have 20,000 sexual partners?”).

“1% of straight people have more than 20 sexual partners, 2% of gay people do. That’s not a huge difference” (“Do gay people really have 20,000 sexual partners?”).

OK Cupid: Gay sex vs. Straight Sex

 

“Gay men are sexual predators and pedophiles.”

First, that is a gross generalization and extremely rude. It can be easily disproven by people’s experiences and statistics.

Statistics

“The Child Molestation & Prevention Institute notes that 90% of child molesters target children in their network of family and friends, and the majority are men married to women. Most child molesters, therefore, are not gay people lingering outside schools waiting to snatch children from playground” (“10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked”).

Male Rape and Additional LGBT Statistics of Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault in the LGBT Community

UN Decision~ Includes more of a global perspective on how the LGBTQIA community is threatened.

 

“HIV/AIDS is a disease found in gay men.”

Gay men have an INCREASED risk of acquiring “HIV through anal sex, which is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV” (_______). People of other sexual/romantic orientations can harbor the disease, not just gay men. Gay men only are seen to be sole carrier because penetrative sex (vagina to penis) leaves you at LESS of a risk for contracting HIV.

This stereotype that HIV/AIDS is only found in gay men came about in the 1980s when HIV/AIDS originally surfaced. After the public discovered it wasn’t a cancer, it was quickly said to be a gay man’s diseases because it was only found at that time in gay men. As a result, it was originally called GRID: Gay-Related Immune Deficiency. It was changed soon after to AIDS because it was found in drug addicts as well. The government (from 1981-1989) didn’t address the AIDS crisis except with a call in service for questions in 1984. However, it was quickly closed by President Reagan because it “promoted homosexuality.” By the time 1988 rolled around: 62,000 people died from AIDS. The government had done nothing because it hadn’t affected the “general population.” AIDS killed many prominent activists and no prominent heterosexual people had come out to say that they had AIDS. It wasn’t until 1990 that the next president, George Bush Sr. set aside 2.9 billion dollars over 5 years. Movement from the government didn’t come from the high number of deaths of gay people but from a straight white boy Ryan White, who was labeled an “innocent” and worth saving him/those like him when he died in 1990. Until 1990s, HIV/AIDS was also seen as a WHITE gay disease. HIV/AIDS devastated the people of color population. For example, ⅔ of people with AIDS in New York at the time were people of color.

(If you would like to read more on the AIDS then check out “AIDS and Demographics” book.)

This nearly 10 year long history of blaming HIV/AIDS on gay men contributed to the stereotype that it is only found in gay men. Despite the fact that many celebrities and common folk have contracted HIV/AIDS but were heterosexual white and people of color.

amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) Statistics
HIV Among Gay and Bisexual Men.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 Sept. 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

 

“Gay men can’t maintain long term relationships.”

This stereotype relies on the idea that gay men have many sexual partners (some say 20,000) so then they must not be able to maintain long term relationships. This is not the case. Gay men can maintain long term and happy relationships as any other orientation. While being scrutinized by one’s peers for their relationship is difficult, depending on the area you live in, it can work. Gay men have the capability for maintaining long term relationships as any other orientation.

“Gay men, as a couple, can’t raise happy and healthy children.”

Other credible sources can explain the falsehood of this misconception better than my words can.

“The Child Welfare League of America’s official position with regard to same-sex parents is that “lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents are as well-suited to raise children as their heterosexual counterparts” (“10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked”).

“There is no evidence to support the notion that children raised by gay male couples are harmed psychologically, physically, or socially as a result of being parented by two men ” (“Myths and Stereotypes That Dehumanize Gay Men”).

 

“Gay panic defense”:

“…the argument that a violent act was triggered by the revelation of a victim’s actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation– in an attempt to downgrade a murder charge to manslaughter” (“California could be the first state to ban the ‘gay panic’ defense”). It has been used for years and is the legal excuse for a hate crime.

 

 

 

Sources:

Horton, Helena. “Do Gay People REALLY Have 20,000 Sexual Partners? A Former UKIP Deputy Leader Thinks so.” Mirror. Mirror, 01 Dec. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

Maraniss, David, and Robert Samuels. “California Could Become the First State to Ban the ‘gay Panic’ Defense.Washington Post. The Washington Post, 4 Sept. 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

Lipp, Murray. “Myths and Stereotypes That Dehumanize Gay Men Must Be Challenged: Start With These 10!”The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 19 June 2013. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

Schlatter, Evelyn. “10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked.” Southern Poverty Law Center. Southern Poverty Law Center, 27 Feb. 2011. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

 

 

Note: If you don’t find a stereotype here, then it may be under General Misconceptions because it applies to both gay men and lesbian women.

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This is what the club calls a Living Database which should adapt to the changing needs of our time. In previous decades, certain sexual/romantic orientation, intersex and gender identities didn’t exist because of the lack of talk and representation. The club website will do it’s best to pick up on all the new terms and concepts that are coming out, it is run mostly by 1 person so if something new has come up. It would be AMAZING and much appreciated if you could comment below in whatever language you find preferable (English would be best for the quickest response though). We would most appreciate criticisms, resources, additional information that we missed or any topic that you believe this website should address which it hasn’t. Art, movies, comic books and representation are also considered resources. In addition, if you have questions about the content, feel free to ask questions whether it is through email (check out Contact Us, Doe Mori is the best contact) or commenting below.
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