A Flamboyant Gay Male Feminist’s Daily Battle Against Misogyny

Branden Lee is a blogger, screenwriter, producer, and actor, currently residing in Boston, MA. Follow Branden on Twitter and Tumblr.

image

I’ve never been much of a political person, but there are two main issues that I really care about. Gay marriage and abortion. As a gay man, I look forward to being able to fall in love and solidify my romance by one day throwing a huge lavish extravagant wedding worthy of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

With DOMA finally being ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, gay marriages are finally equal to heterosexual marriages in the eyes of the law. Before DOMA was declared unconstitutional I didn’t really think there was a point in getting married if I was going to be denied the benefits of marriage. I’m so thankful to be living in a time when these strides for gay people are occurring, and since I’m only 22, so many more are bound to come before I finally do find the man I’d want to spend the rest of my life with. Plus with gays getting all the benefits of marriage now, the playing field is opened for all the gay gold-diggers out there.

Abortion has always been something I’ve been passionate about. Perhaps it’s the feminist in me. Women have always been a huge part of my life. My mother and grandmother were my biggest influences growing up. Most of my closest friends are women. Female musicians, actresses, comedians are my favorites. I always hate when a man declares that “women aren’t funny”. Personally I don’t find any straight white male comedians to be hilarious. Though we do gravitate most towards comedy that we relate to, and I find it easier to relate to women then straight men. Female villains that usually destroy and thwart the male characters are always my favorites in TV and movies. My favorite characters on Game of Thrones are Cersei, Melisandre, and Margaery to put things into perspective.

Since I love seeing women destroy men so much, I hate when male lawmakers constantly attempt to belittle and thwart women’s rights. Which is why I care so much about abortion. No one should be forced to endure a pregnancy to give birth to a child that they don’t want. If someone doesn’t want to have a baby, that’s their decision and their right to do whatever they want with their fertilized egg.  Their body, their choice. Women earned their fundamental right to have control of their bodies long ago, so why is abortion still constantly on the battleground for lawmakers?

I do find it shocking though that there are gay men that don’t support a women’s right to choose. While browsing OkCupid I like to browse the questions answered by guys I’ve rated highly based on their attractiveness. I want to see if I’ll still find them attractive based on their personalities and stances on certain issues. Granted their viewpoints may have changed, depending on how long ago they even answered the questions.  Also it is only OkCupid so I shouldn’t take it that seriously, but it’s still fun to check out. I often see guys would rather date/procreate with someone of the same race. As a non-white gay who almost exclusively only dates interracially, it’s disappointing to read this, but I’ve come to terms with the prevalence of sexual racism in the gay community. I find it more shocking to see profiles where guys say they don’t believe women should ever be able to terminate their pregnancies. I find it so unfathomable that a gay man would be anti-abortion. Though I’m sure many of these conservative anti-gay/anti-abortion lawmakers are secretly gay, it’s still revolting to see openly gay men believing that women shouldn’t have their own right to choose.

Due to my lack of uterus I’ll never have to worry about a future boyfriend and I having to make a decision about terminating our unwanted gestation, but I don’t think I could ever date a guy that is against abortion. One of my very best friend’s has had an abortion in the past. Ironically she’s my only religious friend and used to say she was anti-choice. Some people really don’t know their own viewpoints until the issue actually personally affects them.

Though it shouldn’t surprise me that there are gay men that don’t value the rights of women, since misogyny runs as rampantly in the gay community as racism. As a makeup-loving, Forever 21 shopping, diva worshipping, flamboyant gay man, I’m constantly bombarded with effemephobia/misogyny.  Effemephobia is the hatred/prejudice against feminine gay men for those unaware. There are countless guys that outwardly express their distaste and dislike of feminine gay men all over their online dating profiles, just as there are countless men that expresses their racism. It’s racist to say that you’re not attracted to certain races, like it’s misogynist to say you’re not attracted to feminine men.

Everyone has their own preference, but preferences that discriminate against people based on their ethnicity and skin color developed from racism. Discriminating against femininity develops from believing that women are the lesser sex, weak, and anything feminine is not to be desired. Granted as gay men we aren’t attracted to women, but if a guy doesn’t have a vagina or identify as a woman, then he’s not a woman. The worst thing to see is gay men that say “I like men, so act like one.” or “If I wanted a girl, I’d date one.”. Seeing that I have no vagina and don’t identify as a girl, despite always being mistaken as one when I talk on the phone with strangers, I’m not a woman. I did once have two guys cancel dates with me in one day because they hated my girly voice. These ignorant hateful gender normative statements are invalid.

Another aspect of the girly gay guy struggle is guys finding it so repulsive that some boys enjoy wearing makeup. I find it comical how often guys get so turned off when I send them a picture of me wearing makeup. I only wear makeup when I go clubbing, which is usually less than once a week occurrence. Wearing makeup for 3-4 hours less than once a week rendering me undateable is ridiculous. Though if a guy believes in such archaic rules of gender expression, they aren’t someone I’d want to be with anyway.

In my experience “straight” but curious boys, bisexual guys, and tranny chasers tend to be the most appreciative of feminine gay men. Though it’s only natural that men that are also attracted to women, would be attracted to feminine features in men. How ironic that the most passably “straight” men in the gay spectrum, desire the most marginalized and least passably “straight” that are often ostracized by the rest of the gay community.

Though I am a man, ladies I do know the struggle. I very much know how it feels to be treated as a second class citizen because I’m a fem in a very pro-butch patriarchal society. I know how it feels to go out in a skimpy outfit and feel that my safety is threatened by random men on the subway or street molesting me with their eyes. I know the struggle of walking home alone in the middle of the night and having some creepy strange man try to follow me with his car and beep his horn at me and expected me to jump inside because he assumed I was a woman, luckily when he realized I wasn’t he quickly sped off. I’ve experienced what it feels like to have a man feel entitled to your body simply because he bought you dinner. I know what it feels like to worry that I’ll never be successful in my desired career all because I’m not a cisgender male.

We as gay men need women to survive. Whether it’s our friends, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, teachers, co-workers, etc… Although it’s shameful and perplexing that there are gay men out there that don’t support women’s reproductive rights, there are luckily many gay men that do. Without women there would be no gay marriage. Roe vs. Wade wasn’t the be all end all decision on abortion, and DOMA will most likely not be the be all end all of gay marriage rights.

As lawmakers constantly try to thwart progress it’s important to be actively aware and united, as women and gay men, to help protect each other’s rights. If they come for one, they’ll come for the other next, or even simultaneously.

0

Branden Lee is a blogger, screenwriter, producer, and actor. Branden studied Communications at Northeastern University while minoring in Production. Branden's writing has appeared on Thought Catalog, The New Gay, Examiner, and he's currently a celebrity gossip contributor for Wish I Didn't Know.

Website: