The Harsh Reality Of PDA When You’re Gay

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

I read an article on the Backlot about how there are still many gay men out there that are uncomfortable displaying public displays of affection (PDA) with their significant others.


No matter how out and proud a gay person may be, that doesn’t reflect one’s comfort level of displaying their love out in public. Some gay people are afraid of holding hands, kissing, making out in public because they may still feel the stigma of being gay and that their affection is best left behind closed doors. Sometimes it’s out of shame, but mostly it’s out of fear.

Although GLBT people are continuously making strides in ending being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, many horrible acts of violence are still being committed against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

Just this year a gay man was gunned down in a gay friendly part of NYC in broad daylight just because he was dressed nonconforming to gender roles. I also read a story about a heterosexual couple being attacked in NYC simply because the husband kissed the couple’s gay friend goodbye.

Marriage equality and workplace discrimination laws don’t stop bigotry and stupidity. No law can prevent some crazy person from running up and attacking you on the street. A psycho with a gun could be anywhere at any moment, and sadly gay people must still live in fear of expressing themselves in fear that they could be gay bashed at any moment.

So that’s why many gay couples are too afraid to outwardly display their love in public. It’s sad, but understandable.

I’ve never had a boyfriend, so all of my instances with PDA have been with friends or dates, usually on the first date. I tend to enjoy treating a guy like they are my longtime boyfriend even on the first date. I figure that since it’s a rarity for me to have a second date, I might as well get out all the fun stuff on the first date. I love making guys uncomfortable on purpose, but I like walking out in public arm and arm or holding hands with a guy.

I also tend to get with guys that don’t identify as gay, so I’m always shocked when they don’t resist my PDA. I’ve walked down the streets of Boston holding hands and touching guys in public and can’t recall ever being harassed or looked at funny. Granted I’m the most flamboyant feminine gay I’ve ever known, so I don’t even notice people looking at me disapprovingly anymore.

Sometimes I’m a bit surprised I’ve never been gay bashed, since I am so unapologetically flamboyant. Thankfully it’s never happened to me, but that doesn’t mean it never will. I’ve received a lot of threatening looks, harassment on the street, and teasing, but luckily it’s never been a physical act of violence against me.I’ve heard so many stories of gay bashings, and though one would think the more flamboyant you are the more likely you’d be attacked, but it seems like that doesn’t even matter.

If someone hates gay people, they hate gay people. It doesn’t matter if you’re feminine or masculine, they hate you because you’re gay. They’ll try to harass, threaten, and eliminate you because of you’re sexuality, which sounds ridiculously stupid in this day and age, but prejudice will always exist. It’s annoying when gays try to turn on each other and blame the more feminine gays for causing straight people to hate gay people, and think that if feminine gays weren’t so flamboyant straights would accept them more, which is an absolutely stupid notion. Yet so many gays think that way.

I love seeing any gay couple displaying PDA. Whether they’re old, young, fat, fit, ugly, or attractive, it’s great to see gay couples not afraid to be affectionate to each other in public. It’s important to not only show other gays that it is possible to find love, but also that you shouldn’t ever live your life in fear. Gay bashings are unfortunate but not that common. It’s impossible to predict when something bad will happen, so there’s no point in living your life scared of the unknown. Some do end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, but not most.

I can’t wait to finally get a boyfriend and enjoy being able to publicly display my affection wherever I please. Though it is pretty disturbing when any couple, gay or straight, makes out on the street, but if I want to I have that right. No one can tell me where I can’t express my love!

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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.


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