This article on gay men and masculinity is not without some insights:
- Gay men have an ambivalent attitude towards masculinity. Well I dunno about other gay men, but I certainly do. I regard some aspects of masculinity as pernicious: inability to express any emotions except aggression and anger, for example.
- One of the ways homophobes misunderstand gay men is in assuming we secretly want to be women. Not on your nelly. Or at least, not for this nelly! I like being male. I just like others to be male too.
- Growing up, gay boys are sometimes taunted with words like “sissy,” that imply they are deficient in the masculinity department. Yeah, or the South African equivalent: moffie. Jeez it hurt.
- Since gay men are attracted to other men – duh – a certain amount of testosterone is inherently attractive to gay guys. Indeed. But testosterone plus warmth and compassion -- wow!
- We gay men wound ourselves when we learn to think of masculinity as something that resides outside of our own selves when we see other men as masculine, but not our selves. Yeah, but . . . it's hard to set aside decades of negative conditioning.
- Identifying those aspects of being a man we most value and then cultivate those parts of our selves can lead to a healthier and less distorted sense of our own masculinity. My lady reckons I am a far better man than most because I have selected those aspects of maleness I admire and tried to discard those aspects I dislike. Not that it hasn't been a hard, long journey.