Thursday, September 9, 2010

Strong, Gay Men #2

On July 12, 2010, I published a post entitled "Strong, Gay Men."  Over the past two months, that post has been viewed eighty-four times--by far the largest number of any of my posts.

I suspect many people, when they read the title, think I refer to the physical strength of gay men. Perhaps they expect to see pictures of hot men, their shirts off, their muscles bulging. Goodness knows plenty of blogs do that sort of thing.    

But, of course, the strength I refer to is all internal, not something I expect a lot of gay men think about, because gay culture is too focused on outward appearances.  When many of us see a handsome, buff man, we think he has it all together.  He takes care of himself.  He works out in the gym.  He knows how to dress well.  His life is in order.  He knows who he is.

But I'll bet that isn't the case at all.  I'll bet his life isn't in order, and he doesn't know who he is.  Because it's a lot easier to work on the outside than it is to work on the inside.  And we see the outside more readily than we see the inside.

People think lifting weights is tough.  Consider how much tougher it is to accept yourself as a gay man--I mean truly accept yourself, not just say you do--and to love yourself.  Because how you respond to the world around you--that is, to the people you come into contact with, including potential partners--is profoundly influenced by those.  Whatever insecurities you have about being gay will reflect on you in ways you can't imagine.

How much you love yourself can't be based on how you feel about homosexuality in other men.  Or, put another way, if you see an effeminate gay man, and you're disgusted by him, inclined to put him down, either in your mind or in words to those around you, you have just put yourself down.  How you see homosexuality in someone else determines how you see it in yourself.  

Gay is gay.  Some gay is no better than other gay.  Some gay men are not more acceptably gay than others.  It's all the same.  In the end, we all want dick.

So, while you're working on your body, trying to make yourself more physically attractive to other men, try working on your mind, to make yourself more mentally attractive, too.  Try accepting and loving yourself for a change.  Start doing the hard work required not only to come to terms with your own homosexuality but to help eliminate homophobia in our own community.

Ask yourself, am I responsible for perpetuating homophobia because of how I feel about myself as a gay man?  If you are, start working on being a strong, gay man in the only way that matters, to you, to other gay men, and to our culture.  Sure, take care of your body--nobody's saying to let yourself go.  But get your head right, too, and help make a difference.                                


  1. Thank you! Not because I'm a gay man, obviously, I'm not. But as a member of the LGBT community, Lesbian, it's nice to see a gay man say these things. To understand it's about the love of one's self that truly makes one attractive and appealing.

    If you can't love yourself, how the hell you going to love anyone else?

  2. Amen. That's all I have to say.
    Interestingly, as I wrote above, 84 people accessed the original post on this subject, and not one left a comment. I find that very telling.
    What I write about here is something that took me a long time to discover. Did I think in my thirties I needed to love myself to get a partner? Not even. Gotta look at yourself, fellows. That's where it all starts. But I suspect until you're ready to receive it, you don't hear the message.
    As my blogs attests, I'm a work in progress when it comes to accepting my homosexuality and loving myself. But at least I'm on the road. So many other gay men are not even in the direction of the road yet. I hope they get it one of these days.
    Thanks for your comment. You are brave to have an opinion on this subject, which I believe makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

  3. Rick, I spent enough of my life trying to be everything to everyone else, and nothing to myself. While, I've yet to perfect the "No." phrase in my life, I've definitely learned that TRUE and REAL happiness comes from myself, from loving myself. Also spent enough time hating myself for who I was, because of the rhetoric forced on young people... ugh. I'm incredibly grateful to find a kindred spirit in the blogoshpere who truly thinks the way I do.

  4. And I am grateful, too. You have no idea how much I appreciate your comments.
    Now, the question is, how to get other people working on this when they still look at that which is outside of themselves to achieve happiness and fulfillment. Alas, the only thing I can do is write the blog post and hope it will resonate with my readers.
    This is not the first time I've written passionately on this subject. I fear my readers will get fed up with it. Yet, I'm not sure there is anything more important to write about. All I can do is what I've done. The rest is up to everyone else.
    Thanks again for validating what I believe and know in my heart to be true. I really appreciate it.