By Donny Winter
© 2012 Diversity Rules Magazine and Donny Winter. All rights reserved.
Donny Winter is a gay rights activist on YouTube and recently graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in English and Anthropology. He’s aiming to publish a manuscript of LGBTQ-themed poetry and write a memoir of his high school days where he was a victim of frequent bullying.
We hear every day about the issues in many heterosexual relationships when it comes to gender roles. ‘The woman does this, the man does that etc.’ Not only does it create significant controversy in the relationships themselves, but this so called ‘battle of the sexes’ causes the creation of many of the stereotypes we know today.
Everyone’s probably asking why I’m raising this point. Not only have we developed these preconceived notions about gender identity, but this metaphorical ‘battle of the sexes’ seems to have spilled over into the gay community.
It’s rather disturbing to see (most notably) gay men insulting other gay men based on their own masculinity or femininity. I’ve been in a couple relationships in the past where I’ve been thrown into the female’s role in the relationship because either my height, my hair or my voice. I got confused when I had a significant other actually say, “Well I’m taller so I’m the man in the relationship, so you’re the woman.” Of course I was perplexed by that comment because not only did I find it awkward, but completely unrealistic. We are two men dating each other, why should heterosexual gender dynamics be applied to a homosexual relationship?
My theory is that since we’re exposed largely to the heterosexual way of living we have no other foundation for a relationship to rely on other than the already established gender roles we see on a day to day basis. Unfortunately the ‘battle of the sexes’ has bled into the gay community in the form of the battle between ‘masculine and feminine’ men. On dating websites, social-networking sites and other places I constantly see men discriminating one another. Feminine gay men claim that masculine gay men are in denial and afraid of being gay — masculine gay men claim that feminine gay men give the community a bad name. It’s all a consistent cycle and it closely correlates with the gender issues heterosexuals experience.
My question: Should our community be bogged down with something as petty as gender roles? I think not. We already face enough discrimination from other communities, I think it’d be sensible to look beyond such archaic issues and focus on our similarities.