Do gay guys feel the label "gay" is empowering?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Nrets, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. Nrets

    Nrets Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    I am gay. I gave myself that label yesterday after an intense discussion with friends. I know I have asked similar questions before, but there is a new element this time, mostly about how society is threatened when people step out of stereotypes and boundaries and about how the whole labeling thing just sucks.
    So you have all said in the past, don't label yourself, but the thing is I have anxiety regarding the gay tendencies. I blame the homophobia of society. In order to conquer the fear, I indentify as gay.
    The identity felt empowering. With the label, I felt pretty fearless last night.
    Already, the next day, I feel like the label is restrictive.
    "Straight" isn't so restrictive.
    Some straight guys fuck around with guys. Isn't it a double standard that gay guys can't fuck around with women without the label "bisexual." I don't like the label "bi", and I am not sure I want to get with women who dig bi guys. And I am sure I will end up scaring off some gay guys too with my straight tendencies. Its because most people are comfortable with rigid definitions.
    Women seem quietly prejudiced against gay guys. Sure, they will be nicer to me now, but I feel that the attention I will ghet now will be more along the lines of talking about guys and shopping rather than them quietly eyeing me as someone who might want to fuck them. I am going to miss that.
    I hate this whole labeling thing. It sort of cripples my search for love.
    I have been in love with girls. I have loved guys.
    Last night my friend who plays in a band triggered my labeling myself as gay when he reminded me while I was talking about being in love with a girlthat I had admitted that I have sabotaged every possibity of sex with girls because deep down I am gay and don't want to do some injustice. Which I only feel because of all the categorizing I have witnessed women doing. I think women do this because they need guys to be very clear on their orientation or they feel threatened.
    I told my friends GF that I first ackowledged I was at least somewhat gay after smoking pot at 15. She said that that makes me undoubtedly gay since pot smoking brings out the truth. I believe it, of course things happened that day that could have exaggerated that truth.
    She then said that she "knew all along" that I was gay, which to me seemed like she was making herself comfortable with my declaration rather than having actually known. I think she needed to say that, because on some level she felt threatened when she asked me if I like any guys, and I told her I thought my friend was hot and that I was going to steal him away.
    I don't like that when I label myself I am automatically nothing but gay with all these other little sub categories like str8 acting that don't mean anything to me if it isn't going to get me the occasional woman.
    Still, I am gay. And I am proud.
    I am empowered. Because it is a label I gave myself. I don't like that society labels everyone. Thats where a feeling of powerlessness comes in.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. skypylot

    skypylot New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    94
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Winter aven area Florida
    simplify it, just do what feels right and comfortable to you when the opportunity presents itself whether it be man, woman, or ???? Why does it need a name ?
     
  3. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Messages:
    10,742
    Likes Received:
    17
    Gender:
    Female
    I feel empowered by being bisexual. There is something so powerful about gayness. Accepted by few, understood by even less.
     
  4. sykray

    sykray Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    104
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chon Buri (TH)
    As you have discovered "labels" have advantages and disadventages. I don't really like them.

    Having said that, when I first identified myself as gay it was still a relatively uncommon word for people with same-sex attraction. It was better than other words "queer", "pansy", shirt-lifter", fudge packer", "bent", etc. I found it empowering to use it as a label and to become a gay rights activist. Nowadays, many people use it as a term of abuse or putdown.
     
  5. SpoiledPrincess

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,167
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    england
    I feel empowered by not choosing any labels for myself, whatever I am at that moment doesn't define me.
     
  6. Principessa

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,494
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    It's good to feel proud and empowered and at ease with yourself. :smile:
    The only issue from where I sit, is that you have chosen the wrong label. :redface:
     
  7. cklover

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,362
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New England
    I prefer homo or queer myself, gay sounds so airy-fairy, but that's what WE use come hell or high water. As far as str8 folks go, we'll always be fukkin' faggots or bulldikes!
     
  8. UtahCock

    UtahCock New Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    California
    I have to agree with the above poster: you cant be upset wiht straight women for not looking at you in a sexual way if you label yourself as gay. What woman in her right mind is going to chase after a man who has proclaimed himself as only having sex/romantic relationships with men? That is what gay means.

    I disagree with that poster that your desire to be desired by women is a reflection of vanity. As a straight woman don't you want to be desired by men? We all want to be desired by those we are attracted to. It's hot, it's sexual chemistry. We long for that excitement and spark wiht someone we have the hots for.

    It sounds like you like both men and women. I dont quite understand your opposition to considering yourself bisexual. There's nothing wrong with it and good people will realize that if you are in love with them, you will be true to them, and not cheat on them for the opposing sexual organs (just like straigth couples trust their partners not to seek out other pussy or gay couples trust their partner not seek out other cock).

    I am glad you found empowerment. However, I wonder if it was more a sense of liberation and being able to proclaim that you are attracted to men, thus not feeling liek that is shameful anymore. Because it sounds to me like you are still hung up on labels.

    Just chill out abit. Take a step back. Breathe. Look at what you reall y want. And be proud to go out and get it. And remember, you can still change your mind in this life. Thats the great thing about life--we journey and we learn things about ourselves and we are free to continue to grow and change.

    Just quit frekaing out so much! And don't let other people inhibit your pursuit of genuine happiness.

    (oh and dont be an idiot and be wildly promiscuous and unsafe)
     
  9. nealenbob

    nealenbob New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Hi Nrets:

    I've had struggles with identity also - especially when I was much younger. It always seemed more important to me in those days than it does now. To answer your question, yes, it felt empowering - in part because I chose it and in part because it erased doubts.

    Labels seem always to be there and always to change. And no matter what you label yourself, others will choose their own labels for you. When all is said and done, it doesn't really matter much. As long as you're true to yourself. Sorry if that sounds trite, but it's something I've come to believe. :smile:
     
  10. Andydiver

    Andydiver New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    A gay label hmmmm

    My thoughts on the whole gay thing..

    As a gay guy my teen life began in the late 80s, the label of queer, gay was given to anyone the school guys felt like calling. These days I am sure it is still the same but I think education is now alot better and that teens dont throw those labels around as much however, its the parents of today that insist on giving such labels...I personnally dont wear the "gay label" and dont walk around shouting I am, but I wont hide it and talk about my partner to anyone as my other half and always never shamed to say, "him" or his name in a normal passing conversation..

    I think personally that alot of gay guys give themselves a label and that they make themselve " somtimes " seperate from others. As an example the gay pride marches...they were great in the 90s but do we still need to prance around in a leather thong shouting we are queer...NO not any more, yes people still label but we dont help ourselves!

    People are still norrow minded somtimes with the gay issue but, if we stop making a fuss over it then others will do after time. I have noticed even over the last 5 years alot more men are comming out as Bisexual and that gay is no longer the fashionable word, and I am sure in the next 10 years or so that such labeling will vanish or start to vanish and that there will not be as many issues.. Well mainly in western society. But in other countrys it will still stay there for example Jamaica, most musilum states etc. What makes me laugh tho was when we visited Egypt I was approached more by the local men than other tourests lol..

    Sorry to ramble but I feel that we put our own labels and that we should stop making a fuss!.

    cheers me dears and thanks for reading :)

    andyx
     
  11. fournineteenfiftynine

    fournineteenfiftynine Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Messages:
    849
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    286
    Gender:
    Male
    Here's one way to look at this. Think about these questions. I'm going to post these as another thread as I've always wanted to ask these questions.

    1. Do you desire to have women find you physically attractive?
    2. Do you desire to have men find you physically attractive?
    3. Do you find the male physique sexually attractive?
    4. Do you find the female physique sexually attractive?
    5. Do you find certain parts of the male body attractive?
    6. Do you find certain parts of the female body attractive?
    7. Do you tend to be more emotionally attracted to women or men or both?
    8. Do you have certain types of emotional attractions to women and to men?
    9. Do you tend to have "crushes" on one sex over the other?
    10. Do you desire to touch sexually certain female and/or male body parts?
    11. Do you prefer m-m, f-f, or m-f intercourse?
    12. Is there any type of m-m, f-f, or m-f sexual interaction that you find unattractive or even repulsive?
     
  12. D_Lachtmadder Longhorne

    D_Lachtmadder Longhorne Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is a label empowering when describing who you are? Well some people couldn't care less, others want to beat you up for labeling yourself and living it because they believe that gay means child molesting pervert, who will approach any male in a park, toilet etc. In the end you only have to care about how you feel about it, how your friends treat you and how your family react once it's in the open, and even friends and family are debatable in how they perceive you. The only label that really counts is that you're a sexual human being. It doesn't matter who you sleep with as long as they're a consenting adult. Choosing a gay label will definitely show you who your friends are from now on, good, bad and in between . Once I came out to my heterosexual male friends they seemed o.k. but when we were in a situation that called for changing in front of each other I definitely felt then saw nervous glances to see if I was lusting after them, they had even moved farther away from me, it was a tension and nervousness that annoyed me and I told them flat out that I had no designs on them in any way, period. I am still the same person that I was before a label was applied, and that isn't going to change. Simply because I like men doesn't mean that I want all men, especially straight friends. I also don't like the notion that because of the gay label it's assumed that we all take it up the ass or even like it, that's not true either. Plus we don't hate women. I find that women relax and have a better time when they know. If they're looking to get sex when we go out then we simply have an understanding that when they find it, and they do, that since we're out together that letting me know that they found a booty call is the polite thing to do, then I can relax and not wonder where the hell they disappeared to. So is she a slut or a sexual human being. It's just another label with a double standard because we do exactly the same thing when the mood strikes. So, are you empowered now?
     
  13. frizzle

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    3
    If you want to feel empowered just by fucking men, go for it, no-one else will think so.

    I'm pretty sure other miniorties don't feel empowered by their ethnicity. I don't feel empowered by being a white man.
     
  14. Nrets

    Nrets Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Well thanks for all your responses. It got me laughing. I have an unusual sense of humor, and laugh at real things.
    To the person who said I was freaking out...this was actually written in a relatively chill mode. So yeah...I know, I need to lessen the edge.
    To clarify my point, the reason the label "gay" feels empowering to me is because I was made to feel strange at a young age by homophobic parents. I was also picked on by other kids for throwing in a girly fashion and for dressing in tight clothes and for having a really close male friend. In retrospect the male friend was a very good thing, but other kids called me gay for it. I think it was because they didn't have such close friends at that age and were jealous.
    But it scarred me. Then I was trying to be straight as possible at 13 and I let some girl give me a handjob and when I wasn't into kissing her she called me gay and I ran home crying.
    Then I went deeply into denial about my homosexuality until I smoked pot when I was 15. That forced me to see myself as I am. It made me very scared and I developed an anxiety disorder.
    So today, calling myself straight or gay feels very wrong to me. "Gay" feels liberating. It is like I might rise above peoples judgement with that label. No one can say anything about my sexuality anymore. I don't have to live in any kind of fear.
    When I first gave myself the label, I felt like I could see things more as they are because I was no longer in a cloud of denial.
    I honestly feel bisexual. I just like the gay label because it sort of attacks prejudices I suffered in the past, and also some of my own inner prejudices.


    NJQT, the reason I don't necessarily want chicks who dig Bi guys stems off the prejudices I was talking about. I am still chasing some old fashioned fantasy of the white picket fence and a job where I work in a garage and wear white T shirts and jeans and come home and do kinky things to my wife...I guess if a chick was going to like me, I would want to be totally straight and old fashioned for her. And I am not sure I would want her if she was modern and open. Ha ha. I know, twisted. I will get over it someday.

    I do see the problem with the mold back then: gay guys and guys with gay tendencies either lived in small enclaves in the city or were closeted. The guys with tendencies were mostly closeted.
    I guess I just relate to the 60's when gay people were first starting to feel liberated and they had to rebel against parents who were very differnt than paretns today.
    Honestly, at 23, I am like a child of the 60's. My Dad is 84 and my mom 66....I guess I am a throwback. All these reasons add up to me wanting to label myself "gay" to feel empowered. It might be a little subversive.

    psychicraptor. ..you wrote "Once I came out to my heterosexual male friends they seemed o.k. but when we were in a situation that called for changing in front of each other I definitely felt then saw nervous glances to see if I was lusting after them, they had even moved farther away from me, it was a tension and nervousness that annoyed me and I told them flat out that I had no designs on them in any way, period. I am still the same person that I was before a label was applied, and that isn't going to change."

    I feel the same way...I am not a different person. I am afraid that my coming out is going to make my straight friends weird around me. I am already a sort of edgy person to be around. I have always been very much one of the guys, and I am afraid that even though everyone has always said they will be cool if I am truly gay, that something will change. The vibe. Maybe in all this is that I will finally move to SF or NYC for a year or so. find something new.

    My one friend seemed to be getting insecure about himself when I came out. I'm not sure in what capacity. He said it wasn't gay, it was about differnt issues that have the same effect that clostedness had on me such as hampered creativoty confidence and self expression. At any rate, I was kidding about trying to steal him away from his GF. Mostly.

    Again, though, I want to thank everyone who responded to me here.
    It means a lot to be able to let these thoughts out on a board where people take these things seriously and give real consideration.
     
  15. ekybottom

    ekybottom New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Prestonsburg, KY
    I am a guy who happens to be gay, not a gay guy. While I'm open with my sexuality, I don't want to be defined by it. My lifestyle is similar to most straight people. I go to work, I go home, I have a partner whom I'm in a monogamous relationship. we do chores around the house, cut grass once a week, go out to dinner, watch tv, go to the grocery. We aren't involved in the gay scene or gay culture. we don't go to bars, march in parades, dress in drag, or hook up with men at the airport bathroom.
     
  16. SoFla8

    SoFla8 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    213
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South Florida
    I think people in general are more willing to accept a clear Gay/Straight label. Bisexual seems to be doubted by everyone.
     
  17. mindseye

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    5,685
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    It's not the label per se that's empowering. The label is a membership card into one of the most lively, affirming communities in this country. By saying I am gay, I'm standing squarely in solidarity with other gay people, and embrace them (and am embraced by them) in a way that the I don't like labels people miss out on.

    And yes, I find that solidarity very empowering. frizzle, in particular, completely missed the boat -- my strength comes from much more than just who I "fuck".
     
  18. Lucky_Luke

    Lucky_Luke New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    I don't like the term at all. To me the term is very political-media driven term and has a definition that includes a lifestyle definition that I don't identify with at all. I have no desire for same-sex marriage and I don't want to adopt children and I don't have designer curtains in my immaculately decorated apartment.

    I'm queer, but I'm not very gay at all.

    Btw, it appears from discussions on other forums that the preference for the term 'queer' seems to be more popular with Brit-types (Britain, Canada and Australia) than Americans.
     
  19. fortiesfun

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,692
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    I would say you seem to act from white male prerogative in virtually every post. I've rarely seen anyone who feels so empowered to judge and condemn others solely on the basis of his ethnicity.

    But then, he always does.

    American academics, at least, tend to use "queer" as an overarching term of sexual non-conformity, and "gay" with a much more specific connotation of male homosexuality.

    The terms by which you identify yourself, however, are only as useful as they seem to you to clarify your own feelings and to identify with those with whom you have common cause. In that sense, I find gay very empowering because there is an established gay rights movement. I am technically bi, but there is much less community around that term.

    By the way, if you think women are never going to want to sleep with you again because you identify as gay, you are in for some wonderful surprises in your near future...
     
  20. Nrets

    Nrets Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Thank you forties, from what you wrote, I think I see things similarly to you. I like the last part about pleasant surprises in the future...so hell yeah, I can chill and focus and do some HW. School has started again.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted