Brent Hartinger

TWO GAY GUYS: Why Are So Many Gay Guys so Mean?

Filed By Brent Hartinger | February 09, 2008 2:55 AM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Gawker, gossip, Perez Hilton, Two Gay Guys

This week, Michael and I ask: what the hell makes so many gay men so damn bitchy?


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Guys, I loved what you said about the fashion industry. What was the point of the phallic cannon shot, though? Am I missing some symbolic message?

Well, I suppose the imagery fit the reference to The Count of Montecristo they made.

I really like you guys! (Not seen you before). Yes, bitchy queens don't know how booooring they are. I don't really care about working out the whys and wherefores of their behaviour, though. If someone who is supposedly an adult can't behave like a gentleman then that's plain sad. There is a difference betweeen wit and spite and I know it when I'm on the receiving end, tyvm. Mind you, i often find these characters can dish it out but they can't take it!! Thank you for an interesting vid, Felix (in the UK). xx

I think they have a really good point. I have played my role in that crowd - in the straight world and the gay one. I really found no difference when it came to putting someone in their place (well what my friends and I felt was their place). I was a popular kid in high school, ran with the crowd that always made jokes of the rest. Then when I came out, and started to hang with my new gay friends, I was now a member of that caste that everyone made fun of. I was an untouchable. I am sure I deserved most of what I got, hell I dished it out for many years. But it also made me realize how ignorant I was.

Those bitchy little quips are funny in the moment, but looking back I regret much of what I said.

I don't know how much of this is a self-fulfilling prophecy, that the media see gay men as bitchy so they promote people like William Sledd, etc., and show how bitchy we all are supposed to be.

And then it goes on to erase some of the meanness of straight people. I mean, I'm sure there were mean comments on Towleroad, but I'm sure it's nothing compared to the way comments turn mean, rancid, and homophobic on a non-gay site like YouTube or WorldNetDaily or BoingBoing. I'm doing a post on that tomorrow.

Someone like Josh Fruhlinger makes an internet career out of criticizing and nit-picking and making fun of others, but no one seems to call him bitchy (I wouldn't either, he seems like a sweet-heart, but does the fact that he's straight have anything to do with that?).

As always, a lot of what we refer to as "bitchiness" can also be signs of depression, which we know affects the community.

That said, I'm sure that it's also a passive-aggressive defense mechanism, as you suggest, Brent. But I've been fortunate enough to surround myself with pretty neat-o gay men.

John R. Selig | February 9, 2008 5:18 PM

I do think that many of us were deeply hurt during our formative years and that we learned the power that being bitchy was a successful defense mechanism.

the LGBT community is really good at "destroying our own" and I have often thought that if society wasn't so strongly stacked against us that we would destroy each other.

Thanks for an excellent video.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | February 9, 2008 10:43 PM

Could it be a perversion of that competitive male-to-male conditioning that boys are inculcated into? I was going to attribute the bitchiness to a reaction against the way older gay men often treat younger gay men when they’re coming out—as fresh meat or rivals—but then I realized that all men, gay or straight, are taught to treat one another with mistrust, suspicion, and as competitors.

The dynamic is clearest between fathers and sons. How many fathers and sons do you know who have conflicted, unhappy relationships defined by discomfort, competitiveness, bad communication and misunderstandings? In my experience, the dynamic is so widespread as to actually define American fathers and sons.

Given this, why would we expect gay men, who often spend their entire lives predominantly among other men and whose primary objects of attraction and affection are other men, to treat one another with respect, friendliness and consideration? In what other sector of American society do we see that?

None.

Great video!!!

chandler in lasvegas | February 11, 2008 2:15 AM

Serena, they were in a park with a canon. How come you didn't mention the womb-like embrace of the swing set? Now if he were astride the canon and beating it like a bronco screaming "take it big daddy", them mebby you would have had me. But, this time, no.

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The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.