Yes, it’s possible and no, they’re not all evil.
Let’s be real dolls, straight men are fucking weird, like really fucking weird. I mean, the majority of straight dudes spend their spare time either whining about some JuiceWRLD album or screaming at the television screen when Tom Brady makes a hole in one or something. The very ‘likes and dislikes’ of the average straight man makes it seemingly impossible for any gay person to create a connection.
However, what if I told you it didn’t need to be ‘weird’? What if I told you that gays and straights aren’t so different after all? The problem, believe it or not, lies amongst both parties.
The most apparent barrier to “bromosexual” relationships is heteronormative standards, GAG! The masculinity of straighties is so fragile that even being labeled as ‘gay’ can be enough to set a guy into a full-blown testosterone rampage. Although it may be easy to blame toxic masculinity on the divide between homos and heteros, the fragile masculinity of straight men only plays a small role.
Just as straight guys are afraid to let down their thick barriers of masculinity, gay men are just as afraid to open themselves up to the idea of a straight friend. The years of torment from middle school bullies has conditioned gays to cower in fear when approached by a group of straight men, even if they mean us no harm. Throughout our lifetimes, we’ve subconsciously trained ourselves to fear the complexities of heteros that we just cannot seem to figure out. While I do believe that sometimes this fear is necessary for survival, I don’t believe that it should weigh so heavily on gay men that it inhibits our innate ability of being social.
The key? Looking past our RuPaul-sized egos to recognize that not all straight men want to burn us at the stake like an episode of Coven.
If we as gay men want to create progress within a country already tinged by toxic masculinity and Trumpers, we must be willing to acknowledge the outliers, the few men willing to accept us as we are. To group all straight men together as homophobic assholes, is like grouping all gays as annoying twinks; Iit’s just not true!
Though at first it may feel impossible to interact with straights, give it time. For a lot of us, simply talking to a straight guy is enough to induce a panic attack. However, once you’re able to look beyond your ego, you are finally able to make connections that’ll soon evolve into a friendship. With the barriers of fear out of the way, it becomes a million times easier to connect with straight men on a more personal level. By establishing the fact that we are not scared of them, we are leaving less room for fear and more room for connection!
As soon as we stop villainizing every hetero we meet, we realize that our similarities hold more power than our differences. Who knows? Maybe that die-hard JuiceWRLD stan also has a special place in their heart for SZA’s discography or maybe that kid in your calc class is secretly rooting for Symone to win Drag Race this season. Either way, like most things in life, it’s up to us, the gays™, to make the first steps towards a new wave of gay/straight alliances. Though naturally daunting, I think that bridging the divide between men is one step closer to bridging the divide amongst any minority group.
If tolerance is what we seek as gay men, shouldn’t we tolerate the intolerant?
Kyle Hamilton is an Online Writer for the 'After Dark' portion of Rowdy Magazine. In his free time he enjoys photography, being super gay, and drinking enough cold brew to kill a small child. You can find him at @hamkyl on insta ;)