I grew up acting straight. I wanted to do ballet, for instance. But I wasn’t bold enough to express that, girls did ballet. My Mother wasn’t disapproving but I never confided much of my very private thoughts in her. I remember when I was 8-9 years old when Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley were on SNL competing for a Chippendale’s spot on a skit, I thought “I want to do that!”. So I convinced my Mom to buy me a Chippendale calender, love them shiny speedos!

Now, later in life I have been out officially for six years and I have only felt comfortable enough to express my sexuality in the past three or so. I’ve suppressed these feelings for 25 years, there’s a lot to get out dears.

I mentor many men in here of all ages. Some have been out there whole lives, some only a few months and some of everything in between. Something that amazes me nearly daily is the vast differences in what acting “gay” means to them. For some its attention seeking, for some its flamboyance, for some its ultra private, for some its being a diva, for some its sports, for some its turning out straight guys, for some its remaining label less. Each of them believes there identity is “the” identity that’s the best. Truthfully, for them, it is.

I sit back and I analyze how any of these traits fit me. Some do, some don’t. Sometimes I sit back and say “God, I don’t like that about gays”. or “God I hope I don’t have to do that too!”

As human beings we look to our surroundings for ideas on our identities. This is dangerous and foolhardy because the “gay” identity is just as fluid as the “straight” identity. Every character type I listed above I have witnessed straight people engage in as well. Being flamboyant is probably the only thing that’s unique to the gay world and truthfully I’ve seen some swishy straight guys…

My whole point here is that we can’t “learn” to act gay because we don’t have a model. Were individually different with our only commonality that remains absolute is our love for the same sex. Everything else is subject to cultural influences like race, neighborhoods, parenting styles etc etc etc. Even then, none of those are clear indicators of a persons character. 

What do gays act like? Me…and I reserve the right to change it up at any given moment without notice!

With Love
Jeff Utnage