31 August 2012

Myths and Misconception: lies of gay life

Many of us have heard myths that all gay men lust after straight men.  There is also, the old favorite of who plays what gender roles in the homosexual relationship? These assumptions about homosexuality hinder our growth in society. Some people might fall under these stereotypical myths, but it does not make them any less of a person and weaker than others.
Myth: all gay men are effeminate, and secretly want to be a woman.
I do have a few friends that never leave the house without there cherry lip gloss and the compact mirror. Most gay men do not consider themselves effeminate or even remotely want to be a woman. Sometimes being extra feminine and flamboyant has its advantages. For instance, you might enjoy getting hit on by the occasional married man.  But this assumption that gay men are all effeminate is ridiculous and hurtful. Because, we as homosexuals are just like everyone else and have a wide arrange of personalities and traits.
Myth: two male friends holding hands are gay, or in a relationship. In the west of the world when two men hold hands it is considered taboo.  However in India, China, Arab and African countries the difference is drastic. Holding hands is a sign of friendship, togetherness and respect for one another. While in the Western part of the world it is common to see to women holding hands as a sign of friendship. However, the same does not apply for men. Westerners believe that holding hands and touching in anyway is implying an interest in sex. While as the Eastern part of the world handing hands its the norm, and does not mean that those two people are gay. "Holding hands in the warmest expression of affection between men," said Samir Khalaf a sociology professor at American University of Beirut in Lebanon. "It's a sign of solidarity and kinship."¹
Myth: you have to be gay to like a female pop star! 
Although I am an avid Céline Dion fan. I think this is more of a Western myth. I know many of straight friends who belt out a few verses of Britney Spears or Lady Gaga for that matter. However, most guys will not admit that their favorite artist is Lady Gaga.  Instead they might say it is a famous rock band or rapper. In the West it is socially acceptable to be young and in love with a female pop star when you are a young person. 
Myth: All gay men molested children. 
Child abusers are an overwhelming statistic for the population; while there are very few women that are known sexual offenders. Normally an abuser is someone the child knows like a teacher, clergy person, or a family member like (an uncle, step parent, etc.)  Studies have shown that pedophiles constitute less than 1% of the adult male population. There is no correlation between a man’s sexual orientation and a tendency to abuse children.  Studies have also shown that heterosexual men are twice as likely to sexually abuse a child as a gay man is. 92% of child abuse cases including same gender sexual abuse and are perpetrated by heterosexuals. Most abuse happens behinds closed doors  in traditional family homes.² Myth: One person always plays the role of "husband" and the other the "wife" in gay relationships. 
This is one question that one can expect at one point in a homosexual relationship. It runs along the same idea of  how do you know your gay if you have not ever been with a woman.  Researchers have discovered that many gay couples reject the idea of traditional husband and wife, or masculine and feminine roles as a model for their relationships. 
Myth: Positive men can not date Negative Men. 
This is one myth that can start a debate that can last for hours; Everyone has their own view about it. But factually there is no rule that a Hiv+ male can not date a Hiv- person. Its all about communication. Each couple follows their own practices. And their methods may not work for everyone.
Myth: All gay men are Drag Queens! For me I do love a good drag queen show, especially if their is vodka involved. There is only a small percentage in the gay community that has the courage to dress in drag. It really does take courage to put on a good show. Drag queens are an illusion or character there not acting as a woman but acting as an outlandish diva. the art of drag queen is to exaggerate and caricature woman for the purpose of entertainment.
Myth: Hollywood/Bollywood portage gays accurately. 
Hollywood has adapted over the years to not play gay characters as weak or the villain. However they do focus and enforce some of the gay stereotypes. Hat the community is trying to get away from. Although there are more gay characters in Hollywood they seem to be the same character. over exaggerated effeminate men. Bollywood does suffer the same although it is still very new in Bollywood films. In years to come it will change and more positive characters will emerge. Check out my post on gay stereotypes There are so many more myths about the gays and other minorities. Myths and misconceptions arise when someone is different. We quickly make assumptions about one another, before getting to know them. No matter where you live in the world most of there myths are interchangeable. Tell me some myths or misconceptions that you hear or have been told before!! 
Thanks for reading! Check out my last post "Free in the Middle East" 
¹The Basics; Why Arab Men Hold Hands Hassan M. Fattah, May 1, 2005 ² Myths and realities of gay men and lesbians, 2006
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