I don’t remember my very first experience with a gay man, but in my younger day I do remember getting along great with gay men. So much so that one wanted to kiss me because he thought “women are beautiful.” He was so cute, he reminded me of Peter Burns before he got all the plastic surgery. We kissed and talked until the sun came up.
Because of him, I considered myself a supporter of the gay community. Plus the fact that one of my favorite entertainers, Freddie Mercury is gay. Living so close to NYC, I’ve known so many gay men in passing; some transvestites too. They were great and so much fun.
As I got older, I supported the gay community by attending Pride Parades in NYC, going to Wigstock, shedding a million big tears for transgender teens Matthew Shepherd and Brandon Teena, hanging out in gay bars, going to gay rights rallies, and being one of the first reporters to write about gay marriages.
The first time I ever heard anything negative from a gay man was when I worked with at a newsroom in NYC. He said loud enough for everyone in the office to hear, “I’m not attracted to women!”
Another man who was straight and misogynist laughed.
I found no humor in it. It wasn’t what the gay man said, but how he said it. He spoke his words harshly, as a put down to women.
I’ve also heard a gay man say the stereotypical line, “Vaginas are ugly.”
And another call a woman a “slut.”
If I dig deep enough into my brain, I’m sure I’d remember much more.
A few years ago I was getting my hair cut in a salon, by a woman, and a gay man (who also worked there as a stylist) was on an anti-woman rant. It was so pathetic and ignorant, I stopped going to the salon, even though the woman gave me a great cut.
Several months ago, I found myself in a situation where I had to work creatively with a gay man. This one had a reputation for being nasty to women. He belittles women and throws the F-bomb at them when he gets pissed. Over nothing of importance I might add, so I can’t imagine what he’d do in a real crisis!. He runs hot and cold which scared me because he was like a ticking time bomb; a real loose cannon. All the makings of a bully. Towards women only.
When I told my husband that this man used the F word towards me, my husband wanted to go talk to the gay man personally. “No one talks to my wife that way,” my super cool husband said in my defense.
The thing is, some gay men DO talk to straight woman that way. Just like some straight men are misogynist, some gay men are misogynist, especially if a woman isn’t up to his high standards. I mean, if you’re of a diva status like Cher, you’re in. But even if the gay man isn’t that attractive himself, he’ll stoop to the lowest level and trash on a woman he feels is “unattractive.”
Some gay men are both misogynist and ageist. I used to work in an editorial department with a gay man (who was in the closet). He harassed me on a regular basis. I asked a male co-worker, “What did I ever do to him?”
He said, “You turned 40.” (Funny thing, I looked him up on Facebook recently, and he looks older than I do–and I’m now 55 and he’s probably like 30-something! Heh. Karma’s an evil bitch, right?)
They thing is, women shouldn’t feel like they should be silenced because they fear they will piss off the gay community by speaking up. In all walks of life, there are assholes. And assholes should be called out for what they are — assholes. There are straight misogynist assholes. There are gay misogynist assholes. That is the truth. What is the demographic? I don’t know, but it’s certainly more than people want to admit because they are afraid if they speak out against the gay community they will be viewed as homophobic.
But ladies, please don’t be afraid. You know, in your heart you are NOT homophobic. So don’t let people pull that card on you for telling your truth. Just share eloquently as I am sharing, and the smart ones will understand. As for others who want to spew hate on your behalf and twist things around, you don’t need them anyway!
I’ll always view misogyny as vile no matter who is the one with the misogynist views — a straight man or a gay man. But if a misogynist crosses my path, I will NOT be silenced!
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of the memoir “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which is about her experiences growing up being bullied. She now is putting adult bullies in their places and available for public speaking engagements! Links to the book are here:
Her next book, “Be (Extra) Ordinary: Ten Ways to Be Your Own Hero” will be out October 2019. Pre-order your copy today! https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/