How is it that non-gay-looking people are gay?

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AnomalousAspergian
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05 Aug 2022, 10:28 am

Fnord wrote:
This has puzzled me for decades: Why do some people feel the need to 'represent' for their particular identities?

I mean, when my brother got his first motorcycle, he went from ordinary, average city boy to leather-clad biker dude in just a few short months.  The best man at my first wedding started wearing eyeliner, lace, and pink silk shirts after he came out as gay.  My cousin bought a pick-up truck and went all out on the "Blue Collar / Red Neck" image.  A former college classmate came out as a lesbian, and now sports the whole jeans/plaid shirt/workboots motif.

Now here I am, about to retire, and my favorite outfit includes shorts, Hawaiian shirt, and open-toed sandals (without socks, though).

Is this sartorial imaging something we learned in school, or are we all born with it?



I don't have an issue with people wanting to express how they dress but it is seemingly reaching new dimensions of self-absorption, probably due to the increasing in social atomisation and the polarisation that comes about as a result of a lack of a common life within western societies.



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05 Aug 2022, 10:31 am

I think it’s something that we learn through environmental conditioning. As a child, there were times when I had to wear skirts and dresses, no matter what my personal preferences were.

I can understand why people would want to express their identity through clothes, even if gender norms are based more on societal constructs than biological necessity.

Clothing can reflect one’s culture, so it could allow a person to feel more like the group they are a part of. People do tend to define themselves by the clothes that they wear - girl, boy, bohemian, athletic, punk, etc.


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Fnord
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05 Aug 2022, 10:35 am

Twilightprincess wrote:
I think it’s something that we learn through environmental conditioning. As a child, there were times when I had to wear skirts and dresses, no matter what my personal preferences were.

I can understand why people would want to express their identity through clothes, even if gender norms are based more on societal constructs than biological necessity.

Clothing can reflect one’s culture, so it could allow a person to feel more like the group they are a part of. People do tend to define themselves by the clothes that they wear - girl, boy, bohemian, athletic, punk, etc.
I like to think that I go more for comfort than style, but that is just me.



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05 Aug 2022, 10:39 am

Fnord wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
I think it’s something that we learn through environmental conditioning. As a child, there were times when I had to wear skirts and dresses, no matter what my personal preferences were.

I can understand why people would want to express their identity through clothes, even if gender norms are based more on societal constructs than biological necessity.

Clothing can reflect one’s culture, so it could allow a person to feel more like the group they are a part of. People do tend to define themselves by the clothes that they wear - girl, boy, bohemian, athletic, punk, etc.
I like to think that I go more for comfort than style, but that is just me.


That’s me, too, although I’m somewhat bohemian, I guess.


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AnomalousAspergian
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05 Aug 2022, 11:06 am

I think the issue is when people base their looks around the age-old pitfall: style over substance. There are many very boring people that look very interesting but don't have too much going on in their heads.



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05 Aug 2022, 3:50 pm

I remember going to an event aimed at LGBT students whilst at University. There was a drag show, I've never really had any interest in drag but I wanted to meet more people in the community, so I figured I might as well attend. At one point, I was sat with a small group, when a couple of women walked inside. They were dressed up in heels and short dresses whilst wearing heavy makeup. I could hear them talking in a giddy voice to the drag queens and excitedly (whilst slightly drunk) hyping them up.

One of the women in our group shook her head. She tutted and complained about straight women taking over LGBT spaces. That it "ruins it for the rest of us". I could tell that she was including me in the 'us' statement. Frankly it felt weird, being on the other side of judgement for once. Of course, for all we knew, the women might not have been straight - or may have been a part of the community in another way. Even if they weren't, so long as they were respectful I don't think there was an issue.

When I first came out, I was worried that I would be dismissed. That I wouldn't fit the mould and would be dismissed by the rest of the community. However, that didn't happen. In reality, I was actually met with a lot of "Well duh", "I called it!", and "That explains a lot actually". When I came out to my parents, my mum was actually only shocked because she expected me to come out later than I did.

I do fit into some of the stereotypes. Not intentionally, just coincidentally. For instance, I like wearing flannel shirts. They are comfortable. I like my boots as well, they look a bit like docs. However, I also like to wear dresses and floral clothes. When I came out, the question "are you a tomboy or girly?" became "would you describe yourself as butch or femme?" I usually answer soft or casual femme / tomboyish femme.

There are stereotypes in regards to what feminine lesbians act or look like, yet again I fit into some of them. However, there are plenty that I don't fit into as well.


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05 Aug 2022, 11:40 pm

to answer the "why?" question, when i was in the army i made it a point to dress as stereotypically gay as i could get away with, just to contrast myself with the jean and t-shirt crowd dominating my barracks.



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06 Aug 2022, 12:24 am

auntblabby wrote:
to answer the "why?" question, when i was in the army i made it a point to dress as stereotypically gay as i could get away with, just to contrast myself with the jean and t-shirt crowd dominating my barracks.


How well did that go over?


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06 Aug 2022, 1:18 am

Twilightprincess wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
to answer the "why?" question, when i was in the army i made it a point to dress as stereotypically gay as i could get away with, just to contrast myself with the jean and t-shirt crowd dominating my barracks.


How well did that go over?

i made myself scarce.



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06 Aug 2022, 8:54 am

Stereotypes and prototypes not always correct or applicable to everything and everyone

Overgeneralization

Globalization

Pattern recognition



FrankStein
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06 Aug 2022, 10:29 am

Growing up in the 50s, I knew that gays spoke with a lisp and were named Bruce. That was a long time ago. I got married, had a child and worked for the government, etc. Can you imagine a time without Google, the internet and porn? It took me almost half my life to discover that I was gay.
However, I am surprised at the silly title of this discussion. Few people would think now that all gays are obvious from their distinct personalities. No, there is not a gay "format." Never was. Some enjoyed an "overt" identity, most didn't. My confusion about my life for so long was exactly because I did not have a "limp wrist" and live in the Castro district of San Francisco.
Of course my Asperger's had a lot to do with this. Since most gay people in the world do not publicly announce it, much of the public connections between gay people while I was growing up (and even now) were not overt but were quite subtile. While we Aspies all collect data during discussions, we often miss hints and vague suggestions. And so much is still a secret. I remember the bombshell of Rock Hudson getting AIDS. A star was....gay???? But how much is still secret?



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06 Aug 2022, 10:37 am

FrankStein wrote:
Growing up in the 50s, I knew that gays spoke with a lisp and were named Bruce. . .
According to the stereotype, they also had limp wrists and perfect hair, wore makeup and perfume, and flirted shamelessly with every man they met.  "Bookish" men and men who wore glasses were highly suspect.

Also according to the stereotype, any man who did not work in construction, on an assembly line, or in professions requiring physical strength and stamina; who did not swear like a stevedore; who did not like hunting or fishing; and who did not devote himself to the worship of professional baseball, football, hockey, or boxing was 'definitely' gay.

Believe it or not, this stereotype persists.



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06 Aug 2022, 10:49 am

Twilightprincess wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
to answer the "why?" question, when i was in the army i made it a point to dress as stereotypically gay as i could get away with, just to contrast myself with the jean and t-shirt crowd dominating my barracks.
---
How well did that go over?
---
i made myself scarce.

When I was in the US Army - early 60s - being an active gay would get you a dishonorable discharge. And even not
active, when identified, would get you a general discharge. I avoided any interest in that because it could also end your access to classified information which was critical to my work.



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06 Aug 2022, 3:25 pm

FrankStein wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
to answer the "why?" question, when i was in the army i made it a point to dress as stereotypically gay as i could get away with, just to contrast myself with the jean and t-shirt crowd dominating my barracks.
---
How well did that go over?
---
i made myself scarce.

When I was in the US Army - early 60s - being an active gay would get you a dishonorable discharge. And even not
active, when identified, would get you a general discharge. I avoided any interest in that because it could also end your access to classified information which was critical to my work.

i was a civilian in disguise and did not want to make the army a career, esp. being made to live in open-bay barracks, 4 years of that sheet was bad enough but TWENTY? NFW. but when i was in and where i was stationed had LOTS of gay folk who barely even bothered to hide it, the first sergeant joked about it. this was in the early 80s. when my dad was in WW2 there were many gay soldiers he worked with. in wars, all this BS about it was tossed aside, they needed the manpower.



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06 Aug 2022, 10:30 pm

Not everything is the way it appears

Optical illusion



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08 Aug 2022, 1:44 pm

Fnord wrote:
Also according to the stereotype, any man who did not work in construction, on an assembly line, or in professions requiring physical strength and stamina; who did not swear like a stevedore; who did not like hunting or fishing; and who did not devote himself to the worship of professional baseball, football, hockey, or boxing was 'definitely' gay.

Believe it or not, this stereotype persists.


And then men who do act that way are called bears. Either way, $3 bills all around. :nerdy:


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