What Does It Mean To Be Gay?
Do you ever wonder what does it mean to be gay? Sure, if your head turns when a buff guy walks past--rather than a buxom gal--that’s a pretty good indicator. Then again, considering that roughly one in ten people is gay or lesbian, it stands to reason that there is more to being non-heterosexual than the same-sex attraction. So what does it mean to be gay?
Staying true to oneself. Ask a heterosexual man what does it mean to be gay, and the odds are good that he will respond with a stereotype that serves to pigeonhole homosexual men. In reality, gay men are of all ages, races, religions and within all professions and levels of education. Although it is a common stereotype that male interior designers must be gay, there are also sure to be homosexual longshoremen.
Being careful about openness. It is a sad reality that finding an answer to what does it mean to be gay is sometimes synonymous with experiencing emotional and even physical abuse. Unlike straight men, who can be open about ogling a girl or asking for her number, gay men must be more circumspect about their sexuality. Thus, being gay is linked to a certain level of discretion or secrecy.
Facing the stigma of AIDS. Even though HIV infection can happen during gay or straight sex, AIDS is still frequently considered to be a gay man’s disease. Right or wrong, this is a stigma that homosexual men continue to bear.
Dealing with being different. Whittling it down to basics, the question ‘what does it mean to be gay’ is best answered by pointing to the sexual feelings a man has for other men. These feelings start early in life and add plenty of confusion to adolescence and beyond.
It is interesting to note that being gay does not necessarily equate to a complete sexual disinterest in women. Instead, it is quite possible for a gay man to be attracted to women, only to recognize that the attraction to men is stronger, longer lasting and more pleasurable.