One would automatically assume all gay men blissfully rub their pumped-up deltoids alongside other homosexuals. Coexisting side-by-side in one big pink, glittery rainbow chum-fest. That’s not completely the Louis Vuitton case. Queer men can be just as homophobic as any straight man.
Some of them have a grievance with those disco-ball-swinging, Kylie-loving, hot-pant donners – in other words, camp men. Graham Norton and Alan Carr have been set-upon via Twitter for being part of the screaming, mincing, flamboyant-clothes-wearing brigade. The verbal attacks have mostly come from the straight-acting, masculine trying-to-conform, anti-camp homos.
The prejudice isn’t just from nasty little quips on social media but also on gay dating sites. Some sites will specify straight-acting only, while others have profile settings you can categorise yourself as straight-acting.
Their beef: having stereotypical homos in the limelight gives the perception that all gays are lipstick-wearing fairies.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been sipping a Cinzano in a gay establishment and heard “you’d never know you were gay”.
Depressingly the homosexual recipient usually takes the remark as a massive compliment.
Why is camp a problem to some gay men?
They want all the joys that come with being a c**ksucker, but without the association or identity.
Of course not every homo loves shopping, shiny things and Cher. Gays come in all shapes and sizes, have different attributes and mannerisms and come from all walks of life. Gay dating sites never say “effeminate men only” or “no gingham shirt wearers here”.
With such prejudice against the limp-wristed row-of-tents lot, how is this affecting young camp gay men’s ability to come out, or simply be happy with who they really are, wherever they fit on the campness scale?
Imagine a camp teenager living outside of London – the Big Smoke isn’t immune from homophobia but is probably the most accepting city. There’s no hiding he’s gay – camp isn’t a quality you switch on or off as you see fit. Yes, it can be accentuated while hamming up an anecdote or prancing around a dance floor with ya mates – but trying to hide the fundamental you 24/7 would be a hard challenge even for the likes of Meryl Streep.
He would no doubt have come up against plenty of homophobia. Being the Iphone, android internet crazed society we are, this teenager is quickly going to scroll across such bigotry on social media and dating sites. What he should see from other gays is acceptance. Instead he could be pushed to self-loathing and internalise homophobic thoughts – all thanks to other homosexuals.
Ask any gay man, outside the Big Smoke there isn’t such a high tolerance to homosexuality – especially in less privileged areas. Is it any wonder young gays still find it hard to come to terms with their sexuality. According to Youth Chances (YC), an organisation that helps young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people: 42% of young LGBTs have sought medical help for anxiety or depression; 52% report self-harm; 44% have considered suicide.
Overtly queer young people suffer enough abuse and bullying from ignorant others. Do we really need to add more fuel to that homophobic fire?
With so many in today’s society being derogatory towards stereotypical screaming queens, our own kind should be more accepting.
Whether you’re a raving homo with a penchant for Gaga, a leather-clad bear or straight-acting lumberjack – let’s drop the prejudice and raise our tolerance levels. We’ve enough battles to fight without starting on one another.
Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you’d like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.
I’ve lived in the Old Smoke since 1999 with a career in fashion, fitness and events. I discovered the joys of writing beginning of 2014. Since then I’ve been tapping digits to keys. Subjects include food, theatre, exhibitions, London life and other topics that tickle my taste-buds. Other publications include Timeout, Gay Times and So So Gay Magazine.
Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.