I ‘tweeted’ and Tim wrote…
I make no apology that this piece is about gay men. A gay man annoyed the bejasus out of me this morning. Since I am also a gay man, I found an immediate rant coming on. Now, you know I write pieces here when I’m angry… In the wee small hours today [25 February 2019], on Twitter, Bob sent this tweet. I am not angry at Bob.
I read the article Bob linked to. It’s called ‘The Ways Gay Men Are More Masculine than They Realize‘ and it has a subtitle ‘Despite different orientations, gay and straight men have a lot in common‘. I started it with interest.
“Intriguing.” I thought. “I wonder where he’s going with this?” And, hitting the first paragraph made me angry.
Then I analysed what made me angry, and it fell into two areas. The first was the rather foolish assumption that gay men are not real men or perceive that they are not. Ok, it has a crack as disproving that, but it fails in that for me. The second was, as I read through it, the fact that it is only dealing with a stereotyped subset of non heterosexual male humanity.
So my blood started to boil. Do you know I almost had a hissy fit and stamped my gay foot? Yeah, like that’s likely to happen. I get ‘man angry’ not ‘gay angry’!
Wait, does ‘gay angry’ exist? In Will and Grace, it does. In my world, not at all.
I worked out, as I read the article while spitting feathers, that the author is also a Friend of Dorothy. I also know that most gay men are pretty ordinary. That led me to the title of this piece. He is justifying the ghetto he works in, lives in, practices in, has put himself in. And maybe… the folk who have joined that ghetto happily… maybe they need to hear this stuff.
Then I thought of 13-year-old Tim. Would he have needed to hear this stuff, way back, when he was discovering who he was and what his sexual orientation was?
In the words of Father Jack, one of the very best of the Roman Catholic clergy, “Feck that!” Ok, he’d probably have continued by yelling something wholly inappropriate after that.
Thirteen-year-old Tim would have been more than distressed had he read that piece, because he would have felt he ought to act like a poof. [I can use that word. I’m gay. Unless you are gay too, you absolutely cannot].
Growing teens do not need to hear ‘Despite different orientations, gay and straight men have a lot in common’.
Growing teens with the horrible hormones of puberty rushing round their veins need to hear that they’re normal, and that their sexuality will settle in time and they will be what they will be.
Thirteen-year-old Tim was a mess, as you can see when you read the other pieces filed under “Tim” in the word cloud here, but the last thing he was is having a lot in common with heterosexual boys. Thirteen-year-old Tim was a boy. Sixty-six-year-old Tim is a man. He has a lot in common with men. And, like all men, he has a lot in common with women. He has the same hopes, fears, ambitions, confidence or lack, as all humanity. He is not in a ghetto, unless it is the great ghetto of being a human being. So, he left a comment:
Submitted by Tim on February 25, 2019 – 2:35am
I am a gay man, and I have no concerns about my masculinity. Ergo I would not have been to your practice. Your first paragraph contains the weasel word ‘most’ in order to allow you to escape from this when challenged by one of the huge number of ordinary, very ordinary, gay men like me.
I’m not flaming, not camp, not effete. I’m somewhat tubby, self confident, self aware, and indistinguishable from pretty much any other man in my town. ‘Pretty much’? Yup. We have some flamers here. And they are a full part of our society.
I’m pretty shit at football, but not because I’m gay. I hated cricket, but its a god awful tedious game. I adored and was good at grass hockey. I was 23rd in the pre-selection for another sport at Olympic level. “Being good at games” has nothing to do with sexuality.
I offer myself as a volunteer. This is not because I am gay. I am the only out gay man volunteering for that organisation. I do it because I’m damned good at the things the group needs.
So I see your piece as intriguing.
Using a sporting analogy, a term for a piece of equipment from the world of rowing, I see it is complete rowlocks.
He was trying very hard not to use unpleasant epithets directed as an ad hominem attack. He wants to, believe me he wants to, but he’s learnt to control that.
Who’s he, the cat’s mother? Ah, I mean me, Tim.
The gentleman writing the piece in Psychology Today is an eminently qualified therapist. But he is a therapist I would have found difficult to be confident in because of the Ghetto. I wrote a piece about choosing therapists.
Thirteen-year-old Tim would have hated Joseph Burgo PhD’s piece. It would have driven him in on himself. Sixty-six-year-old Tim is wise enough just to spit feathers. Mind you, had it still been active, he might have asked the owner of this blog to publish a piece!
Robert Burns has a point in the final verse of To a Louse. And yes, that goes for me as well.
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of Conscious Living by Design™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to clients in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).