Social media is pretty well my hand’s addiction as dirty as that may sound to some readers. Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Grindr, Tumblr, Youtube, Tumblr, and repeat. On Tumblr, I follow a lot of social justice, feminist, queer activist, vegan, progressive Christian blogs (with my few Harry Styles blogs to supplement). On Facebook, I have not only friends, but LGBTQ+ news updates, legislative updates, feminist posts, and gorgeous actors like Colton Haynes posting his usual drop-dead selfie. On Grindr, I have my conversations with fellow gays that could become friends or a date. A common occurence is for me to get pissed while going through my routine check-ups. What’s my biggest pet peeve? Homophobia is a given (possibly), but even more annoying is homophobia within the LGBTQ+ community. There are three ways this has happened or is happening.
A “new” type of discrimination being discussed within LGBTQ+ blogs and mini-blogs is “monosexism.” It sounds about right until you hear about the portrayal of gays and lesbians having it “easier.” Some bisexual/multisexual activists categorize “monosexuals” as heterosexuals or homosexuals. The whole spiel of monosexism is the misunderstanding of gays, lesbians, and straights of bisexuality and its erasure, which will involve toxic statements of “homosexuals being oppressive for their monosexuality” and homosexuals being grouped in monolithically with heterosexuals in “oppressing” bisexuals, pansexuals, and other multisexuals.
Biphobia is real and so is heterosexism, yet some bisexual/multisexual activists feel the need to homophobically target gays and lesbians as oppressive for liking only one gender by calling us “monosexuals” with “monosexual privilege”…… (One multisexual tumblr blogger even had for the headline for their blog “Anti-Monosexual.”)
Biphobia being the discrimination or erasure of bisexual people is a very real happenstance. Heterosexism or assimilated heterosexism can definitely be expressed by gays and lesbians toward bisexuals, and it is definitely a symptom of internalized homophobia. “Monosexism” indicates a victim blaming mechanism on gays and lesbians by indicating a sense of “privilege” we have or a particular oppression our very oppressed group can expend upon bisexuals/multisexuals. It is ignorant to the fact that we hold no power or authority with our sexuality over bisexuals/multisexuals. It is also ignorant to the fact that bisexuals/multisexuals are capable of living a more satisfied life with someone of a different gender than gays and lesbians. They are capable of living a more satisfied life with a certain degree of “straight privilege” though they may not be straight.
Gays and lesbians do need to be more accepting of bisexuals/multisexuals. It is about time. To a point, it is understandable to me why some of my fellow homos are biphobic with how they have been treated by straight people in a heteronormative/heterosexist society. If a person claims to like the same gender and another gender, that can be scary to a gay or lesbian as far as trust, yet as all of us gays, lesbians, and bisexuals/multisexuals fight the good fight for a queerer world, we need to learn our weaknesses and learn to open ourselves to understanding other queers’ experiences and lives. We are a family still.
“Gay” Adjectiving “Misogyny”
I started following a famous tumblr blogger named Kat, a black transwoman, about two months ago after she released a raw video of her ranting about racism by white people talking about Ferguson and Eric Garner. She is gorgeous, and I even told her in her askbox. She was sweet to talk to, and I loved her black feminist statements and voice on queer issues for sometime. A few weeks went by until we had a war on tumblr, basically…. She was writing a script on the subject of “gay misogyny” she said. She also started explaining “gay misogyny” in videos as she ranted about rape/violence against women committed by gay men. These videos are becoming bigger and “gay misogyny” is marginalizing gay men more as they are brought up in more circles (including my own LGBTQ+ student organization) across the nation.
I do know that gay men have assaulted women (probably related to their own internalized homophobia), which is a problem regarding men‘s privilege. It has nothing to do with these men’s homosexuality. First, it sounds idiotic because it says “homosexual misogyny,” which looks either really silly or really synonymous to lesbophobia. Two, being gay has nothing to do with the sexual assault of women by by gay men. They just happen to be gay. Their gayness holds no power over a woman’s identity. I might as well rant about “female homophobia”…. What?! Three, such a term is ignorant to the very discrimination gay men recieve all over the world for being sexual deviants and perverts. It is toxic to the fact that gay men are being told in places that HIV/AIDS is the product of their own perversion. It is hurtful to the fact that gay men are not able to be around children in instances (like in Russia) because they are thought to be synonymous to pedophiles.
Kat told me consistently that gay men have “a different context of misogyny in their experiences,” which I can understand to a point. Gay men are more comfortable for a woman to be around. A gay man can take advantage of that, but that has nothing to do with being gay! As my feminist professor said repeatedly in my Sociology of Gender class two semesters ago, “rape is all about power, not sexual orientation.” She discussed this when talking about child molestation, rape in the military, and rape culture. Straight men are constantly raping other men in the military for the emasculation of another man. It is to show power, to subject someone in lower position.
Men, all men, should respect women and everyone else’s humanity. Straight people and other non-gay people should remember to discuss issues about the gay community with respect and healthier language respectful to our community’s past and experiences. Discussing misogyny by gay men can be understood in better terms like “misogyny by those of the gay male community” or “misogyny within the gay community.” “Gay misogyny” is disrespectful and ignorant to the oppressed experiences of gays. Again, men, keep your aggression the fuck off women.
“Masc4Masc” Internalized Homophobia/ Femme-Shaming
This last piece of homophobia is probably the most disgusting. Harvey Milk rolls in his grave along with all the other great gay forefathers before us, who had to hide in gay bars to be their flaming selves.
It’s not as new as Grindr, but the high prevalence of the “masc4masc” homophobia is just about as new. Of course, as more and more gay men come out, there will also be a lot of newer personalities and possibly more masculine men, yet these “masc4masc” types are being blatantly homophobic to their own! “I know some are effeminate and talk like girls, but you have a dick be a man,” is a statement I’ll encounter on a profile or piece of media every now and then. It hurts me to think that patriarchy is still trying to make his way into gay culture. I calm myself down usually by telling myself that “maybe they are not out” or “they are a baby gay,” which is for the most part true. It is still horrible to see on a GAY SOCIAL NETWORKING APP. A gay social network should be safer and accepting. It is gay, for heaven’s sakes! Gay is a defiance to boring, hateful, uncomfortable heterosexism.
A suggestion to this problem is using call out tactics. For example, in some Latino/a communities, they call someone is “very white” and Latin American a “coconut,” which denotes being “brown on the outside and white on the inside.” Since there is barely any insulting comparison relating to being “rainbow on the outside, and black and white on the inside,” we have to get more symbolic.
“Bananaboat” is an insult I created myself.
Bananaboats are possibly misogynists, racists, transphobes, classists, or guys who have profiles of “masc4masc” on Grindr, femme-shame, slut-shame, bottom-shame, HIV-shame, have to be “the man” in the same-sex relationship, or see a relationship with another man as only a typical “bromance” with sex.
The insult derives from the idea of “a man, who goes along with the waves of society and its injustices, but will go along for a ride with another man only sexually or possibly romantically but with very heteronormative tactics.” It humuously plays with the gay jokes of “bananas,” while also picking up the sociopolitical side of conformity and conforming to heterosexist society.
In all seriousness, femme-shaming within the gay male community should not be a problem. The first gay bars and radical gays of the day, were flamboyant, effeminate, and proud of their homosexuality. Twinks, femme gays, and mature gays are not the problem. It is inside – internalized homophobia. This femme-shaming homophobia to a fellow gay is recognizing oneself as still a part of straight society – a wannabe. It is still a denial of oneself. It is rough for all of us and to different degrees, but this assimilated heterosexism is unacceptable. Maybe these “bananaboats” should be diverted from the gay community until they can reconcile.