Queer Eye For The Straight Bhai: Busting More Myths About The Gay Man

Queer Eye For The Straight Bhai: Busting More Myths About The Gay Man

I have a lot of things that I think about late at night.

What was Inception really about? Will the hipster trend ever end? Why does everyone not love bearded men? What is the answer to life’s most important question (42, for all you geeks)? Do I like red wine or white? Why do people think that the gays love hitting on straight men?

Like the myths we discussed in part one of this series, most things that people (or bigots, preferably) think about gay men are almost as inconsequential as my choice of wine. While we debate whether I prefer my reds or whites (I like anything that comes out of a wine bottle, to be honest), here are some more myths about gay men that you can read and reconsider, if you haven’t done so already:

1. We find all straight men attractive — because, why should we stop at only gay men?

Here’s an open letter to straight men, and I am going to keep it short: Gay men just aren’t into you. Gay men are into other gay men.

And hipster furniture. And Sunday afternoon brunch, but I’ve already said that before.

Can gay men convert straight men? No – we aren’t the foreign missionaries, and this isn’t your average AA meeting.

2. There’s no ‘woman’ in a relationship, unless there is a real woman in the relationship.

Unless it’s a heterosexual relationship, or a relationship involving lesbians or bisexual women, the following should never happen in a conversation:

‘Who’s the man in the relationship?’ she giggles at us, a common acquaintance of another common acquaintance. Her mojito is almost done, and so is this conversation.

‘We both are,’ my friend tells her — it’s the way it is — why bring gender roles into it? The woman walks away, empty glass in hand — she’s never going to ask anyone else that question ever again, and neither should you.

3. We are dreamers, not realists.

‘Are you sure he’s gay?’ The same woman asks me of a distant acquaintance. He is handsome, tall and funny, with dimples deeper than a Pablo Neruda love poem. She, on the other hand, asks a lot of questions – and they are all the wrong ones.

‘Why shouldn’t he be?’ I ask, slightly annoyed – aren’t his gorgeous dimples testament to his sexuality?

‘But he’s only a software engineer. That’s so… boring,’ she says, clearly disappointed. Let’s get this straight (pun intended): There are artists. Writers. Painters. Designers. But then there are also consultants, engineers, lawyers, bankers, and the occasional charted accountant.

We are everywhere – hidden in nooks and crannies, behind desks, in front of easels, inside cockpits and under the city sewage lines. Gay people exist like everyone else – doing jobs that are exciting, and jobs that are not.

4. We love our drama like we love our reruns of The Bachelorette.

ARE YOU SAYING I LOVE MY DRAMA? Well, I obviously don’t (unless I see someone littering on the road, because everyone should scream loudly when they see someone littering on the road.) It’s no secret that the fact that gay men are overtly dramatic is probably the worst ever rumor there is, unless of course, they cancel Queer Eye For The Straight Guy — in which case, we will all go on strike. Just kidding.

Also, just while we are at it, I’ll tell you another secret: I’ve never watched a single episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

5. Conventional dating? Is that a math theorem?

From holding hands at the beach to cursing the snooty waiter at the fancy restaurant, from chugging shots of cheap vodka at the local bar to sobbing when Dory finally finds her parents, I’ve done it all. The fact that it shows that I might be a serial dater aside, this also means that homosexual relationships are no different than their heterosexual counterparts. We meet, we date, we fall in love, we then get a pet and matching towels, we fight, we fall out of love and then we send hate mail to each other.

It might be a doomed story, but then again, it’s a doomed story for everyone.

At the end of the day, you don’t wear your sexuality on your sleeve – it’s more secondary – not a badge that you wear, laminated and strung around your neck. You don’t carry it to school. You don’t carry it to work. You might carry it to your best friend’s birthday party, but that’s only cause you love them so much. It’s not a priority; it’s a nuance – like being able to roll your tongue. Do I have anything to conclude with?

Not really, my mind draws a blank. Now excuse me, while I have devilled eggs and Bloody Marys for brunch.

— Illustration courtesy Amrai Dua

Aniruddha Mahale