Hetero Challenged

I was asked by Terry in a post:

To you, what are some great things about being gay and what are the downsides to being “hetero challenged”?

For me, the only real difference between myself and others who think themselves “hetero” is the fact that I am a human male who is attracted to other adult human males, and acknowledges such in a open manner. Add to that: I have seriously questioned my sexuality in the face of what others would tell me what I have to be.

Maybe that sounds overly simplistic, but sometimes the simplest things are the best.

Two men kissing
lick to embiggen… and for the rest of the picture. (there’s no nudity)

If I had to split the upside and the downside of being gay, I find it a harder question to answer, really.

Here’s what I have come up with so far:

Great Things, a.k.a. “the pros”:

  • I have no doubts about the accuracy of the Kinsey Report;
  • There’s a married guy somewhere who is terrified of me;
  • I know my enemies;
  • After a workout at the gym, I feel like a new man… and he’s right there in the shower;
  • When someone turns his back on me, I actually consider it an opportunity.

Okay. I admit, those are just jokes. (Well, maybe all but the “I know my enemies” entry.) I really don’t have a list of things that are great. To me being gay is just living, as I would imagine anyone does—regardless of their sexual identity. Some days are awesome, and some days are not.

Downsides, a.k.a. “the cons”:

  • The possibility of being killed by a nut-job for who I am;
  • The probability of having my personal property destroyed for what I do;
  • The actuality of being discriminated against and terminated from my job with no protection;
  • Not having the same legal rights with my partner of 11+ years that hetero couples have. I don’t want special rights. I just want the same rights;
  • Having to explain or justify my sexual identity to people who have never questioned their own (much like accepting religious dogma without question, but that’s another story).

So there you have it. Those are the current downsides as I see them.

What about you? What are some great things about being gay and what are the downsides to being “hetero challenged”?

Until next time...

10 thoughts on “Hetero Challenged

  1. Erik!
    LOL – well the cons are right-on my friend! And your “pros” made me laugh out loud. Love the one about feeling like a new man after a workout AND about considering it an opportunity when a guy turns his back on you! I’m in total agreement! 😀

    But it is true – life is just living day to day. We don’t obsess about our orientation, or make every life decision based on who we want to fuck (well not most of us!) That would be more of a nympho – and they come in all flavors, even hetero! (can be yummy too!)

    Hang in there on the south-side of inappropriate my friend!
    Miss you!
    Much love!
    ~ Robb

  2. Here’s a pro: No accidental pregnancies, but not from the lack of trying though.

    Erik replies:
    One would have thought after trying this long one would have happened… damned infertility!

  3. The only downside I notice about being gay is that gay people expect me to relate better to them than I relate to straight people. It just so happens, however, that I get along better with straight people on average. So… I’m just a bit expatriated, as it were.

    There really aren’t any upsides. In a perfect world, there would be no pros or cons about being either gay or straight.

    Erik replies:
    I get that too. I’d have to say 99.9% of my life experience has been around straight people, so I relate to “them” a little better than I do to the gays. Granted, I barely understand human culture, let alone a subset of it.

  4. Pros: I had to figure out early what it was like to be different and how to manage that. This came in handy for me in later years because I found myself to be different in so many other ways. So I think about all those straight people who’ve managed to please everyone their whole lives without giving anything much thought and then are too scared to do anything outside the norm.

    Cons: My mere existence is political. It would be nice to hold my partner’s hand in public just because I want to and not feel like I’m “making a statement.”

    Erik replies:
    I definitely agree with the feeling like we live a political existence. I don’t know if it’s something I’ve come into with “maturity” or if it’s because of the current political climate (I’m leaning towards maturity… *sigh*). It seems that everything we do these days is as if we’re having to run for some gay political office….

  5. It appears to me that much of being “gay” means being a data point in a particular demographic targeted by a growing marketing machine. Do we bring this on ourselves (Queer eye…, Bear Magazine, Logo, etc.)? A self identity based on participation in a demographically definable community is weak at best and ultimately disappointing. The pros and cons will evolve as the monetary value of the market grows, just as the “green” market is evolving. I ask myself often, to what extent do I want to be a public part of the commercialization of what should be a private choice?

    Erik replies:
    Working in the retail sector, I know this happens. I still remember the first time I heard about targeting the gay demographic in a marketing meeting I was in attendance of because it was: a) untapped, and b) the gays have a lot of money.

    I don’t know why they think this. I buy toilet paper like the next person, and I sure don’t have a lot of money.

    I still don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. I think it’s just another way for retailers to “show they care” so they can increase their coffers by making sure one more market is tapped.

  6. There are 2 lovely ‘pros’ to being gay – and you should know what they are !

    Erik replies:
    “Giving” and “receiving”? 😉

  7. Upside: There’s none of that pesky “battle of the sexes” that straight friends seemingly never tire of complaining about.

    Downside: That still doesn’t mean a life free from domestic disagreements.

    Erik replies:
    I definitely think it’s more a “battle of the roles”–who does what–which is really what I think the “battle of the sexes” is all about anyway. You throw two people of the same sex into a relationship (or even just as roommates) and you have to figure out and define who does/will do what.

  8. Hear Hear Homer. But wait how can you be fired for being gay? Where the fuck do you live? Oh i see Arkansas. Hum that is disturbing and makes me very angry. Keep up the good work on the blog enjoy your take on life. Cheers.


    Erik replies:
    Yes, tragically there are some of us still parked in states where we can be fired because we’re gay….

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