My answer to this question on Quora:
Most of these answers are simply going to be wrong in that particular PC, Gay Identity Politics way which is sadly so common among gay men these days. It is sad that gay men have taken up Gay Identity Politics because like all IP, it is based on lies. Gays take up IP like any other group does to protect themselves.
With most IP groups, there are negative things about that group that are flat out factual. The purpose of IP for gays or anyone is to exalt their identity, blow up all the great things about themselves and play down or usually to flat out lie about all of the bad things about the group.
The purpose of this is simple: the IP group feels that the truth is dangerous and if the truth about the negative things about the group get out, that could lead to prejudice. This is not a completely irrational fear. Because the IP group fears more prejudice, they lie and deny all the negative things about the group. Sadly, in most IP groups, this leads to near incessant lying, sophistry, logical fallacies and all sorts of lawyerese, diplomat-speech, half truth types of bullshit.
The Gay IP claim is that gay men are no more likely to be effeminate than anyone else. Yes, some gay men are effeminate, but some straight men are effeminate too. This is factually correct but like most sophistry it is a form of lying and deliberately obscures the truth.
I have been around gay men for much of my life. I hung out in Hollywood for years and Hollywood is gay as Hell, maybe even gayer than San Fransisco. After about 10 years there, I had a crash course in homosexuality. Also I have known a fair number of homosexuals. In addition, for some reason, I am gaybait for gay men, countless numbers of whom have hit on me over the years. I have no idea why they love me so much. You tell me. Anyway, after all that, I feel I could write an encyclopedia entry on male homosexuality.
The truth is this: 75% of all gay men experience something called Sissy Boy Syndrome when growing up, and 75% of sissy boys end up becoming gay. As gay men are only 3% of all men and 75% of sissy boys grow up gay, you can see that sissy boy backgrounds are incredibly more likely among gay men than among straight men. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
75% of gay men were sissy boys. These are feminine to effeminate boys who renounce the usual rough and tumble dog eat dog trial by fire Masculinity Boot Camp called Normative Boyhood. Most heterosexual men go through this vicious process by which rather sensitive boys are beaten figuratively and literally into masculine men. Most come out of it ok, but some are damaged.
Gay men as boys seem to sit out this whole process. The effeminate boys did not play with us and we taunted, teased and ridiculed us. Effeminate boys were not welcome in our boy circle and I fear for any effeminate boy who tried to join. My understanding is that while most boys are going through Camp Pendleton for Boys, pre-gay boys or gay boys in the kitchen with Mom baking muffins. Now I could be wrong. But this is my perception.
I do not blame gay boys for bailing out of Boy Boot Camp as it is one Hell of a vicious and brutal place. But by never having their masculinity questioned much, perhaps the feminine behaviors get stuck. I have no idea.
Now why so many gay men were sissy boys is not known. It is probably biological and the effeminate behavior probably goes along with the homosexuality.
Perhaps gay men have brains that are like women’s brains. After all, the female brain wants to have sex with a man. And the gay male brain wants to have sex with a man also. In order to attract a man for sex, women act feminine and fluttery. When a woman wants sex, she often turns up the feminine behaviors to where she is almost a Southern belle. By the way, this is one way to tell if a woman wants to have sex with you. Women do this because feminine behaviors turn on men and make men want to have sex with the feminine female object. It’s all sexual signaling.
So when gay men want to have sex with a man, they act feminine just as straight women do in order to turn on the man. Perhaps gay men, still being men, are turned on by feminine behavior as all men are. Hence gay men are turned on by effeminate behavior in other gay men. Also when gay men hit on you, they dramatically increase their effeminate behavior for some reason. I know this because it has happened to me many times. I am not sure what they are doing? Sexual signaling?
Anyway, many and probably most gay men are at least somewhat effeminate in behavior. Often the most noticeable behavior is voice. Gay men themselves note this many times as in the common saying, “I didn’t know he was gay until he opened his mouth and a purse fell out.”
Also there is pressure in the gay community to act effeminate as straight acting men can be treated badly. I recall one straight acting gay men was a bartender in a gay bar and dealt with constant comments of, “Fire the straight guy,” “What’s this straight guy doing here,” “Since when do you hire straight guys,” “Why does this bar have a straight bartender,” etc.
In fact, effeminate behavior especially voice in a man is a pretty good way to out a homosexual man. The problem here is that many conflate feminine men with effeminate men. Many heterosexual men could be called feminine. They have soft voices, are sensitive, pretty, soft, wimpy, passive and kind and often are just not very masculine or or certainly not hypermasculine or macho. However, most of these soft straight men do have a certain “soft” masculinity about them.
A gay men pointed this out to me for the first time and a light went off. I do think that gay men understand the nature of masculine – feminine – effeminate men much more than any other humans. And they have an excellent understanding of masculinity itself.
If you can ever learn to tell the feminine men (who are mostly straight) from the effeminate men (who are mostly gay) then you are halfway there already.
It is often said that there are effeminate straight men. Technically this is true but once again this is sophistry. Yes, I have met a few effeminate straight men in my life and more commonly you see straight men who are effeminate sometimes and not at other times. In other words, they turn it on and turn it off.
Some straight men who are feminine, passive, and wimpy can become defeated by life and essentially run up the white flag and surrender. At these times of low self esteem, the passivity, wimpiness, helplessness, etc. gets an effeminate component added to it. Straight effeminate men can easily be mistaken for being gay because, well, to act effeminate is to act like a gay man.
There are some married men often with 3–5 kids who are absolutely flamingly effeminate to the point where you notice them. They always baffle people who shake their heads and somehow accept them anyway. Such a man will be very accepted in straight society even though people will say, “He acts like a faggot!” Others will quickly point out the wife and 4 kids and then the others will quiet down. In straight society, the wife and kids are enough to get accepted albeit reluctantly as a heterosexual.
It’s not how you act but what you do. However a gay man I know said he has followed this married flamers over a period of time ranging from 5–20 years and he said that all of these married flamers had come out as gay and left their wives and kids sooner or later during that time frame. So if you meet one of these flaming men who are married with children, a bit of skepticism may be in order.
While effeminate straight men are maybe 1% of the straight population if that, effeminacy is much more common among gay men. I would guess that maybe ~65–75%??? of gay men are effeminate to one degree or another.
Those that are not are commonly not so much masculine by can be wimpy (commonly extremely wimpy, much more wimpy than a straight man) or soft like the feminine straight men described above.
Some gay men do indeed act out and out straight. They look and act no different from any “regular guy.” However, I think that they are not common. The % of truly straight acting gay men may only be ~15%??? Anderson Cooper is a very famous and excellent example of a gay man who acts completely straight. In fact, I watched him for years and thought he was just another straight man until he stunned me by coming out.
There are even some gay men who are not just straight acting but are actually hypermasculine to macho in the exaggerated manner of many straight men. Jack Donovan is an extremely masculine gay men. He is one of the most masculine men out there and he is totally gay. I saw another hypermasculine gay man in a movie about bugchasing. This was one of the most masculine men of any orientation that I have ever met (reminded me of a longshoreman, sailor or merchant marine). I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that he was gay.
Hypermasculine or macho gay men are extremely uncommon. I would say less than 1% of gay men are like this.
So, like everything else, the continuum of hypermasculine – masculine – feminine – effeminate behaviors among gay men exists as it does among straight men. However, the graphs will look dramatically different when we plot them out and effeminate men will be dramatically more common among gay men and hypermasculine men will be profoundly more common among straight men. So gay men do tend to be more effeminate than straight men, but it is just a tendency, not a hard law. And straight men do tend to be more macho than gay men, but once again this is a tendency and not a law.
If true male homosexuality is biological as it seems, then the effeminate type behavior seems to be part of the package that results from this biological mechanism. In other words, the homosexual orientation and the effeminate behavior are bound hand in hand. And if the effeminate behavior is caused by the same biological mechanism as the homosexuality, then it might be hard to change. Anyway after years of effeminate behavior, many gay men will develop a behavior pattern that becomes ingrained and second nature and is extremely difficult to change.
If the effeminacy is as biological as the homosexuality, maybe we ought to give effeminate gay men some slack on the grounds that they can’t help it. If we are to accept their orientation, perhaps we should accept the effeminate behavior that rides along with it.