What’s with the “straight-acting” and “straight-appearing” in gay personals?

UPDATE El 25 de marzo de 2014. Hola. Someone sent me this e-mail after reading this article and looking at ads on CL: “You’ll never believe what I saw. I was looking at ads on CL and saw this ad from this gay couple. They were looking to get together with another guy for sex at their place. They wrote that they could host and they were “very discreet.” Where do they live? In THE CASTRO. The former gay mecca. I wouldn’t have believed this if I hadn’t seen it. WTF do two guys have to be “very discreet” for in the Castro? Is there something in the water? I can understand being “very discreet” in maybe some redneck place, but in the Castro? It’s crazy. Without a doubt, many gay guys are going back in the closet and they call it being “discreet” and “very discreet.” Just thought I’d let you know. Thanks.”
My response: Gracias for your e-mail and I’m seeing the same thing you are. [roll eyes]. Loco. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 1 de diciembre de 2013.  Hola.  If you look at online gay personal ads, you may have noticed that there’s a run on the words “straight-acting” and “straight-appearing” in many gay personals.  WTF is that about? 

I find it very ironic that at the same time that same-gender marriage is legal in some places en los Estados Unidos/the US/The Cesspool, that it appears that some GLBTQs are going back in the closet and trying to pretend to be “straight-acting” and “straight-appearing” (whatever either term is supposed to mean) and at the same time calling themselves “normal.” Yes, that’s the word they’re using, whatever “normal” is intended to mean.  As fucked-up and dysfunctional as many “straights” are (having a divorce rate of well over 50% in the US), why would any gay person want to emulate “straights?”  Some people suggest this “straight-acting/appearing” bull shit is a case of internalized anti-gay feelings.  I think that’s the case with some people who use the terms, if not most. What it does suggest is that (to the person who applies this language to themselves), it implies that “straight” or being heterosexual is the desired, preferred or model sexuality and that there’s something wrong with being gay and with gay people.  I’ve noticed many gay people these days in San Francisco trying so damned hard to act like jocks and to be like jocks, and they seem to be proud of being a jock.  A Question:  Is being a jock the same thing as exercising regularly and working-out?  Is it the same thing as saying you’re athletic? If so, why not just say that? Or is this jock shit something else such as a sexual turn-on type thing and the word “athletic” just doesn’t do it sexually for gay guys?  People who are seemingly obsessed with this jock “culture” seem to forget that historically speaking in locker rooms and on playgrounds, jocks were the people who bullied gay people, made anti-gay remarks, and made many gay people not want to have anything whatsoever to do with sports/athletics.  So why would any gay person want to emulate THAT?  Also, jocks are not known for being some of the brightest people (ever heard the line: “just a dumb jock” is a line I’ve heard many times), but perhaps that doesn’t matter to people now since stupidity and being “dumbed-down” seem to be “in” these days.

Then there’s the word “discreet.” The word “discreet” is another word that’s used repeatedly in gay personal ads. I read one ad with the title being: “hung masculine discreet jock” I automatically asked: Who are you cheating on where you need to be discreet?  There would be no reason to be “discreet” if one were not cheating on someone else. Or, you too are not comfortable with who you are and your gay sexuality so you’re trying to hide it and be hush-hush about it by using the code word, “discreet.”

There also seems to be a real fascination with some gay guys wanting to suck “straight dick with no reciprocation.”  Why “straight” dick? How exactly is “straight dick” any different than any other dick? A “straight dick” may have been in a vagina on occasion, but I’m not aware that vaginas are a hot or appealing item for gay guys. By contrast, I don’t believe I’ve read any ads from someone claiming to be “straight” who says they “want to suck gay dick.”

I was recently on a message forum where this “straight-acting/appearing” topic was discussed.  Some guys consider the “straight-acting” language nothing but actually “acting” and they suggested that masculine is a much better word to use than this “straight-acting” bull shit.  People should just be who they are rather than “acting” or “appearing” or pretending to be something they are not. Why is that so difficult for people to do? Why can’t people just be who they are? It would certainly take a lot less effort and energy for one to just be who they are.  No “acting: or “appearing” involved.  If one is masculine, just say so, if one feels one must say so. It doesn’t need to be wrapped in “straight” anything. Unfortunately, these days superficiality is also “in” and being who one really is seems to be a struggle for so many people, including the GLBTQ populace.  Maybe one day all of this baggage will be abandoned and many of the GLBTQ populace will mature and not need to pretend to be something they’re not.  Not that this is at all limited to gay people. Many “straight” people have pretended to be something they’re not for generations.  Chau.—rosa barrio

Related:

Sexual Freedom and Revolution

The Conservative Gay Heteronormative Populace

“Straight-acting” self-loathing gay men
At that link above, someone wrote a comment dated November 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm | #7:

“excerpt: What I’m wondering, firstly, is what’s wrong with being “liberal”? Seems to me being liberal minded is a positive thing. After all, without liberal-mindedness, none of us on this thread would even be able to have this discussion, because the gay rights movement would never have happened and we’d all still be in the closet, living miserable lives.”

Yes, that’s what I and others have talked about. How the gay populace has completely abandoned its radical past so they can be accepted by “the straights” (AND THAT’S IMPORTANT TO WHOM?! I don’t give a damn whether I’m accepted by “the straights” or not. It’s immaterial to me. And who appointed them as the “end all?” with their fucked-up, dysfunctional selves?) and many GLBTQs are trying to act as much like “the straights” as possible. [roll eyes!] The GLBTQ populace has been thoroughly corporatised, in part, by Gay Inc., and today the word “alternative” which used to have very positive connotations has as negative connotations as the word “liberal.” Yet when I came out of the closet, ALL of the GLBTQ people I knew and have known would describe themselves as “liberal” or “progressive.” It’s as if the GLBTQ populace has flipped out, gone loco/a and done “a 180″ (have become the opposite of what they were) and have become nothing but corporatised sheep. So it’s all about being “jocks” and hanging out at loud/obnoxious corporate sports bars and watching “The Game,” and grunting at walls of television screens, and wearing corporate sports teams clothing (“go, team, go”) and shopping at corporate chain/big box stores buying junk made off-shore in China with child labor….ah, we don’t care about that anymore!), because it’s easier to go along with the “straight” sheep/herd than to be “alternative” and “socially-conscious.” The latter takes too much damn work. Had enough of that!

Loco/a. Ted Rall also wrote about it here:

SYNDICATED COLUMN: Gays and Lesbians: Sucked in by the Far Right; What Happened to the Wild, Free Gay Movement of the 1970s?