Category Archives: Rant

Stop Calling Me “Straight Acting”

I was working late.  My boss was out of town on a job and I was prepping something to be ready for his return.  The only light in the room was the blue glow coming from my computer monitor and the city lights floating in from the outside.  I loved being in the office at night.  It was seven floors up and overlooked Midtown Atlanta.  The floor to ceiling windows made it seem like there wasn’t a wall at all and I imagined stepping out and soaring over the busy streets below.

Which would have been awesome if I weren’t scared of heights.

To keep myself company, I listened to streaming audio from the NPR show, This American Life.  No other radio show could have me crying tears of laughter and sadness in the same sixty minutes.  Very few radio shows could even keep me listening for sixty minutes.  The episode’s theme was “sissies” and the majority of the stories revolved around gay men.  At the end of the episode, an essay was presented by Seattle’s gay “sex advice columnist for the straights”, Dan Savage.  (Heads Up: If you go out and Google “Dan Savage”, be warned, his column isn’t for the faint of heart.  You’ve been warned…twice.)  In this particular story, which was fairly tame (having to pass through Standards and Practices), Savage expressed his hatred of the term “straight acting”.  Straight acting means what you think it would mean: it describes gay men who are masculine enough to pass as straight.  In the essay, Savage talks about how the alternative newspaper he worked for banned the term from their personals ads.  The idea was that gay guys shouldn’t try to pass as straight, but should be proud of their homosexuality, swishiness and all.

I found myself growing annoyed as I listened to the Savage speak.  By the time he was done, I was downright frustrated.  I agreed with him that men shouldn’t fear and demonize any effeminate traits that they had.  He said that he thought that swishier men who go through life “as is” were braver than those who could pass for straight.  I agreed with that as well.  What irked me, however, was the entire implication that if a gay man is more masculine, he was “straight” acting.

There are days that I don’t feel very gay at all and it has nothing to do with attraction.  It has to do with the general stereotype out there (held by many of the straights and the gays) that the more effeminate you are, the “gayer” you are.  I’m offended that, just because I don’t care that Wicked is in town, I’m “straight” acting.  I know plenty of straight guys that were excited to go see the show and I know there were tons of gay men that were in line, as well.  My point is, straight men don’t have a monopoly on masculinity and all the sissies aren’t gay.

There seems to be differing reasons for this attitude among the gays and the straights.  Among straight people, the attitude seems to stem from the erroneous idea that homosexuality=“gender confusion”.  They seem to think that for a man to be sexually and emotionally attracted to another man, he must identify with femininity and, on some level, think he is a woman.  After all, how could a masculine man look at another man and be attracted to him?  Femininity is attracted to masculinity, and vice versa, right?  Well, not always.  I’m not saying that I am the most masculine guy out there (I’m more nerd than jock), but I am a man, I don’t identify with femininity, I don’t think I am a woman and I still think that Adam Brody is hot.  That’s the whole reason behind the term “orientation”.  All those emotions and desires that straight men have towards women exist in gay men, you just take the woman out of the picture and you put another man there.  I think it was my relatively masculine demeanor that seemed to make it hard for a couple of my bishops to believe that I was full-blown gay.  (Trust me, I am.)

Among the gay community, while one may seek out a straight acting boyfriend, one often takes pride in his own swishiness.  It is badge of gay honor: a sort of gay “street cred”, if you will.  Those that could pass as straight are sometimes seen as selling out their own people in an effort to make their own lives easier.  There have been times when in the presence of other gay men that I have felt self-conscious and that I didn’t really fit in because I wasn’t effeminate enough.  I eventually had to tell myself, “No, there is no reason for you to have to change how you act.  The point of accepting your sexuality is accepting who you are – not trying to change yourself into someone that you aren’t.”  My wrist doesn’t hang limp and I am fine with that.

So, to the gays, the straights, and Dan Savage, please stop trying to make me something that I am not.  I am not “straight acting”.  I am gay, which means that my hatred of musicals, distaste for shopping, refusal to use the word “fabulous”, lisp-less voice, stiff wrist, and general shortage of swish make me incredibly “gay acting”.

Holy crap, IMDB has Adam Brody rumored to be The Flash in the new Justice League movie.  Awesome.

The Last Thing You’ll See Me Write About Prop 8

Being a Mormon in the film production industry is uncommon.  Let me rephrase, being an active Mormon in the film industry is uncommon.  So much so, that when other people find out that I am Mormon, often they don’t know what to say.

Mostly the reaction I get when people find out my religion is, “oh, I hope I don’t offend you!”  They assume that one sexual reference or “F-Bomb” is going to send me off to scrub my ears in a shocked fit of prayer.  I did go to non-BYU film school, people.  We watched unrated movies and everything.  Even foreign movies.

To their statement I usually laugh and say, “don’t worry, I’m actually pretty hard to offend,” which is true.  While I’m easily irritated, truly offending me is rare.

But now, I am deeply hurt and offended.  I can’t point to anyone individually, but the people that have caused me to feel emotionally heavy and dark are the two political groups currently fighting over Prop 8 in California.  I’ve always been Prop 8 Agnostic in my public communications and I continue to be so in the effort to not have my opinion sway anyone one way or another (as if that could happen).  I have read many blog posts and comments that have been very civil and diplomatic in their support for and opposition to the proposition.  Unfortunately, I have seen much more name-calling, outright lying, and plainly evil rhetoric being lobbed back and forth.  Having an inherent foot in both sides of the argument, being hit from both sides has caused my protective “don’t take it personally” filter to break down and many of the statements have seeped in.  According to these groups:

Because I am gay I:

  • am selfish.
  • am immoral.
  • am dangerous to children.
  • am harmful to society.

Because I am Mormon I:

  • am a hatemonger.
  • am anti-family.
  • am intolerant.
  • am harmful to society.

I admit, the gay ones hurt more than the Mormon ones (I’ve been hearing them my whole life) and while I’ve always been taught to never be ashamed of my beliefs – I don’t have the same years of open conviction when it comes to my sexuality.  It is hard not to take things personally when they are attacking two things about me that are very personal.

So, I have decided that I am no longer going to read, watch, or participate in any more discussions, articles, or news stories related to Prop 8.  I realize that people feel that they should stand up for their beliefs and that’s fine, but I, however, can’t.  The issues are too close, the pain is too real, and I am too tired.

I spent time with friends this weekend.  I talked with them, laughed, played with their kid….  To them, none of the above is true.  I am focusing on that; the rest will have to take care of itself for now.

Soy Didn’t Make Me “SSA”

I don’t really use the term SSA (same-sex attraction) much.  I don’t criticize the majority of people who do.  Elder Oaks even counseled for people to avoid using labels to define people and their existence and I agree with him.  So why is the name of this blog “Soy Made Me Gay?”  Because I don’t like how some people are using the term “SSA”.

From some straight and gay mormons alike, SSA has turned into a label of its own which means “gay but not gay like that”.  I’ve seen people use it to distinguish their gay loved ones from the gay people they see on television (which is pretty much the only place that they see gay people).  By so doing, they are able to love their “same-sex attracted” brother or son or daughter or sister and keep hating “gay” people.  It’s this usage of “SSA” that offends me.

I am a homosexual.  I’m not a warm fuzzy “SSA” gay (that is only “kind of” gay, but not gay “like that”).  The one difference between my sexuality and that of, say,  Neil Patrick Harris:  my testimony.  Honestly, if there were an OD-3 saying gay was “a-okay”, I’d be the first one out in my ward.

If you hate “gay” people, then you hate me too.

Homosexuality doesn’t feel any more wrong to gay people than heterosexuality to straight people.  It actually feels normal.  That’s one of the reasons gay people in general feel the conflict that they do.  They can’t seem to understand how everyone can hate them for what comes normally to them.  That is why I don’t blame people who don’t have the gospel for following that feeling.  I hear “love the sinner, hate the sin” a lot, but I find it pretty cavalier of people to use that phrase when they don’t seem to be “loving the sinner” that much.  I believe homosexual acts are a sin.  I believe that eternal happiness comes (in part) from ridding yourself of practices that the Lord has deemed unworthy of His Kingdom.  I believe this because I have a testimony of the scriptures and the prophets and that is what they teach and I truly believe it, but to be honest, feeling sexual attraction to guys feels normal to me.  That’s just the nature of sexuality.

Sure I’m mormon, but I’m also SSA, a fag, a queer, a homo, and last but not least: gay like that.


I’m not turning into the militant gay of the mohosphere.  The next post will be less ranty, yo prometo.