Gender: What It Is, What It Wants to Be

gender1I am really not the kind of guy who enjoys people consorting with me in a tone that blatantly acknowledges my sexuality. Honestly, most gay men, like me really don’t need to be reminded that we are gay. I am sure our mothers knew when they caught us hitting the trying on when Barbie appealed to us more than Hercules. Waking up everyday realizing that humans of the same sex held our attention longer than others may have been it. Mom probably even realized it when we had too much of an opinion on lipstick shades or high heel preferences. Therefore, we meaning I can do without the assumption that I feel validated when I am stared at for a second longer than my comfort level. Maybe even when a simple hello turns into a long, sissified heyyy; most often than I’d like to admit, I really want to avoid speaking to heterosexual men that I don’t have a direct affiliation with. My thinking is that most of the guys that I come in contact with who identify as being straight think I want to sleep with them. This is the furthest thing from the truth but I understand this to be a plight faced by most women that have to deal with those aggressive who really just aren’t appealing. I have a sincere issue with how most of today’s men greet me based on what they may think I want versus what I need. Seems like most of the male encounter’s I’ve been having, have caused me to think a second longer than I would’ve like to. Leaving me to feel like I should have my guard up and ready to correct any of the misguided assholes who think I live for the likes of their approval. Whether it is a long stare that shows thoughts of confused expectation or a disgruntled “wassup” to prove their masculinity, its annoying. Although I sleep with men, I am still a man for 90% of my day (the other 10% I’m an off balance combination of my mother, grandmother or Lil’ Kim lol).

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Let’s dig a little deeper, most of the time when men are in the presence of an obviously gay man, lesbian or may even an identified trans person they immediately begin to process the interaction. You can always tell from the look in their eyes to the tension in their physicality. There’s always a sense of them looking as if their thoughts are “this faggot wants me” or “how should this conversation go?” Honestly it is the funniest thing ever especially since most gay men don’t look at the perspective ‘straight’ man as a peculiar being. You can always see how much a person respects you based on how they interact with you. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I was at a friend’s house with a macho boyfriend who felt like he had to remind the room that I was gay and he didn’t like it. It would usually end up with the male displaying some suspicious behavior resulting in somebody ‘coming out’ and someone else breaking up. With so many contributes to gender confliction or confusion gays still get most of the flack for having a stigma behind the title. Whether I dress in drag, tuck my dick or simply speak with a lighter toned voice I’m still a dude. It’s my choice and journey that I was born with a unique perspective on social, sexual and culture identity. Look at fashion; some years ago men wearing tight fitting clothing was looked at as being ‘gay’ when now that is the only fit you can find in stores. The interesting fact can be found to be that most of the fashions straight men are wearing today have been and will be most likely influence by the gay men of tomorrow excite me. Language plays an enormous part on how culture has shifted today as well. Hearing guys on Love & Hip Hop a popular guilty pleasure that most people call their favorite show holds much influence to today’s pop culture. Shade, slay and to ‘come for’ are often use by the actors (that was shade to Vh-1) who appear on the show. This is just another example of how most things both understood and not come full circle as to what they mean.

(Above: Grace Jones discusses gender bending and individuality in 1985 Interview)

Everyone is entitled to view themselves as they see fit. Most of the time the way a person may dress, speak or move may not have anything to do with sexuality or preference. Life should be about doing what makes you feel happy as an individual, not a component of comparison. Sometimes the way we appear to others may not be dependent upon being masculine or feminine but maybe just an overall feeling on how we feel about our own selves. We all must pay attention and understand that everyone around us is different. Gay, straight, black or purple (RIP Prince) aren’t we all living to achieve actually having a life? If I look like a man but my hips sway similar to a female, you don’t have to like it but you will respect my space. If you are going to speak to me, let it be genuine and with a positive purpose or keep that shit yourself. You don’t have to like how things go in life but it would be to your own benefit to try and understand.

Vashon Wade 2016

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