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Looking for opinions on what is behind my behaviour

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by Paul101, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. Paul101

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    I joined EC a few months ago after realising that I might be gay. After some amazing advice from the beautiful people on here I confirmed that, yes, I am a gay man. It was both a revelation and a relief, and a very positive step in my life. I spent the first few weeks after discovering my new sexual identity just getting used to the idea, and I felt very liberated and hopeful. Then a strange thing happened.

    Over the past few months I have noticed I have started to become more macho in a very unhealthy way.

    I am a very sensitive and empathic person at heart. I am more comfortable in company of women, emotionally not sexually, and I am not competitive at all, and like to help people where I can. I have never considered myself macho in anyway at all.

    But now I find myself doing things like, trying to walk more macho, being more forceful and assertive around other men, sometimes to the point of aggression, and repressing any show of emotion or empathy. Basically acting like a stereo-typical toxic man.

    This is so odd, as when I am at home I am the sensitive and caring person I know I am. I have already come out to my two teenage children who are super supportive, and are encouraging, we talk about fashion and guys I like. Yet, when I am outside the house, I find myself looking at other men and seeing them as the enemy. The more masculine they are the more I despise them, and the more I try to be like them. I am aware that I am doing this but don't seem to in control of it, it’s like watching someone pretending to be me.

    Obviously I have something going on inside me that needs to be addressed, and I wondered if anyone has ever felt the same, or if this common with men in my position.

    Paul x
     
  2. PatrickUK

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    Hi Paul

    I think it's good that you have seen it and it's good that you are saying it. Sometimes we have to name the behaviour to change the behaviour.

    I could offer my thoughts about what is happening, but I think you have enough sensitivity and capacity for introspection to tell us yourself. It seems to have coincided with your decision to come out, so what do you think is going on... if you join the dots?
     
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  3. tidalpool127

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    Hey Paul,

    Maybe you're code-switching? You know, acting a different way depending on the situation or who you're with? Like you, I don't really fit all that well with what the straight world considers stereotypically masculine in terms of competitiveness, assertiveness, etc.

    When I first started living as openly gay to the world in my early twenties I would lower my voice an octave or make sure I was standing a certain way(e.g. no hand on hip) when around a group of straight men. I wasn't trying to hide that I was gay, but I was afraid that if I appeared "too gay" they wouldn't take me seriously. Maybe some people will not, however one must remember that most people are good.

    I'm not telepathic, so I don't know if this is why you're acting this way. If it does sound familiar though then I would encourage you to just be yourself. I believe most people respond better to the authentic you more than anything else.
     
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  4. Contented

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    I had the complete opposite experience. Prior to coming out I was what you could probably say was the stereotypical toxic man. Acting that way but actually inside I was a total different person. I was acting macho. After coming out I started to peel away layers and layers of that toxic masculinity. I exposed the soft caring side of me that hidden for far too long. I worried I wasn’t gay enough to fit in at my age. I felt far most comfortable with the stereotypical gay man as that is how I felt about myself. My first and so far only BF was very much like that and more to the femme side. I think that why we were so good together we both felt the same way. My gay friends after a while would comment that couldn’t believe I was ever straight. I think we balance our inner selves as we embrace our particular gay identity.
     
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  5. mobius5

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    I do this A LOT; and before I even knew I was bi. If I'm in a group of people who swear a lot; I'll swear. If I'm in a group of people who don't swear at all; I won't. And I tend to do this unconsciously. Only very few times and very very subtly, but I've noticed speaking in a certain way when I was around a gay or bi person that I felt more comfortable with, that I probably wouldn't act around straight people.

    Stereotypes really bother me, because apparently(?) as some people say, they are at least partly true to some extent (but still should not be "abused" for personal gain). Now that I've opened up to myself at first I was going around with my evil voice in my head saying "walk around with your gay clothes and gay walk. Then I take a drink; "yeah take a gay drink from your gay water bottle". Just a anxious insane person in my head going crazy... In my honest opinion (as of this post, which may change over time....) most of the above mentioned things are too subtle for most people to notice. I don't think anyone really thinks I'm gay at all. But is that good or bad?
    A question I have for people here is: if you came out and someone said; "Oh I would never have thought you were gay," is that a compliment? and insult or....? Or if they say "yeah I figured"...?

    Sorry for sort of hijacking; I'm afraid I can't be of much help. Other than to say this is perhaps a defense/subconscious push back against coming out? Probably part of you doesn't want to, or is afraid to come fully out and be natural. I know I'm definitely that way, even though part of me really wants to.
     
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  6. Chip

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    One of my friends, as he started to become aware that he was attracted to guys, started speaking with an unnaturally low voice, carrying himself in a very macho way, and dressing very "straight". He laughed about it later and realized it was simply a defense: He wasn't ready to fully accept himself and so the fear of turning into a "nelly queen" caused him to overreact in the opposite way.

    I don't think this is anything to be concerned about, especially since you are self-aware and concerned. You could just spend some time meditating on this and asking yourself "What's going on that I feel the need to act this way" and see what comes back from your unconscious.
     
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