Masculinity Means Never Having to Say You're Masculine: Homophobia, Hypermasculinity, and the Struggle Over Visibility in the Space of "straight-acting" Gay Men
ProQuest, 2006 - 217 pages
For these men visibility of gay men in popular culture produces a unified feminine gay identity that functions to marginalize their validity as gay men, that teaches the heterosexual population and other gay men that all gay men perform feminine gender identities and that asserts the correct way to be a gay man is to act and be feminine. They advocate a "quietly gay" identity where gay people remain silent in order to make the assimilation of gay people comfortable for both gay people and the straight people who fear and oppress them. Others argue that increased visibility of straight-acting gay men will alter societal attitudes toward gay men. However, this visibility is dependent upon a decrease of visibility of gay men that they deem stereotypical. However, the possibility of increased visibility for the straight-acting is questionable because these men want to signify a sameness that cannot be differentiated from normative masculinity because it is equally unseen. However, as normative masculinity evolves under the auspices of feminism and consumerism, these men are faced with a bid: they can begin to adopt the same symbols that they have characterized as gay-acting, which the consumer model appropriates or they can rely on an outdated model of masculinity that may one day, no longer be characterized as straight-acting.