Sometimes I Just Hate Myself...No Wait, Not Me. You.
Maybe it’s the pressure of society, the constant jokes regarding sexuality and masculinity or just a general plague of insecurity, but I believe for gay man, in particular, there exists a sad malaise of self-loathing. I am just as guilty as the next Mo when I see someone another male acting in too feminine a manner. Really, it shouldn’t matter how anyone acts. But there are times when I observe others and think, “Damn, that is so gay. How embarrassing. That’s why people hate us.” Etc. Ad nauseum. Ad infinitum. Amen.
It doesn’t take Freud to tell you that the discomfort I feel that is caused by observing those I label are much “gayer” than I am is born out of insecurity and having to confront my own behavior. Subconsciously, (or not so sub-…), I wonder if others see me this way. Does my natural behavior make others angry? Am I making others uncomfortable just by being myself?
At work, someone was recently moved into our section and replaced one of my friends. He was moved into our section because he was a “personality conflict” elsewhere. He’s out at work, and quite flamboyant about it. He has paraphernalia surround his computer monitor announcing his gayness to the world when his movement and voice already do a more than adequate job telegraphing this to anyone with functioning eyes and ears. Actually, Stevie Wonder could see that this dude is gay as a clutch purse on Tony night.
He has a poster of a play that he went to see hanging up which represents one man slipping a wedding ring onto another man’s hand. When asked if he liked the play, he said no, that it was awful. So why hang it up? Just to let others know that you are gay? He audibly whined how it just wasn’t fair that the Senate was discussing the gay marriage ban amendment on the floor without any legal basis to his argument. We know it’s not fair, but throw in an Equal Protection argument, if you’re complaining at a law firm. Ok?
What’s not fair is that I let every little thing he does bother me. And I know I do it because of the aforementioned reasons. I see some of his qualities in myself. And I don’t like it at all. My usual confidence disappears when he acts up or when he asks me what I did for the weekend. I am out at work, but I try to keep my gayness as one of the least interesting things about me. (God knows, it is, after all.) He celebrates his gayness to the point of almost being identified solely for it. Do I hate that or am I jealous that I am not courageous to own my sexuality with the same degree of confidence?
I decided that I was going to give him a break and stop being so critical. I was going to be a bigger person. I was going to learn a lesson from him. I wasn’t going to be afraid to be myself in any situation.
And then I saw him writing an email about me while I was spying over his shoulder.
He wrote an email about me to one of his bitchy friends who works upstairs saying that I was a “bitch, too girly, that I think my shit doesn't stink and that I think I am SO clever.”
Yes, he's right, but there's no need to memorialize it in writing. He actually also wrote that I was ugly, but then quickly deleted it. THEN there would have been a solid argument.
Yes, in another email he called me a “cunt” because I didn’t say hello to him this morning.
Yes, he has a picture of a cupcake on his desk, and he was calling me girly.
Yes, I was spying on what he was writing. .Everyone needs a break from work. Oh, and don’t write emails about me while I am sitting feet away from you.
So, after careful consideration, it turns out that it’s not so much self-loathing.
I can loathe others, regardless of their overt sexuality, and not feel guilty about it. I can like myself the way I am and still be annoyed that someone is just too in your face about his chubby, annoying brand of gayness.
And most importantly, I have realized that I can totally criticize someone for being catty, scrupulous and unreasonably involved in my life without feeling at all like a hypocrite.
And that’s the best lesson of all to learn about oneself, effectively rationalizing one's rampant hypocricy.