Nice article! I’m glad you pointed out that we gay men really already understand the problem. It’s nice to see it looked at academically, though.

Something that interests me is the way that effeminate gay men often participate in a hierarchy system that puts traditionally masculine gay men at the top.

I’m thinking of a friend of mine who is quite the “queen,” large and muscular but with a campy, over-the-top feminine presentation. He isn’t ashamed of his effeminacy; he revels in it.

He’s a natural leader and people follow his example closely. One of the examples they follow is his strict categorization of gay men by feminine or masculine characteristics.

“Oh honey, she’s a girl!” David will say of a gay man who isn’t particularly masculine acting. “Sisters don’t date sisters!”

I think most of us gay men know guys like David. He doesn’t disdain effeminacy. He IS effeminate. Most of his gay friends are effeminate. But his boyfriends never are. They have either learned to perform a traditionally masculine role or he dates somebody else.

It’s weird, because he’s a little arrogant in his effeminacy. I’m pretty sure he thinks he’s a bit better than his boyfriends. I mean by that that David has two advanced degrees, has achieved a fair amount of financial success in life, and mostly dates working class guys because of their performative masculinity.

His friends have opera subscriptions and drink chardonnay, but he wants his boyfriends to have season football tickets and drink Budweiser.

He would never claim or believe that he was a victim of negative stereotypes against effeminate gay men. But in a way he’s helping to perpetuate them.

I think he’s an example of how very complex this problem is.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.