There seems to always have been a trope of the lonely gay man that's unable to hold down a secure long term relationship. That stereotype has always made me wonder why though - what is it about male homosexuality that lends itself to dysfunctional relationships? Is it that we're both men? Or is it a cultural trope that we seem unable to escape? My research led me to Mike Campbell who believes that the answer may be two fold.
It almost seems cliché to ask this of a young guy in his teens or 20s, but this is very real question that precipitates very real consequences. In this interview Mike and I discuss how people who don't know who they are have a tendency to attract unhealthy relationships. If you don't know what you truly value, what's good for you, what's bad for you, and who you can trust, then maintaining a healthy relationship could be a challenge.
'We need to be empowered with the knowledge of who we are and who we aren't.'
I take this one step further by suggesting that many men, gay or straight, have trouble coming to terms with what they aren't. Perhaps it's an inbuilt desire to fight, or even a millenial thing, but we push and push to try and be something that we aren't, and that we will never be. We need to be empowered with the knowledge of who we are and who we aren't.
A major shift in the language surrounding masculinity and femininity is well over due. It doesn't matter what your biological sex is, male or female, a truly integrated human knows how to access their masculinity and their femininity and isn't ashamed of either. The first step is realising that neither of these words are referring to gender or sexuality. Masculinity captures the part of our humanity that is direct, assertive, decisive, aggressive, and individual, while our femininity captures our empathy, compassion, consideration, reflection, and - ultimately - our ability to love without consequence. The masculine wants to know black from white, to have a clear understanding of consequence, while the feminine seeks to feel and 'see what happens'.
You can see how both are so critical for a healthy relationship. Unfortunately, I believe gay men struggle to integrate the two.
Check out the interview below.
Nathan helps people to express themselves at home, at school, and in the workplace, all around the world. He's passionate about thinking, and engages in it regularly. He's not overly fond of writing in the third person though. It's weird. Connect with him on Facebook to continue the conversation, make a video at colourbeat.com, or even share a dance with him at movewithcolour.com!
It's important to reflect on who you are and to be to able to explain this to yourself first and foremost.
Masculinity and femininity are fluid states of being that help us to develop truly passionate relationships.
Gay men may struggle to access both at the same time as they are fighting against a cultural trope that says they must be one or the other.