Monday, 6 December 2010

Gay Straight Men : T'Aint Who You Do

Tim Lott is a straight man, he is happily married with children.
But Lott thinks he's more than a little bit gay.
He doesn't fancy blokes, he just feels that way.
No, he's not metrosexual - that's "morphed into meaning simply someone who is young, urbane and well groomed".
He calls himself "stray" - a straight gay - and confesses all in The Times today; 'The Joy Of Being A Lifestyle Gay'
Tim Lott blames his wife for turning him stray.
"She got me addicted to chick TV. Initially Cold Feet and Sex and the City, and later the harder stuff — reality TV — including Big Brother, The Apprentice and I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!"
It's got worse as Lott's got older, but he's also learned to accept himself; "I take a recipe book to work so that I can work out what ingredients I have to buy if I need to cook that evening. I have come to love shopping for food, particularly for cheese, wine and delicatessen items. I enjoy spa treatments and visits to the hairdresser far more than shouting at 22 men chasing a ball on a TV screen..."
Thankfully, he doesn't feel the odd (straight) man out - far from it.
"...I think that there are many like me. In fact, I would imagine that, unlike the much-vaunted metrosexuals, who were always a minority, we are now well set to be in the majority over the Jeremy Clarkson/Alex Ferguson axis, the Fraternity of Blokes."
Tim Lott is far from the first straight journalist to write about how he's getting in touch with his effeminate gay side - it's almost a cliche.
It's interesting to compare it to an article in The Guardian last week;
The Death Of Camp by Kevin Troughton.
Troughton was writing as a gay man who doesn't feel "gay" - which for him means "camp" or "effiminate gay men" - a far more well-worn journalism cliche than the gay-acting straight man.
Like Lott, Troughton thinks he's part of growing trend, "masculine" gay men who prefer "outdoor pursuits" to Pride festivals.
They define "gay" in rather different ways; for Lott it's about being artistic and cultured, Troughton thinks it's horribly common.
Fagburn thinks they think it's got a lot to do with class.
Would the judge who this Summer stereotyped gay men as liking "Kylie and cocktails" have attracted as much ire if he'd said "Sondheim and champagne"?
For Fagburn what's interesting, and what's new, is not that many gay men feel they don't fit into the prevalent gay stereotypes, and some straight men do - it was ever thus.
What's interesting is how it's now generally taken as a given that gay and straight are as much cultural identities, as they are sexual;
It ain't who you do, but what you like doing.


  1. Fagburn remembers "stray" being used in the 90s to describe straight men who strayed onto the gay scene occasionally/regularly looking for gay sex; sort of a bit more curious than the "bi-curious"...

  2. I would never have referred to Jeremy Clarkson as a "bloke". He might be a homophobe and like cars, but he's also camp.