“He’s Too Gay”
By Brandon Tietz
Please indulge me while I speak on a portion of my own gender. I hate dude-bros.
I hate that hyper-macho, misogynistic “gotta get my reps in at the gym,” fist-pumping-while-wearing-
I didn’t like dude-bros when they became a trending male archetype a la “Jersey Shore.” I certainly don’t like them now. More than anything, though, I hate how their type treats women. You ladies out there know what I’m talking about, right?
Here’s a classic: You’re walking along, minding your own business, when some guy shouts a derogatory statement from his car. Now that may leave you feeling yucky on the inside, but the dude-bro thinks he’s just paid you a compliment of the highest order.
It’s the dude-bro’s primal urge to “smash chicks.” When out in the public, the dude-bro is always on the lookout to “pull some tail.” It’s not the fact that the dude-bro is heterosexual, it’s that he’s so hyper-heterosexual that it becomes offensive and obnoxious.
No one has any problem with the dude-bro’s sexual orientation. It is his method of expressing it that turns people off. Why the dude-bro approaches a woman isn’t the issue—it’s how he does it. But no one is using the term “too straight.” It’s always something like creeper or dude-bro, but never “too straight.” That’s not a thing.
“Too gay,” on the other hand, is definitely a thing people say. I’ve heard it. You’ve probably heard it, too. Ex: “I can’t handle James. He’s just too gay for me.”
Now that may come off homophobic, but this statement (or dismissal, rather) is derived from lack of vocabulary and the inability to express a conflict of personality.
Allow me to draw the line. Saying you don’t like someone because they’re gay is homophobia. Saying you don’t like someone because they’re too gay is something else entirely. When I’ve asked my straight guy friends what they mean by that, they usually fail to find the right word(s) for what they’re trying to describe, usually landing on weak second attempts like “too much” or “over-the-top.”
Flamboyant is actually the term they’re looking for. It is the hyper-exaggeration of stereotypical gay characteristics played out in ALL CAPS and dialed up to eleven.
Much in the way the dude-bro is a maxed out version of all those macho personality traits, on the other side of that coin is the flamboyant gay. He’s the guy acting so outlandish and animated that it’s next to impossible not to pay attention. His fashion is gaudy. His actions are attention-seeking. He is a human strobe light. Ostentatiousness personified.
Everything about him is an exclamation point and sometimes that’s difficult for the average straight dude to handle. When fireworks explode, the people on ground level become less interesting. The phrase “he’s too gay”—for the most part—isn’t a slam on someone’s sexual orientation. It is the straight dude’s way of saying they can’t handle a personality that loud.
This isn’t a call for the flamboyant gay to dial it down. Be who you are. I’m writing this to illustrate that being “too” of something doesn’t always mean a person is against it.
Saying someone is “too political” doesn’t mean you hate or have no interest politics; it just means you don’t care to associate with someone who is immersed in them. Saying someone is “too churchy” doesn’t mean you’re against religion. “Too nerdy” doesn’t mean you hate the entirety of nerd culture. And “too gay” doesn’t always equate to homophobia. Next time you hear it, stop, take a breath, and remember that some personality types clash. There are many different flavors of straight and gay on the spectrum. Not all of them play well together.