Every gay man is fake and superficial. I hear it so often from the insider. Of course, the insider is another gay man.
Gay men often talk about other gay men using these statements.
I always used to argue against this until I realised it was true. However, those statements are more superficial than the people it accuses of being fake.
Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you grow up as an outsider in the straight world. You know you are different, so your default operating mode is to blend in, stay unnoticed, or limit the damage from being too noticeable (avoid bullying and harassment, for example). To put it into other words, we do everything we can to fit in and get accepted. It is human nature that we are looking for acceptance; gay, straight, male, female and anything else on the scales. But if you’re not straight and you don’t identify as cis-man or cis-woman, it becomes much more complicated.
No member of the LGBTQ+ community is exempt, and it is even magnified by all the micro-communities and labels.
The gay man’s search for acceptance
Finding acceptance and belonging is a crucial part of happiness for human beings. So when you hide your gay identity from your parents, friends, or the community you live in, you do so because you want to be accepted.
This need for acceptance doesn’t stop once you’re out, and being gay isn’t the only reason we are looking for acceptance.
I realised all of this when I was dating another gay man.
We only dated for a couple of weeks. But that was a revelation to me. First of all, I want you to know I was very into him. I was very disappointed when it ended.
We met through friends. We approached dating well. I had open conversations with him about family, what we were looking for in a partner, and what we liked.
It is easy to judge him as shallow and superficial on the surface. His hair was immaculate, and thanks to years of botox, he has a wrinkle-free face. He also has a great sense of style. His Instagram shows the most attractive guys who are very outgoing in social settings. His apartment was just as perfect in style and cleanliness as his appearance. Conversations with his friends revolved around botox and fillers. On the surface, he definitely fitted in with the image that every gay man is fake and superficial.
Do you think that sounds shallow? I would say it does. But you don’t know this gay man. And it didn’t take much time for me to realise his perfectionism was his way to find acceptance.
It is true: Every gay man is face and superficial. Until you get to know him
In the three weeks we dated, I have seen the person under that veneer, and I liked that even more. As I said, I liked him, and I consider him to be a good partner or husband. Unfortunately, not for me.
But the biggest revelation I got was this: I am just as “shallow and superficial as what he is”. Not because I use botox, or because I fret about my appearance. I don’t. But because I, too, want to get accepted, and I pretend to be somebody I am not.
I am not a big drinker, but I have no problems drinking and getting drunk when I start to date. Why? I don’t want him to think I am boring; I want to get accepted. I often drink more not to be an outsider, rather than that I enjoy it.
But another way in which I am fake and superficial, is by being “a nice guy.” I am willing to fit in with other people’s lives; I don’t make demands on the person I am dating. The same applies to my friendships: I am happy to fit in with their lives and schedules. I don’t want to cause a fuss.
Most people call me genuine and nice, but the truth is I am just as fake as everybody else because I, too, want to get accepted.
The need for acceptance is not without its pitfalls.
Because we are all looking for acceptance, we are looking to fit in with other people, and we are willing to adjust and adapt. But the reality is we can’t keep this up. Ultimately the truth has to come out.
The impact of trying to be somebody that you’re not can impact your relationships, your success, your self-esteem and increase your tendency to use alcohol and drugs.
When I give in to drinking, it has to come out eventually that I don’t enjoy it, and I want to revert to my usual self. The relationship will end because of the differences in lifestyle, and I created false expectations.
No More Mr Nice Guy
Being Mr Nice Guy, on the other hand, has stopped me from getting what I want in many areas of my life until I discovered the courage to ask more of what I want and enjoy what I desire in my life. So I decided, No more Mr. Nice Guy
It isn’t easy if you can’t be who you are.
But ultimately, it comes down to one thing: Loving yourself and living your life based on your own needs, values, beliefs and desires.
There is nothing wrong with creating a world that fits in with who you are. Some people may actually appreciate you standing up for yourself.
Book a free call with me to find how I can help you bridge the gap between where you are today and your potential so you can start to see changes in your career, wellbeing, mindset and relationships.