Saturday, 27 December 2008


There was some minor controversy this year about the Pope’s Christmas message in which he apparently discussed the need to preserve gender roles. This caught my mind because of the current orthodoxy that whilst homosexuality is not a sin, homosexual acts are still very much on the stoning rota (a distinction no doubt of importance to priests in glass houses everywhere).

Anyway, put the two together and you have the clear idea that being gay makes one less of a man.

The fear of being thought less of a man is a part of why I denied my true nature for so long. Having a traditional, masculine, stoic father – though not man enough to raise his kids or pay the mortgage to be sure – made me question, as my sexuality first emerged, not whether I was gay but whether I was really comfortable being male.

The answer is that I love being male. One might say in many ways I can’t get enough of it. Certainly having come out I am sometimes a little vexed that people can’t tell and as such people who might be interested, and in whom I may have some interest too, assume I’m straight. But I enjoy rugby; beer; I like fixing things and growing things and occasionally punching things. I drive to fast and take silly risks.

And of course I enjoy the physical aspects of maleness, both in myself and others. A more muscular frame, strong jaw, strong nose, big hands, the whole… package. Oh yes, I enjoy all the male attributes of my boyfriends and lovers and assignations and in that respect might by the short sighted be seen as not fully male at all. But I don’t see liking rugby and beer making me more of a man any more than loving a man, in every sense, could diminish my masculinity.

So in short there is nothing about being gay that makes me less male, or more; and those of my gay friends I have canvassed quite agree.

But there is also, I fine, a freedom and opportunity of being gay. Of course there are pressures, and many challenges, but I think it is easier to be a man when you can grow and become who you want to be, rather than conform to pre-set expectations. I’d rather make my own mistakes than live someone else’s.

Thinking out loud as usual, gentle reader, Yet while I remain in good part ever undefined I enjoy that more than being a square peg in a round hole.

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