The whole “straight-acting” thing makes me want to vomit ad infinitum. And I may be beating a dead horse here, but the whole concept is of “straight-acting” is flawed from the letter s. Like you said, it’s acting, pretending to be something that you’re not, intentionally presenting a visage that is intended to mislead, just like wearing a mask or muscled meat suit. The “acting” clearly states that the “straight” attributes are a veneer, a covering, a cloak (see “muscled meat suit,” that one’s cracking me up), a shell, something one can put on and take off at will — it only hides, covers, or protects what lies beneath. And it stands to reason that if someone admits to wearing a mask/costume, then it must be disguising the opposite of what it’s presenting. Whatever it is.
The saddest part is that whatever it is the “straight-acting” person is covering up is something within themselves that they can’t stand and don’t want the public to see.
So frankly, when I read or hear “straight-acting,” I know the real label is self-loathing.
“I’m 6'2", 240#, brown/blue, work out 6x/week (you should, too), and am self-loathing (straight-acting) and seek same. Self-aware, those living authentically (fems, nerds, fats, everyone else) don’t bother.”*
Now for those who apply the label “straight-acting” to others, they may be using it as shorthand or because there’s a lack of a personal lexicon for a lot of other “stuff.” Maybe those who are seeking those they label “straight-acting” know exactly what they’re looking for — what lies beneath — but they can’t wrap their brains around the notion of going for what they really want without the veneer because “what others will think,” or any number of excu–, I mean reasons.
Anyway, I get what you’re saying, alto. The whole thing is a sad state of affairs.
Why can’t gay men put away the labels and the posturing and simply BE who they are and ACCEPT others for who they are?
*Note: straight-actors come in all sizes, this was purely for amusement. Effed up perceptions of the world can strike anyone.
[kicks soapbox back under laptop]
Going back to my racism/privilege/marginalization lane now …