I'm a confused mess . . . or so it appears to many around me. In fact, I'm not confused at all on the inside. But I'm a straight man with many qualities generally characterized as "feminine" or "gay." I love to cook; I have two cats; I grow orchids and other houseplants; I used to garden when I had a yard. Along with these more "feminine" characteristics and interests, I have many that are more "masculine." I love sports; when I owned a vehicle, I was my own mechanic; I love building things out of wood using power tools; etc. I laughed aloud when I read a post above by a man who cooks on the holidays, and is received strangely by other straight men because he doesn't know which teams are playing in the bowl game. Just this week, I accidentally made plans to cook for a group of friends on Sunday . . . then remembered it's SuperBowl Sunday . . . and moved my dinner party to Saturday because I want to cook this weekend, but I don't want to miss the game! Also, like one of the other posters who wrote that he began cooking to impress girls, I did too; but unlike him, I had great success with the approach!
However, when it comes to people who barely know me making assumptions about my sexual orientation, they usually assume I'm gay. This is true not only of homophobic men, but also gay men, and straight and gay women. Why? I think it's likely a combination of my hobbies and, perhaps, my mannerisms. But who really knows?!?! Historically, I've had no problem finding women to date, and for several years now I've had the perfect girlfriend. I live in the heart of my city's gayborhood and am hit-on by guys regularly, which I find flattering.
I guess this is all just a long-winded way of saying that the characteristics and hobbies that our society has identified as "masculine" and "feminine" have no dependent or causal relationships with sexual orientation. What's truly sad is that I've known people who have been drawn to particular activities (including cooking) but have refrained from practicing them out of fear of being perceived as gay--letting their own homophobia oppress them. I don't care what people perceive my sexual orientation to be and, as a result, I've long felt free to be who I am--whatever that means.
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