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Wanna get hit? I mean punched? Like, in the face? How do you think that would feel? Would you enjoy it? Because that might be exactly what happens to you if you call a straight man gay. For a lot of us straight men, that is the ultimate insult – there is no insult worse than that. Those are fighting words. Especially if you imply we are effeminate, and we do not feel we are effeminate at all.
Most straight men want to be seen as straight. The best way of doing that is by acting masculine. So most straight men have a lot invested in the idea that they act masculine or in some way straight. By calling them gay, you attack their masculinity, and men will often defend that with fists. Or guns.
Now if you were to assume we were bisexual, it might be a different story because at least you acknowledge that we like women. If you think we like guys too, no problem. But it’s a real insult to say we don’t like women. Like I said, those are fighting words.
I live in a barrio. This is the hood. It’s mostly Blacks and Mexicans around here. There are some effeminate men around here who most people call fags or faggots. I have no idea if these guys are gay or not, but they might be. They are not well-liked. When one of them comes into the local store to buy something, the clerks will mutter, “I hate faggots.” The clerks are extremely masculine Arab and Hispanic men. This is not a good neighborhood to be gay in. I think any gay man living here probably ought to move somewhere more friendly.
But the point is, men around here are expected to act very hard and tough. If you don’t act that way, it’s not good. So I even act that way myself.
And I would never call one of these regular men around here gay. He would probably demand that I take it back, and if I didn’t, he would hit me, punch me in the face. People get hit and punched all the time around here, and nothing happens to the punchers. It’s street justice. He might even try to kill me! These men around here so value their masculinity that they might try to kill you for saying that.
I am saying you better be careful about calling men gay or even assuming they are gay unless they are obviously effeminate. To a lot of men, even a suggestion that you think they might be gay is fighting words. Unless you are prepared for a fistfight, you better be very careful who you go around calling gay.
Just presume non-effeminate men are straight until proven otherwise!
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