‘Which One Is The Man?’ And 4 Other Things To Stop Saying To Gay Guys


A few nights ago, I went to a gay club in Hell’s Kitchen with a few friends. As we walked passed the bar, we caught the attention of a few women.

“The guys here are so hot,” I overheard a woman tell her friend. “What a waste,” she added.

Hearing those words stung like a bee. I’m a waste of a person because I’m not an option for her? Because I’m wired to not be sexually attracted to women? I mean, was she expecting to find her Prince Charming at a club where men dance on a bar to “Can’t Fight The Moonlight?”

My friend told me I was overreacting. That the woman was just disappointed that we weren’t on “her team.”

But it really got me thinking about the many other well-intended comments straight people make, including my closest friends and self-identified allies, that I’ve let slide for years.

What A Waste

This is a backhanded compliment. You find an individual attractive and wish you could pursue him, but he’s not into women, so now he’s a waste. Waste, like trash. Garbage, something to be discarded and taken to the curb. No ma’am. Try again. Maybe tell him you find him attractive and that leave it at that.

Which One Of You Is The Man?

We’re both men. That’s why it’s called being gay. Duh! What you’re probably wondering is who’s the pitcher and who’s the catcher? Or who is the top or the bottom? Who’s the plug and who’s the socket? The short answer? It’s none of your business really. When is it ever appropriate to ask someone about their sexual habits? That’ll be like me walking up to a man and asking him if his wife let’s him try anal while she’s standing right there. Kind of weird, huh?

“He’s gay, but he’s cool.”

I had a friend in college who would say this. She would invite her straight male friend out with us and inform him that I was going to be there, but not to worry because “I’m cool.” I overheard a woman at a restaurant preparing her boyfriend for the arrival of her bestie to join them. She told him not to worry. “You’ll love him. He’s gay, but he’s cool.” I assume what she meant was that her friend wouldn’t threaten or disrupt her boyfriend’s fragile masculinity or make him feel uncomfortable with his gayness. I wondered if she introduced her other friends that way.

“My friend Janice is coming. She’s left-handed, but she’s cool.”

“My friend Martin may join us. He was raised in a single-parent household, but he’s cool.”

“My roommate Christina may stop by. She’s vegan, but she’s cool.”

You Don’t Seem Gay

Well I’m sorry I couldn’t live up to your stereotypes. While being gay may influence my mannerisms and interests, it’s just my sexual orientation. Gay people have unique interests and traits just like everyone else in the world.

[See also: “You’re the worst gay ever” used when a gay guy doesn’t like something all gay guys are “supposed” to like such as shopping and Lady Gaga.]

Are You Sure?

Absolutely, but whenever I lose my way, I look at this GIF of Taye Diggs.