Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do Insecure Guys Turn Gay?

I thought I had seen everything, but perhaps not. Another question entered into a search engine, "do insecure guys turn gay?" landed on this blog for my post titled, Why Are Gay Men Insecure? (which was a deliberately misleading title.)

Oh cripes... short answer: NO! Insecure guys cannot "turn gay!" Longer answer...

This is bullshit stereotyping. Some men are insecure, and perhaps they display characteristics that some people confuse with outwardly visible characteristics of some (not all, but some) gay men. Some of the observed behaviors may include being overly accommodating, overly selfish, and having low self-esteem.

Someone who is overly accommodating attempts to gain the approval of other people by bending over backwards for them. He goes out of his way to do things for other people he admires and from whom he wants approval. There is a fine line here -- it's perfectly normal to try to help someone out, but there is a limit when accommodating others jeopardizes one's self-esteem and imposes incredible demands on a guy's time, talents, and resources.

Someone who is overly selfish attempts to find security by surrounding himself with possessions, accolades, and attention. Getting approval from others is paramount. That is why an insecure guy tends to obsess about what he wears -- so as to obtain approval from others he admires. That's also why some insecure guys buy expensive yuppie-mobiles, for example, or play "keep up with the Joneses" by buying the latest techie gadget.

These characteristics, in my opinion, come down to one's self-perception. If a guy has low self-esteem, then he fears how he appears and comes across to others. He is uncomfortable in his own skin. He does things to try to improve his feelings and self-described situation by behaving in ways that others may label as being insecure.

Self-assurance, that is, the reduction of insecurity, comes with maturity. Maturity is not necessarily a function of age. I know some very mature young men, and some immature old men.

The notion I am here to disabuse is what some straight people think: "Gay = Insecure," so in the reverse (for purposes of this blog post), the perception is that "Insecure = Gay." This is not true.

Some men are insecure. Not all of them are gay. Heck, there are a large number of insecure straight men in this world -- I see them every day in what I do for a living as well as what I do in my community. Okay, they will eventually learn (I hope so, anyway), that one of the greatest challenges we face in our lifetimes is becoming comfortable in our own skin. A person who is secure with himself is much more likely to achieve success, have meaningful relationships, and be respected by others.

Some men are gay. One is born gay -- he can't "turn gay" by having insecurities, or fears about perceptions from others. In fact, I contend that a gay man who becomes comfortable with himself displays fewer characteristics of insecurity than a gay guy who is still in the closet. When a gay man withholds disclosure of his sexual orientation from others (for various reasons), he may be afraid of "being outted" by others, and that fear manifests itself in displays of behaviors labeled as insecurity.

To summarize -- no, insecure guys cannot "turn gay." One is or is not gay to begin with at birth. It is how he acts and behaves that cause others to judge him, and mix up false perceptions based on stereotype with a guy's sexual orientation.

Life is short: be who you are; your confidence reduces feelings of insecurity.

Disclaimer: I have a doctorate in sociology; sometimes I get rather academic in sharing my observations.

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