If you're a guy, chances are someone said you should "man up" or "boys don't cry" at some point in your life. The phrase that inspired this article is right up there among these classics.

A few months ago, Reddit user The_WereArcticFox submitted a question to the platform, where they asked: "Straight men of Reddit, what is the strangest thing you have been told not to do because 'that's gay?'" Sadly, it has received plenty of replies.

As of this article, there are over 38.5K comments under the post, proving that our society is still pretty messed up when it comes to masculinity and homosexuality.

#1

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Not straight but bi, but large parts of my family don't know that.

Anyway this was a few years ago. I was helping my dad repair a hay bailer and I was standing around looking at my dad under the machine greasing something. I had my hands on my hips.

My uncle pulls up in his truck and rolls down the window. He shouts out to me, "Take your hands off your hips. It makes you look queer."

My dad gets out from under the bailer and starts yelling back at my uncle.

"I'd rather have a queer helping me than a lazy ass like you."

My uncle shut up and drove off.

Byrdman216 , pexels Report

Misstaken138
Community Member
6 months ago

Good for your dad!

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#2

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Cry. I used to cry a lot as a child and would get bullied for it. The adults in my life all agreed that crying made me weak, but one in particular (secretary at my elementary school) thought it also made me seem gay and feminine and told me that was why I was being bullied.

The reality is that I was probably depressed from having recently moved across the country from my family and often found myself lonely so I couldn't handle the smallest amount of rejection or teasing from others.

Please don't tell children not to cry. Talk to them about their feelings so that the source of their sadness can be tackled, not the symptom. I still struggle with processing basic emotions because i spent so much time repressing them over stupid reasons like this.

BuffNuwaPLS , pexels Report

Mazer
Community Member
6 months ago

Virtual hugs.

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Cultural pressures for men to behave in a certain way (toxic masculinity) often claim that 'real men' have to perpetuate domination, homophobia, and aggression.

To learn more about them, we contacted Dr. Stephen Whitehead, an internationally recognized author, consultant, and researcher on gender, sexuality, identity management, and relationships. "Since modern humans first evolved some 300,000 years ago, one half of the species has used its physical strength to dominate the other half. It's not used its intelligence or sought to develop its emotional depths, it has dominated by virtue of brute force or the threat of it – which has been easy for men to do because biologically, most men are physically stronger than most women," the author of 'Toxic Masculinity, curing the virus: making men smarter, healthier, safer' told Bored Panda.

Whitehead added that reinforced by the biological imperative (women are the ones who bear children), this immediately created a gender binary which then created patriarchal conditions that position women as 'natural' carers, nurturers, with men as 'natural' warriors, leaders, providers, hunters, etc. "We shouldn't, therefore, be surprised that 300,000 years of such social conditioning has resulted in one half of the species believing it is naturally superior to the other half."

#3

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) I was at a party with my gf and my siblings, minding my own business while drinking sparkling water.

My BIL: “Dude, are you drinking sparkling water? That’s so gay.”

Me: points at my gf

BIL: “...”

Me: “Look I’m sorry, but you’re not my type... and with my sister.”

Several months prior I was at a gay bar ordering a sparkling water.

The bartender, smug af: “Really? Sparkling water? You must be straight.”

What is it with me drinking sparkling water and my perceived sexuality?

J-J-Ricebot , unsplash Report

Mazer
Community Member
6 months ago

The power of bubbly water...who knew

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#4

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) My granddad once told me not to brush my hair because "looking pretty is for women and the gays".

Screw you, buddy. I want to look nice and not like I'm chasing hedgehogs through a freakin bush, you unwashed heathen.

RudyRhythmface , pexels Report

Mazer
Community Member
6 months ago

SO THERE!!! you be you!

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#5

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) As a helicopter pilot I have a checklist. We ALL have a checklist. Even though I have the slimmer version, its still a lot of pages, so I bought some page markers and labeled the important pages like start up, shutdown, refuel, emergencies, whatevs, good idea right?

I misplaced said checklist in an aircraft I hadn't seen in a while and asked some of the more senior guys if they had seen it and one of them responded:

"Oh, the one with all the gay little page markers?"

And all the others laughed.

If being convenient is gay, then I'm flamboyant.

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I I
Community Member
6 months ago

me too , i check list EVERYTHING

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In reality, however, Whitehead thinks it is an illusion. "It's a myth, based on a history mostly written by men which purports to reduce women and females to a secondary sex which requires protecting and is inherently weak and vulnerable," he said. "As Simon de Beauvoir put it, women are reduced to being 'the Other.' By having women as the other, men then get to put themselves at the centre."

Males have been convinced that the idea of masculinity consists of violence, aggression, conquest, dominance, selfishness, competitiveness, combined with repression of their deepest emotions.

"As I say in my book, this myth was sold to your father, my father, and all their fathers before them. Its consequences are all around us, from religious fanaticism to denial of global warming, from corrupt capitalism to the extinction of species, from rampant weaponization to misogyny, from racism to homophobia, from empire building to genocide, and from domestic violence to male suicide. We have built a world on toxic masculinity, and humanity has paid the price. Humanity continues to pay the price," Whitehead explained.

According to him, the toxification of males starts from the moment they are born. "It takes root in the language and in practice, and feeds into men's expectations, self-perceptions, and how they relate to women. We know this, but still we seem unable or unwilling to stop it."

It's all around us, too. We may not notice all the evidence of toxic masculinity, but we're just so accustomed to it, some nuances are bound to slip our mind if we're not paying attention.

#6

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Apparently going out for Mexican and margaritas with your pal. No one said it directly, but the waitress gave us a complimentary dessert for 2 and said happy anniversary... free dessert is free dessert, I guess.

IronCorvus , unsplash Report

Vermillion Ace #443
Community Member
6 months ago

Heck yeah, free is free!

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#7

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) One time a girl thought I was gay because I was attentive during sex. I'm not even joking

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Mazer
Community Member
6 months ago

So sad on so many levels

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#8

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Putting on sunscreen.

justinduderino , flickr Report

Vermillion Ace #443
Community Member
6 months ago

...Uh, I'd rather not suffer from burns and possible cancer.

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Whitehead himself cannot remember the last time he was physically threatened by a man. It may have been all the way back in the 1970s when he was a pub landlord in Leeds, Yorkshire, UK, but that doesn't mean he's not experiencing it. "I live a quiet, reflective life in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, with my wife and step-daughter... I'm 71 [and] like everyone else these past 18 months, I've been living with the consequences of Covid-19. Thailand was barely affected up until early this year when infections suddenly went from a few hundred to over 50,000 rising at 4,000 a day, with hundreds of deaths. The Thai government immediately locked down infected areas and ruled that if you went out of your house, you had to wear a face mask. Pretty much every Thai person followed that ruling. In fact, Thais have been wearing face masks since early last year. No problem. Who hasn't been wearing face masks in Thailand? A lot of Western male expats – with many Thai press reports about this problem."

#9

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) I said I like it when it rains.

TheDeadGunslinger , pexels Report

Vermillion Ace #443
Community Member
6 months ago

😄 I love a good rainy day, especially during the summer.

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#10

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) 2 of my friends from high school died in a car accident a week before the graduation

Everyone from the classroom went to the funeral and some lf my classmates were crying a lot

I decided to hug one of them and comfort him. One of my closest friends..

And this guy (a fat one, part of the "popular cool group wich are always doing stupid stuff to get attention") came into me, touched my back and yelled "Dude i didn't know you liked d**k hahaha"

He was kicked from the funeral and lost probably 90% of his friends

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Mazer
Community Member
6 months ago

You won!!

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#11

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Painting my daughter's nails. (She's 3)

mrdr_fest , pexels Report

Mazer
Community Member
6 months ago

I love you for chillin with your girl

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Two weeks ago, Whitehead was at the local ATM, getting some cash out. Suddenly, a white male, around 35, walks up with his young son. He was not wearing a face mask, nor was his child. "I politely asked him not to come close to me because he's not wearing a mask. He looked at me incredulously, demanded I repeat myself (which I did) and he then stormed past me to the ATM and started ranting about how 'people like you are the reason why we have this fucking problem. I should smack you in the mouth. Give you a good thumping! You miserable piece of shit!’ etc," Whitehead recalled.

"Emotionally, he has gone from zero to 100 in a matter of seconds. I am shocked and genuinely scared that he may attack me so I say nothing more, simply get my money out of the ATM and leave. Though I had every right to call the police not only over his threatening behavior but because he was breaking the law by not wearing a mask. The point is, he could barely control his anger – he was on the edge of violence – and that was in a very public place, broad daylight, accompanied by his son... As a psychologist/sociologist, I know toxic masculinity when I see it and this was it, full-frontal, stark, vicious, senseless, selfish, aggressive and very dangerous. As the American Psychological Association recently pointed out, toxic masculinity is a mental health issue which needs dealing with urgently."

#12

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Eating bananas, hot dogs, popsicles, string cheese, using a straw, hugging other men, touching feminine hygiene products,

This is the one that kills me; letting your 3yo daughter do your hair, makeup and nails.

Yogisogoth , flickr Report

N G
Community Member
6 months ago

Oh yes, the phalic objects phalussy. Because anything like is even remotely shaped like a d**k must be a substitute for a d**k. Freud had more issues than National Geographic.

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#13

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Washing my as**ole. Friend of mine once said "everyone knows that's gay, you can miss me with that."

Apparently you are only allowed to wash your cheeks and let's suds run down your crack. Any direct contact with your own as**ole and u will catch the gay.

TheDreadPirateElwes , unsplash Report

N G
Community Member
6 months ago

Just to sidestep on what is or isn't gay for a moment - is discussing your a**s and its hygiene a thing men do? This is the second one of these on the list so far and I'm a little confused.

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#14

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Having a child with my wife is gay. Taking care of my kid, and making being a good father and enjoying time with my child as the main goals of my life is somehow gay.

Changing diapers is apparently gay now. Having heterosexual sex and dealing with the consequences is also gay. Loving your kids and being a good dad is gay.

It doesn’t make any sense at all.

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Kat
Community Member
6 months ago

It's not gay. It's a lame excuse made up by men who don't bother being a good dad.

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The first way to address a problem, according to the author, is to name it. And while he thinks we as a society haven't contained toxic masculinity, Whitehead believes it is now on the defensive. "MeToo, BLM, all the media discussion about the behavior of men are pushing back at TM. However, there is a rump of male society which is now going to kick hard against any critical discussion about masculine identity (and against anti-sexism, gun control, anti-racism, LGBT+ rights) but these men (and some women) are increasingly on the fringe," he said. "They do not represent the future, they represent the past. But that doesn't mean they won't be a problem going forward. We need to educate them."

But can we educate the fella who threatened to punch Whitehead in the head? Can we really educate him and the millions of men like him? "We cannot. We have to therefore educate his young son. And that can only happen in schools because there is a big danger that boy will become infected by the toxic masculinity virus also – he'll catch it from his dad."

#15

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) When I was in high school, everyone thought I was gay because I wore a scarf to school one day.

A) Scarves aren't gay.

B) It was a gift from my great grandmother.

C) It was during the winter in Pennsylvania. IT. WAS. COLD.

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Vermillion Ace #443
Community Member
6 months ago

😐 Let the others be cold if they are so rugged and manly. Scarves are cool, especially if you're The Doctor.

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#16

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) The strangest one I've heard is "Two guys can't drive around in a convertible with the top down."

FalseAlarmEveryone , unsplash Report

Black Pug Puppy
Community Member
6 months ago

Wow the coutlntless times this happened in movies I never thought they were gay

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#17

When I was in 8th grade, i got a solid beat down for wearing a plain purple t-shirt. Apparently only gay guys do that.

YEARS later i found out I was gay for liking d**ks, turns out it had nothing to do with my shirt. Who woulda think?

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Dorothy Parker
Community Member
6 months ago

I love you. Hilarious. Oh, and coincidence, I do too.

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Whitehead thinks there are many ways to be a man. And toxic masculinity is just one of them. Interestingly, in his book, the author also mentions what he describes as the other two dominant forms of masculinity now circulating in the world: progressive and collapsed. "The progressive is probably going to overtake toxic masculinity eventually (if human society is lucky), while collapsed will take us very likely into an age of androgyny – we are already seeing signs of this in Japan, South Korea, China and it is emerging globally in men," he explained.

"New and dominant ways of being a male are emerging in cultures and societies. Hopefully, as this evolution takes place, the toxic version will disappear or become confined to a few dangerous places," Whitehead concluded.

#18

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) My mom told me to stop complaining about my migraine cause “thats not very straight of you”

_Andro_ , pexels Report

Kat
Community Member
6 months ago

That's toxic actually...

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#19

Cross my legs when sitting. After a student brought that up to me one time too many, I asked him why he was staring at my legs. That shut him up.

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Abhinc
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

let me tell you something ... i'm a man but when i need to pee i sit. i find it so much more comfortable and easier. call me gay if you want !! i don't care. gay is not an insult anyway

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#20

I have a friend who is bi, she married a man. Before her wedding, her mom reminded her that some of her family were Jehovah's Witnesses and less tolerant of homosexuality, and she asked her not to "act gay". I'm not sure how you can act gay at your wedding when you're marrying someone of the opposite gender.

But in the end, her maid of honor was a lesbian and my husband and I (both men) came so her shitty, bigoted aunts had to put up with our existence anyway.

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Petro Roos
Community Member
6 months ago

WELL DONE! That's awesome!

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#21

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) "can't come mate, I'm spending the weekend camping with my girlfriend"

"Pffft, what are you, gay? You're missing a party dude"

I'm pretty sure both of us lost braincells in the moment of silence after he said that.

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Black Pug Puppy
Community Member
6 months ago

What braincells did he lose cuz I'm sure he didn't have any

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#22

I hugged my best friend. We don't do that handshake-hug-over-one-shoulder-and-pat-on-the-back bull**it, we f**king embrace. Some people think that's "gay" but we don't care. We enjoy each other.

The other day we went white water rafting and at one point we laid on our backs and floated down a calm part of the river while holding hands. I can't argue with that one, it's a little gay. Still don't care. Had a good day.

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Misstaken138
Community Member
6 months ago

As long as y'all had fun, that's all that matters. My son always hugs his guy friends and says "I love you." His reasoning is you never know when it'll be the last time you see someone so he wants his friends to know he cares about them just in case. He is not gay and is happily married to a wonderful girl. There is nothing wrong with showing your friends that you care about them. I hope you and your friend have many more fun adventures ahead of you!

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#23

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Pedicures. When I was in the military a female friend of mine convinced me to get one by paying for both of us. I've been getting them regularly now for the last 15 years and still some men think it is "gay or feminine"

Guys your missing out! It feels amazing!

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Wubbleyew
Community Member
6 months ago

I don't think it's gay but the thought of a stranger touching my hands or feet (any part or me for that matter) makes me shudder

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#24

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Wear pink or similar colours, although it definitely is my colour

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Pamela L
Community Member
6 months ago

Damn he is rocking that pink shirt

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#25

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) 80s kid here. Anything involving showing emotion is gay. Wearing any clothing that isn't muted is gay. Stating that something is cute is gay. Getting excited about hobbies is gay. Calling your guy friends to talk is gay. Crying is gay. Airing grievances of everyday life is gay. Washing your butthole is gay. Using lotion other than jacking off is gay. Shaving anything other than your face and neck is gay.

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Auntriarch
Community Member
6 months ago

Ah I see, acting like a human being is gay.

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#26

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) If an alcoholic drink doesn't taste really bitter or doesn't burn your throat, apparently it's penis in a glass...

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Abhinc
Community Member
6 months ago

"feminine" cocktails have more alcohol than beer ...

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#27

Not from my folks, but just society made me believe that guys shouldn't hug their friends. .

20 years later, my 6'3" biker friend is big on hugs.

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Vermillion Ace #443
Community Member
6 months ago

🥰 Hug Life is best life.

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#28

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Growing my hair and taking care of it

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Vermillion Ace #443
Community Member
6 months ago

If you can grow your hair out, by all means do it. Look at the bearded set, see how they work their magic on all that facial floof?

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#29

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) My girlfriend once seriously asked me if I was gay because I said that I liked her body. Safe to say she had some issues.

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Kat
Community Member
6 months ago

What? He liked HER body and that's gay?

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#30

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) A nightly/daily skin care regimen.

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Kat
Community Member
6 months ago

I've always wondered why men taking care of their looks is considered gay.

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#31

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Two guys can't sit next to each other in a movie theater if it's not crowded

FalseAlarmEveryone , pexels Report

Vermillion Ace #443
Community Member
6 months ago

😐 I've done this plenty of times with my brother, this just sounds silly.

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#32

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Eating at a sushi restaurant with another guy

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Mazer
Community Member
6 months ago

You mean like in all of Asian countries

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#33

I have this casual button down shirt that's...pinkish? Coral? Salmon? More of a Salmon...which is what I said in the story.

Anyway, I really like the shirt based on its fit and its material. And I never have anyone say anything bad about it (I've had like two compliments on it over the 8 years I've had it).

But one day some guy started making fun of me for wearing a pink shirt. And I thought he was joking so I started joking and went "Actually it's a lovely salmon, possibly with a lemon or honey glaze"

And he then called me a homosexual for knowing about salmon as a color and describing cooking in such a way. I don't even know how to cook lol, I ordered that at a restaurant once and loved it.

F**k 'em though. One of the girls I dated loved the shirt.

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I I
Community Member
6 months ago

i am the cook in my house , i am a married man of 32 years with 5 kids but i am the biggest gay in the village

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#34

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Playing the saxophone

Honestly what in the world?

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Auntriarch
Community Member
6 months ago

Perhaps he thought it was a euphemism

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#35

I was engaged, and my co-workers knew I was engaged to a woman.

I was at some sort of work thing, and started talking to a guy who was obviously gay. We started talking about philosophy, and I thought he was a cool guy. I was just like hey, if I ever read "x book" that we were talking about, I'd love to discuss it with you over coffee or something, but I might not read it anytime soon.

I'd just graduated college, where getting coffee with someone didn't mean anything, and you just did it if you wanted to have a conversation with them.

Apparently everyone thought I asked the dude out. I guess I see where they're coming from, but I just wanted to talk about Wittgenstein with someone who'd read him should I ever read him.

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Dorothy Parker
Community Member
6 months ago

This is so sad. Really narrows who you can be friends with.

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#36

I've been told wearing a mask, or PPE in general, is "gay".

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I I
Community Member
6 months ago

i'm super gay then

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#37

Loving my fiancee. Apparently having feelings for someone of the opposite sex was gay. These were older men who are always saying "I hate my wife" or "once you're married you'll hate her". I truly don't understand how people get like that. If loving my fiancee is gay then I'm the biggest queer in the world.

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Misstaken138
Community Member
6 months ago

They're just jealous that you're in a loving relationship and they're old and miserable. You should love your fiance. If you didn't love her why the heck would you be with her? Duh!

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#38

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Play as a female video game character.

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Vermillion Ace #443
Community Member
6 months ago

😑 OOF! This would not sit well with the MMORPG crowds.

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#39

Calling out a family member who catcalled a woman that was jogging

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Missy Moo Moo
Community Member
6 months ago

Another reason why being called "gay" is a compliment

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#40

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Carry an umbrella.

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Black Pug Puppy
Community Member
6 months ago

Real men are wet men

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#41

At the age of 22, during Obama’s re-election, my dad told me voting for him was gay and would turn me into a homosexual.

Plot Twist: Dad is white, mom is black.

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Dorothy Parker
Community Member
6 months ago

Best President in my lifetime. Still miss him.

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#42

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) A friend told me I'm holding my fork in a gay kind of way.

kasaaxxg59 , flickr Report

Kat
Community Member
6 months ago

Didn't know there's a gay kind of way, so there must be hetero kind of way, wonder where's the difference... Must google...

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#43

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) At work I once complimented another man on his outfit. My male co-workers looked at me as if I had asked if he had naked photos of himself I could see.

irishamerican , pexels Report

Black Pug Puppy
Community Member
6 months ago

No not being polite to other men

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#44

The time my female friend was wildly drunk and I wouldn't have sex with her. Both her and my male friends were all calling me gay that night!

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I I
Community Member
6 months ago

been a gentlemen = gay?

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#45

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Rollerskating was gay all of the sudden.

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JuJu
Community Member
6 months ago

Guys on skates were the coolest and hottest dudes when I was a teenanger (just a decade after the dinos went extinct)

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#46

Hugging a friend that had lost his father, sad to see caring about others is also being hit by toxic masculinity.

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#47

Work at Victoria's Secret for a summer. I was trynna speed up the girlfriend-getting process and decided to work at a female-rich environment but apparently that was gay.

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I I
Community Member
6 months ago

smart

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#48

I was taking prescription strength pain killers after surgery. My friend had come over to check on me. Her boyfriend (ex) thought it was gay to take pain killers and told me to be a man.

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I I
Community Member
6 months ago

it's hard when you find out how super gay you are on social media , take pain meds daily . wouldn't function with out them

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#49

Straight Men Share The Most Basic Things They Did That Someone Claimed Were "Gay" (50 Answers) Anything dance related.

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LottieH
Community Member
6 months ago

A man that knows how to dance is sexy as hell!

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#50

Using a loofah. Like bruh I can feel it's making me cleaner than just a bar of soap how TF is cleanliness gay.

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Mark Stewart
Community Member
6 months ago

Obviously being dirty repels the gay away /s

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