It is easy for society to dissect and understand a same – sex relationship when one of them is dominant and the other, submissive. And barring a clear divide (that being a heterosexual relationship), they have to seek other apertures from which to “box” these two male individuals.
And while sex is deemed to be private and largely detached from our lives, let’s not fool ourselves. Who you have sex with is “political”, that is, literally meaning in public space. It – even if only marginally – affects how you express yourself, your fashion choices, the way you speak, and yes, even your actual politics.
You can either put yourself directly in the masses of heterosexuality (the oh -so- loved “straight- acting” moniker) , renouncing the lifestyle of the Other, while climbing into bed with said Other when the scene is over. Or you can rip the heteronormative script to shreds, say the words “I’m gay” and face the wrath of Society’s Box.
Either way, you’re restricted to heterosexual norms. Take one, take all.
And dare I walk into any gathering where the men (gay or straight) engage in contests of strength, aggression, and force, and call myself a “bottom.” From the man I appeared to be, I’m now another possession; a prop for those who act straight to rehearse their dominance upon.
As the “bottom”, I’m expected to meet all the criteria of what a selected group of people think I should be: effeminate therefore weak, powerless, and subject to the commands of my more masculine partner. All this is tangentially based on the position I opt for during sex.
Receptivity’s price is expensive : it requires that you pass arbitrary tests to “prove” your loyalty, because a bottom is a phallus- seeking slut until proven otherwise. If there are homophobic undertones to this, rest assured, this is no accident.
I once saw a Facebook post that wrote “black men are the white people of black people.” If black men can subjugate and oppress freely, then they hold the all- access card. And that card is what every single queer person who flouts heterosexuality as the default mode is seeking.
It’s not so much fear of being called a woman as it is bringing back complexity into our lived experiences. Because it is not only the “bottoms” who suffer. The straight-acting man suffers from portraying a role. He’s not only repressing his sexual orientation, but all that comes with it. The word “straight- acting”…oh, it acts, alright. It acts as a noose that gradually sucks the life and breath out of a human being.
And on the other side of the fence, those who play themselves in this fanciful game of Society’s Box – they’re confined as well. They’re confined to either their penis or their anus, and they’re welcome to play the game too. Either way, a sermon by the pastor with a wife and kids will drive home the point- in Society’s Box, no matter the season, no matter the episode, the gay man loses.