When society first represented gay men in media, they referred to them as flamboyant, uneducated, ditzy men who weren’t worthy of attention. Even in hit show Glee, the writers make openly gay character Kurt fall in love with straight jock Finn only to have his heart broken. They make Kurt seem like a desperate, overbearing and sometimes stalker-like man whose only focus is on making Finn love him back. The short-lived story arc lives up to the stereotype that gay men are sexual predators who hit on any man they see.
Contrary to popular belief, that isn’t the case. While the portrayal of Kurt is a tad bit extreme, it focuses solely on how Kurt’s feelings for Finn affect only Finn. They never focus on the internal conflict that Kurt must go through, and how this deeply affects him. The idea that being gay affects the straight people in our lives more than it affects the gay individual is also seen in the show Will & Grace. When Will comes out to Grace in a flashback episode, the writers focus the content on how Grace is affected by Will being gay, instead of focusing on Will’s struggles as an openly-gay man.
I never wanted to become the gay man who chases straight men because I didn’t want to live up to that stereotype; I didn’t want other men to fear me. I am not that man; I think I’ve hidden my feelings well. However, I’ve kept all of my feelings inside, hoping that they would go away, but they won’t. They continue to fester inside of me, and I wish they would just go away.
So that’s why I’m writing this; it’s time to hear the side of the gay individual whose internal struggle is ridden with a deep depression and sadness that is only masked by an outward perception of happiness and joy. I’m in love with a straight man, and, unlike history says, he’s fine… I’m the one who is dying on the inside.
This is my journey:
Wow this guy is really nice, but he’s straight.
I met a boy today. Well that’s a lie. I met him a while back; I just never spoke to him because I thought he was the worst. Turns out, he’s not. We talked for a minute in which he told me about this girl. He’s straight, but I already knew that. I knew the moment I met him that he was straight. Nothing about him seemed gay so I wasn’t surprised, nor was I disappointed. He’s cute, but not that cute.
I got drunk this weekend, and I messaged him. We met at a bar, but I left right away… I just wanted to say hi. We hugged a lot. He messaged me later, saying it was nice to see me. It was cute; he’s kind of cute… but he’s straight and I understand that.
Okay we’re friends, but that’s it. I don’t have feelings for him.
Him and I have talked a lot recently, so I’d like to think that we’re friends. He went on a date; it looks like he’s happy, which is good. He’s very nice. So now I really think that we’re friends, but I definitely understand that he’s straight. I really hope his date goes well.
I love this kid, but we’re just friends. He’s straight, and I’m okay with that.
Him and I have hung out more recently. He’s very nice. Yes I get a little upset when he talks about women, but who wouldn’t? He’s a super nice guy! It’s unfortunate that he’s straight, but I’m okay with that because now he’s basically a boyfriend I get to have without any commitment. He thinks I’m nice, and he wants to be friends so why would I ruin that because he’s not gay? I wouldn’t because I’m not that type of person. I completely understand that he’s straight. I am completely okay with it. I mean yes, he would be a great person to date, but I don’t have to worry about that because he’s straight, and I’m okay with that.
Maybe I like him a little bit, but we’re more friends than anything.
This kid is literally one of the coolest people I have ever met. Why have I just now met him in life? He makes me really happy… in the friend sort of way. I definitely think like yeah, he’s cute and I’m attracted to him, but he’s straight. I definitely understand that… I have a little crush on him, but that’s it. I’m more friends with him than anything so I’m not really worried about anything escalating.
He’s straight, but I don’t want him to be.
Okay he’s straight. I get it. That’s totally fine. I mean yes, I do wish he was gay; he’d be such a good boyfriend, but that’s out of the question. Sometimes I wonder if he’s mythologizing me like I do him. Like sometimes I wonder if he over analyzes the messages that I send him as much as I do the messages he sends me. Like when he said, “I love your tweet from last night. Obscure, relevant, and relatable. A+.” All I thought the entire time was, “Did he mean relevant as in he read my tweet and realized it was about him and he knows that I like him and he potentially likes me back? Is that why it’s relevant?”
I know I sound crazy for thinking that, but it ran through my head for a good five minutes until he told me that he was with his ex-girlfriend last night. So that ruined it. Why does he like women? Why is that a thing? He must think of me as a good friend to tell me those things, but why would he do that? Is he really so out of touch that he doesn’t realize how I feel? I get that he’s straight, but why does he have to be?
He’s not actually cute.
If we’re keeping it real, he’s not actually cute. I mean yes, I find him attractive, and if he were gay, I’d totally date him, but he’s not… and that’s fine… because like I said, he’s really not that cute. AND if I were in a relationship with him, I would probably end up hating him. So this is actually a good thing that he’s straight. It’s saving me from making a terrible life choice. He’s cute, but not that cute.
I’m in love with a straight man.
I’ll be honest now. I love him. He knows I love him, and I wish he didn’t. I wish I didn’t have to look at him and his girlfriend and wonder why that can’t be me. I sit back and I wish, and then I judge myself for wishing that because above all else, I want to be in his life. But I want my jealousy to go away. I want to look at them and not feel resentment. I want to look at them and feel joy, but they represent everything that is wrong with me. I know that he’s straight, but I also know that I love him, and I wish I didn’t. I wish that I could wake up and feel completely different about him. I wish that I didn’t have these feelings. I wish that I were free from this prison.
I’m in love with a straight man, and I can’t be.
The reason I documented this was to show the progression. I was in love with a straight man, and I didn’t want to be. Why would I want to fall in love with someone I can’t have? I didn’t go out and pursue him because I thought in some weird way that I could “turn” him; it doesn’t work that way. What happened was a complete mistake, and I’m the one suffering the most from it. He feels nothing because he is not attracted to me; I feel everything because I am battling with my internal desire to find a soul mate, and my need to avoid hurting myself.
I guess what I’m saying is that we can’t help whom we love. I wish it was that simple, but it isn’t. Falling in love with him was more than just doing it to prove a point or to challenge myself. I have asked my friends how their relationships are because they have great ones; their responses were that it is unexplainable. That’s how I feel about this. The heartbreak I feel is unexplainable. I can’t put it into words because pain is just pain.
So while the world constantly antagonizes the gay community for whatever reasons, I hope the few that read this recognize that it isn’t all set in stone. Straight men feel uncomfortable around gay men because they feel like they will be hit on… well I feel uncomfortable around straight men because I do not want to do this to myself again. It is more complex than a simple sentence; I’m gay and I can’t love the right person.