Saturday, September 15, 2012

Really? More than meets the Eye?

            Whenever I walk around BYU campus, quite frankly, my gaydar goes off. A lot. I know that might not make sense, or seem very likely. I mean, why would a gay person want to go to BYU? Well, here I am and probably lots others who are mostly closeted.
            I don’t want to give in to stereotypes or anything, but whenever I’m walking around, there are quite a few people who are just so obviously gay, just based on the way they dress and act. You know the look, just…gay. Super tight pants, deep v neck, perfectly coifed hair, the walk etc. Whenever I see those people, I just think, “Have they come out to themselves? What’s their relationship with the Church? Am I just over generalizing and they’re actually straight?” However, I mostly admire these people. I mean, they’re obviously comfortable with themselves and probably don’t care that other Mormons might judge them for deviating from the norm.
            While there are those people who you can obviously tell are gay, the others are the ones I really wonder about. The ones who are dressed cleanly, and obviously put some effort into their appearance. The ones who still have that ‘look’ about them. I always wonder in my head if these people are gay. I mean, a lot of straight guys put no effort into their appearance, but the culture in Mormonism is to have a guy be a bit cleaner looking than usual, so…it’s hard to tell. But regardless, these are still the people I want to make friends with. These are the people who, like me, don’t like to advertise who they are (Not that there’s anything wrong with the overtly flamboyant guys). Sometimes I just want to ask them if they’re gay, but…that would be awkward. Especially if they’re the person who is struggling with their sexuality and still coming to terms with it. But then again, wouldn’t it be better if they came out to themselves (maybe by my influence of talking to them) then end up marrying some woman, trying to take away the gay?


  1. I hear ya. When I was at BYU-I (for one term), my gaydar was consistently going off. I too wonder if they were really gay, or just the clean cut look and "Im trying to married quick" look from the mormon culture.

    Great post. Thanks!

  2. Hmm, a couple interesting observations. I think Mormon culture makes it easier for guys to get away with being closeted, and so the flamboyant ones can be comfortable with being flamboyant without worrying about people "suspecting" (maybe they do, of course, but it's _so_ taboo that it doesn't matter), and every guy--gay or straight--can feel comfortable about making himself look nice because he doesn't have to worry about giving the wrong signal in that culture. I don't think most of the "clean-cut" guys are gay (though of course some are); the culture just encourages us to take care of ourselves and, really, try to be attractive.

    Also, as to why would anyone who's gay want to go to BYU? It's easy to be closeted! Church culture IS the culture (for the most part). It's "safe." It's "spiritual." I would guess that BYU has a disproportionate number of gay students because they want to go there for the environment. If a student is comfortable with his gayness and out and wants a relationship, he or she should NOT go to BYU. Otherwise... there are lots of reasons for it to look good, I suppose.

  3. Dressing well is so cultural... You have to take into account that many of those well-dressed young men served missions. Europe for example is full of straight men that dress gay by American standards. The "metro sexual" look that is super popular at BYU for example. Lots of those oh so metro sexual boys served in countries where style was important...

  4. I agree. I actually found this really funny because I don't really associate tight pants and coifed hair with gay guys at all. That would definitely be straight hipsters in my experience. At the school I went to and in the city where I live, no one dresses particularly well, gay guys included. The only way I would be able to recognize gay guys by their clothes in my current life are if they have a gay sports league name written on their shirt.