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Being a gay man, I know how stupid the question is, yet why did I choose to ask it? Well, it's because I don't think society has a full grasp on who gay men are.
Too many homophobic people, gay men are, "Perverted sodomites who have sex every chance they get and they're spreading their agenda to children and teens!" Okay so maybe that quote is a bit far-fetched and ridiculous, but am I wrong?
You have people who read the bible quoting all the quotes they could find about homosexuality, skipping the quotes about not judging others, loving others, etc., just to make a point. They don't want our "lifestyle" shoved down their throats, but they're the first ones to fire us, deny us housing, and deny us a bank loan, because we're gay. Is that hypocritical or just plain...stupid? I'd say stupid for $400 Alex!
Now, let's go back to the question I asked, I've stopped several people around my neighborhood and asked them that question and they told me "Yes! Of course gay men exist!" But when I asked them to list attributes of a gay man, their answers differed from one another because they didn't know. Then as time passed it became abundantly clear...neither did television shows and Hollywood.
Gay characters on television can be found in just about every show you stumble on, but I often find myself asking, "Is this character gay to tell an amazing story viewers can relate to or just to be a gay token?"
Various shows have portrayed gay men to be seen as promiscuous, flamboyant, attractive and gym bodied men that would make both men and women viewers lust after them. I have no issues with flamboyant gay male characters because newsflash: flamboyant homosexuals exist! But somehow no matter the story and no matter the genre, gay men seem to be sexed up men looking to either bang the first guy that says "Hi!" to them or just to somehow come out the closet leaving their clothes behind.
This goes for all portrayals of gay characters even in shows written by gay men. Not every gay man is promiscuous, not every gay man looks like Tom Daley. Gay men are just like leafs, they come in all shapes, sizes, colors and forms and that is a good thing! I just don't think it's marketable and that is a sad way to think.
I've watched many independent web series online that are geared towards the gay community and some were interesting — the acting not so much, but I guess if you're attractive enough you can get away with horrible acting — I even auditioned for one specific web series and even the dialogue was so awful and insulting that I was actually thrilled I didn't get the role, but sad this was even a show.
I'm a writer, I know how hard it is to create authentic characters, but when we only portray gay men as being sexual, we're painting a fictitious image that society will not hesitate to associate gay men with. When we also have a platform to portray these characters for younger gay viewers to watch, we're painting a sadder image that shows them if they aren't attractive, if they don't have six pack abs or look like a model; that they will never "fit into" the gay community.
So, yes, gay men do exist in our world, as well as in the world of television! Sadly, their portrayals seem more fictitious than factual.