Nothing you do can "make" you gay.

These biases and irrational fears are just that, because there's certainly a generation built on avoiding doing certain things because they didn't want to get labeled as "gay," as if that's the worst insult imaginable. Because of this, there's a swath of things you can't do because, bro, didn't you know that's the gay side of your ear? It's a lot of silly nonsense thankfully carrying zero weight in this day and age, but there's still people out there calling men out for what they perceive to be "gay."

Reddit user, u/Lord_ButterflyXCVII, wanted to know what men have been told to avoid when they asked:

Straight men of Reddit, what is something you've been told not to do because it's "gay"?

You could say a lot of motivation for calling things "gay" can come from a lack of "understanding."

And by "misunderstanding" we mean "misogynistic, outdated views of what men should and should not be doing."

Legend Of Zelda: Gay Maker?

"When I was a teenager, I was playing Zelda: Wind Waker and a guy friend was watching me play. The game was a couple of years old at that point and I asked him is he had every played it before and he said "No because if I did my dad would've called me gay."

"So I guess my answer is Zelda: Wind Waker."


Safety Is Gay?

"I've been told most of what I do is gay, choice of music, the fact I cycle to work (in a bright yellow helmet), like pop music and star trek, have a fear of spiders, etc. I'm straight but people still call me gay. Can't say it really bothers me, I'm secure in my sexuality."


"Wearing a bike helmet that's visible is gay?"



You're Not A Man Unless You Suffer What You Drink

"Pretty much anything considered "feminine" - i.e. ranging from liking certain colors to liking fruity alcoholic drinks"


"Listen if I'm paying for alcohol, I want it to taste delicious as I get messed up. There's a bar by me that does some amazing cocktails ranging from $10-20 and they are amazing. I have been out with friends who would not order certain drinks because of "girly" ingredients."


There's certainly actions uninformed people might immediately associate with being classically "gay," because they're afraid of what it means if they do these actions.

For example, compliment your bro on the way he looks. That's not gay. That's being a good friend.

A Natural Physical Motion?

"Stand with my hands on my hips"


"Holly sh-t I do this all the time when catching my breath after a run. I've gotten some weird stares even though I'm drenched in sweat."


Moisturize Me


"I'm nearly 30 but look about 20. I often get asked about "my secret", to which my semi-ironic response is always "moisturiser."

"Whats crazy to me is how baffled most people are at this response. I've had people be like "but you're straight no?" Yeah, something about looking after my own skin just makes me super horny... crazy"


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Ignoring The Sick Gaming Setup Entirely

"Liking "feminine" colors."

"My entire gaming setup has either pink or purple LED's. I used to pass it off as being ironic, but I honestly just love those colors."


Let Your Bros Know They Look Fly

"Paying men any sort of compliment on their appearance or anything like that. That was sh-t that bothered me all through out school. Dude comes in with a fresh ass haircut you say, "hey man, looks nice" and he thinks you wanna bang."


Fingernails? FINGER. NAILS?

"Look after my nails."


"When I was young, it was gay to look at your nails with your palm facing away, but straight if you had your palm facing you with your fingers curled."

"Maybe it helps to have such ridiculously arbitrary criteria in rural areas, so that gay people out there have a blueprint for how to appear straight to avoid getting beaten up by insecure dipsh-ts."


It couldn't have been easy growing up in a non-supportive home, where you were told every day that you need to "act like a man" or "don't do that because it's gay." It does appear times are changing, but the old wounds are slow to get the message.

You Follow Your Role Models

"Don't prance around or sway your hips when walking, gives the wrong impressions, Growing up with no male rolemodel and only my mother and grandmother and sister, suffice to say, it's very hard to not walk or do certain things. but darling, I got that sway and that walk and I've got compliments on it from gay men themselves on it."


Bad Older Brother

"When I was a kid I used to like to have my hands at the ready so my elbows would regularly be slightly bent, but since I wasn't yet using my hands for anything, my wrists would be pretty limp with my hands just dangling. I remember my mom scolding me for it because it "looked feminine" (and anything feminine was seen as something The Gays™ would do)."

"Another time, my brother tricked me into announcing to my parents that I was gay because "it means happy". After loudly proclaiming "I'M SO GAY!" on a family road trip, I was scolded to not say that again."

"Jokes on them, I did say it again, but it was years later after years of repression and actually knowing what it meant. It could have gone better."


Feel Your Feelings

"My parents told me that only girls and gay people cry, and when I did cry they hit me till I stop crying"


"Me too bud. The good ol "I'll give you something to cry about"


"I feel for you, brother. I never got the last/worst part (the hitting) but I got teased and bullied by my parents for crying and being sensitive. It makes you question everything about yourself because the emotions coursing through your body are labeled as wrong. I can only imagine that combined with the trauma of being physically harmed. So sorry."

"Then as adults we learn boys need MORE emotional support, not less. So f'd up."


Handle Things Like A Man

"Cooking, laundry, cleaning..."

"You know, things that a self-sufficient grown adult human be should know to do"


"I came here to say that. My folks accused me of trying to turn my nephew into a girl by teaching him basic life skills. Misogyny is a hell of a drug."


Do You Need A List?

"My parents told me to not use facial skin care products because that's gay. They told me to never in the history of never wear pink. They told me to never joke of liking guys. To walk like a man. To have kids because not having a kids or wife or girlfriend is gay. They're Christian, so they annoy me a lot."


Here You Go!

"From my experience growing up in the 90s and early 2000s;"

"Caring at all about your appearance."

"You don't wear Axe? "You smell gay!" Totally unironically believing that scent should be palatable to men more than women because that makes you less gay."

"You can fuss over your hair (if it's an approved non-gay style and if appropriate length), but worry about your shirt or your pants? That's gay. Just dress like a slob. That's what real men do."

"Wearing or even liking certain colors. Yellow? Gay. Light blue? Gay. Pink? Vegeta wore it in DBZ so it was 50/50 if it was gay or not."

"Feeling any emotion at all. Crying is one of the biggest gateway drugs to being homosexual. If you cry you're weak, and weak is gay!"


There's nothing you can do, outside of being in love with another man, that will make you "gay." That's just how it is. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise and don't be afraid of feeling what you feel. It makes you stronger.

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