10 Benefits of Being Gay
Posted by bert5 on 24 June 2009
I had a thought that being gay might need a positive marketing message. It’s not like I’m going to convince anyone to turn gay. I don’t believe you can choose your sexuality [See blog post: “Is being gay a choice?“].
So what are the benefits? I mean it used to be an argument to convince the straights that gay people are serious and fixed in their orientation that, gee, no one would choose to be gay. It’s just too hard. Well, nowadays in America it is getting to be less hard. Don’t get me wrong, I may need to separately and clandestinely write a negatives post to provide balance, and there are some downers out there, but there some little noticed or poorly understood perks I will now highlight.
I’m going to first have to apologize to the womyn out there, because this may be a little male centric…
- Everyone likes being thought of as unique. Being gay is a real distinction. An elite crowd if you will. You are instantly interesting. I’m already starting to sound sarcastic, but seriously it can lead to interesting conversations, generally with people who aren’t gay who don’t understand a thing about it. It can be a very intellectual and fun philosophical exercise.
- Currently an excuse not to get married in some geographies. I say this a little quietly, ashamedly and mostly jokingly, because the right to civil marriage is a serious thing, and I think many gay people at least want the option (if only not to be treated like a 2nd class citizen, and giving idiots yet another excuse to bash). But commitment is a tough thing for guys. Why buy the cow or in my case, the bull — oh, the milk analogy doesn’t quite work, or does it? — and all that. There is a little side benefit here for those unsure about this big step, which seems to be more and more people these days.
- Gays have their own ready-made cause which adds extra flavor and meaning to their lives. They are still an unequal minority and underdogs in their quest for equality. There is always work to be done, even if it is just writing another semi-coherent blog post. I think many gays would lead very conventional boring and nihilistic lives, contributing less to society, if they were straight. At least, I think I would.
- Lots and lots of sex, all the time! I should just stop right here. This is actually a big deal. I hear straight guys complain all the time. I mean if I were on the fence, this might just be the thing to push me into the full on gay camp.
- No Venus versus Mars. It is almost true that men and women are from different planets. It takes effort to understand where women are coming from. My side interest in behavioral psychology helps, but without it, I think I would be lost understanding even my mom. Men make sense to me. I understand how they work. I’d probably get along better with men even if I was straight. Guys might just be more compatible in cohabitation, not just because of toilet seats, but also well adjusted priorities on cleaning, importance of a good sized TV (visuals are important!), talking about politics, doing stuff outdoors, and sports watching (well not in my case, but anyway).
- You get practice seeing the other side of issues. I mean people might get this practice some other way — gays don’t have a monopoly on the school of hard knocks — but they don’t tend to escape attending that school either. I think you might be a little more compassionate person if you’re gay. If you’re a Buddhist, this is treasure: like gold to a 49er.
- As a gay male, you are by definition, not a neanderthal. This is a definite positive. I am always surprised/appalled/amazed at guys trying to demonstrate their manliness through brute force and risk taking. I mean I understand why: women do make mating decisions based on observed testosterone levels. I think that sort of behavior doesn’t win over the gay guys. I mean gay guys don’t need to find a mate to procreate with and discern suitability of 9 months investment based on his testosterone level. Gay guys base mating choices on appearances alone, okay I’m exaggerating, but you get the picture. So, as a gay guy, you will tend to need to take fewer stupid risks and probably live longer because of it.
- You don’t need to see Queer eye. At least as far as looks, gay guys know what looks good on a guy, and by simple extension how they should try to look appeal to other guys (and women, in case they have one as a boss or client). Of course, it’s not foolproof, but definitely handy and a time saver as far as shopping.
- Gays are great at “theory of mind”. One of the key aspects of understanding other people is understanding what they know and that you may have different information from what they know. From a young age until coming out to everyone — which is actually a continual process — gays have extensive practice in understanding instantly the difference in what they know versus what other people know. Having such practice can make them great teachers, actors, advisers, negotiators, spies and even friends.
- Excuse for not having kids (grand kids). This one is a bit male centric, may be viewed as selfish and clearly not for all, as I think the lesbians certainly will not agree at all. A high percentage of married women want kids. But for guys having kids may not be as rewarding — they’re generally just not wired (or plumbed) that way. So being gay could mean, a reprieve from the onerous aspects of parenthood: the late nights, put food on the table ladder climbing, possible career ending or at least on hold/serious doubt for at least a few years, and other soul crushing responsibilities that come with having a child.
I could even mention a few more right now: the free acting lessons as long as one decides to keep the charade going, locker rooms, the cool flag. But right now I’m heading off to sleep and the awesome dreams you get when you’re gay.