A happy man.

Why is he happy? Well, for one thing, when he goes cruising for a one night stand, it's a safe bet that whomever he picks up is also cruising for a one night stand, and both of them know exactly what they want. Chances are also pretty good that if one of them thinks the other has a nice ass, the one with the nice ass will take it as a compliment (unless this compliment is delivered in a manner that's waaaaay over the top). Sometimes straight men wish things worked like that on their own dating scene.

If the gay man is not cruising for a one night stand, there are probably quite a few geeky, intellectual gentlemen with whom to exchange geeky, intellectual blow jobs on a long term basis, who are also good company for playing Quake, going to the gym, pointless debates, and all sorts of other boy type fun.

The gay man's life isn't all roses, however. There are all kinds of morons, mostly straight men, who simply won't leave him the hell alone. They find it their duty to point out to him that he is an unnatural abomination and is doomed to hell. Anytime a gay man wants the same perks that straight men have, he gets accused of wanting special privileges. Sometimes when he's talking about how his date last night went, or whom he'd like to go out on a date with, he gets accused of flaunting his sexuality. He probably personally knows people who died from AIDS, because gay men were among the first (but not the last nor the only) groups to be decimated by AIDS in this country.

By the time generation-X is in nursing homes, being a gay man will be no big deal, and the hate mongers will have to turn their attention to some other group that doesn't comprise 10% of the male population and a relatively affluent, educated, and politically active 10% at that.

Males, above the age of consent, who prefer (for whatever reason) sex with other males above the age of consent. (Note: The age of consent issue is why this is gay men, and not gay boys... even though a lot of gay boys are over the age of consent, they usually don't act like it.)

Most gay men in my own experience are generally more in-tune with their emotions, and more self-aware, than corresponding straight men. (This truism is why there are fag hags in the world -- women who want to be close to a man, but who are only comfortable with men who understand their feelings.) There are ideas on why this is true; however, there are no scientific conclusions.

This state of being in-tune with emotions is one reason why many gay men strongly identify with music by divas, such as Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, and Aretha Franklin. Many of these divas sing love songs, or songs about the world in general, that evidence a sadness about the way things are, and a hope that someday they'll become better.

Sadness is, unfortunately, a feeling not unknown to gay men. The sadness of being ostracised by everyone you knew, the sadness of being persecuted by everyone, the sadness of not being accepted for who you are, even to the point of being cast out by your own family... this last is the reason why many gay men call all other gays 'Family'. Because they're brothers in the pain, brothers in experience, brothers in their lonely fights against the things that they crave to keep the depression away -- sex, drugs, alcohol, and other self-destructive behaviors.

Often the butt of jokes in popular sitcoms and movies. The token "gay male" in either of these formats represents a comic relief usually: someone to step on camera, usually flaming and wearing elaborate clothing, and talking with a lisp, which can mostly only be seen as humorous by straight people who are watching it for their own amusement.

However, the fact that actors, writers, and directors are starting to no longer fear placing or portraying a gay male in films might possibly be showing that the movie and television industry are becoming a bit more liberal and understanding.

One could also argue that they're not becoming more liberal at all, but have found yet another minority to mock for the public's enjoyment and to boost ratings.

Two examples of this are Ellen Degeneres' sitcom (which was cancelled rapidly by television company ABC shortly after she came out of the closet) and Kevin Kline's film, In & Out. Although these are similar in the fact that both contain and revolve around gay people, they are also very different.

Because Ellen's show didn't exactly make fun of the typical lesbian woman but instead showed an indepth look at the social life of a lesbian, it wasn't put there solely to mock the minority, but possibly to help people better understand. In & Out, on the other hand, is a movie written by straight people for straight people, meant only to mock, holding no other redeeming value whatsoever.

Gay men and women will continue to be the subject of comic relief until the public gets tired of it and the idea just becomes pass'ee.

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