The gay community has always been a community that has bolstered a strong sense of pride and unity. Historically, it has been a culture that has collectively worked to build and maintain equality at all costs. However in this community of men who love men there exists a disturbing contradiction that silently threatens to undermine our interactions with one another. This contradiction is the underlying hatred and distrust of men even within our very own community.
The culture of misandry, (the overwhelming hatred, dislike and prejudice of men) has been one that has remained silent and marginalized in its examination for years. Typically women have been perceived as the only victims of male oppression and the misogynistic gaze and this has been the running script for centuries. The result of this is an invisible and often times insidious hatred of men that continues to permeate our society even to this day. Among gay men, this hatred has adversely affected our ability to connect with other men. It has resulted in a mass divide between men and has created an irrational fear/ form of androphobia among a community that relies on one another for its very survival. But what has contributed to this divide?
Our society tends to perpetuate a destructive belief system that unwittingly supports and upholds toxic masculinity. Men both gay and heterosexual alike have been burdened by false beliefs about masculinity. Ideas about what a “real man” is and how a real man behaves creates within men a distorted sense of self that omits the very important aspects of vulnerability and emotional expression necessary in order to function as healthy adults.
Often times men internalize these false belief systems into their understanding of what it means to be a man and begin to act according to these erroneous beliefs. Fathers have abandoned their children under the belief that “real men leave”. “Real men keep moving and don’t stay”. The belief that men are “lone wolves” perpetuates a sense of toxic independence that interferes with a man’s ability to make and sustain meaningful connections with other men.
Often times our first relationships are with our fathers and primary male caretakers. If these relationships were nonexistent, toxic, or strained, this will affect our feelings about men and consequently how we approach and interact with other men. Most men who have had no father figure or positive male role model in their lives have no clue about how to interact with other men and often times begin to hate and resent other men as unconsciously they admire them as according to psychologist Alan Downs, author of “The Velvet Rage” “Resentment and admiration are always two sides of the same coin”. Ironically we as gay men tend to admire the men who hurt us as in our distorted reasoning’s we see them as more powerful and skillful than we are.
Even men who have had inadequate male caretakers i.e.” Satellite Dads” and caretakers who have taken a hands off approach to their rearing struggle with understanding just what true and healthy male intimacy looks like. As a result of this an intense bitterness ensues creating a vicious cycle of pain both expressed and unexpressed in the gay male psyche.
What This Pain Looks Like
So what exactly does the pain of the unevolved male psyche look like in gay men? What are the short and long term effects of misandry on the gay male? For most gay men, the gross distrust of other men breeds a belief system that “no man is to ever be trusted” so gay men often times will see men as marks and targets for financial and emotional exploitation and abuse. They will seek to exact their basic needs by using, playing, extorting, manipulating and scamming men for secondary gain. They will turn themselves into bait and use their bodies as bargaining chips in order to emotionally assault other men.
Also this universal contempt for other men so prevalent in our society today creates in gay men feelings of insecurity, guilt and shame. In order to reconcile the shame associated with being apart of a gender that historically has oppressed and hurt others, they often times engage in high risk behaviors namely drugs, risky sex with indiscriminate partners, binge drinking, compulsive over eating and shaming other gay subcultures. Gay men also begin to see other men as “only good for one thing”. They shutdown emotionally and begin to put up walls around their hurt places. This in turn leads to the progression of destructive behaviors and ultimately death as having no healthy outlet for such negative emotions results in men acting out their emotions, resorting to their lower selves as a way of dealing with things their higher selves are not ready to deal with.
Also gay men who unconsciously hate men struggle with forming deep meaningful connections with other men. Sure they are able to make shallow surface level alliances with other men but they find it difficult to form more purposeful connections with men. This leads to a deep sense of loneliness and isolation that ultimately results in the onset of depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.
The hatred of men among the gay community has restricted our ability as gay men to connect with one another. It continues to serve as a threat to our collective consciousness and if not addressed will continue to destroy our relationships with others as well as ourselves. We need each other. We are literally all we got. We must keep this in mind as we navigate the oftentimes treacherous terrain of human relations.