By David Futrelle
Straight male insecurity can be a sight to behold. The list of things that make men doubt the masculinity of other men (or of themselves) is, it seems, endless. That’s what makes the “Fellas, is it gay” meme so effective, and so funny. By simply taking the tenets of some weird and toxic belief about masculinity and rewording it as a question you can reveal just how absurd it is. Fellas, is it gay to drink a smoothie? Fellas, is it gay to wipe your own ass?
The phrase “fellas, is it gay” has been floating around Twitter for more than a decade, starting on black twitter, but at first the questions were at least semi-sincere, and most of them were in some ways about sex. “Fellas is it Gay for you to Watch a Porno or 2 wit ya dudes?” asked one Tweeter. “FELLAS is it GAY to shave your PUBIC HAIR” asked another. Back in those days, the questions often had answers to them.
It took until 2017 or so for the question to transform into a sort of running gag — and it wasn’t until 2018 that it finally turned into the ironic meme we know today, at least on Twitter. (I haven’t looked into other social media sites and their history with the meme.)
So let’s scroll back over the past several years of the meme on Twitter and see some of the things that real people actually think make straight men gay.
We’ll start with marriage between a man and a woman, one of the cornerstones of the patriarchy but also, somehow, gay?
Even more suspect: having a baby with your girlfriend or wife.
Even dating a woman is apparently a gay panic risk:
It’s even worse if you’re occasionally giving her compliments:
Then of course there are the hygiene issues, as in, some straight men seem to think that keeping clean is a gay thing.
It’s apparently even worse if you use some of your time in the shower to soap up your dick … and wash it.
Some give in to the need to wipe, but only if they can couch it as a macho thing to do:
Still others insist that even touching a woman’s asshole is sort of gay:
Cunnilingus is also deeply suspect:
As is having sex with any woman who isn’t a virgin, because then basically she’s partly a man??
Indeed, any kind of sex between a man and a woman can be gay if the guy makes any noise.
Even aside from love and sex and hygiene, the sheer number and variety of things coded “gay” is mind-boggling. Here’s a selection:
Owning an umbrella:
Buying TP for your bunghole:
Enjoying a nice dessert:
Talking on the phone with a male friend:
Caring about climate change:
Thoroughly appreciating good food:
Eating boneless chicken wings:
Practicing good coronavirus hygiene:
Looking someone in the eyes:
Saying something nice to a woman:
Lying on your couch watching TV:
Buying chocolate chip cookies:
Knowing the rules of grammar:
Having a smoothie:
Or drinking anything involving whipped cream:
That’s all — for now. Tomorrow: Part Two of “Fellas is it gay.”
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