The Gay FAQ: your input required

posted 14 August 2007, updated 15 August 2007

Dear everyone -

Recently a straight friend of mine asked a question about gay people. It was a really simple question: "why are all the gay guys I meet so effeminate?" And it had a really simple answer: "they're not; you just didn't realize the other ones were gay, because they're not effeminate." But he'd never heard that answer before -- even though he's known gay people for years, it's just not something he felt comfortable asking, because it seemed like it might be an insulting question.

It seems like the answer to that question should be really simple to find, but it isn't. You get a bunch of ill-informed nitwits mouthing off on various forums, or at best you get a FAQ directed at gay people. There's no resource for well-meaning but clue-free straight people to ask the questions that they might be embarassed to ask, for fear of seeming clueless, bigoted, or just nosey.

So I'm setting out to change that, and I need your help. What are the questions? Think hard, dig deep. Remember the first time you met a gay person: what did you ask? Or what have you still never had the guts to ask? Or if you're gay, what's the question you've had so many times that it makes you roll your eyes in exasperation? Here's the ones I've come up with so far (the answers are still in progress... I intend to have lots of references):

    General
  • How do you know you're gay?
  • How old were you when you found out?
  • How do you tell if somebody else is gay?
  • Why do you like rainbows so much?
  • Why do you talk about being gay all the time?
  • Haven't you got pretty much equal rights now, can't you shut up already?
  • What temperature is it down there in hell? (thanks to Matt Lock for this one)
    For gay men:
  • What do you do in bed with other guys?
  • Does it hurt?
  • Isn't it kind of... gross?
  • Why are you so girly?
  • Why aren't you more girly?
    For lesbians:
  • What do you do in bed with other women?
  • Is there... penetration?
  • Why are you so girly?
  • Why aren't you more girly?

If you've got particularly good ideas for answers feel free to send those in, too, but I intend to do a lot of research and interviews to get comprehensive answers, so I'm pretty sure I've got it covered. I need more questions.

You can answer by email to thegayfaq at seldo dot com, or you can leave your question in the comments. If you'd like to leave your comment anonymously, you can use the same email address listed above instead of your own and it'll clear the spam filter. Also, please feel free to forward a link to this post to any and everywhere you think you might find people with good questions!

Update: Whoops; quite right, a bisexual section shall also be included. Thanks for the reminder, all.

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