The Relationship: Between being Camp and Gay

Merry christmas everyone!

Has everyone had a fantastic day?

Or at least a drunken new year?

   I would like to talk today, if you wouldn’t mind, to talk about homosexual stereotypes and how they came to be. I know, freaking festive topic.

   The reason stereotypes exist is because at one point or another, they were true facts that were observed either repeatedly, or by a number of people. For example, we all know, or have witnessed a 20- something adult female who wears too much fake tan, and enjoys putting makeup on in excess and who struggles with the names of different animals. If this idea gets witnessed repeatedly by a number of people, eventually, it becomes expected of anyone who prefers to look that way.

When a characteristic becomes too exclusively linked though to a personality type, the expectation becomes in danger of becoming learned behaviour, which obviously pushes the stereotype further into public observation.

Obviously, as the title suggests, the stereotype I really wanted to think about is ‘campness’, the flamboyant, showy, feminine behaviour which gets so streamlined in the media industry.

Once someone comes out as gay, particularly if they’re men, do they then feel any pressure to become, or actively reject the ‘campness’ expectation, or is it something they do not experience in any sense? Same for women coming out as gay, do they feel that they suddenly have to become more butch, (Like when Meg lies about being a lesbian in Family Guy)?

Furthermore, does the expectation of campness, if there is any, prevent people from coming out, because they believe that they would have to change themselves, or at least how others see them?

I had an argument with someone the other day, about whether campness was a genuine personality trait, or whether it was put on to get attention and to fulfil any social expectations. They argued that campness’ is always an exaggeration and a fake personality trait put on by those who wish to receive attention. It is never genuine.

However, I feel that words like ‘never’ and ‘always’ suggest infancy in both directions. And therefore that simply isn’t true, at some point, as I said previously , it must’ve been true to become an observation. Despite that, I believe that ‘campness’, although can definitely be exaggerated, is still a genuine personality trait. The reason it comes across as so extreme and excessive, in my opinion, is that it is all the qualities that were so long repressed within an individual, suddenly being allowed to be expressed.

On the other hand, I don’t know, my experience in this matter has only been from what others have told me and their experiences. I would love to hear if you have gone through any of these emotions, or whether I’m simply making fairy lights out of tinsel.


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