Dismissed By Gay Men.

Here's a paragraph from my last blog entry on my own site: Madmanknitting.wordpress.com

I felt it was necessary to share with all of you.

I'm not accustomed to bad mouthing people on the internet. I don't think it suits me. But, I am finding it interesting that more gay people than straight find a man who knits laughable, or to be dismissed. Yeah. Odd, isn't it? But, apparently in the gay community there is such a need for stereotypes to be held up strong, that a guy who knits is considered a detriment to the "cause of making us more acceptable. It feeds the stereotype that we aren't real men." Can you believe that? I don't have any gay friends, and probably because I never really care for superficial aesthetics. I like character. Genuine character. So, gay men find me ludicrous. Straight men find me a lot of fun. Maybe because I don't take too much of anything seriously. When it comes down to it, I'm one of the fellas. I can have a whiskey and a rough beard (YEAH! THE BEARD IS BACK!) And I'd rather be caught with my dirty knees, my ballcap, my boots, my distaste for decorating (only because its forced, never does it sort of just happen), and my sense of the honor code. If you're my pal, then you know I won't fail you. Just thought I'd say something about that. With all of their bears, otters, twinks, and muscle daddies, it seems they haven't find personalities of their own yet. They're hiding behind adopted personalities. So sad. So sad.


Crafty Andy's picture

Well I have never been made fun of by anyone for crafting. I find that odd. I believe you are making a big generalization about the gay community. I personally have not found that to be true of anyone. I have found more attotude from ladies who think I don't know what I am doing, but not much as I take it in stride. You have to be yourself. I am blessed with all kinds of people in my life no matter who they sleep with or what the knit with. I say I get more attitude about acrylic than about being gay knitter, crocheter, spinner, weaver, yarn dyers. lol.

Gregory Patrick's picture

I've had only ONE confrontation with a lady who found fault with my knitting. She said, "I don't think men should knit." I responded, "I don't think women should vote." And that was the end of that.
But, the fellas? Nah, they've not been very kind to my craft.

Bandarlog's picture

Well made! Sometimes when you find a closed mind people is good to cut and paste! :-)

cheeseandstuff's picture

CLASSY! hahaha

Bandarlog's picture

Well, here in Spain I have felt the same good attitude between gay and straight men or women about knitting and crocheting. I live the half of the month in a nudist naturist camping in the south over the sea and there are a lot of people from all over and I am surpirsed about the interest of all people while looking at me knitting. Sometimes they are men or women coming to my cabin to see and tell me they would like to learn to do the same :-) There are straight and gay people and all have the same attitude. The other half of the month I live in Madrid and I have seen the same open attitude about. I don´t know but perhaps in Europe there is a long tradition of men making things with wool or cotton because old seamen in ancient times made their own sweaters sometimes. For example in France there are schools that teach boys knitting like a common technology or tradition for girls and boys. In this moment and like I am unemployed I am making almost all the presents for my friends and family with my own hands knitting or crocheting and they seem to feel very well about. Lol!

Christopher Charles's picture

See, I've been there. When I first started knitting my friends poked fun at me quite often (and still do sometimes). But do you see me poking fun at a hobby that they like? No. Because I know that pretty much "different strokes for different folks." Besides, I think that they're just jealous that they aren't awesome as us knitters ;-)

bobinthebul's picture

There are some people in various minorities who are so sensitive to anything that could be perceived as a "stereotype" that they overreact. I think it's just that they haven't quite gotten comfortable with themselves. Internalized homophobia or racism doesn't stay inside, it gets acted upon in various ways. Witness the recent flap about the black singer who was asked to apologize for doing a commercial for a fried chicken restaurant. The horror - to imply that black people like fried chicken! (Like rudely implying that Chinese people might know a thing or two about Chinese food.) I even saw a comment by a black woman who said she felt extremely self conscious when buying a watermelon at the grocery store, because of the stereotype. We all like watermelon, but black people are not supposed to eat because the stereotype is that they like it? Huh?? And of course there was a time when a lot more gay people were really concerned with avoiding anything that hinted at femininity. I think these days more people, whatever their sexuality, are letting go of such stuff. But sometimes it can pop up when they see something for the first time. I've been told several times, "I've never seen a man knit." And I just say "Well, you won't be able to say that next time you see a man knitting, will you?" :)

For me, one of the biggest differences in my life after I came out and really dealt with myself (and one doesn't necessarily include the other though it helps a lot) was the freedom to do things without worrying so much whether someone else thought they were "masculine" or "feminine." As in "If I decide to wear this passion flower on my coat, people might think I'm gay...oh wait a minute...I am...and I don't give a crap any more." :))

I guess it depends on where you live. Here in Turkey people usually are just silent when they see things that weird them out, as long as it's not outwardly insulting of family, morals or religion. So I was in the Kurdish region of Turkey a couple weeks back (about 10 km from the Iraqi border) and the wife of my friend there told all her female cousins there that I knit and made really nice socks. The chances of an outside-the-family male sitting with women knitting in Silopi is pretty slim but well...it happened. :)

The only actual comment I ever got that could have been considered a bit negative (but it was more inscrutable than outwardly negative) was when I was sitting in Starbucks at Kanyon Shopping Center with the women of our local knitting group. I was the only guy, and there was a 60-ish man sitting at another table holding me in "eye prison" as the Turkish expression goes. When he got up to leave, he couldn't contain himself. "In some parts of Turkey," he pronounced in a more or less friendly/polite way, "some men knit. But only when they are retired. Only when they are *completely* retired!" After he left, we all spent a few minutes trying to figure just what he was on about, then decided we'd probably never know and it really didn't matter much did it?

I belong to a knitting group at one of the local churches We meet every Monday evening. There is quite a mixture of male and female members ranging in age from as young as 8 to 80 year olds. I self identify as being gay and to me knitting and crocheting comes naturally. I have never expreienced any negativity whatsoever. I have a cat that I sometimes take to pet shows in local malls and very often I knit or crochet while waiting for Amy to be judged. Again no negative comments. I am in agreemenet with Crafty Andy's comments but have not received any comments from the ladies either

moltenchld's picture

Found a way to trim it back:

Everyone's experience w/ discriminatory and judgmental behavior is different and a possible response might be to laugh it off, knowing that one, two, or even a few doesn't represent the sum total of the 6 billion (i think that estimate's right) people in the world. I'm sure that out of that many, we can all find someone in any group who doesn't act like that.

scottly's picture

Dude, you over generalize. Knock the chip off your shoulder.