The Gay Community Divided + The Cross Roads of Whiteness and the Socialization of Gender and Gayness

The combination of how gay men are socialized into society, whiteness and the cross-roads of maleness, I believe an important piece of this complex puzzle of all that meets in the middle, is seeing each other’s humanity.

The deeper I explore the complexities of gayness, the socialization of boys to men and how we form communities and groupings as gay men, I’m noticing a few areas in regards to how our socialization plays a part in how our community is hugely divided, non-supportive as a collective gay community — but mostly how non-supportive we are as gay white men — with one another.

And this is in relationship to how we gay men (I’m gender non-conforming, however I still have the underpinnings of a socially gendered male that I’m dismantling within.)

But I digress.

So, more specifically gay white men, as a collective whole, don’t seem to have an “I got your back” or “I see you” deepness kind of community feeling of support.

Whereas many black and person of color gay people seem to recognize each other’s humanity without even a second thought. Within gay black male communities, gay black men are very close. There’s a deep feeling togetherness. Much to do with the deep lack of inclusiveness and diversity within the LGBTQ community, and the weaponization of whiteness.

Within the collective gay community there are specifically named communities such as the bear community, leather community, etc where members seek community with like-minded folks and and outside of these specifically named communities there are those who don’t really belong to any one specific community, but still belong to the gay community as a collective whole. In this analysis I’m speaking about white cis and trans gay men who belong to the collective whole.

And that even while we may belong to any of the specifically named communities, we do still identify as a white gay men and are still part of the collective whole community, and still bare this individualistic mindset.

My explorations shows one of these reasons for this is that we are highly individualistic as gay men. I believe, due to negative affects of socialization into a heteronormative and homonegative society. Meaning, we had to learn ways to adjust, adapt and survive in a society that doesn’t see our humanity.


I notice that we don’t reach outside of our cliques, our circles, or our own campaigns (if we are musicians or artists) in solidarity of other gay men. Black communities do, but white gay men don’t really practice inclusiveness. There is no collective camaraderie. If there is a whisper of neurodivergence, forget any kind of solidarity. I’ll touch more on neurodivergency later.

Now, as socially gendered males, we’re socialized not to be too expressive of our emotions, except for anger or rage, to be strong and to perpetuate violence. Where not taught to fully express our human emotions like sadness, crying and joy.

So, as a result of all of this toxic gendered socializing, eventually we react by becoming isolated and lonely. We can perpetuators toxic masculinity behaviors.(Not all masculinity is toxic).Gay men are no different genderwise, except we have an added layer of gayness that adds to our complexities.

So, as a result of all of this toxic gendered socializing, eventually we react by becoming isolated and lonely. We can perpetuators toxic masculinity behaviors.(Not all masculinity is toxic).Gay men are no different genderwise, except we have an added layer of gayness that adds to our complexities.

The medical terms that come with mental illness are harsh, stigmatized and loaded. These stigmas are very deep and strong in our American culture. In gay culture.

I completely understand why our community can be so divided and individualistic. It makes sense. The crossroads of men being gendered and how gayness is viewed in American society. All of that toxicness is bound to spill into our own community.

However, it’s also frustrating too. And we need to figure out ways to clean up the spills and bridge the divide. And have it so those who don’t belong to groups or clique are seen too. So all of our humanity is seen and recognized.

So, if I may end with a short statement of protest.

We take to the streets, we chant and complain about no diversity. We become gay therapists and healers. And still we fight for inclusiveness. We finally win gay marriage, but still under heteronormative rules, and we accept it, but when it comes to seeing, embracing, holding close tightly one of our own, the tape goes back over our mouths.  - Greg Halpen 

Greg Halpen