American Male – MTV Short Video on Masculinity and Homophobia


Wow, take a few minutes and watch this video. This is very intense and not what I was expecting. The main character is unnamed but it is obvious that he is over compensating a desire to appear more “masculine” to his fraternity brothers to hide something lingering inside of him. I have seen many closeted gay men struggle with their appearances and their mannerisms. I have never really considered my own mannerisms as being anything except that of being awkward all the time. I was a disappointment to my father and family, not for being gay, but for being a huge geek. But that’s a story for another day. I do know that masculinity is something that not only many heterosexual men define themselves with, but gay men define themselves this way as well. Many openly gay men attempt to segregate and label themselves as ‘butch’ or ‘manly’ or the offensive term of ‘straight acting.’ I try to never judge anyone and especially people’s upbringings being that we are born into many different environments. Some more open than others. It can take time to alter anyone’s adult view on life. It must be awful for those close minded people that do not allow themselves space to grow and find out who they really are underneath years of psychological torture. And this is torture that not only family brings along, but also society as a whole. I genuinely do feel sorry for a lot people out there. Watch the film below and tell me what you think.

5 thoughts on “American Male – MTV Short Video on Masculinity and Homophobia

  1. I was teased all through school for being a geek/nerd. In high school they added “gay” to the taunts. I was harassed constantly. I was told that the harassment would stop if I changed the way I walked, how I talked, etc. I thought I could escape it in college but it followed me there. No matter how bad things got, I never changed how I acted. Something in the back of my mind told me that if I changed who I was, they would win. I never wanted to give them the satisfaction. I never knew how to be anyone but myself.

  2. I think that it is sad that so many people who see this, and especially that Gay men who see this, will label the main character as closeted or in denial. It is true that he is closeted in that, he is hiding the person he would likely feel more himself, but not necessarily being gay. When we assume that his sexuality is different because of the particular things he hides are assumed to be homosexual by society, we are perpetuating a horrible stereotype and continuing to support the very attitudes that we rail against. Straight men love the arts and are geeky and nerdy and do all of the things that he feared to show. But when we accept the trope that says these are not acceptable thoughts, feelings, or actions For Any Reason At All (gay, weak, feminine, etc.) we are still accepting that it is somehow tainted and wrong to feel that way. If we want to abolish stereotypes we have to avoid believing in those stereotypes and applying them ourselves to ourselves or to any other person.

    Either it is alright to be yourself and not get pigeonholed by ANYONE, or everyone fits into those pigeonholes and should be allowed to use those stereotypes to make themselves who they believe that they should be based on how society perceives them. There is no grey area. The only grey area is in the mind of bigots whether they are bigots by choice or by ignorance.

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