Ask Angelo - Angelo Pezzote

Angelo Pezzote
M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.
 Straight Acting Gay Men
 and Cruising Over 30


Dear Angelo,
I am over 40 and I like this guy at the local gay pub. He's 28. I'd ask him out but Ifeel I look too old and washed up. Is there any hope for me besides plastic surgery?
Signed, Dead Over 30
Dear Dead Over 30,
No matter what you look like there will always be one person who will be blinded by your shining beauty. Of course you can help mother nature along with a fabulous upgrade to first class: quality product, grooming, clothes, exercise, diet and a pleasant disposition. In the end, it doesn't matter if you really are different or not. But if you think you are, you can look in the mirror and see a new man. Someone you like. Someone that has confidence. That's all that matters. I've seen regular looking guys pick up on gorgeous ones because they know how to work with what they have. So go over to thatcrush. I bet he'd love someone to grab his hand and say withsmiling confidence, "buy you a beer."

Dear Angelo,

Why are gay men afraid of "feminine guys" like me? Did I misssomething?

Signed, Peter Pansy

Dear Peter Pansy,

Great question. This subject is my passion and I amexploring it in myupcoming book on gay men and masculinity. Here's aglimmer. By the way, you did not miss a thing.

No one's sure of what it really means to be a man. Being a man in Harlem is different from being a man in Beverly Hills, which is yet again quite different than being a man in London or Palestine. But intraditional, ideal American sex role terms, what wedo know is that being a manmeans not being like a woman. Most men experience this tough guise pressure. Eminem-like, cutting, and painful words like "sissy, faggot and mama's boy" all are used mostly to attack and erase someone's manliness, not to comment on their sexuality (who they sleep with). But it is here where gender and sexuality nevertheless get fused.

As a result, many gay men feel compelled to prove their manhood inspite of their gayness. Often we forget we are still men even though we are gay. In fact, right now in our community there is a overcompensation of machismo as evidenced by an epidemic of "gay man seeking straight acting only." This is enhanced by our testosterone driven, pumped up, rock hard, sex ready gym culture. This need to reject feminine guys -our own gay brothers - is the ugly and tragic face of internalized homophobia.

Homophobia is the fear of the perception of being gay. Gay men have it too. Butthe fearthat underlies it is the fear of being emasculated.It is somehow deemed more valuable to exhibit masculine attributes than feminine.Historically for gays, and still in some cultures, the dominant top is straight but the passive bottom is gay. It's the gender role deviant behavior that is taboo. The root of homophobia is therefore in sexism and misogyny not being anti-gay.

I say there are countless ways to be man. So put on your tutu and dance. Maybe you can open a few minds on your stage. All the best to you


Angelo Pezzote, M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.

The Gay Man's Therapist
For Today's Gay Man
Would you appreciate a safe, supportive environment to talk about personal concerns? Get useful tools from a specialist who understands.
Manhattan, NY Office Tel: (917) 673-5003. LA Tel: (310) 475-8880. Telephone Coaching Also Available Worldwide. Visit


Mailing List