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Issue 18

Writers - Paul Matthews, Nick Laird, Allie Cherry, James Whyte, Alan Surgeon, Linda Thompson, Ann Mariott, Paul Robertson. Edit and Design - Brian Houston

Main Page
Gay Men's Health
Pride Scotia


"So, is he gay?"

I've heard people (yeah - and me) even asking that question of someone they've never met and aren't going to meet. There's definitely a preoccupation amongst gay men about other men's sexual identity (the sky IS blue shocker!).

As with a whole heap of questions, this one says a lot more about the person asking it than it does the target. There is, of course, the 'I fancy him, what are my odds?' scenario that can prompt the question and, when it comes to matters of the heart (or further south); no question is off limits - it's the law! But most times, it seems like a default question. Is it so we can fit our perception of someone into a neat little box labelled 'gay' or 'straight'? And if they are gay, is it suddenly a hit for OUR team? Does it define that person?

Does being gay automatically give you a licence, and make it okay, to ask the question? Would we be as easy about a straight guy, in mixed company, pegging everyone's sexuality - boxing everyone up?

And then there's celebrity. As gay men, we're more than capable of displaying a prurient fascination of someone's sexuality, identical to the worst excesses of tabloid homophobia.

There's no doubt we are, to a degree, a lot more open about our own and other's sexuality than ever before - damn good thing, and there's nothing wrong with asking a question. But when it comes to "is he gay?" - what does it matter? And if it doesn't - why ask?

Brian Houston


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Core is a partnership project representing the LGBT community in Scotland. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the partners. However, if they're witty, intelligent and insightful - they probably are. If you flicked through this mag, saw a photie and made an assumption about someone's sexuality - then you're about ten years behind what we're trying to do here. Click the mag off and walk away. Accurate at going online time, but hey, we didn't get this sarky without making mistakes.