Gay / Lesbian Youth Suicide Problems in Australia / New Zealand?
Racism Issues in Predominantly White Gay, Lesbian, & Bisexual Communities
Suicidality Results from More than 30 Studies in Four Categories!
Index for the Web Site
Subject index: GLBT Information in 21 Categories.
Index for Section on Racism in Predominantly White Gay and Lesbian Communities
Having Sissy Issues Addressed in Schools. 
Do Gay Males Hate Feminine Males?
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3
Rofes, Eric (1995). Making our schools safe for sissies. In Gerald Unks, Ed. The Gay Teen: Educational Practice and Theory for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adolescents, pp. 79-84. New York: Routledge. Also published in The High School Journal, 77(1/2), 1994, 37-40.

"I knew I was queer when I was a small child. My voice was gently and sweet. I avoided sports and all roughness. I played with the girls... Heresy was a boy who cried a lot when he got hurt..., a boy who couldn't throw a baseball..., a boy putting on girls' clothing. Heresy was me. As I got older, and fully entered the society of children, I met the key enforcer of social roles among children... He was... like an evil spirit entering different bodies in different occasions... In any group of three of more boys, the bully was present. I know a lot about bullies. I know they have a specific social function: they define the limits of acceptable conduct, appearance, and activities for children. They enforce rigid expectations. They are masters of the art of humiliation and technicians of the science of terrorism. They wreaked havoc on my entire childhood. To this day, their handprints, like a slap on the face, remain stark and defined on my soul...

As I entered adolescence... I saw other sissy boys become neighborhood toughs. They formed gangs of bullies that tormented us... Watching the powerless take on the trappings of power, I would shake my head and withdraw into deeper isolation... The abuse I suffered in American public schools, from kindergarten to my senior year of high school, created deep psychic scars with which I have struggled throughout my lifetime. These same scars are shared by many others. We will never forget that we were tortured and publicly humiliated because we refused to be real boys, acted "girlish," or were simply different. This was the price we paid for being queer" (pp. 79-80).

Rofes (1995) was most troubled about the "sissy boy" reality being ignored not only in mainstream society but also by gay and lesbian individuals advocating for an end to the wholesale abuse of their adolescent counterparts. In this respect, he emphasized that "to say sissies = gay male youth is considered offensive by many in the gay community" and suggested "that little attention has focused on the plight of the sissy [because] gay male activists and educators alike carry unresolved feelings about their own sissy pasts... These barriers must be examined, challenged, and overcome because - regardless of future sexual orientation - sissy boys have become contemporary youth's primary exposure to gay identity" (p. 81).

"...[I]nterviews with gay men of all classes, races, and educational backgrounds reveal a strikingly large percentage who acknowledge a sissy past when asked. This is true of gay men who exemplify American ideals of masculinity, as well as hypermasculine men in the gay ghetto. Some sissy boys grow up to be nontraditional adult men - androgynous, "effeminate," transgendered, or simply gentle - while others transform themselves into traditional versions of masculinity... Some gay men have talked and written candidly about their struggles as sissy boy" [with many example of this fact of life supplied] (Rofes, 1995, p. 81-2).

The inability to "be" who one "is" also results from external pressures which, for all boys manifesting a "feminine" self, is operating via "the bully" and his allies: average adolescents, teachers and other adults who, though their silence, tacitly give their approval to the "masters of the art of humiliation and technicians of the science of terrorism" (Rofes, 1995, p. 80).

For a discussion of femininity in gay and bisexual males, the over-representation of femininity in these males, anti-femininity attitudes in and outside gay communities, and related negative consequences (such as incidences of attempting suicide for the most feminine gay/bisexual male youth compared to their most masculine counterparts: 48% vs. 11%) see the section on femininity by Tremblay (2000).

Added in 2009:  A recipe for suicidality & suicides... by our historical highly sexist female-hating society? Even by our presently socially constructed 'gay' communities? ....

Why Can’t You Just Butch Up? Gay Men, Effeminacy, and Our War with Ourselves!

Read MoreSuicidality Results as Related to Gender-Nonconformity in Gay & Transgender Males. - Straight or gay, we're all just acting.


Index for the Web Site
Index for Section on Racism in Predominantly White Gay and Lesbian Communities