In his latest video, funny/smart guy Michael Henry wonders aloud if gays really want to settle down, get married and have children OR is that learned behavior because we don’t want to seem too different from our straight friends?
Henry and his buddy Michael Fariss are chatting on the latest gossip when Fariss mentions gay couple Richie and Colby recently became engaged. It seems Richie popped the question during a New Years trip to Miami.
As Henry absorbs the news, he notes that Richie only came out as gay two years ago.
Fariss responds, “I’ve been gay for a million years and I can’t even get a man to take me on a dinner date.”
“Oh, you don’t want that,” says Henry.
“Yeah, I do,” declares Fariss. “I love beef.”
Who can argue with that?
Henry’s point is wondering if gays are yearning for a ‘heteronormative lifestyle’ because society pressures people to live that way – whether you’re gay or straight.
Henry and Fariss run down the checklist: “Date to be in a relationship, be in a relationship to get married, get married to buy a house, buy a house to raise your babies, and raise your babies in that house with a mortgage and then retire.”
Henry opines that folks who don’t live that lifestyle are seen as either odd or unusual. With that in mind, he wonders if Richie (who previously dated women) is used to “societal expectations” like getting married and is acting according to what he knows.
Concurring, Fariss shares that during his holiday visit with the family, he felt he had to “disguise” his 1am hookups as “Arbys runs.” And now his parents think he’s obsessed with Arbys.
Although, that might be due to his multiple “Arbys runs” per night. Remember, he likes the beef.
Horsey sauce aside, Henry admits he doesn’t share many details about his gay romantic life with his straight friends because he could come across as “different.” And he fears he’ll be viewed as living “some sort of abnormal life.”
The conversation continues as the guys agree that some gay people WANT to get married and buy a house, while other gays hunger for “multiple 1am Arbys runs.”
Henry’s nuanced writing never judges one lifestyle over the other, but does raise some good questions about what kind of relationships different gay men are drawn to and why.
And yes, there are more Arbys analogies to be had along the way.
The comments on the YouTube page got quite heated as some gays shared they feel judged if they don’t aspire to the monogamous married life, while others said they feel the side-eye if they do.
Folks also got very wrapped up in whether ‘heteronormative’ is a bad thing, or a learned thing, or has a negative connotation?
LIke most of Henry’s short films, he elicits some thought provoking questions. And maybe a 1am Arbys run…
Tell us in the comments section what you think, readers. What do you think about a ‘heteronormative’ lifestyle where everyone follows the same playbook?
Do non-monogamous lifestyles get stigmatized? Or does being gay mean we get to write our own societal expectations?