Lynne | 31st January 2015 13:45 (108 weeks ago)
I can't figure out how to start this and hopefully it doesn't end up as overly rambling :).
What has to be remembered is that there are strong and gender weak, for lack of a better term, in heterosexuals as well so it only makes sense there would be the same in a gay/lesbian realm of living as well. At the time I was on active duty, when we were in the "don't ask, don't tell" version of things, I served with people I would never have guessed were gay. While one or two may have had some quirks, that, if I had been really worried about I might have figured it out, the others that came out, post retirement, were a complete surprise. Still, it didn't and hasn't changed the way I feel about them. For the few with which I still maintain contact, the way we interact with each other hasn't changed from our active duty days other than a more relaxed personal posture since we are no longer supervisor/subordinate but simply friends.
One thing I will correct here, gently and with a hint of silly reproach :), is that the term effeminate has been badly applied. The intended definition is having or showing characteristics regarded as typical of a woman. Now, personally, that is actually insulting to women as well. Even in cultures that are patriarchical in nature, very few women exhibit the level of "effeminate" the word implies. Sure, they may be more submissive in nature, and by that I mean simply that the male takes the lead in things, but for the most part they are strong people. Now, the caveat here of course are those abused or hurt in some way who lack any confidence in themselves or are brought up in such an overly oppressive household that they don't know of any other way to live. When I meet people for the first time, mostly in business, I find that females meet on the same level. They both offer a firm handshake. When meeting men, however, I find, and hate, that token handshake, quick touch of the fingers, insulting. These guys have that limp wristed handshake not because they are afraid of hurting a woman but because they are showing that they feel a woman, n that particular instance, is beneath their notice. Still, I smile and return with my standard handshake and have, more than once, gotten a very surprised look and even a few comments of "that is some grip." So what is the point, I hear people saying about now :)
In any relationship, gay/lesbian, heterosexual, there is always a side that takes on more of a leader role even if the outward glance is of an equal partnership. We know that in some relationships those roles are more clearly defined and perhaps overdefined but those tend to be in individual relationships and not the general societal idea of a relationship. For some it is simply easier to take on that subordinate role.
There are extremes everywhere and I see the typical gay stereotypical behaviors as just that, extreme. Very few gays/lesbiansI know, have known or have seen in the past, exhibit overly extreme, what has been attributed to female, characteristics. Those that do, on either side, are a mystery to me; I just don't get it but I don't worry about it and move on.