Good Little Boy Syndrome
There is a stereotype of gay men that we try to be the best “good little boy” throughout our lives. Is it compensating for or hiding our budding sexuality?
Pros and Cons of Being a Good Little Boy
I took a lot of pride in trying to be a smart, good looking, well-behaved boy. As a result, striving to be perfect continued well into my adult years.
School was easy for me. So, I could get good grades with relative ease. And I would always try to be kind. Try to be courteous. I strove to be a faithful friend to anyone who befriended me. Thus, I was often the “teacher’s pet” or seen as “Miss Congeniality” or had a large group of acquaintances.
The difficulties of this syndrome are:
- Behaviors pushed me to search for satisfaction in achievements and outside appearances
- Pressures of high performance and associated fears and anxieties had to be well-hidden or disguised
- Required being a social chameleon…hyper-aware of my environment and ultra-adaptive to it
- Pushed me into excelling in areas that caused self-loathing, such as religion and peer-groups who didn’t have my well-being in mind
- Trying to put a square peg in a round hole – especially in areas where I wasn’t at all proficient, like sports
- Having an underlying fear of scarcity about availability of romantic/sexual partners pushed me to accept men who were “good enough”
The nice parts, is there were many benefits to growing up with these pressures:
- My parents accepted a successful appearing child (in my case it helped a lot with my coming out to my mom)
- Social graces gave me confidence in relations with friends and social groups
- Ability to immediately establish rapport with clients or potential new friends or romances
- Easily recognizing similar men
- Having the benefit of financial and social class status that success brings
When all is said and done, I am very grateful for who I’ve become. I’m also grateful for all that made me who I am. In the end, I like me.
One lousy hat. What kind of “good little boy” does that make me?
Okay, I only knit one hat since Monday’s blog entry, but I also started on a new scarf or wrap (depending on how far the yarn goes).
And this baby is 430 stitches long! Which will translate to over six feet. Does that regain me my good boy status?