“Straight Men, What Is The Strangest Thing You Have Been Told Not To Do Because ‘That’s Gay’?” (95 Answers)

If you're a guy, chances are someone said you should "man up" or "boys don't cry" at some point in your life. The phrase that inspired this article is right up there among these classics.

A few months ago, Reddit user The_WereArcticFox submitted a question to the platform, where they asked: "Straight men of Reddit, what is the strangest thing you have been told not to do because 'that's gay?'" Sadly, it has received plenty of replies.

As of this article, there are over 38.5K comments under the post, proving that our society is still pretty messed up when it comes to masculinity and homosexuality.


I said I like it when it rains.

Image credits: TheDeadGunslinger


Putting on sunscreen.

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The strangest one I've heard is "Two guys can't drive around in a convertible with the top down."

Image credits: FalseAlarmEveryone


Two guys can't sit next to each other in a movie theater if it's not crowded

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My girlfriend once seriously asked me if I was gay because I said that I liked her body. Safe to say she had some issues.

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Eating at a sushi restaurant with another guy

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One time a girl thought I was gay because I was attentive during sex. I'm not even joking

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A nightly/daily skin care regimen.

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Cry. I used to cry a lot as a child and would get bullied for it. The adults in my life all agreed that crying made me weak, but one in particular (secretary at my elementary school) thought it also made me seem gay and feminine and told me that was why I was being bullied.

The reality is that I was probably depressed from having recently moved across the country from my family and often found myself lonely so I couldn't handle the smallest amount of rejection or teasing from others.

Please don't tell children not to cry. Talk to them about their feelings so that the source of their sadness can be tackled, not the symptom. I still struggle with processing basic emotions because i spent so much time repressing them over stupid reasons like this.

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Painting my daughter's nails. (She's 3)

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Eating bananas, hot dogs, popsicles, string cheese, using a straw, hugging other men, touching feminine hygiene products,

This is the one that kills me; letting your 3yo daughter do your hair, makeup and nails.

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My mom told me to stop complaining about my migraine cause “thats not very straight of you”

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Play as a female video game character.

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Wear pink or similar colours, although it definitely is my colour

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My granddad once told me not to brush my hair because "looking pretty is for women and the gays".

Screw you, buddy. I want to look nice and not like I'm chasing hedgehogs through a freakin bush, you unwashed heathen.

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Growing my hair and taking care of it

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My cousin described his shoes as “comfy”. My dad suspected him of being gay for several years later.

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Rollerskating was gay all of the sudden.

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Apparently going out for Mexican and margaritas with your pal. No one said it directly, but the waitress gave us a complimentary dessert for 2 and said happy anniversary... free dessert is free dessert, I guess.

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Playing the saxophone

Honestly what in the world?

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A friend told me I'm holding my fork in a gay kind of way.

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Pedicures. When I was in the military a female friend of mine convinced me to get one by paying for both of us. I've been getting them regularly now for the last 15 years and still some men think it is "gay or feminine"

Guys your missing out! It feels amazing!


Being unable to lift more than a girl.... i was 7 and she was like 30


At work I once complimented another man on his outfit. My male co-workers looked at me as if I had asked if he had naked photos of himself I could see.

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Anything dance related.

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Broke a guy’s jaw in high school, sent him a get well card while he was in the hospital. He called me gay for sending the card

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Brazilian living in the US. Speedo is a gay thing. I don't get it.


I've been told wearing a mask, or PPE in general, is "gay".


As a helicopter pilot I have a checklist. We ALL have a checklist. Even though I have the slimmer version, its still a lot of pages, so I bought some page markers and labeled the important pages like start up, shutdown, refuel, emergencies, whatevs, good idea right?

I misplaced said checklist in an aircraft I hadn't seen in a while and asked some of the more senior guys if they had seen it and one of them responded:

"Oh, the one with all the gay little page markers?"

And all the others laughed.

If being convenient is gay, then I'm flamboyant.


Calling out a family member who catcalled a woman that was jogging


Work at Victoria's Secret for a summer. I was trynna speed up the girlfriend-getting process and decided to work at a female-rich environment but apparently that was gay.


The time my female friend was wildly drunk and I wouldn't have sex with her. Both her and my male friends were all calling me gay that night!


Eating a salad or a god forbid a BANANA


My father said it was gay to play an instrument...

...but he pretty much called anything he didn't like or couldn't do gay...

...now that I think about it he thought a lot was gay. There were gay ways to eat donuts, gay ways to sit, it was gay to take a bath, it was gay to want your friend over to play videogames because it was two guys in a closed room...

And his explanations were really detailed as to why it was all gay...my father thought really deeply about why things were gay or hetero.

Oh well, it's not like I talk to him anymore.


I shouldn't compete in wrestling because its hot, sweaty men grabbing onto eachother. And yet girls can make-out with eachother, full-on have sex and still claim to be straight.


Carry an umbrella.

Image credits: Anxious-Market


Using a loofah. Like bruh I can feel it's making me cleaner than just a bar of soap how TF is cleanliness gay.


When I was in high school, everyone thought I was gay because I wore a scarf to school one day.

A) Scarves aren't gay.

B) It was a gift from my great grandmother.

C) It was during the winter in Pennsylvania. IT. WAS. COLD.


I enjoyed acting in community theater growing up. Apparently that made me gayer than a handbag full of rainbows


If an alcoholic drink doesn't taste really bitter or doesn't burn your throat, apparently it's penis in a glass...


I was taking prescription strength pain killers after surgery. My friend had come over to check on me. Her boyfriend (ex) thought it was gay to take pain killers and told me to be a man.


"can't come mate, I'm spending the weekend camping with my girlfriend"

"Pffft, what are you, gay? You're missing a party dude"

I'm pretty sure both of us lost braincells in the moment of silence after he said that.


Not exactly "that's gay" but a guy talked down to me once for using the word "craving" because "Cravings are something only women get!"

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Having a child with my wife is gay. Taking care of my kid, and making being a good father and enjoying time with my child as the main goals of my life is somehow gay.

Changing diapers is apparently gay now. Having heterosexual sex and dealing with the consequences is also gay. Loving your kids and being a good dad is gay.

It doesn’t make any sense at all.


I had a girlfriend that started laughing when I crossed my legs because that’s hella gay.

And it was like the full straight guy spread out T leg cross.


I was at a party with my gf and my siblings, minding my own business while drinking sparkling water.

My BIL: “Dude, are you drinking sparkling water? That’s so gay.”

Me: points at my gf

BIL: “...”

Me: “Look I’m sorry, but you’re not my type... and with my sister.”

Several months prior I was at a gay bar ordering a sparkling water.

The bartender, smug af: “Really? Sparkling water? You must be straight.”

What is it with me drinking sparkling water and my perceived sexuality?

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If you had a piercing in the right ear you were gay.


80s kid here. Anything involving showing emotion is gay. Wearing any clothing that isn't muted is gay. Stating that something is cute is gay. Getting excited about hobbies is gay. Calling your guy friends to talk is gay. Crying is gay. Airing grievances of everyday life is gay. Washing your butthole is gay. Using lotion other than jacking off is gay. Shaving anything other than your face and neck is gay.

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Washing my as**ole. Friend of mine once said "everyone knows that's gay, you can miss me with that."

Apparently you are only allowed to wash your cheeks and let's suds run down your crack. Any direct contact with your own as**ole and u will catch the gay.

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2 of my friends from high school died in a car accident a week before the graduation

Everyone from the classroom went to the funeral and some lf my classmates were crying a lot

I decided to hug one of them and comfort him. One of my closest friends..

And this guy (a fat one, part of the "popular cool group wich are always doing stupid stuff to get attention") came into me, touched my back and yelled "Dude i didn't know you liked d**k hahaha"

He was kicked from the funeral and lost probably 90% of his friends

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Sharing your feelings as a male. Christ.


A buddy of mine once complained that no one looked manly drinking from a straw.


Rent a cottage with my gf instead of going camping with the boys.


Peeing while sitting down.


Being a flight attendant. I’m straight and became a FA for the travel and earn a little money. Most people I met on crews would assume I was gay until they talked to me and figured out I wasn’t. I screwed several female FAs btw


I had a friend tell me once when we were 18 (around 2005) that I "smoked cigarettes like a queer." I asked what the f*ck that was supposed to mean. He had no explanation, just kept repeating the same line, until I reminded him that he taught me about cigarettes, how to hold and smoke them. Everyone in the group turned to him and laughed him out of the room.


When our Physical Education Teacher examines if we cut our nails boys would show with their palms upward and bent at knuckles whereas girls would simply show palms facing downward. Now if you did the other thing you're gay. Our teacher sensed something off and made everyone show with their palms down.


An old man told me I was gay because I wore shorts. His exact words were "you want people to see your legs like some f****t"


Liking female vocalists or rappers


I ordered champagne for breakfast and one person I know and two staff members asked if I was gay.


Back in high school my friend was called gay for liking the smell of a women's perfume. He shot back "well, women use it to attract men, so it's only logical I like it"


Cross my legs when sitting. After a student brought that up to me one time too many, I asked him why he was staring at my legs. That shut him up.


At the age of 22, during Obama’s re-election, my dad told me voting for him was gay and would turn me into a homosexual.

Plot Twist: Dad is white, mom is black.


When I was young, I couple of friends refused to be seen with me if I wore a red t-shirt because wearing red is gay!


My mom walked in on my shaving my arm pits, and promptly went to tell my dad all about how gay it is.


Knew a guy in college who was disgusted at the idea of going down on a woman. He said it was gay, and we all just kinda stared at him like "A guy... eating out a girl... is gay?" He insisted only girls and gay men go down on their partners. It was really weird. Not sure if it was a cultural thing; he's Jamaican, but I've never had the opportunity to discuss the topic with another Jamaican.


My brother-in-law thinks recycling is gay.


Hugging a friend that had lost his father, sad to see caring about others is also being hit by toxic masculinity.


Told this guy I liked his wrist watch and he completely flipped out calling me gay. Then he goes storming out of the bathroom without even flushing his urinal.


Not that I've been told not to do it, but I know a guy who refuses to eat p**sy because he says it's gay.


I'll admit that I was the perpetrator in this case. When I was veeery young, like 8 or 9, I was convinced eating strawberries was kinda gay

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Drink any beverage out of a bottle, rather than a cup.


I hugged my best friend. We don't do that handshake-hug-over-one-shoulder-and-pat-on-the-back bull**it, we f**king embrace. Some people think that's "gay" but we don't care. We enjoy each other.

The other day we went white water rafting and at one point we laid on our backs and floated down a calm part of the river while holding hands. I can't argue with that one, it's a little gay. Still don't care. Had a good day.


So I was about to go on a date with a girl and my (didn't know he was) gay friend said that I shouldn't because it's gay.


I have this casual button down shirt that's...pinkish? Coral? Salmon? More of a Salmon...which is what I said in the story.

Anyway, I really like the shirt based on its fit and its material. And I never have anyone say anything bad about it (I've had like two compliments on it over the 8 years I've had it).

But one day some guy started making fun of me for wearing a pink shirt. And I thought he was joking so I started joking and went "Actually it's a lovely salmon, possibly with a lemon or honey glaze"

And he then called me a homosexual for knowing about salmon as a color and describing cooking in such a way. I don't even know how to cook lol, I ordered that at a restaurant once and loved it.

F**k 'em though. One of the girls I dated loved the shirt.


Me and a friend of mine used to be like Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels from dumb and dumber . Always getting in trouble , bunking class on my scooter , going out to eat , buy groceries , a long ride out of the city coz the air is so fresh where people don't live . My friend later told me he heard a rumor that we both were always together so we were gay . We laughed it off and went to have our hot pockets .


I was engaged, and my co-workers knew I was engaged to a woman.

I was at some sort of work thing, and started talking to a guy who was obviously gay. We started talking about philosophy, and I thought he was a cool guy. I was just like hey, if I ever read "x book" that we were talking about, I'd love to discuss it with you over coffee or something, but I might not read it anytime soon.

I'd just graduated college, where getting coffee with someone didn't mean anything, and you just did it if you wanted to have a conversation with them.

Apparently everyone thought I asked the dude out. I guess I see where they're coming from, but I just wanted to talk about Wittgenstein with someone who'd read him should I ever read him.


Gay guy here, I enjoy playing piano and used to get told "it's gay af" back in middle school. Now when I see the amount of straight guys getting chicks because they can play an instrument, ha.


Have girls as friends in primary school. Many of my male friends told me that was 'Gay'. Now whos laughing when I am the only guy invited to girls slumber parties.

And I'm Bisexual


When I was in 8th grade, i got a solid beat down for wearing a plain purple t-shirt. Apparently only gay guys do that.

YEARS later i found out I was gay for liking d**ks, turns out it had nothing to do with my shirt. Who woulda think?


Not me but a friend was seen as effeminate because he was into sewing. I'm sorry, but the manliest man trait on the planet is practicality, and sewing is one of the most practical skills to have at literally any point in history.


I played the clarinet. I got called Faginet alot.


Join theater at highschool. Joinna frat in college....smh


My husband was told he was gay because he was reading Sunstone, an adult comic series based around a kinky lesbian relationship.


When I was little somebody told me to check my nails and apparently if you make a half fist and turn your hand so you can look at them it means you're straight. If you hold your hand up like you are about to give someone a high five it means you're gay.... Kids are weird...


not a guy, but i used to be in chorus in high school. guys would comment that the guys in chorus were gay. they weren't and most of them had amazing voices.

so i would ask them who their favorite band was - it was always a male dominated group, and then watch their brains implode when i asked them if the lead singer was gay.


Go to cheer camp. I was the mascot at my school and thought it would be awesome be a straight guy where the girls are all barely clothed. I pointed this out to people and they had to seriously reconsider what they thought was gay.

Also, when I used to look at porn, apparently wanting the guy to be younger and somewhat attractive was gay.

Being a theater tech was kinda day (only if it was musicals).

Getting real excited about hobbies is gay. This is the one I'm most upset about. I didn't think it was gay, I just lost interest because of all the stupid comments. It's not till now that I'm almost 30 that I'm finally loving having some great hobbies


I have a friend who is bi, she married a man. Before her wedding, her mom reminded her that some of her family were Jehovah's Witnesses and less tolerant of homosexuality, and she asked her not to "act gay". I'm not sure how you can act gay at your wedding when you're marrying someone of the opposite gender.

But in the end, her maid of honor was a lesbian and my husband and I (both men) came so her shitty, bigoted aunts had to put up with our existence anyway.


Loving my fiancee. Apparently having feelings for someone of the opposite sex was gay. These were older men who are always saying "I hate my wife" or "once you're married you'll hate her". I truly don't understand how people get like that. If loving my fiancee is gay then I'm the biggest queer in the world.


Not from my folks, but just society made me believe that guys shouldn't hug their friends. .

20 years later, my 6'3" biker friend is big on hugs.


Doing anything about my appearance/well-being is perceived as "gay" by under-sexed macho jacka**es. When I started dressing well, I got called metrosexual. Telling the wrong people I got a pedicure or massage gets me gay comments. Bruh I just wanna look pretty get off my case.


I worked with a guy from Somalia who had strange ideas about a lot of things who told me I was gay for putting on chapstick. And brought it up at least once a week for months


“You like pink ! That’s gay !“
”O, You run like a girl !”

Yet, nobody gives a damn If a girl wears blue, and If a woman runs fast, she‘s an athlete.


Not straight but bi, but large parts of my family don't know that.

Anyway this was a few years ago. I was helping my dad repair a hay bailer and I was standing around looking at my dad under the machine greasing something. I had my hands on my hips.

My uncle pulls up in his truck and rolls down the window. He shouts out to me, "Take your hands off your hips. It makes you look queer."

My dad gets out from under the bailer and starts yelling back at my uncle.

"I'd rather have a queer helping me than a lazy ass like you."

My uncle shut up and drove off.


Not cheating on my then-girlfriend, now-wife with another girl