Eric Marcus

What a Waste!

Filed By Eric Marcus | May 25, 2008 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: if only you were straight, is it a choice, what if someone I know is gay

People ask me lots of questions, which is no surprise to me given that two of my books are Q&A books on gay issues--Is It A Choice? and What if Someone I Know Is Gay? Every Sunday I'll be drawing from my archives to answer a question, some serious, some not so serious. Or I'll be answering a question submitted by you (contact Eric).

Hi, Eric,

During my years of nursing I have heard people say, "What a waste." I took it as meaning a waste of a nice looking gay man. Have you ever had that question asked to you? I would appreciate your input.

-- RN in PA

Dear RN in PA,
I can't count the number of times that people have said to me over the years "What a waste," or "If only you were straight!" Lucky for me that I'm not because there are a lot of mothers who would be mad at me for not marrying their daughters and there's no way I could have married all the women who considered it a waste that I was gay.

I generally tried to take those comments as a compliment, but it felt like more of an insult. Having the good fortune to be a nice-looking gay man (I can't take credit for the genes my parents passed on to me) certainly didn't feel like a waste to me!

People often say stupid things without thinking. And unfortunately people say more stupid things to us out of ignorance or insensitivity. It doesn't hurt to have a thick skin and/or a sense of humor.

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 25, 2008 9:45 AM

"Victor Victoria" Robert Preston as "Toddy" said:

"I assure you my Dear it is not wasted."

I think at a DNA level there is some need on the part of heterosexual women to try and emasculate the man who does not want them. To say that it is a waste that you do not desire to sleep with women is a way of putting you down. It has also allowed me to have relations with several women the jocks drooled after who wanted to "reform" me. Hey, when you are young you make mistakes!

I have always found the "what a waste" comment to be offensive. It implies that the only "real" or "normal" thing to be is heterosexual.

I think RG brings up an interesting point about perhaps it is an effort to emasculate someone who isn't sexually attracted to them. Good point, Robert.

And Eric, I like that you started posting these questions! I look forward to more in the future!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 25, 2008 11:08 AM

Don't forget Waymon, we are no better. We would emasculate a man who doesn't want us too!

Robert, you're so gay! I can't believe you just qoted Victor, Victoria. Oh wait, yes I can!

Eric & Waymon, your good looks aren't a waste for the gay boys or the fag hags in your life. I mean, Waymon's hotness makes me look hotter by association. Ergo, everyone benefits. And thankfully it's not just the ugly girls who can't get a date who turn to lesbianism. There are so many hot lezzies out there. Totally a benefit for me.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 25, 2008 12:58 PM

Serena, I would love to claim a misspent youth watching Bette Davis movies, but I am not that old.

I am even younger than Preston when he uttered that memorable retort. "Toddy" also announced that the last woman he slept with was the night before he decided he was homosexual.


I would never emasculate a man who doesn't want me. I would just ply him with drinks until I got more attractive. That's how I nabbed Anthony. ;) I'm much better looking after a few drinks.

But seriously- I really have always hated that "what a waste" comment. It is just so demeaning.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 25, 2008 1:35 PM

Let's see, proper lighting is everything. Darkness works best. In the Dark I'm Johnny Depp.

And I am sure Anthony was, at least, in lust with you at first sight!

How about the idea that the only function men serve is as a dildo with a pulse? *Obviously* if a man isn't fucking a woman, he has nothing to offer. (dripping sarcasm)

I hate it when people say shit like that.

tobyhannabill | May 26, 2008 2:40 AM

I don't mind the "What a waste" or "If only you were straight" comments. It's the "You just haven't had the right woman" that throws usually followed by an obscene advance.
I usually respond with "Maybe your dad/boyfriend just hasn't had the right man, yet". I'm a lot of fun at parties.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 26, 2008 1:26 PM

Toby, you are a stronger man than I was in my twenties.

My general rule of the day:

"Any warm, moist, dark place is a friend."