My Crush Jokes About Being Gay Too Much. Should I Be Concerned?

two men hugging each other

Dear Evan,

There is this guy whom I like. Mark seems as though he is a decent person. However, there is something very curious about him. He can be very expressive, and well, that is amazing (for a Marlboro-type Man). Of course, he will go right back into his shell and be extremely quiet, but in those moments that he speaks his mind, it’s usually very powerful and I am often times stunned (in a good way).

Anyway, Mark and this other guy, Brandon, have this interesting exchange about how they will be a couple one day. I came across it because Mark, Brandon and I are on the same online forum. I just joined the forum a few months ago, but apparently, this whole dialogue about being a couple was started by Brandon a few years ago.

Mark does not seem gay. I do not know if he is bisexual, and now that I think about it, I think it’s high time I asked. I am not sure whether I would have a problem with that, per se. It does not appear that Mark and Brandon are in a relationship. I must say that they are very playful and the dialogue that occurs between them is interesting to watch. It really is something else. From what I have seen on the forum, Brandon will lay it on THICK, but Mark does not reciprocate those feelings. Brandon’s comments usually get nothing more than a “you’re too much” or something like that. It comes off as an unrequited love sort of thing.

If Mark isn’t gay, he’s certainly in line to star in “I Love You, Man II: Laying it On THICK”.

I asked Mark about it and he did not hide in any way about who Brandon is. Surprisingly, he was very open. He told me that he doesn’t go around saying guys are cute, but that he thinks that Brandon is cute and I would actually have to agree with his opinion. I thought Brandon was a female from his photo.

What gets me is that if Mark is not gay/bisexual, then why would he continue that whole dialogue? They’re friends? It boosts his ego/confidence that much? Is he that bored? Is he that nice that he doesn’t want to hurt Brandon’s feelings? Do I applaud Mark for not being homophobic or is what’s happening going way too far? Before I knew about this situation, Mark said he wants to be with me, but I am not sure I should take him seriously and am a bit hesitant now.

I do not know what to think. Is it a big deal? I am extremely puzzled. Mark  and I are pretty much together already, so I think I will just watch the situation and keep my eyes open — wide open.

Any thoughts that you may have will be a great help. Thank you for your time!


If Mark isn’t gay, he’s certainly in line to star in “I Love You, Man II: Laying it On THICK”.

Hey, I should know about such things.

Once upon a time, back in college, it was suggested that I might be gay. Except it was suggested multiple times, by total strangers, including one of the leaders of my university’s Gay/Lesbian Association, who, apparently had a crush on me.

Embarrassingly known as a heterosexual player at the time, I remember asking my favorite gay professor why this kept happening to me. He said, in so many words:

“You dress well. You’re articulate. You’re cute. You look men in the eye when they talk. You know how to communicate about your feelings. You’re not homophobic. And since gay-dar is an imperfect science, all gay men can do is pick up on these traditional clues and take an educated guess. Sometimes we guess wrong. Frankly, I think you should take it as a compliment.”

And, ever since then, I have. Then again, I never declared in a public forum that I was going to be part of a “couple” with my best guy friend. That’s either very weird, or very homosexual.

While most men can acknowledge that another guy is attractive, it’ll generally be under the guise of “Wow. That dude’s got serious guns,” not, “Brandon’s cute and one day, he will be mine”.

So let’s dissect this peculiar latent bro-mance.

First, guys DO like to make gay jokes. But most of them are straight, and they’re usually doing it in a derogatory manner. Being gay is one of the most popular insults from the sub-100 IQ and homophobic set. This doesn’t at all describe what’s going on between Mark and Brandon.

Second, close guy friends CAN make jokes about being a couple — but it’s usually done in a self-deprecating way. I used to call my former roommate “my wife”. After all, we lived together, worked together, and shared an apartment for 9 consecutive years. After another bad dating stretch with toxic LA women, I might joke that it would be easier to just marry my best guy friend. I was kidding. I suppose if you wanted to read into it, you probably could, but, to a casual observer, these jokes were made without intent.

But what makes your situation unique and compelling, Aki, is that this doesn’t sound like a joke.

Societal conventions have taught us that the role of women friends is to support other women friends — even to the point of disingenuousness. “No, you don’t look fat in those jeans!”, “He’s a total jerk. He doesn’t know what he’s missing!” “Have you lost weight? Your figure looks amazing in that dress!”

Men, on the other hand, exist to belittle each other. Insults ARE their bonding mechanism. As a result, a guy is more likely to be called fat, bald, stupid, lame and gay than he is to be called “cute” by his best friends. While most men can acknowledge that another guy is attractive, it’ll generally be under the guise of “Wow. That dude’s got serious guns,” not, “Brandon’s cute and one day, he will be mine”.

Thankfully, Aki, this dynamic makes your job really simple.

If you’re really “with” Mark, then he’ll start acting like your boyfriend — calling you consistently and trying to get into your pants every chance he gets. If he doesn’t do this, it doesn’t matter whether Mark is gay.

He’s just not that into you.

Whether he’s into Brandon or Britney doesn’t really make a difference.

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  1. 1
    Karl R

    Aki said:
    “Before I knew about this situation, Mark said he wants to be with me,”
    “Mark and I are pretty much together already,”

    If Mark says he wants to be with you and the two of you are together, then it doesn’t matter whether Mark is bisexual or not. (And as long as it’s moving from “pretty much together” to “together”, then the same advice applies.) As far as I know, bisexuals are just as capable of fidelity as anyone else; my personal experience dating bisexuals certainly supports this.

    But if you want to get answers, you’ll probably get them fastest if you just ask Mark.

  2. 2

    “Mark does not seem gay. I do not know if he is bisexual, and now that I think about it, I think it’s high time I asked.”

    Yes I would think so. I would have long before I became “together” with him. Like when he first seemed interested in ME: “So what’s the deal with you and Brandon? Do you have a thing going?”

    What’s so difficult about that?

  3. 3

    Really weird. I don’t think I would move forward. Plus, I have many, many male friends. I have never heard(even in their weakest, drunkest, dumbest moment) call another man ‘cute’.

  4. 4

    @Aki, I think Karl’s advice in post #1 is the way to go. However, you might be better off, first, letting Mark know that you are interested in being in a couple with him and if not, you are just as happy to be his friend as you think he is cool. Then, ask him if he is interested in Brandon or men in general.

    Mark may not know. Mark may not answer honestly.

    The best fall back advice is Evan’s standard: look at how he treats you and ask yourself if you are happy with that.

  5. 5

    Evan’s personal story pissed me off- only because stereotyping, in general, just really pisses me off.

    Interestingly, the same thing happened to me in college. Apparently, a lot of people thought I was lesbian. I couldn’t understand why they thought this, since I had a crush on a new guy pretty much every week. Well….I found out from friends that it was because I 1) Wore my hair short at the time, and 2) Looked angry a lot. For the record, I was angry a lot at that particular time because I was going through some heavy personal issues.

    So- this is how people came to a certain decision about me 1) My haircut, and 2) An expression on my face. And of course all lesbians walk around with short hair and angry expressions all the time, right?

    Just like a straight guy is incapable of being well-rounded, empathetic, and attractive, right? Sheesh….no wonder society is in the state it’s in. Sometimes I think a nunnery is the best option for me- at least Hindu/Buddhist ascetics are unlikely to make ridiculous stereotypes about people, considering their minds are expanded and everything.

    PS- One more thing- a lot of gay men, sadly, have grown up with a lot of self-hatred because of their sexual identity. Of course, prejudice and self-hatred still do exist. But Evan’s professor said that because gay men are generally good-looking, articulate, etc. to take it as a compliment. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with that statement on its face, right? But there’s that underlying notion there, per my previous statement, that straight men are the obvious opposite. What’s the opposite of good-looking, articulate, and sensitive? Neanderthal. So it’s okay to think of straight men as fat, ugly, stupid slobs.

    Well, what if you eliminate gender here and substitute race? Say a light-skinned Puerto Rican person, for example, asks his professor why everyone thinks he’s white. The professor says, “Oh, well, white people are generally good-looking and intelligent and articulate. Take it as a compliment.” How do you think people would react to this?

    It’s the same thing here….only, because gay men have been horribly treated over the centuries, some of us think it’s okay for these ‘good’ stereotypes (if there is such a thing) to exist to ‘alleviate’ the past somewhat. I say it’s bullshit. I could go on and on about this, but I won’t because I’ll be typing forever. The real thing is, how do we solve this stereotyping problem- we’ve all seen that it does no good. I have no answers, other than to avoid making such stereotypes myself.

  6. 6

    I think there’s a little, “gay,” in all of us, isn’t there? I have observed my flamingly heterosexual man friends facebook banter to each other, “You so pretty,” etc. Meaning, the man being addressed has a, “look,” going on. I don’t think they want to get down with each other. The comments are belittling and acknowledging at the same time. “What’s with the movie star hair?” These are attractive men, irritating each other.

    Just come out with it and ask, is what I say. Decide then how you want to proceed.


  7. 8

    Some people wonder why many heterosexual men are terrified of seeming gay. Part of it is that women, probably for primal reasons, don’t want to be with men who might turn out to not be heterosexual. It’s not rare for younger men to be sexually confused. If a woman becomes attached to such a man, it could be a disaster for her. (Even if she does not get pregnant and have to worry about provisioning, it could take years for her physiological attachment to disappear.) So acting and looking in ways that aren’t clearly hetersexual can backfire for men, even when there’s preexisting female interest, like on a date.

  8. 10

    I always make homo jokes with my close guy friends and my girlfriend has never had a serious problem with it. I mean, every once in a while I’ll just go up and grab my friend’s man boob and there’s no issues.

    I tweeted this post on @RomanceTips. You’ve got a lot of good content here. Feel free to forward me what you think is your best stuff and I’d love to help promote it!

  9. 11

    First of all, your entire story sounds like a crock of shit because it’s  perfectly  written and crafted — hardly something one is used to seeing in an internet forum like this.   The fake-ness of your question notwithstanding,  there  may very well be someone out there who is in this situation.   Primarily  — there is NO SUCH THING as bisexuality as a true lifestyle outside of prison life or policies of both male and female prostitution.   Often, the very first words uttered by a gay youth will be something like, “He’s so goodlooking eve that I would even have sex with him…and I’m straight.”    It’s sad, but true.   If a guy seeks out attention from other guys or enjoys it, odds are that he is homosexual and has skillfully buried it in a mind where he hits on “chicks” or perhaps even goes so far as to take a passive role in gay sex.   He may seek oral sex with other guys and when confronted with that reality he will say things like, “My chick is cool with it.”   How many of you have seen or heard these words from the big muscle dude nobody would suspect?    Here’s the thing, you are either heterosexual or homosexual, you are never both.   Bisexuality is a fake word.   Many heterosexuals engage in homosexual behavior but there’s always a deeper issue.   Staright guys do not have sex with men.   Once they do, they have served notice tha  they  are gay

  10. 12

    It’s hard to say for men, our world has made it so hard for men to come out and unfortunately some are still stuck in the closet Personally I think you should move things slow- get his trust and hopefully you’ll get some more out of him. On the plus side at least at the end you’ll have a man or an amazing best friend . 🙂

  11. 13

    I hate to say it but I really disagree here. There are plenty of men out there who will absolutely pursue a relationship with a straight woman because deep down they don’t want to be gay, want to hide, or are but don’t know it. I dated a guy who pursued me hard then found evidence of him cheating on me with men. It happens. My old roommate was a waiter (and a gay man) and once saw a man he’d hooked up with in the gym out with his family. The man looked away uncomfortably. I appreciate that you mean well with your answer and are making an effort not to spread homophobia. I get that you’re coming from a good place. But sadly, even in 2017, the world is an imperfect place and it’s still simply really fucking hard to be gay. For me, if I go on a date with a guy and he makes a lot of nervous “I’m gay” jokes (and they tend to be persistent) I friend zone him. If he really likes you he’ll become your friend and if he *is* gay he’ll be grateful to you deep down for recognizing it, trusting your gut, and not letting him lie to the both of you.

  12. 14

    In my personal opinion, it is most likely that your boyfriend is gay but is afraid to live the gay lifestyle; and he might even be scared to admit it to himself.

    Let me explain something to you: most straight men absolutely hate being associated with anything related to homosexuality, because to them it is an offense to their manhood. Most straight men don’t even like to have gay male friends.

    I assume your boyfriend still loves to live as a straight man, to be seen as strong and viril by society, maybe he even likes girls, but he definitely likes men.He is most probably afraid because of   how society will   see him.

    I think that that sooner or later what will happen is that your man will end up being with another man (if he hasn’t been already) and will either tell everyone about it and will live a gay life, or he will remain in the closet, having secret affairs with men from time to time.

    Reality is: this guy is gay. Now, what you have to do, is decide if you want to remain with him or not.

  13. 15

    Dear Evan,

    In my opinion, for Mark to act like Aki’s boyfriend does not mean he has to constantly call her or try to get in her pants. Also, to everyone else’s who says “This guy is gay! It’s 100%!”, stop it. You don’t get to decide this guy’s sexuality, and the only one who really knows whether or not he is gay. No one else can assume this for him. So what Aki needs to do is sit down with Mark, Brandon, or both and have a dignified adult discussion. Thank you.

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