Gay culture is biased against quiet and reserved guys. Often, they’re considered boring, emotionally unavailable or weird, but in today’s digital world the role of “introvert” is more popular than ever. And we all want to be popular.
I’m an introvert pretending to be an extrovert most of the time. No one wants people to have a wrong impression of themselves, which explains why when I first moved to Hollywood there was pressure to shape an appropriate image for myself.
In the gay community we seem to follow the most dominant man in the room, despite there being zero correlation between good ideas and good schmoozing. Nevertheless, a boy with the biggest personality wins every time, which is why introverts feel like they couldn’t stand a chance. But things are different.
Is it sexy to be a gay introvert? Many gay guys today act like introversion is some sort of political or fashion statement–as if their silence boosts mystery points. Frankly, I’ve seen pickles with better personalities than some.
To be fair, film and TV often exaggerate introverts by making them cliché: a writer, an artist, or tech guy with a heart of gold who wears black and writes in a journal on the subway; the sensitive soul an audience roots for. For young guys watching, it’s easy to view it not as a true reflection of themselves, but a prototypical image whose accolades they want as trophy points.
The world is built on impulse. While extroverts often fail to think before they act, an introvert gives himself time to rationalize. We need both aspects to survive successfully. With a growing existence of introverts, we might throw off the balance of life as we know it–which might not be a bad thing.
Ten years ago, bars were full of finger-snapping strangers not giving a fuck about volume, space or filters, but today everyone is on their phones or observant in a corner somewhere, attempting to be introspective. What’s next for the cosmos?
Before we go any further, let’s discuss what it means to be introverted. After all, according to research, introverts are one-third to half of the population.
Being introverted does not mean you’re depressed, antisocial or hate the world for any reason. We receive our energy from inside, like a battery, while extroverts often get their energy from outer vibes. Introverts, by their very nature, are natural thinkers, which means they create a lot. Extroverts are impulsive, which means they build. Some of us are ambiverts (a balance of both), but typically we’re more one than the other.
Introverts have to refuel our batteries more often than everyone else because we need to, not because we hate the world or because we’re sad. In fact, most introverted people I know are happier than extroverts, who tend to trick the world into thinking their happy when in reality they’re going through hell.
Introverts express joy through action and personalization, whereas extroverts typically feel pressure to show it extravagantly and publically. This is why Facebook has confused the living sh*t out of everyone.
To an introvert, social media seemed to be a gift from God. We could be social without being bombarded with noise or Debbie downers. We type an exclamation point in our status, and boom! The world might think we’re extroverted.
One of the biggest problems I’ve found is that because Facebook has turned into a portfolio to display our personality. We see it as an opportunity to be the dominant personality online, rather than in the room–extroverts and introverts are competing for the title, but it’s hardly ever genuine. The funniest people I know on social media are also the shyest.
In the dating scene, mystery is alluring. It pulls us in by making us think we’re hiding something, but introverts only open up when we trust you—if we don’t trust you, it’s professional. Is this a sexy quality? Apparently so.
Looking around today, people are embracing introversion, which I think is great. But frankly, we need extroverts in the world too! Without which we might fail to act on our thoughts, and instead choose to live in an imaginative world. Believe me, wearing black and carrying a journal as a fashion trend does not make you an introvert. It makes you a poser.
I’m grateful that we introverts are “in” now, but the sexiest quality any man will have is authenticity. If you have to pretend to be anything, you’re not as hot as you think.
Think long and hard about what makes you tick, what gives you peace, what makes you feel alive–roll with that. Till then, I’ll be doing something introspective in the corner.