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So, I’m a straight dude, and this thread on Reddit is blowing my mind. 

Reddit user ma_damn_blueberry posed the question on r/askreddit “Straight men of Reddit: what’s the strangest thing you’ve been told not to do because “that’s gay”?”

At the time of writing the post has generated 16,000 responses, ranging from the tragic to the hilariously stupid.

Personally, I’m a millennial who was raised in the Bible belt of the United States. I’ve been very happy to see homophobia become less pronounced in our culture, but it for sure is still showing its ugly face. And it is a phobia. As in, a completely irrational fear. A fear so strong that many dare not tread anywhere near things that are considered even remotely “gay,” or “feminine,” or…well, just look at some of these examples.

1. A lot are pretty horrible instances of emotional repression.

I knew a guy who wouldn’t have a serious conversation that might cause any kind of emotion because “that’s gay”.

It couldn’t even be something nice like talking about puppies.

He also wouldn’t hug his children or his niece because that kind of affection is what women and gay guys use.

– ksstar97

2. Then of course there are the admonishments to avoid phallic foods.

I had a buddy that wouldn’t eat foods that resembled the shape of a penis.

Hotdogs, bananas, cucumbers, none of it even if it wasn’t in it’s original shape.

He was kind of a goofy dude so there’s a solid chance it was a joke and he just didn’t like those foods and they happened to have that in common, but I never knew for sure.

– millertime52

3. Or phallic…anything.

Use a straw.

Because apparently it’s like having a tiny penis in your mouth.

– PI3M3I

4. And you’d better not be remotely domestic.

Not me, but a friend of mine got dumped because his GF thought he was a closet gay.

He like having his apartment clean so he cleans it every evening and somehow, doing house chores is gay.

His new GF is thrilled tho.

– chinchenping

5. Or need something at Bed Bath & Beyond

Linen shopping. By my best friend.

That’s nice bro, but I need towels.

Deal with it.

– Shiasurasa

6. Then there were the examples of things that in a million years I would have never guessed to add to a list like this.

I was reading a book and a couple dudes called me gay.

Not for reading a book, but because I was using a bookmark.

– RJ1337

7. Wait… what? Umbrellas???

My sister told me this gem.

Her male friend said he hated being a guy because he COULDNT USE AN UMBRELLA.

Apparently it’s gay to keep yourself dry.

– BoilEmMashEmBoilEm

8. Actually, yeah, this is a thing.

My brother in law and I went to a movie.

He told me it was gay to sit next to him.

– writerintheory1382

9. And if you’re a straight man, we’d better not catch you knowing things.

I was told I must be gay because I had some knowledge about which wines are good.

– ephix

10. Haha… math is gay now??

My buddy going for his doctorate in math was working on differential equations between sets at the gym when another gym rat walked up:

Gym rat: “are you counting your reps or something?”

Buddy: “no, this is my math homework.”

Gym rat: “what, are you gay?”

– egmalone

11. Or sitting.

Cross my legs

– 2_old_2B_clever

12. Or having talents.

Play Clarinet.

I was 12, really good at the instrument, and loved it, but stopped because of the relentless teasing I got from it.

Fat boy with a girl’s instrument. Elementary school rocked.

– Bross93

13. Or dating a woman. Ummmmm…

Go dancing.

On a date with a woman.

Apparently dancing with your girlfriend is gay.

– Belteshazzar98

14. There were a lot of fashion entries.

My husband was called gay by his dad for wearing red shoes one day, and another for wearing red shorts.

I guess the color red is gay?

– buttsmcgilicutty

15. And an impressive list compiled by a single user of his own experiences.

Here is a list of absurd things I have been told not to do because they are ‘gay’ or ‘effeminate’.

Take a bath. (Apparently, men only take showers)

Drink through a straw. (Men just sip the side of the glass)

Use lotion. (Men’s skin is meant to be rough and course..?)

Use weightlifting aids e.g. belt, bands, wraps/straps, gloves (Danger and callouses are manly, I guess?)

Use weightlifting machines. (as opposed to freeweights)

Eat vegetarian / vegan / plant based. (because you ‘need’ meat for testosterone and protein)

Drive an automatic roadster. (Men drive trucks, and if they have to drive a sports car, it should be a manual)

Dye my hair. (this only applies to younger men / men going for an unnatural color, apparently)

Have anal sex with a woman. (cause, butt stuff is gay?)

Be friends with gay men. (go f*** yourself).

– ThatOneRussian

But what about you? Have you ever had an experience like this? How did you respond?

Tell us about it in the comments.