1. Being part of the competitive figure skating world for 18 years exposes you to a lot of happy men. I'm not saying all male figure skaters are gay. I have some male friends that are phenomenal ice skaters and are very vocal about their sexual attraction to women.
2. Sarcastically Delicious (aka boyfriend) believes that I have a broken gay-dar. If someone tells me they play for Yankees, then I'm going to believe that they play for the Yankees. I am very trusting of my friends, so I would never feel the need to suspect that they play for the Red Sox.
3. A close friend that I've known for over a decade, and have always viewed as a model heterosexual male (despite the fact that he likes Twilight and pedicures...stupid broken gay-dar), recently said that he now plays for the Red Sox. I support his decision completely and now see that he never really played for the Yankees. But it totally shattered the image I had painted in my mind of a model straight male.
4. When I wrote my first novel, Vicky Covington used to help me edit and brainstorm my work. And she ALWAYS wanted me to make the male characters gay in Waggledance. A few years back she gave me an autographed copy of her first published book, Gathering Home. I've been busy and so I just started reading it a week ago. One of the characters in Gathering Home is named Aaron and he's gay. One of the characters in Waggledance is named Aaron....and perhaps due to the similarity in names she felt that he needed to be gay?
5. My Daddy (yes I still call him Daddy. laugh if you want. it doesn't bother me) is a pretty quite guy. Not really into sports, hunting, or home improvement- he offsets it with a passion for action movies. But Daddy really isn't a manly man.
So since my life experiences are working against me when it comes to the creation of straight male characters. I've had to come up with a list of Do's and Don't**:
1. Straight guys don't say fabulous
2. Straight guys don't vocalize if they're on Team Edward or Team Jacob.
3. When straight guys talk in YA lit it's usually direct and to the point. Less words are always better.
Mom: "How was dinner Tom?"
Straight Version of Tom: "Good."
Metro or Gay Version of Tom: "The potatoes looked a bit peaky but the chicken was fabulous."
4. Straight guys don't go shoe shopping to get over a bad break up.
5. Straight guys don't usually instigate drama.
6. The tempo of straight guy speech tends to be a bit slower than gay guy speech.
7. Straight guys don't usually like watching What Not To Wear
8. Gay men are typically vainer than straight men
Do you guys have any suggestions to add to the list?
* The list is not concrete and is no way an attempt to stereotype straight or gay men. It's just a checklist for myself to use when I'm writing a male character and his path starts to get a little crooked.
* I love gay and straight men equally.