The Stereotype Of The Gay Male Nurse
“Look there’s a male nurse. He’s probably gay.” That whispered conversation and a million others like it are taking place around the world, everywhere and anywhere a male nurse might be working, or living. Though the politicians and evangelists like to say things like enlightened society, and tolerance, well sometimes the message is slow trickling down to the rest of the public.
There are actually male nurses who are gay and not ashamed of the fact. They tend to experience the stereotype firsthand and some of them speculated as to why it still exists, and so prominently. Nursing has been seen as a woman’s profession for a very long time. Statistically it still is. Over 2.8 million of the employed nurses across the nation are women. Only 180,000 or so are men.
Then there is also the fact that nursing, no matter how many degrees they hand out, is always going to be seen as what is called a subservient profession. This basically means that nurses will always be perceived as a sub group within the medical profession. Most people see nurses working with doctors. Therefore it logically follows in their minds that any man doing this job must like being seen as a woman in the professional or must like being subservient. And so they automatically think “gay”.
Male nurses, gay or otherwise, seriously resent this stereotype. They feel, and rightfully so, that it shouldn’t make a difference. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with how a person performs at a job. If it did, well that’s a failing in the person, and that happens anyway, regardless. Male nurses work as nurses because they love what they do. They do it because they have learned they can be good at it, and that there are a lot of opportunities out there for nurses from all walks of life,
In all four branches of the military combined, men make up over thirty five percent of the nursing staff. After leaving the military, these men often move into nursing careers at home. This is what they have been training for it only makes sense to try and find work at what you are good at.
The stereotype that male nurses are gay, or that nursing attracts mostly gay males is a ludicrous and antiquated misconception that was founded by a religious right that feared what it didn’t understand. There wouldn’t be any reason for a stereotype at all if the world stopped looking at gay men in such an awkward light in the first place. They are only people trying to make their way in the world. If others would spend less time caring how other people got along this world would be a lot better off.
The male nurses employed in nursing today are dedicated professionals who are willing to step outside the box. They realize two things, one that nursing needs more qualified professionals in every field of medicine. It wouldn’t matter if a nurse was gay, male or one-legged, as long as they had the training and the willingness to do the work, they would probably find employment quickly. And last but not least it makes no difference if a nurse is gay, not gay, black, yellow, red or green. A nurse is a nurse.
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