Good to see you writing about this topic, M. J. Murphy. Straight-acting is like a shadow version of drag. It’s performative, but not supportive. It doesn’t require a wardrobe, but one’s energy is suppressed.
I went really deep into this issue with a post titled, From Sissy Boys to Straight-Acting Gay Men.
From Sissy Boys to Straight-Acting Gay Men
Forgiveness and Self-Acceptance Starts with Understanding Our Gay Shame.
Many gay men fight for a need to appear straight-acting, unaware that their actions are based on patterns of behaviour developed while growing up in the closet.
This is how our brain works, specifically one of the ancient parts, the mammalian brain. Anything that appeared too feminine was a trigger to the mammalian brain to “act straight” — a learned pattern that was developed in adolescence to hide in plain sight, to not appear gay, and to protect oneself from harm.