alright, here's the deal -- if you WANT to start riding then start riding!! Quit worrying about what others think. Part of the allure of horses and the heritage of horsepeople is our fiercely independent and adventuresome spirits....we(most of us) don't really care what others think about us. We care about doing things properly and will seek help to be a better horse rider/owner/eventer/roper etc., BUT, we don't give a rat's arse about what they may or may not think about our chosen sport!!
So, again, if YOU WANT to ride, then ride!!!
I agree. I would have posted on this thread earlier, but it is honestly very annoying.
OP, if you think you might like riding and you want to learn, then do it. You have gotten pages of replies ensuring you that riding is not a "girl" sport, and there are tons of examples of professional riders to prove this.
The people that might think you are gay because you ride are most likely the type of people who will think you are gay for another reason. I can't speak for every rider, but I know that I personally do not go around labeling every male rider as gay just because they ride. That is stupid. That is just like labeling every male dancer gay, or labeling every female football or basketball player lesbian.
People will think what they will about you. It is up to you to determine if you really want to bother caring what they think of you, or if you want to live your life and learn to experience and enjoy new things.
There have been both male and female riders for both English and Western disciplines at all of the barns I have boarded in the past and the present.