Feminine gay men are still stereotyped as bottoms, the receptive partner in anal sex. A two-year longitudinal study found that the longer gay men were out of the closet, the more likely they were to become versatile or tops. When he first came out, he was convinced that he was too skinny, too effeminate, that bottoms would think he was one of them.
My boyfriend noticed recently that I still lower my voice an octave whenever I order drinks. So, his sophomore year, he started watching his male teachers for their default positions, deliberately standing with his feet wide, his arms at his sides. These masculinity norms exert a toll on everyone, even their perpetrators.
statinsiosa.tk Feminine gay men are at higher risk of suicide, loneliness and mental illness. Masculine gay men, for their part, are more anxious, have more risky sex and use drugs and tobacco with greater frequency. One study investigating why living in the gay community increases depression found that the effect only showed up in masculine gay guys. The second reason the gay community acts as a unique stressor on its members is not about why we reject each other, but how. In the last 10 years, traditional gay spaces—bars, nightclubs, bathhouses—have begun to disappear, and have been replaced by social media.
At least 70 percent of gay men now use hookup apps like Grindr and Scruff to meet each other. In , around 20 percent of gay couples met online. By , that was up to 70 percent. Meanwhile, the share of gay couples who met through friends dropped from 30 percent to 12 percent. And yes, those are problems. But the real effect of the apps is quieter, less remarked-upon and, in a way, more profound: For many of us, they have become the primary way we interact with other gay people. It feels good in the moment, but nothing ever comes of it, and those messages stop coming after a few days.
It is that they are almost perfectly designed to underline our negative beliefs about ourselves. In interviews that Elder, the post-traumatic stress researcher, conducted with gay men in , he found that 90 percent said they wanted a partner who was tall, young, white, muscular and masculine. For the vast majority of us who barely meet one of those criteria, much less all five, the hookup apps merely provide an efficient way to feel ugly. John, the former consultant, is 27, 6-foot-1 and has a six-pack you can see through his wool sweater.
Vincent, who runs counseling sessions with black and Latino men through the San Francisco Department of Public Health, says the apps give racial minorities two forms of feedback: It is, like mine, mostly hellos he has sent out to no reply. None of this is new, of course. Maybe you end up with a friend out of it, or at least something that becomes a positive social experience. It sucks, but what are you gonna do?
But the downside is that they put all this prejudice out there. What the apps reinforce, or perhaps simply accelerate, is the adult version of what Pachankis calls the Best Little Boy in the World Hypothesis. As kids, growing up in the closet makes us more likely to concentrate our self-worth into whatever the outside world wants us to be—good at sports, good at school, whatever. As adults, the social norms in our own community pressure us to concentrate our self-worth even further—into our looks, our masculinity, our sexual performance.
Then we wake up at 40, exhausted, and we wonder, Is that all there is? And then the depression comes. He has published four books on gay culture and has interviewed men dying of HIV, recovering from party drugs and struggling to plan their own weddings. He sat Halkitis and his husband down on the couch and announced he was gay.
James grew up in Queens, a beloved member of a big, affectionate, liberal family. He went to a public school with openly gay kids. Over the years, James had convinced himself that he would never come out. So I thought those were my two options: James remembers the exact moment he decided to go into the closet. He must have been 10 or 11, dragged on a vacation to Long Island by his parents. I realize, the second he says it, that he is describing the same revelation I had at his age, the same grief.
Mine was in Halkitis says his was in So what are we supposed to do about it?
When we think of marriage laws or hate crime prohibitions, we tend to think of them as protections of our rights. One of the most striking studies I found described the spike in anxiety and depression among gay men in and , the years when 14 states passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. Gay men in those states showed a 37 percent increase in mood disorders, a 42 percent increase in alcoholism and a percent increase in generalized anxiety disorder. The laws were symbolic. They increased though less dramatically among gay people across the entire country.
The campaign to make us suffer worked. Now square that with the fact that our country recently elected a bright orange Demogorgon whose administration is publicly, eagerly attempting to reverse every single gain the gay community has made in the last 20 years. Any discussion of gay mental health has to start with what happens in schools. Only around 30 percent of school districts in the country have anti-bullying policies that specifically mention LGBTQ kids, and thousands of other districts have policies that prevent teachers from speaking about homosexuality in a positive way.
These restrictions make it so much harder for kids to cope with their minority stress. For the last four years, Nicholas Heck, a researcher at Marquette University, has been running support groups for gay kids in high schools. He walks them through their interactions with their classmates, their teachers and their parents, and tries to help them separate garden-variety teenage stress from the kind they get due to their sexuality. One of his kids, for example, was under pressure from his parents to major in art rather than finance.
His parents meant well—they were just trying to encourage him into a field where he would encounter fewer homophobes—but he was already anxious: If he gave up on finance, was that surrendering to stigma? If he went into art and still got bullied, could he tell his parents about it? The trick, Heck says, is getting kids to ask these questions openly, because one of the hallmark symptoms of minority stress is avoidance. Kids hear derogatory comments in the hall so they decide to walk down another one, or they put in earbuds.
They ask a teacher for help and get shrugged off, so they stop looking for safe adults altogether. But the kids in the study, Heck says, are already starting to reject the responsibility they used to take on when they got bullied. Then, there were a few articles, like one in Queerty, which made the app into a place for straight men looking for other straight men to get oral sex in secret.
There you go then. Most of the people I chatted to on there said that they identified as gay. People have called it an app for straight men because of the design, the logo, the name, the fact that interactions include 'fist-bumps'. But maybe that kind of behaviour doesn't have to be restricted to the 'straight' male community.
After all, isn't that, in itself, just conforming to another socially-constructed idea of gender and sexuality? This app has caused loads of media speculation because, in some ways, it all seems so confusing. People have taken it as an app for confused people. Maybe we're just thinking about it too much though. Maybe it's all pretty straightforward. Like BRO's mission statement puts it, a place, "for men that are interested in meeting other men… as simple as that".
Like I'm doing it all in secret. That's not because I'm a homophobe who doesn't want to be tarnished with homosexuality. It's because I'm in a happy relationship and I wouldn't want the missus or her mates catching me on there I think that's all it is, anyway. I was 'marriage-shamed' for getting engaged at Gay conversion therapy: All Together Now: And I need you to be an obvious guy.
What exactly is fem and what is masc remains a constant debate. And what is too fem? These things seems to change from individual to individual and be more about personal preference and perception. I think everyone, regardless of their gender, sexuality, age, etc will have some behaviours, actions that are interpreted as Masculine or Feminine. Some will have a lot more one way or the other, but there is generally at least a bit of both.
Jeremy is telling me this from a hospital bed, six stories above Seattle. I disagree. We built up 32, Facebook fans before launch. Log in No account? You might finally be able to chat with Facebook friends without Messenger. For the vast majority of us who barely meet one of those criteria, much less all five, the hookup apps merely provide an efficient way to feel ugly.
This is also culture, region, even individual specific as what is seen as masculine by some is seen as feminine by others. I change the oil on the cars, mow the lawns, but also do the laundry and am more open with my emotions. He does lots of handy man stuff around the home but also loves cooking and is artistic.