The “New” Masculinity

July 15, 2009

I partly blame it on being naïve and only being exposed to what the media had fed me at the time, but growing up I thought that all gay men were queeny.  That was just the way it was.  I soon realized this wasn’t true but there is a school of thought, even within gay men, that the “new” masculinity that has penetrated itself into gay culture over the past couple years is false, that part of being “gay” is to accept the fact that we are not masculine… and therefore all the facial hair and “straight acting” just cover up for… well basically acting girly, sipping Cosmo’s, and learning the latest Madonna choreography. 

Well, for the most part, I find this absolutely ridiculous.  Mostly because I don’t swish into a room, enjoy shopping, or enjoy acting “bitchy.” But there are also two sides of the coin.  And besides, the latest round of homo “new masculinity” is just that… another round.  If you counted all the mustaches in the West Village from 1974 to 1979… my point would be made.  So while you may (or may not) roll your eyes when someone quotes “Sex and the City,” calls you “giiiiiirllllll,” or does a finger snap un-ironically, I may (or may not) roll my eyes when you grow that full beard, re-discover flannel like it’s 1991, or think ripe pits are hot.  See the dichotomy?  And also, hasn’t it all been done?

Is being gay about being a man?  Is it about being not-straight?  Is it even about a dick in your mouth?  It is, like a lot of things on earth, about all of that and none of that.  Individuality is awesome… but being gay (I think initially) is all about fitting in… for once.  And so much of our personal psychology is tied to that.  If there is one thing that every gay person goes through, it’s figuring out you’re “different” and therefore not fitting in while growing up.  There is something intrinsically human about wanting to be part of something, to feel like you belong.  Therefore, I think the homosexual that specifically scoffs at what he thinks is faux-masculinity is in fact the type of gay that most non-gays are used to seeing, and therefore questions his relevance in a world where gay men are free to be completely masculine, poor dancers, and think thermal underwear are a fashion option.  He’s just afraid that his basking in “fitting in” and personal (and cultural) identity are dying out. Wouldn’t you? 

But while we tear down old stereotypes, we also start new cliques. Originally, Bear Culture sprouted up in San Francisco in the 80’s from guys being fed up with the mainstream public thinking that gay = feminine.  The Broadway, the drag queens, disco, it wasn’t ALL what the community was about.  And I believe this resurgence of the movement is a response to gay characters on TV and movies, from Jack McFarland to “The Birdcage,” who were not exactly the model of machismo.  “Where are the homos like ME?!?!” I often hear.  Sure I understand that, but those work boots you have on are just heels of another color.  No?  I was recently pretty dumfounded when at a bear-ish beer blast my Kelly Clarkson selection on the jukebox was actually openly scoffed at by a dude in full bear drag, (Facial hair, blue-collar boots, Budweiser.) He literally screamed at the jukebox and made sure his Sabbath was played next.  Really dude?  Is that necessary?  I’m not asking you to like pop music, but I gander that you think there is some correlation between rock music and masculinity.  Sorry dude, but not liking Cher didn’t give me this hair on my chest.

We are continuously fighting within ourselves as to what gay should look like, based on what WE personally like.  I’m not suggesting that we all need to be attracted or even friends with every “type” in the book, but shouldn’t our rainbow include everyone?

See… I like a Cosmo every once in a while, and I also like that muscle bear over there with the bulging waistline… I like watching guys smoke, and hate smelling it. Sure I know my way around the Velvet Underground discography, but I also love the new Britney record.  I can dig you rubbing your face in my armpit… but yeah I’ll also own up to doing little man-scaping too.  I’m not going to poke fun at that guy in the homo “sports” bar with a “pitcher” and/or “catcher” t-shirt on (what, were they out of G-Star?) because despite how three-years-ago I might think that is, I bet he thinks he looks really cute in that shirt, and that makes me smile.  Yeah I started to grow a beard after I discovered Bear Culture, and yeah I have a very specific way I trim it.  I got an A in Shop in high school, and a B in Home Ec… this doesn’t mean I’m going to build a house to prove something to myself, nor does it mean I won’t make you breakfast in the morning. (I'm just not responsible for the quality.)

So while I might personally find myself identifying with the “new” homo masculinity…  I will also defend any queer that wants to be as flashy, fashion conscious, and/or “queeny” as they want.   I’ll never say that I’m “straight-acting” as a definitive statement, because in the end… a dick in your mouth isn’t straight at all, it’s like… totally gay. But gay is a lot of things… so lets celebrate them all.  Shall we?

Tags: Madonna, Bear Culture, Gay Culture, Masculinity, Queer
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Post written by Cyrus (View Author Profile)
About this author: Writer, DJ, driven, and clueless... I'm still just trying to work it all out, and hope I never do.
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Comments

Well-written. You may be interested in a book called "Androphilia: A Manifesto" by Jack Malebranche (if you haven't already read it). He can be a bit heavy-handed in his theories, but that's why it's a "manifesto" as opposed to anything else: It's his opinion. In any case, I think you'll enjoy it.

Cyrus, you hit on a lot here...and very accurately from my perspective and experience. The key to this fairly new trend of doing our best to come across as "masculine" or "straight-acting" is all about shame, I believe. I work with gay, straight, bi, trans men and it's a real struggle for most of them to live an authentic life, to create their own identity rather than adopt that of another or the most available, to embrace themselves as they are and want to be, to disarmor themselves from the religious and cultural taboos around sexuality and sex.

I've known men who plow my ass as if they are drilling for oil, men who don't know how to kiss with abandon, men who think they must be a top in order to be a "man". Straight men are discovering their ass holes as erogenous zones and buy strap on dildos for their girlfriends and wives.

Sex is about giving and receiving pleasure. Sexuality is about generating and channeling our sexual energy aka life-force in ways that expand and not limit our ability to enjoy our lives.

To adopt a role in sex play is one thing, but to adopt a role to live by is very limiting in my view. There is so very much to discover about ourselves. Why limit ourselves to trying to fit a mold and living with less than full embodiement of who we are anc can be.

Thanks, Cyrus, for this conversation.

Ken

LOL, It almost sounds like someone read my profile on RECON the leather site! I said exactly the same thing about how I felt about guys wearing that leather. I refered to it as,"nothing more than drag," with their overly muscled bodies, beer bellies, beards and such, cigars like some sort of props or something...

I don't know man, after choosing not to partake within the gay scene (bars) I realized too, it's all an attempt at basically, "comformity" hiding, what we black people call, "frontin' "=fake, not real.

In the few that I met, their legs go up quicker than a cat can like it's ass! And here in Ft. Laud./Miami, man, they're rioded-out like crazy, they aren't fooling anybody, they just simply call attention to the fact that they are in fact, GAAYYYY!!! Just watch em' walk, talk even the way they wear what they're wearing, get reaL!!!

I actually have more respect for the drag queens for being man enough to be the kind of men they really are with no apologies, now that's class!

Personally, I've always worn my Jamiacan heritage, no comformity what so ever, for anyone take it or leave it has always been my style. Thanks so very much for this article! Real men aren't afraid to be themselves.

Locksly

Locksly,

I could not have said it better myself. Especially the last few words in your message.... 'REAL MEN AREN'T AFRAID TO BE THEMSELVES". Conformity was a big issue for me when I came out in NYC back in the mid-80's. At such a young age, and in a whole new world, I was told by people (whom I considered friends), "you should not dress this way, dress this way, act this way, talk this, walk this way", etc, etc.. Ten years after coming out at that time, I took a good look back and realized how ridiculously stupid I made myself look.

Twenty years later, now in my mid 40's, I still face the issue of conformity. As an African-American male (and maybe one of these days this will be another issue in this forum as far as "conformity" is concerned) I am proud of who I am and the accomplishments I have made, and yet still bettering myself with school and many other positive things. I was seeing an individual recently who invited me to a pool party a friend of his was having.
I had to work that day so met him later on. To my surprise when I got there, he became a bit irate at my appearance. He pulled me to the side and said: "did you have to dress so so (pause for a second or two) "hood"?
"hood" I said. "Yeah you know, baggy shorts, sneakers, baseball cap. Couldn't you dress more conservatively"? People, it was a damn pool party, not dinner at Tavern on the Green. I proceeded to tell him to kiss my ass and left, never to see him again.

I brought up this little incident because in the face of conformity, many people overlook the stereotypes that can go along with them. And it is a damn shame in this community, where we are "suppose to be all in the same boat", but continue to have issues with each other. After this incident, I thank God everyday that I went through what I did back in NYC. Accept myself for who I am, and do not be what someone else expects or wants me to be. Be who I want to be.
I THINK THEREFORE I AM. Jason

nothin like Authenticity, right, Jason!

"We are all born naked, and the rest is drag"
-RuPaul

You're touching on a lot of stuff here.

Is being gay a sexual orientation or a gender performance? Is it a spectrum of gender performances? Is there really a real, live thing called "masculinity," or is it more like jazz, where we're all playing variations on themes and some of our variations are more familiar and some are more radical? Early psychiatric research into homosexuality labeled it a gender disorder. We scoff at that label now, but have we also adopted it in some ways?

Can we really call the feminine guy who survived cruelty at the hands of family, church, and peers "not a real man?" After all, he's demonstrating strength that would put a lot of men in the corner sobbing.

Can we really call the masculine guy "less than fully gay?" After all, he's got to deal with the general cultural assumption that he's something he's not, day in, day out, in a weary grind.

Can we all even choose to embrace and leave behind certain gendered assumptions about what it is to be a "real man?" Personally, I'd keep the sense of honour and personal responsibility the tradition offers, along with the ability to build things, but would prefer to jettison the aggression and misogyny that are traditional marks of what we call masculinity. If I can pick up a needle as easily as a hammer, and do my own tailoring, does that make me not a "real man?"

No -- the rest is not drag.

Cyrus, your argument is poppycock. Stating, essentially, that everything is drag reduces to "everything is anything". Yeah, some gay guys wear boots to make themselves appear masculine. But masculinity isn't concerned with appearance. Masculinity is what is innate in men.

I wear boots because they are comfortable. I wear flannel when it's cold. When anyone wears a skivvy shirt with some form of slogan, the irony is in your head, Cyrus, not the wearer's, cuz irony, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Drag, too, is in the eye of the beholder. If you wish to see drag when you see a self-described masculine man (such as myself), that is your business, but do not expect me to believe that simply because you have facility with a keyboard and too much time on your hands, your opinion is valid.

An earlier commenter mentioned the book 'Androphilia'. You could also check out the author's website: www.jackmalebranche.com. At any rate, it would behoove you to construct your arguments logically, and drop the self-righteousness.

Aggression? Without it, we would build nothing. Misogyny? I'll quit that when women (and a certain demographic of homosexuals) quit telling me I have "testosterone-poisoning".

Deke

Uh... I'm kinda dumb. Would you mind saying that in something comprehensible, like English? You claim to use precision, but I see none in evidence.

We are not arguing where the sets "masculine" and "feminine" intersect. We are saying which is the set "masculine" and which is the set "feminine". Further, we say that performance is just that -- mere performance (as in the phrase, "straight-acting"), and that, even further, one sees performance where one will see it, cuz you brought the paradigm to the party, pal.

And yes, someone was questioning my masculinity, by dint of stating that after birth, "everything is drag." I am not a construct, I am not a performer; I am a man. Dancing the Dipsey-Doodle with Derrida gets you nowhere; even Derrida himself would say so (he's on record stating that deconstruction should not be applied to sit-coms and or pop culture phenomena).

Perhaps the next step is informing me masculinity has nothing to do with males. Again, claptrap. Academic claptrap at that. And while claptrap may make for some vividly-colored tomes and articles in highly-regarded quarterlies, it has little to do with life as it is lived, and certainly nothing to do with life as it is read.

I was respondingly largely to Cyrus, but since you commented about wishing to leave aggression and misogyny alone in your redefinition of masculinity, I simply reminded you of where you'd be without 'em. I don't appreciate women (and a certain demographic of homosexuals) accusing me of "testosterone-poisoning"; it is demeaning. And I do not believe you understand what you'll receive if you wish to do without aggression; according to many theorists, not the least of which are Camille Paglia, Catherine Mackinnon and Andrea Dworkin, sex is aggression, sex is premeditated aggression, and all sex, including homosexual sex, is tantamount to rape, respectively.

Deke

1. I never accused you of having "testosterone poisoning," so why are you railing at me about that? That's a conversation that belongs between you and whoever may have made the accusation.

2. You did ask for logic, so I used philosophical terminology.

3. We are ALL participating in constructions. That's not incompatible with being human; it is, rather, being human. Without constructions, our experiences would be undifferentiated and meaningless. When I look at a chair, all my senses can give me is reflected light. The shape, the colour, recognition of the object as a chair -- that's all construction. And we all perform these constructions all the time. Right now, I'm doing it by utilising language -- another construction -- and so are you. It's "performance" because it's action that is also interaction with others. Gender's not dissimilar in that sense. It changes a bit faster than language, though. The sets are malleable and they overlap quite a lot.

4. I'd not say that masculinity has "nothing to do with males," but would say that the relationship of masculinity with maleness is less universal and less necessary than many suppose. We know this not because of academic articles, but because of observing real lives -- lives that matter. Well, at least they matter to those of us who don't insist on homogeneity. Hell, the legal definition of "male" isn't even consistent from one state to another, and issues of biology and social norms are even more complicated than legal ones.

5. What is it with you and the assumption that everything has to be universal? Can't you be happy being who you are without demanding that everyone else be a clone of you or suspecting that others are trying to make you be like them? I said that PERSONALLY, I'd like to leave a few of the traditional trappings of masculinity behind. Nobody demanded the same of you. I should think a grown man would be capable of deciding what KIND of man he wants to be on his own. Please accept my apology if I overestimated your capacity for doing so.

1. Since when does every actual man possess all the qualities that are traditionally marks of masculinity? If it's noted that the vast majority of bank robbers are male, am I also calling you a bank robber? That's just silly. Since a lot of the traditional markers of masculinity are contradictory to one another, there's no way I'd expect any one person to embody all of them. And yeah, there's some stuff that's traditionally feminine going on in every man as well. (Vice versa, too.)

Also, I'm really not seeing the link between being able to build something and aggression. Sure, using a hammer to drive a nail is hitting it, but that's not aggression. It's force, but not aggression.

2. Not true. The nature of reality can only be understood through the constructions we utilise. This does NOT mean it's all choice or that social constructions aren't real. Take money as an example -- the coins and bills in your pocket would be of very little use on a deserted island, right? And yet, they're quite useful within a community that has all agreed upon their value. It's in the agreement that their value lies -- that agreement is a social construction. Furthermore, we can't just be wealthy because we decide we are wealthy -- we have to actively manipulate this social construction to cause that to be true. So, money is very, very real, and also a social construction. This is a whole lot more Martin Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty than it is the good bishop. Gender works a lot like money -- it's a very real thing with very high stakes, but has no meaning outside what we regard its meaning as being, and that regarding is a corporate and cultural phenomenon. It's not the case that each of us gets to reinvent it anew because the only tools we have to work with in any of what we do with it is already given to us. The culture within which we find ourselves shape what we can do and we in turn can push against the boundaries and help shape the culture. (And that's not circularity because it's descriptive of phenomena, not a claim of logical causality.) The boundaries are important because they're what we push against.

3. There is no God's-eye point of view. Everything is perspectival, and thus to some degree subjective. This doesn't mean there are no truths, just that the only access we have to truths is through what we have the capacity to experience, conceive, and express. Yes, there is a physical world, and yes it frequently is not as we would prefer it to be. But we know the physical world is by means of how we construct our understanding of it.

4. Perhaps the reason you so dislike the term "performance" is the same reason a lot of people resisted it when Butler first used it -- it has a connotation of artifice or dissemblance. But that's not always the case. There are stage performances, where an actor pretends to be a character. But then there's also performance in sports. Pardon me if I get the terminology wrong, but if the pitcher performs well, then doesn't he strike out the batter? (Is it the "batter?" Or "quarterback?") Athletes perform, but are not dissembling. And when I go for a job interview, I behave differently than I do when I'm home and lounging in boxers. These are various performances, but that does not mean they're not genuine and true. I really am the competent professional I act like at the job interview, after all.

5. So what about those pesky cases when a man really isn't particularly masculine, and that's his genuine character, not dissemblance? Or what about the case of the young guy who adopts the trappings not of the man he is, but of the man he'd like to become? (There was a time when I was not a carpenter, but purchased the tools and wore the proper clothing in order to learn to be a carpenter. Was that dishonest? If I no longer do carpentry, but sometimes still wear the steel-toed boots, is that dishonest?)

6. "Lambchop?" Really? Hmmm. . . good idea for dinner. Thanks.

for such a masculine man's man, you sure do get awfully bitchy and defensive

Eye ---> beholder.

Right on, Cyrus ! If you were closer, I'd hit you on the shoulder. One of the games I enjoy playing is trying to look butch and do the cha-cha at the same time.

This whole argument is crap. One of the men before stated it correctly. If you want to find drag, you will find it. I wear the clothes I wear BECUASE they are what I like or practical for what I do. When I did go to gay bars (which is rare anymore) I didn't "change" for the ocassion. Any clothes becomes "drag" when you are dressing to be something you are not.

A drag queen in full leather attire is still a drag queen IF he is trying to be something that he is not....and yes this still applies to straight culture as well. Straight men buying Harleys and trailering them to Sturgis, pulling them behind their suv and taking on names like "Killer" when back home you are a lawyer or an accountant comes to mind. I dated a man that all he dressed in was concert t-shirts and baseball caps. I love Led Zepplin and good rock any day over club music but put him in a gay bar and he became the biggest queen I ever met with the "bitch" and "girlfriend" crap. He also told everyone he was a "top"...but could not get an erection. Is he a man, technically....is he maculine?....no, but not because he "acts" gay....he acts like anything but himself, and most of all a child. And yes, I could be comfortable in the gay scene....I just found it boring.

I am comfortable with my homosexuality and not afraid to tell people if put in the situation that my sexual orientation comes up. Some are shocked to learn that I am, others are not. I don't wear it like a big sign saying "BIG MO HERE"....when it is the one thing that defines you...well that is your issue, not mine.

So if you see me in a flannel shirt and work boots or dressed in a three piece suit....I am not dressing to impress anyone or against myself. IF YOU are wearing a flannel shirt and work boots to go clubbing because you saw it in GQ or some other trash media article about what "men" wear and feel the need to tell everyone that the plaid flannel is D&G and cost you $300......well then you made your argument for the "new masculinity".

And yes, masculinity was nothing to do with how much you bench press or the number of men (or women for that matter) that have been through your bed.....so don't confuse yourself with what it is...it is about respect for oneself and those around you. A masculine man GETS attention because he does not SEEK attention. It is being confident in oneself...not cocky. Remember that.....and yes, again this applies to gay AND straight culture

Fissurred---

There's a flaw in this argument, the position that everyone is the same beneath a variety of different costumes. Everybody, the gay community especially, loves and embraces diversity with one fatal caveat. That caveat is we all have to agree.

Dressed as a drag queen, or a construction worker, or a clone, try telling a card carrying member of the LGBT community that you perhaps voted for Mr. Bush, or support abortion, or worse than that, oppose gay marriage, and see what happens with the assumptions behind what it means to be gay.

Watch out for those dangerous 'blinders;' we've all got 'em.

Lighten up.

You guys are spending too much time typing.
Way too much.

WTF is the point of having a blog with comments if your comment is that people shouldn't comment so much?

I work with men in therapy, mostly gay men. It's very common to find two kinds of wounds to a male's natural masculine identity when he feels same-sex attraction and/or exhibits significant gender-deviant behavior.

First is the ridicule and exclusion, or worse, suffered in childhood and youth by many boys who group up gay. A sense that they don't belong to the male gender and are defective. This comes from family and peers, etc. It cuts deep because the very object of your deep desire also represents your failure and rejection. Creates a love-hate dynamic with other men, with self and with the very idea of masculinity and manhood: resentment, defense, devaluing, along with idealizing and (often passive) aggression. You can see this in some of the comments.

The other wound comes from taking on the "gay" identity, which has been powerfully formed by feminism and its critique especially of straight maleness. Having already felt excluded from the circle of men (which is sometimes caricatured as "breeder males", etc.) many gay males bond with the wounded feminine, which they often carry in themselves, and pathologize, demonize, hostilely deconstruct, marginalize or evacuate the idea of masculinity. This both satisfies a desire for revenge and creates an identification with a moral good, part of the victimhood dynamic.

In both cases, homosexual males' own claim to participation in manhood is blocked, at the very same time as his erotic desire remains fixed on the male. Hence, the phenomenon of the gay man who thinks of himself as a "good person" who transcends or scoffs at "conventional" or "oppressive" notions of gender.

My experience and opinion is that both these wounds need dealing with: gay men need to reclaim their heritage as men...along with and not against straight men, who are the overwhelming carriers of this heritage...to reclaim it from a position of fundamental honor and respect for manhood...to find their own place within the constellation of manhood. This means healing the wounds of childhood and the often self-inflicted wounds of anti-male ideology.

We are unusual men, but we are men nonetheless and our mental and spiritual health, I am convinced, requires that we face that and engage with our deepest nature, not as aliens but as exiles returning home.

PS.

These are just jottings. But I recognize that most homosexual men have a special relationship to the feminine, different from most straight males. We often encounter our own "feminine side" earlier in life and in a different way. Part of the work of developing into a (gay) man is making a healthy relationship with that element in us. It does not mean destroying it, not at all. But too many of us exhibit a kind of femininity that is either immature (the teenage girl style is pretty common) or pathological (the histrionic narcissist sadist diva-queen) and which remains unintegrated into our fundamental masculine identity, like an alien symbiote. That's what "effeminacy" is about: it's a kind of faux and distorted feminine performance which, by the way, you rarely find in healthy women! Dominated by an unintegrated feminine, too many of us become compulsive seekers of ornament, decoration and drama. It does not help our relationships with one another. For most healthy homosexual men, the "feminine" shows up in his gift for affiliation of all kinds, as a naturally warm, playful, creative and connected energy that colors but does not overwhelm his man's identity. Just wanted to add this point.

I've noticed a difference in gender performance of feminine gay men and women too. While I get the impression that you see it as pathological and immature (and it certainly is in some cases!), I don't think it's always that way. There are a great many feminine gay men who are quite mature, capable, and genuine. They're just also feminine.

Why is this such a problem? Why do people respond to the notion that this can be as though it's an attack on their own masculinity? Why the assumption that there's only one way, or a few ways, to be men? "Men are strong" is a pretty much ubiquitous gender norm. But doesn't it also take strength to be feminine, when that is what one really is, in a world that tries to beat men down for being feminine? So, is that fulfilling or eschewing the norm?

No flannel shirts here, except around the house. Why? Because I don't look good in them. Does wearing what I look good in make me a poseur, pathological, a fake, a drag queen? (And what the hell is wrong with drag queens, anyway? I like drag queens.) My boots take polish, but don't shine, because I wore them while doing a whole lot of manual labour. Am I less of a man since I no longer do that kind of work? Have I somehow lost the "right" to wear those boots? I like them, and don't want to throw them away until they fall off my feet. (Also, I'm a little guy, so the steel toes can give me an advantage if I need to defend myself. Does thinking of this make me somehow pathological?)

DM

I am sure with counselling many gay men that you have seen a great deal of issues. As stated with several of the comments above, we have all seen men try to be more "masculine"...gay or straight. You can choose to do whatever you want and dress however you please, but it is not what makes you "masculine" or a man. Put a man in any "costume" and it will change nothing...but again it comes down to the individual.

I grew up in a small town so you had to be tough as nails to survive anyway. Do I feel I was beaten down or looked down on as a man who was gay? No. I was always one to do my own thing and have remained that way all of my life. I did not drink or do drugs when the kids around me did....I chose and made my own path. Was it always easy? No, but life isn't always going to be. Do I prefer the company of men. Yes, but I want to be around men, not boys or those with emotional problems. Men take responsibility for their actions and understand their roles in society and do not think the world owes them something. Many of my male friends are straight, but I hold them to just as high a moral and ethical standard as I would any gay man. Have no respect for yourself or others, we will not be friends. If you are in a relationship (with a man or a woman) and mess around on the side....we will not be friends. I was raised to show respect to those around me...but that is a two way street.

To me I have found gay life to be more like junior high. The guys stand in their cliques and judge the new members as they come through the door. My personal experience has been that gay men can be more cruel and more unfriendly than any of their straight counterparts. If you don't fit in and do as they do, you are not accepted by the "herd". If you want to wear makeup and womens clothes...I will be nice to you...am I going to be interested...no. If I have turned you down, then be nice about it. I wasn't mean so you shouldn't be either. If you look like a "masculine man" but treat everyone around you like crap....again, I will be nice to you, but I am not going to want to have anything to do with you either. The key element here is respect.

I am sure there are men out there that "struggle" with their sexuality, but when you give up all the crap and be the person you are...then alot of this goes away. If you are trying to make yourself more "manly", it usually works the other way. And besides if you show confidence, who cares what others think. If you have to seek attention or other's approval, that's when you should be asking yourself if you are happy. I get along with most everybody, but it does not mean I like everyone either.

I hope that you can help those that need it, but again if they are searching for validation of their position in life, then giving a label to some condition is not going to help either. I do realize there are those who have had it tough, but if you continue to let the world hold you down than nothing for you will change. And yes I see alot of self-destructive fools who sit there and tell me they are happy with their lives but are deluding themselves with booze, drugs, and sex. Have you ever met someone into "bug chasing"...I have. I cannot count the number of men I have met that were an addict of some sort. How about gay men and search and search for straight married men? If it is linked to them being gay, then they need to deal with it and move on. These things do not make them men. And heaven forbid you say you are a republican or against gay marriage....you will be lynched!

And just because we are gay men does not mean that we live by different rules....until we all act like adults, nothing will change and no one will become the men they desire to be...

Agree or disagree it is your choice. But being a "man" is more than an act or a piece of clothing. Once this is learned, all of society will benefit.

Dude

DrM --

Well spoke. Fooken well spoke.

Deke

Thank you, sir.

I really appretiate, Rupal's comment,

as it pertains to cultural- modes of colonialism/historically of course, i.e. the Native Amers., being forced into the lifestyle/clothing/language of their murderers...

Almost a century later, after the last free Natives, then it was fashionable to dress like them, the swade-fringed jackets/headbands of the 60's.

Not to mention, the those fair-skinned blacks that were, "passing" as white, for various reasons of freedom, i.e their art forms ect., Lena Horn comes to mind.

I can just imagine the narcissistic joy it must have given white Amer. to see all the,
"exotic cultures" trying to immulate there/our oppressors.

Black women straightening their hair; men stopped with that nonsense, it was called "processed hair." The 60's rolled around and we dawned the, "natural/afros," hooped earings and dashikis.

And now, being here in Miami, I watch these rediculous white women getting their lips, "plumped" guess chicken-lips are out; never-mind the fact their facial structers
most often just don't support their desired results!

Big round asses are in now, I 've heard them referred to as, "African booties"
flat is out!

Then there's some of the Asian women, getting there eye's done to look more European.
It's a sick and insecure world, mostly.

There's a lot of different kinds of drag...one thing though, it's all firmly affixed to repressive, colonialism, go on and marinate in that for awhile. It's all a drag...
Locksly

HIPPIE FRINGE ORIGINATED WITH NATIVE AMERICANS! You heard it here first.

Locksly writes: "I really appretiate, Rupal's comment,

as it pertains to cultural- modes of colonialism/historically of course, i.e. the Native Amers., being forced into the lifestyle/clothing/language of their murderers...

Almost a century later, after the last free Natives, then it was fashionable to dress like them, the swade-fringed jackets/headbands of the 60's.

Not to mention, the those fair-skinned blacks that were, "passing" as white, for reasons of freedom, i.e their art forms ect., Lena Horn comes to mind.

Locksly, you change the subject in the above paragraph. You describe those fair-skinned blacks passing for white, yet lump them in with fashion. I'd always wondered why some black folks grew light skin; now I know that it's fashion. Thank you for clearing up the matter.

Alas, your woolly-headed theorizing is poppycock. If the oppressed truly adopt the fashion language of their oppressors, how do you explain those gay men into rubber? I'm not ready to count Jacques Cousteau as an oppressor of gay people.

You commit the all-or-nothing fallacy. The cases you present must be understood on their individual circumstances, if indeed they exist at all (Asian women having their eyes reshaped; present an actual case, please).

But the following lines of yours were by far the worst: "And now, being here in Miami, I watch these rediculous white women getting their lips, "plumped" guess chicken-lips are out; never-mind the fact their facial structers (sic) most often just don't support their desired results!"

Perhaps you are too young, though I imagine you are simply too stupid, to recall a time when black women were discouraged from studying ballet. The stated reason: their bodies don't have the proper structure, they can't form or hold the positions correctly, their bodies have the wrong lines. And now, you spout the same racist garbage, though aimed at white women, and, I daresay, feel justified about it. BTW, that particular instance of bigotry in dance begat the Dance Theater of Harlem.

Please, if you're going to play armchair social scientist, stay in your armchair.

Deke

Hey, Deke, we agree about something!

Eek.

*grin*

Deke

...and just what do you agree with as far as what that idiot had to say? I've seen tons of documentries on these subjects or seen it in real life! Get a backbone already, be your own man, he's beaten your ass like a school bully and you just cave in so he'll like you! That's just flat out weak on your part and he knows it! He's proven NOTHING! All you people need do is look at history like I did! Get a broader sense! I think the "Color" aspect was just too in your face; l think there's this sense of hate/guilt...and it's funny really, because the subject covers people trying in the ways that they do; to survive, fit-in ect. It looks like I hit some raw nerves in the process with you folks...in the many ways of drag, pity.

I know life is a life long school, but this is just childish, so much for diversity, common sense, thinking for your self, exchanging ideas, point of views, learning from one another...you just.. give in and take sides as oppose to being able to stand on your own...against that obviously angry, twisted, problem ridden person, whom hasn't grown up yet.

To each, his own....kind, perhaps? Is that what I've wandered in to guys, some sort of unsaid club, perhaps? It smells like that.

Deke (Dick),

I think you just more interested in being right; holding court. I just pointed out the many ways you've not thought of...and now you feel as though I've taken something from you, lol, how small of you!

And then you agree about the Native American, you didn't disagree.

People in the past as well as present have always adopted the ways of their oppressors to simply survive, to be execpted, to thrive. That is what alot of folks hetero/homo; whatever have and are doing.

Look at the gay movie stars whom are still staging photo shots, to seem hetero, and some aren't; there's no contest here, Dick, just broader views of....the many kinds of drag. Go rent the movie, "The life and times of William Hanes."

Now, as far as some Asian women changing the shape of their eyes? It was a Tv show, Dick, what, you think I made it up and now have to prove something to you? WTF is wrong with you, man?

It's called, "Cultural Drag," Dick, you'll just have to get use to the fact, you don't know everything, oh, I'm 48yrs of age, there's nothing stupid about me, Dick, just more culturally aware then you seem to be and thus bring another kind of drag to lightl. Your way to narrow minded and bitter omg! Hatefully so, Dick!

The Black women did not change their body structures either did they, Dick? fucking asshole, as long as we're slinging names around. They created their own ballet/dance companies!

Wooly-headed? LOL!, why don't you just get to it and call me what you really want to call me and get it over with, go ahead I dare you! Bitter twisted bitch! You've proven me wrong on nothing I've said, Dick! Nothing at all!

Not even the, "Black people growing light skin shit," my mother is very fair-skinned due to the fact her grandfolks were rapped, it's called (Bi-racial) they don't grow it! You really are an idiot this time and everyone on here knows that now, if not before! You didn't even think, you just reacted, is that why your no longer in the services? AWOL, lol, I left during the, "Don't ask, don't tell yrs, lol.

I, point out the many kinds of, "drag" on a much broader scale; you just flip your lid, my God man, get a grip!

You know, there's this side of me that would just LOVE to get face to face with you, Dick, as a 3rd degree blk-belt...being 6'10, 270....we could have at it then couldn't we Dick, lol, just like a fight club or something....

I've loved lots of men of different ethnicities, so I'm not really a racist, but guys like you, damn, everyone, in this whole wide world would be so much better off without your kind of influences...that is what this has turned into and not on my side either, ofcourse, if you take issue with what I've pointed out in the many ways I have.

Locksly -- interesting that you believe yourself privy to my thoughts. You speak of being right as though it were something distasteful, something to be avoided.

You rant as though I turned you down for a date. The following is most irksome: "Wooly-headed? LOL!, why don't you just get to it and call me what you really want to call me and get it over with, go ahead I dare you! Bitter twisted bitch! You've proven me wrong on nothing I've said, Dick! Nothing at all!"

Aside from the uncalled-for ad hominem attacks (calling me a "bitter twisted bitch" and doing your level best not to refer to me by name -- Dick, not Deke (the latter is what folks call me; the former is a colloquialism for an unpleasant person) -- you accuse me of desiring to call you a racist epithet. You take issue with the phrase "woolly-headed", and dare me to call you a name.

Let's take a look at the word woolly-headed:

1. having hair of a woolly texture or appearance.
2. marked by fuzzy thinking; muddleheaded; dim-witted.
(provided by dictionary.com)

Nothing there about racist epithets. Aside from a descriptor for lambs and other fleece-bearing creatures, the only other definition is "marked by fuzzy thinking; muddleheaded: dim-witted."

Now, in a previous post, I said that those who wish to see drag will see it everywhere. They do so because drag colors their perspective; i.e. if indeed "everything is drag", all you will see is "drag". In this case, you are seeing your very own "Cultural Drag" (to use your words) by seeing racist overtones where there are none. I'm not going to call you a name; it is beneath me. You are doing it quite capably to yourself, by yourself.

Locksly, take your prejudice and your venom elsewhere. It does not belong here.

Deke

Wooly headed; lambs wool, lol, no, your right, actually, bravo!

However refering to, "light skinned Black people growing white skin,"that is racist and sick! And what is a drag; it's you not being able to except the truth about history and other well proven points of view, but rather your own hateful venom spewing rhetoric.

There's nothing distasteful with being right, so,

my question to is, you why would you literally scoff at the rightousness of the history I mentioned; just because it didn't come from you? That, is what's distasteful with 'your'
sense of being right!

You not capable of excepting other people as being, "right," as though everything is only about you, why?

You've still not disproven the facts I've mentioned as wrong either, you only mocked them, why?

A "Dick" refers in this case, to what you are, nothing more than a small appendage...trying to be a big man, you'll always be a small, Dick-headed being.

Hell, anybody and everybodies privy to your thoughts, your a real simple read is what you don't realize...just basically bitter about your own failiars in life, insecurity.

Go back and read you own shit you wrote single handedly...always on the attack, you seem scared, desperate...you've got this, "hyper masculine, confident" shit going on, LOL!

DRAG, there it is! Your doing you own sense of drag, LOL!
So are you btm or top? I know; your arse showing, your a
power btm! that's what your pic is all about, right? Ok, gotcha

Ad-hominem attacks? LOL! You seem to be the one with all the emotionally charged attacks, first hand, with everyone! Your the one that called me stupid right off, or do you remember that?

You seem to be stuck on your own self worship, there's plenty of your type down here in Maimi, are you kidding me! Your as cheap and common as they come, a penny a dozen!

AS IF!

I would never-ever date someone like you, not ever, your quite miserable, you snap & bite at people on here as though your trying to defend something...insecurity on a monumental scale!
Keep it coming, fool!

Wooly, I like that!

Yeah, what a silly silly topic and waste of everyone's time - geez. I just don't get the entire conversation here - everyone is different - everyone dresses the way they want to - I just don't understand the importance of this subject here. To me it would be like posting a discussion about why the sky is blue - I mean I suppose that it is important - I just don't see the point of it. And then guys get on here and go on and on defending their opinions - so so silly and such a waste of time I think.

And you know what else,

I'm not going to deny that FACT that yes! As an Amer., I am a racist, just like most Amers. are, you included (that's what I sensed and pounced on!) and mostly everybody else, man, you can deny that all you want. Folks of earthier hues; ours is, "cause and affect," yours is programming, just like mostly white folks in paticular.

The words, "Colonialism, European narcissistic behavior," I used fired your asre up, but am I lying? NO!

If, your going to be honest in what you claim to know about history, but wait a minute, you never denied that either...face it, man, I have, these four hundred years has been the most painful waste of humanities time/resourses across the board. And actually, in spite of a great wealth of history inwhich to reflect upon all the mistakes made in old Europe; the new world; the same old world bullshit on a new contenent, superiority in short, greed, destruction, yeah, man, I confess, what about you?

But then there's are white PHD's in their field; saying the same damn things I am, which astounds me...it's becoming a universal shout-out! I hear em'!

Try looking at, "whatawaytogomovie.com" and see what Amer., people have bought into as a norm of lifestyle! I know you saw th, Michael Moore movies/documentries, to me he's abrother on another level most of you will never come close too, just not humanitarian/moral enough perhaps...

I watched the, "BBC" one day when I was living in Mpls, Minnesota, they said, " the avg. Black man is more likely to wind-up being homeless, why? Because he's Black, what about the avg. white man? I'm not blamming BBC of course! This country wouldn't be that honest.

I also watch,"60 minutes" and twice, it was a repeat show, they said, "The future for Blacks Amer., looks bleak," now you know what my question was...

But you know what, we're all pawns here, you all do realize that, right? I didn't make up the term, "social climbers, white trash," ect...

The same upper echlons (blue-bloods) of this country whom created the middle class are dismantling it, I think purposely, after all; two thirds of Black Amer., had made it to
middle-class status.

I'm not the one in denial, nor on a learning curve here, it's always been divide and concur, but Whites always got alittle more out of it than people of color...I'm really fucking pissed off about these things, I not going to lie, why the hell should I?

And fucking White fags are just as bad as White racists heteros and you know some, I'm sure,
in denial that you are...in the same boats, "United we stand, divided we're are falling," and that's a drag!

I recently had conversation with a Cuban man, I told him, there are those very powerful societies behind the scenes at work you know. They're of Northern European ancestry they realized the United States, (their country) is running out of "[filtered word]s," you Latin people are to replace our dwindling numbers as slaves of various sorts, you may give them a run for their money; as you always have, lol, they're way ahead of all the sleeping people,

"Never shout at sleep walking people, they may fall and break their necks"

I'm quite dissapointed in this Countries love of hate is the problem with me, way to few of you don't see what is coming, there's just too much to say on these subjects, it's too emmense!

People are so very insecure, they sense something, but they're not sure exactly what.
I'm really impatient for real change is what I am, and you would be too.

Tired of book smart, life dumb fucks, is the problem!

Locksly: one more paranoid ranting pre-fab professional race-victim, who, by the way, could spend a little time learning grammar and spelling.

Been Around,

The whole 'informed' world is paranoid, are nuts and blind? Un-informed no doudt, and your worried about my grammer and spelling?!!! I speak the way I fucking like, not the way you like or anyone for that matter!

You fool! This whole damn conversation is about victimization, are you kidding me? Where the hell have you been? Head up your arse somewhere...

You are victims as well, don't you see that? It's the very reason gay men are trying to be so manly, fear of victimization/vulnerability, that's what this is all about, dummy! I'm really amazed at all this stupidity fear of thruth, it just came from the wrong source for you no doudt!

There's tons of "white" victims as well across the board! Don't you know anything, people are loosing their life saving, homes, health care...your fucking right I'm ranting, the next generations future is at stake, ranting? What the fuck is it going to take for you idiots.

RANTING? It's what we've all been doing on here anyway, ranting, that's why the moderator started this conversation, so are you going to just go along with useless attacks, or add something useful to this ranting, I'm no victim on here whatsoever, but rather, a victim among other victims of sorts, BIOTCH!

Divide and concur (sic)... I kinda like that one.

Locksly, let's take a look at what I wrote:

>HIPPIE FRINGE ORIGINATED WITH NATIVE AMERICANS! You heard it here first.

This was written as a jest. You do not see it as a jest; lord knows why. Onward --

>Locksly writes: "I really appretiate, Rupal's comment,

>>as it pertains to cultural- modes of colonialism/historically of course, i.e. the Native Amers., >>being forced into the lifestyle/clothing/language of their murderers...

>>Almost a century later, after the last free Natives, then it was fashionable to dress like >>them, the swade-fringed jackets/headbands of the 60's.

>>Not to mention, the those fair-skinned blacks that were, "passing" as white, for reasons of >>freedom, i.e their art forms ect., Lena Horn comes to mind.

>Locksly, you change the subject in the above paragraph. You describe those fair-skinned >blacks passing for white, yet lump them in with fashion. I'd always wondered why some black >folks grew light skin; now I know that it's fashion. Thank you for clearing up the matter.

This is one of those strange occasions when one is forced to explain the patently obvious. Locksly, I was making fun of the brazenly illogical statements you made. Honestly, a people growing skin of a lighter shade for *fashion*? You actually believed it serious; you detected no facetiousness in my comments at all. Ya took yourself so very seriously. And now, well, another commenter has pointed out what's going on in your head. A wiser man than I said it best: "The lady doth protest too much."

Deke

You! Said they grew lighter grew skin for fashion reason! Not me! Wtf are you talking about? That's not at all what I said! Go back and get your facts straight man!

I said they passed for wht because they could further their artistic careers that way! Fool!
you mocked me, that was not in just! And you couldn't tell the truth if you tried! I can not believe you, psychopathic is what you are!

Most guys are more man than you; smarter too! That, you've proven,"lady who complains too much," your self, is that all oyu have is cliches? try something more original!

LOL!!! trying to be slick and acting really sick, man. I made my point very clear, at the onset of this ranting session, ok? Dick, I speak good old fashioned every day english, not spinning, twisting, none that!

You made it perfectly clear your just one more psychopath. I just pointed out some things that just kicked you arse, took you by surprise is all, offended you and apparently others as well.

Every thing has it roots in history that is going on today, I just clarified it for you; you undesratand that perfectly now, your just squirming is all...

Wooley

All the grammer and spelling in the world has NOT made you right, though, see....I just don't understand why we had to go through all of this at all? The facts are indeed there, doesn't matter where I got them from, the point is, is that they exist isn't it?

Wooly

Tell us, Locksly, why did Michael Jackson want to become white? Was it his sexual desire for youngsters? I saw it all on TV, and that's what they said it was, right on TV, so is that why you want to be white?

LOL, Dickie baby, I think at this point, your starting to make me laugh!

I left the Corporations about, well, actually in 01", I grew my dreds and they flipped! This was in Minnesota, I left there in 03' I decided I'd adopt a more Bohemian look in rebellion to trying to fit in, so, you see I 've lived that trying to "fit-in conservative look" bullshit; which is why I speak so very passionately.

I think the different shades of the "human race" only compliment each other, personally, it's the Creators gift among many!

I'm normally the shade of a brown paper bag, but since being here in Florida, I spend a great deal of time in the sun, on the nude beach, lol, I think I actually look better darker, like that of a...Hershey bar.

The funny thing to me is, well, it's really not funny, but rather tragic; the Island people and Southern States born Black people will walk by and look at me like I'm crazy, I am, lol, I heard these people say of them selves, "I'm black enough," they actually are ashamed of their own, Creator given beauty! They're still dealing with the, "House [filtered word], Field [filtered word]" shit!

I've only gotten closer to my own history and heritage; that history before, the advent of the European of course, as such, I recorded this documentry called, "Black Kindoms of the Nile" Dr. L. Gates Jr., the things that are just NOT in the history books, damn!

I have lots of materials that explains how the world actually became populated, basically, PHD's of their field now know that there was originally 300 to 400 Africans that migrated North and Northeast from central Afrika (it's original spelling), that created the world of living color before you now, lol.

I've ran into a number Geneticists; once when I was 19, and this woman asked me if I knew what tribe of African I am, of course I didn't! She said, "your related to a very old tribe, the length and proportions of your limbs to trunk ratio, your facial structure."

Just last year a ran into another one saying the same thing!

All other tribes of humans came about because of Black Ancestry, we're all Africans, so, the awnser is....a resonding no, lol, I'd never want to be White...

I think an experiment would be fun though, just to see the relative ease inwhich I would have moving up and through the ranks of society, it would be fun! Only to reveal my real self, someone should do a reality show like that actually...document it, and show it! Michael Moore kind of thing, lol...

I'm just gonna go along with your inquiry, Dickie, just to see where your headed with this, you could only learn from this...I'll see to it, lol, that you get something from this.

Now as for MJ, I can't really speak to that, because, I can't really say what was going on with him, but if you've ever seem burn victims, the area burned is always lighter than it was as a result of the burn, he was brown-brown, beautiful little cat! So, he had to even up the tones,
I saw this discused too on TV, but I wonder if maybe he could have done a skin graft, and wouldn't have had to look white.

But, there also was a lot of psychological damage from his fucking father as well, so who can say exactly if that was his aim to be white.

But personally, except for the small number of White people, they are really good people but not merely enough, I think "White-Colonialism" seems to be the scurge of the rest of the world of peoples of color, "Spiritually" speaking. No I'd never want to be responsible for such damage to this "Mother Earth."

But here's something as well for you all to look at: www.The Strecker Memorandum. com, or go to the search engine, www.ask. com

This will give you some to work on,

yours truely,
Wooly

Tell us about the legendary Cleopatra and her beautiful black skin.

Oh! so you too, know better than that bullshit Hollywood put on the screen? Bravo!

However, I'm done with you on this subject, Dick, much to everyone's relief no doudt, lol, can't really blame them either.

But more importantly, I've grown bored with kicking you arse on here, but I never back down from a fight with the ignorance of hate-evil,...you'd better choose wisely, Dick, you can't serve good and evil, none of us can. Make your choice and go from there, Dcik, begin again!

In certain ways as I've illistrated; we're in the same boat, don't continue to make color the issue, cause it's just a trick, so in that, I'm no longer a victim/slave in the spiritual/psychological
sense, there's still time for you, the universe has it's arms open for you.

Those of good karma are my brothas and sistas, don't matter what their color/cultural back grounds are, I know you feel me on this, Dick, lol...I sense your starting to open your mind, Dick. The, "light of spiritually will always conqur all" But don't confuse that with the Bilbe either!

Locksly wrote, annent Cleopatra being black:

"Oh! so you too, know better than that bullshit Hollywood put on the screen? Bravo!"

Cleopatra's parents were Greek, Macedonian Greek at that. That means she was white. That's right -- Cleopatra was a white woman, not a black woman. No African heritage at all; not even any Egyptian heritage.

I've emptied my clip. I'm tired of shooting fish in a barrel. Strecker Memorandum, honestly.

Peter L. Townsend, please stop sending harassing emails to me.

Deke

Dickhead, I said nothing of her heritage, I just knew you'd go there, lol, you just jumped to the conclusion I'd say that.

You haven't shot anything off, but your mouth, lol. I merely made the comment, about Hollywood's bullshit, but since you mention it; all was not correct with there version of the dipliction...once again, you've won nothing at all.

But naturally, as you yourself said earlier, "Um, you are kinda dumb," no your REALLY dum, and as someone else said, "bitchy!"

And as I've said, psychopathic, small-minded; ego as wide as the ocean, shallow as a cookie sheet, power bottom! It was fun rattling you little cage, sending mail, but don't worry little girl I won't send you anymore, since you said please, lol!

I too, recieved mail, mentioning how sick it was for you to ask me if I wanted to be white so I could mess with kids, you really turned off a lot of guys on that one! You shot yourself, in you own cage, the height of madness...there are doctors standing by for you, lol.

Peter L. Townsend (Wooly)

GREAT POST CYRUS........

Enjoyed reading your point of view; it gave me more insight for my own journey to self-acceptance...

I'm thinking it comes much easier when one learns to accept others "as they are" without criticism or over analyzing. At least, that's what I'm choosing to get out of your blog!

Really appreciate your writing, thank you for sharing it.

-Mark, Brooklyn NY

Wow, this thread has gone pretty far afield.

Getting back to the original blog entry, I could understand the complaints if the guys who liked metal and didn't trim their pubes were the big oppressive majority and were squeezing you out of the bar. But in fact, the reverse has happened. I've gone to a number of local bear events since my partner died, and the world has changed since I went to my first "bear hug" in the early 90s before I met him. At the time, the bear scene was a reaction to none of us fitting into mainstream gay culture. It was guys like me, who wanted to be around other guys like us and not have to put up a front or pretend to be something we weren't. Now, for better or worse, bears are part of mainstream gay culture. We don't have to seek out "bear hugs" in someone's apartment because there's a huge bear run within 300 miles every weekend of the year. The club kids of 15 years ago are the bears of today, except their tastes haven't changed, just their looks.

And those of us who were misfits 15 years ago are still, by and large, misfits. We don't fit into straight society because we're gay, and I personally find all the talking about what their kids did last week to be really, really tedious. But we don't fit into gay society either, because we genuinely have no interest in Kelly Clarkson (or anything else to do with American Idol), men who wear perfume, or drag. I personally don't like country music, beer or football, and my pie crust is pretty good, so it's not like I'm picking my interests based on whether straight guys do it. I like progressive rock, hard rock and indie pop, and bowling, and bondage, and video games, and science fiction, and the way a man smells. I liked those things when I was 15 years old and I still like them at 40. They don't make me straighter or butcher than you. They make me an oddball who will get blank stares no matter which of my favorite songs I pick at karaoke (if any of them are even in the book.)

I admire that guy who put the Sabbath on your jukebox for his ability to tilt at windmills, because we are an off-colored gay drop in a big gay bucket. The only reason I think there's even anyone else like me still around is because a few bar nights ago, "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" came up on the jukebox and I didn't pick it. But not everyone who dislikes stuff that a lot of gay men like dislikes it because of some internal homophobia. Some of us prefer Black Sabbath because Black Sabbath is fucking awesome.

So by all means, be what you need to be, but the next time you feel slighted by someone you think is playing butch, ask yourself who the oppressor really is here. The truth is that we are drowning in a sea of you.

Hey Cyrus,

Thanks for making me think.

I have come to conclude that masculinity is a nebulous concept, and very difficult to define precisely.

Most men have it in varying amounts.

I try to be masculine, but I don't genuinely believe that it's my right to judge other men on this basis.

By the way, do we need to get a moderator here?
This thread has turned into a flame war.

You can contact me by email or on the website.

Bill

LOL! Flame war... that's what some would prefer to call it, I quickly saw another element in what became an argument, something else altogether...

It's funny the ways you can flush-out the real but hidden mindsets of people; but is eventually revealed, during heated discussions, lol.

I think it is a good subject; perhaps there should be a moderator too.

No one should have to be put on the defense for their contributions, even if shocking, even if your in denial, face with some sense of a learning curve in a subject.

I mean, what I got out of this subject is: that sense of vulnerability=fear, wanting to belong, yeah I got it, only more than most, so I came with a broader spectrum of "Drag," how/why it manifests itself physically, mentally/psychologically.

I still, define a man by his actions during any given moment, having the willingness of conviction/bravery and stand by the side of goodness, fairness, to be his authentic self
in times when it is most difficult too; times of trial.

Locksly (Wooly)

I agree with these comments but want to add something about defending the right to difference. I was born, raised and came out in NYC. In the post-Giuliani, thoroughly gentrified city these days, difference in "gay culture" has been largely marginalized by exactly the "Sex in the City," "Will and Grace," "Desperate Housewives" female-identified demographic among homosexual men described above with ever fewer exceptions. What's missing in most commentaries on this phenomenon is its relation to class privilege and dynamics. This particular culture is largely a upper middle-class construct, with all the hidden prejudices and exclusions of that class. This is why gay affects among working or poor classes, as well among peoples of color, are often very different and more varied than among the people the author discusses. The proliferation of female-identified norms among gay men in big cities is closely tied to gentrification, displacement of other classes, class and to some degree ethnic homogeneity among middle and upper-middle class gay men who are its cutting edge. Note that there are rarely any working or lower class gay men in media images the author identifies at the beginning of this comments, virtually none of color ("Noah's Ark" excepted, but even that centers around feminized, middle class gay men) . The intersection of class privilege with so-called gay culture and identity is key to understanding the disappearance of difference in centers of gay life these days but is generally ignored. As are most issues of class in American society.