In-your-face homosexuals: huh?

Note: I’m not interested in debating homosexuality or gay marriage here. I’m cool with gays, I don’t think it’s a sin, and I’ll gladly support gay marriages just to hork off the religious right. :wink:

With that out of the way…

I was watching the latest episode of “30 Days” the other night. For those who don’t know, this is a limited-run series by Morgajn “Supersize Me” Spurlock on FX, where he puts people in “fish out of water” scenarios for 30 days.

The episode in question had Ryan, a God-fearing heterosexual from Michigan(?), living for 30 days with a gay roommate in San Francisco’s gay-predominant Castro district. By the end of the experiment, Ryan admitted he had some old stereotypes debunked, and was showing pictures of his trip to his family at home – one picture featured a San Francisco Gay Pride parade, with a bare-chested guy wearing a leather facemask marching down the street, and his mother making eye-rolling “Oh my God” expressions.

Anyway, that leads into my question: why do some (emphasis on some) homosexuals seem to revel in dressing up and acting in shocking, in-your-face-type styles? From the same episode in question, Ryan and his new roommate visited a gay bar named “Daddy’s” a few times, where (some of?) the bartenders walked around wearing nothing more than a pair of BVDs, and some folks were wearing fake prostetic yard-long “accessories.”

I mean, I can understand holding hands with your partner and marching or protesting in a quest for equal rights, but that can be done in a sensible pair of jeans and a T-shirt; the bare-chest-leather-straps-and-studs-flaunting eludes me. Is it a case of deliberately dressing and acting outrageously to provoke a response from straights? Is it some aspect of gay pride that I’ve missed? Is it selective editing from the folks who made the documentary? Or is it just something to wear because it feels comfy?

Sometimes…yes. I mean, c’mon. Think back to anytime in your life people have ostracized or criticized you for your dress, appearance, beliefs, lifestyle, shoes, etc. One of the basic human reactions is to then go to the extreme, just to piss them off! We’ve all done it. Hell, long hair was a pain in the ass, but it annoyed my father, so let it grow! :smiley:

Same stuff, different day.

I’m guessing you don’t get out to tractor pulls much if you think this behavior is limited to homosexuals…

The “in your face” brand of gay could come from all sorts of things.

If you’ve been intimidated by years of societal messages telling you what you can’t help feeling is wrong, you’d probably feel like pushing back after you realize it isn’t.

Maybe it’s nice to torment the tormentor.

Maybe it’s a way to force people to deal with you and your agenda when they’ve been avoiding that.

Whereer it comes from, I think it fills a needed spot on some sort of spectrum. Any big issue has a range of supporters and detractors including a few extreme opinions and a great many moderate ones. There will be some messages the extreme ones get out that nobody else does. All this variety helps maximize the number of ideas getting tried, which tends to lead to better solutions.

Maybe there are as many reasons for doing the “in your face” bit as there are people doing it.

Whatever, they’re welcome and appreciated here. And so are you - bless your heart for wanting to hork off the religious right. Good people doing good things is what advances humanity.

I think it’s human nature to go to extremes when simpler modes are not allowed or looked down-upon.

Is this really a GQ? In any case, aren’t you applying a bit of a double standard here? I’ll wager you don’t consider it “shocking” or “in-your-face” when female waitstaff in a casino or nightclub wear bikinis or similarly skimpy clothing. Or when women dress skimpy and sexy for a parade or other public event. Do you think the females ought to be wearing “a sensible pair of jeans and a T-shirt” instead of being so “shocking” and “deliberately outrageous” in their appearance?

You’re just not used to seeing males flaunting their bodies in public in the way that women are routinely expected to do. I get kind of tired of hearing straight men fuss about gay men’s immodest dress as if it necessarily must be some kind of aggressive attempt to “revel” in “deliberately dressing and acting outrageously to provoke a response”.

If you heard somebody questioning women’s immodest dress in the same way, and wondering why the women are trying to be so “shocking” and “outrageous” and “in-your-face” by “dressing up” in their tiny tops and all the rest of what they’re not wearing, you’d probably just roll your eyes and label them an old prude.

Yeah sure, some gay men are doubtless just trying to freak out the heteros, for the various reasons suggested above. But many of them are doubtless just trying to have fun showing off their bodies and their sexuality, and attracting admiration. If you’re not shocked by women doing that, why be shocked when men do?

**Kimstu ** makes very valid points. I think we’re straitjacketed by our expectations of men.

There is, however, a hilarious Onion article from a few years ago titled something like “Gay Pride Parade Puts Gay Rights Back 20 Years”, with quotes like “I really thought they were people just like us, until I saw the giant dildo synchronized swimming competition” or something similar.

(bolding mine) A pal of mine used to be a bartender in a gay bar in New York. He was rather well built. When he worked shirtless his tips went through the roof. He made nearly 200k a year in that job. And he was married. With children. And straight.

Anaamika: I think we’re straitjacketed by our expectations of men.

In this culture, at least. That’s one of the reasons that Bollywood movies are fun: they’re not afraid to show male actors in deliberately seductive, alluring ways that in American movies tend to be reserved for actresses. American male movie stars are allowed to look tough and strong and virile, but they’re not supposed to flaunt and preen and show off their sexy outfits in the way that female stars do. That’s too “gay” or something.

Zsofia: “I really thought they were people just like us, until I saw the giant dildo synchronized swimming competition” or something similar.

Yeah, that was a funny article, but that’s exactly the sort of reaction I’m talking about. The average American heterosexual expectation really is that “people just like us” means, among other things, “people who don’t dress skimpy or flaunt their bodies in deliberately sexy ways if they happen to be male”.

I completely reject the notion that gay men need to conform to this unwritten heterosexual code of “appropriate” male behavior in order to be truly accepted in our society. In fact, I’m rooting for the opposite effect, where straight men loosen up a bit and stop being afraid of looking as though they’re trying to be sexy. We’re seeing the start of this trend a little bit in the much-talked-about “metrosexual” style, IMO.

So there you go, rjung: it’s not that the gay guys need to put their shirts on, it’s that you need to take yours off. I bet now you’re sorry you ever started this thread. :wink:

I’d take my shirt off to get the ball rolling, but the world isn’t quite ready for that much fish-belly white skin to be exposed all at once. :smiley:

I find it ironic that they want the gov’t out of their bedroom yet want to bring their bedroom into the public.

Well, they’re here.

They’re queer.
Get used to it.

You didn’t ask about the more femme types, but that’s more my experience of being called “in your face,” so I’ll go at it from that angle:[ul][li]Some men – of any orientation – are naturally “femme,” and some of us who are gay feel more comfortable expressing it than our straight counterparts might. [/li][li]Some of us feel the community is more open and accepting, and allows more power to be creative with clothes and personality.[/li][li]For some of us, gender-bending is part of a queer culture – and I do maintain that such a thing exists in spite of denials from many queer people. Dare I say it – drag and camp are traditional.[/ul][/li]
As for the leather types mentioned in your OP, some sub-communities within the community feel stepped upon even by their queer brethern, and seek to declare that they are unashamed to all parties. I suspect the leather pride people probably fit into that category.

That plus a Pride parade is a carnival, and carnival means costume.

I doubt my bedroom would fit on a float.

I have never actually anyone having sex in a parade, and as for skin and near-nudity, that’s nothing you couldn’t see on cable (though all heterosexual in that context). Really, are the leather queens really showing anything more than you’d see on Baywatch?

Well, yeah. Like the idea that they should sleep with women! :cool:

But really, it’s all about social context… a women getting silly in public is not the same as a woman wearing a bikini and playing volleyball at the beach.

I’m as open as the next guy, and gaydom in and of itself isn’t uncomfortable, but some of the extravagencies of some of them is quite uncomfortable. And that’s not really anti-gay – it woudn’t be cool if it were a straight dude or a woman of any sexual persuasion. The fact that such behavior is identified with gays is either (1) unfortunate or (2) seems to be self-defeating in the agenda to have gays more widely accepted in society, no? Oh, what do I mean by such behavior? Well, ask yourself what makes you uncomfortable. It’s different for everybody, and maybe there’s nothing that affects you.

I love the Onion, but I guess they took that story out of their archives. I found it at this other website tho.

And Bryan, I think the quote you’re looking for is:

They’re here! They’re queer! They don’t want any more bears!

And of course I mean all of the above when done in a context meant to intentially provoke reactions. When on Castro street, do as do the Castrati. :wink:

I imagine when gays do that in parades, they are lodging a protest against the unofficial “manly dress code” to which most straight men adhere, and which has been getting more and more modest and boring for about the past 15 years. If you watch old movies from the 70s and 80s, it’s literally astonishing now how much more free men used to be to show some skin. Workout gear, street shorts, trunks, and so on were revealing compared to the XXXL stuff worn today. And all this was considered perfectly ordinary and normal. You didn’t say I think that guy’s…and wave your hand significantly…just because the guy was wearing short shorts.

I guess you have never been to a strip club, lap dance joint or Korean bar. ;j ;j :stuck_out_tongue: