Having been a seven-year-old soprano-singing, tap dancing little boy, I have always felt a little ‘out’. Needless to say, blending into the background wasn’t my forte. I do, however, excel at being gay. I have been called a moffie, fag and girlie, amongst others, since pre-school so naturally someone making a point of my ‘otherness’ became a great fear of mine.
I’ve come quite a way since then. I came out (for real) and for the first time in my 19 years I found a certain kinship with a group of people; I felt part of a family. The gay community felt like home to me. After all, we share a life experience and a unique understanding of one another’s lives.
I really thought that my endless attempts to fit in had come to an end when I found my gay home and for the most part that was true. That is, until I started dating. It was at this point that I realised I am a bottom (excuse the pun) feeder in the gay community. In other words, I am both fat and fem. (Gasp!)
Admittedly, when I first came out I was only interested in ‘straight acting’ gay guys because flamboyant gay people petrified me (even though I was clearly one myself). I suppose internalised homophobia is to blame for this. In time, as I grew comfortable with myself and once I had tackled this narrow homophobic attitude I came to the realisation that I have nothing in common with most straight men and that juvenile attraction I once had for ‘straight-acting’ guys was downgraded to fleeting lust.
Evidently not everyone undergoes this same thought process. As a result, many of the gay men I have encountered, both online and in clubs, are obsessed with proving their masculinity; either by spending half their waking lives in the gym or by ensuring that their voice sounds like Sean Connery’s. Every time I see a Grindr, MeetMarket or Gaydar profile saying ‘straight acting’ or ‘No Fats, No Fems’ I feel like I’m back in high school being bullied. Quite frankly, if a prospective mate is as shallow and ignorant as to stipulate ‘No Fats, No Fems’ as his only penis preference I would rather die a fat blob with my 17 cats as my only companions than pretend to be something that I am not for a slice of sweet ass.
“Clearly, being gay doesn’t make you more enlightened or tolerant than some homophobe… but, in my view, it should…”
‘Fat and Butch’ or ‘Thin and Fem’ are acceptable, but ‘Fat and Fem’ are the lowest of the low – the ‘untouchables’, so to speak. My dating life and the rest of the FF clan can attest to this fact. Dating has been one disaster after the next (although, this doesn’t make me that unique since gay men in their early 20s are still 13-year-old girls taking a crash course in romantic development). Potential lovers always end up wanting to be my best friend but never my boyfriend.
Is it just my insecurities or is this a reality? I can’t stop being fem so I better get to the gym quick. Or perhaps find that rare and elusive gay chubby chaser. I’m not saying a really sweet but morbidly obese guy is necessarily perfect husband material but I’m only about 10 kg overweight and I feel like something of a eunuch pariah.
Clearly, we gay males idolise and aspire to heteronormative masculinity rather than redefining what it means to be a man. Many gay men seem to be obsessed with having the perfect body but not many seem to be concerned about their character.
I’m forever perplexed by the many gays and old-foggie faggots who insist: “I’m gay but I’m not gay.” What does that mean? Just because you may not be flaming your flames of faggotry or screeching to the world that you like a good penis doesn’t make you superior or ‘less homosexual’. In fact, you’re just as likely to be denied certain freedoms because of your sexual orientation, regardless of your level of masculinity.
My point is not that gay men need to stop being so shallow and start finding fem fatties attractive (I’m not that delusional) but rather that when it comes to masculinity we shouldn’t be as narrow-minded as the straight community. Clearly, being gay doesn’t make you more enlightened or tolerant than some homophobe… but, in my view, it should.
Being gay means you should be a little more hesitant to make others feel like second-class citizens. We are all part of something bigger (no, stop being a size queen) – the fight for equality. A struggle in which people just like you, or who could have been you, have had their freedom snatched from their hands due to an inherent characteristic that they happen to possess.
So maybe a little tolerance for the fat and fem fags or even just a little kindness every now and then won’t deflate your giant arms. This false dichotomy within the gay community of fems vs. butch is so high school. And, really, I’m just looking to graduate.