Here’s the thing: I love being a gay man. I’m proud to be out of the closet and living my dreams in New York City. But I’m not always proud of our community and the things we allow to go on.
As gay men we are so used to being victims of hate and most of us didn’t have the easiest time growing up being the different one. So logically, you’d expect that we are all truly empathetic towards anyone who faces discrimination or bullying, right? Well, not when it comes to the way we judge other gay men.
We use dating as an excuse to be bullies.
It’s something that I don’t think anyone ever talks about in the gay community but we are all aware of it. We’re superficial. Open up Grindr and you’ll see it as clear as day. Thousands of torsos and profiles that say things like “Looking for white guys only. No blacks. No fats. Masc only” or “masc guy looking for same” or “No fats or fems.” When it comes to what we’re looking for, so many of us become bullies.
I find it so hypocritical of our community in the past few weeks from the tragedy in Orlando to what I feel was the greatest NYC Pride week ever that I still open up these dating apps and see the same type of cruel, judgmental language being spewed by individuals who believe that only the toned, masculine, and lighter skinned men are worth their time. I can’t help but imagine these are the same gay men who just a short time ago were cheering on gay men and women of all shapes, sizes, and creeds as they marched in the parade.
So what about the gay man with a few extra pounds or the gay man who has a higher pitched voice or the gay man who is African American? Do they not have a place in the gay dating world?
We preach all this unity and togetherness but at the same time we are promoting the same hate and bullying that made some of us cry and contemplate suicide as kids growing up.
No one is perfect, but a community full of people who have faced so much discrimination throughout their lives should be leading the charge against the vicious cycle of bullying. We should appreciate one another for what we have in common and spend less time pointing out each others’ flaws.
So I say why not take a chance on the chubby white boy with a sense of humor, I might not be the straight-acting torso but let’s be honest: that guy is never going to be up for sipping wine out of the bottle on a Friday night while watching Golden Girls reruns, am I right?