What Is "Masculine" and Where Do You Fall on the Spectrum?
Few things scream "masculine" like a rough sport like rugby. National Public Radio interviewed gay rugby players about what counts as masculine and found evolving definitions. Take a quick read and see where you are on the spectrum.
"I would say in a lot of ways, I definitely carry myself as a man," says Jeremy Ballard, 33, who plays with the Colorado Rush, a gay rugby team in Denver. "I feel like I'm a man, but I definitely have feminine qualities. Like my voice tends to be more feminine. I'm emotional."
Player Fabio Castro says, "There's all different types and shades of masculinity. Just because somebody listens to Mariah [Carey] doesn't mean that they're not going to kick your ass on the field. So many different shades of masculinity, and I've learned that ... it's OK to be who you are."
Teammate Mike Fuller, 30, says his family and friends imprinted on him a clear distinction between straight men and gay men. "The idea that I had in my head of what a gay guy was, was a drag queen," he says. "That's what I thought I was supposed to be. ... If I'm gay, then I'm going to have to start wearing a dress at some point — and I have," he says, laughing.
For rugby player Skyler Meyer, at 21, the team's youngest player, coming out of the closet meant his sexuality was settled, but his gender — the way he held himself and interacted with others — was still in flux.
"I fell into the stereotypes," Meyer says. "I didn't have any big gay role models. I grew up always wanting to be a lawyer, and I realized I was gay and was like, 'Oh, well now I have to be a hair stylist or something.' And it was just devastating to me," he says with a laugh.
So our question for our readers is, exactly what is "masculine" to you?
* Butching it up on the field.
* Having the balls to be femme.
* Does it even matter today?