I was perusing my social media the other day when I came across a list of gay stereotypes with men pictured next to them.
After going through the very judgmental grouping, something I took instant notice of is that there wasn’t a single guy from the pack that was husky or even bigger than a 32 pant size.
Yes, lists like this are silly and usually only involve an emoji response after you read them, but it’s part of a "bigger problem" I continue to notice in how men of size are still excluded in today’s gay society.
There are many examples of this that resonate in the media and every day life. In all of the primary gay series out there, there has been one character I can remember that featured a bigger dude (Daniel Franzese on Looking) without making his weight a major factor.
Fat jokes, whether serious or joking, are still a constant fixture on shows like Will & Grace especially from Jack (Sean Hayes) who constantly makes fun of husky men. I hope they give him a storyline at some point where he falls for a bigger guy just to see how that transpires.
Even on the most popular reality show competition out there, RuPaul's Drag Race, the queens of size are still separated from everyone else due to their weight. A debate over if a big girl can really win this show still happens to this day as they haven't crowned one yet.
Look at how a lot of the porn awards operate. Men who are nominated in main categories are never bears. If they are, they have a six-pack. Will a husky dude who performs well on screen ever see the day where he gets a Performer of the Year nomination?
This sort of issue happens in real life as well. Bears are still a niche. We are still a separate category where if you’re into us, it’s a fetish. The norm of the muscle dudes still exists even though we’ve made many strides to normalize us as much as possible.
And it does happen in gay bars and events. A popular bear party in NYC used to include husky dudes as part of their gogo dancer lineup. Now we’ve been downgraded as “hosts.” I used to perform/dance at them and was told by many guys there that they wish they saw me onstage.
I took them saying this as two ways: flattering and a big hit of reality. A lot of men (all kinds) are terrified to be viewed and judged that way, where I could care less. Seeing someone like me up there could means that in a way, we belong, as we should given that we are part of this community.
The question remains over who is to blame for this existing today. Is it the media, who endlessly shove photos in our faces of what they think is a good looking man? Is it our community, who comes together for major things like marriage equality but separates when it comes to who we hang out with?
I’m curious to know if this will ever change, where all body types can be seen as the norm and covers of gay and straight mags can feature men that don’t have a six pack with purchase. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.
But, instead of asking for it, I and other writes have posted a variety of pieces on Instinct that do highlight the bear body, the bigger boys, the pretty pounds. We know that we are part of the media and if we are asking for changes in the media, we need to start at home. It's just as fun covering the bears and bigger boys in the gay/bi/queer community. Here are just a couple found when searching for "bear hottie" in our database, but there are many others. We love all our bears, twinks, and everything between. Let's show all the rainbow flavors and body types out there.
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.