Michael Henry and Jeremy Howard are enjoying a perfectly social distanced walk in the park when they come upon a couple of heterosexual “homies who like to push the limits of their friendships together” on social media.
To Henry, the hot straight dudes on Instagram or TikTok who show off their wares for clicks and follows are “gay baiting.”
But all Howard sees is just “a straight guy who takes videos with other straight guys in homoerotic situations for gay men’s attention, validation, and social media engagement purposes.”
Henry translates that as “following a TikTok trend” but Howard is a bit more generous.
“I think that what they are doing is showing that being gay is interesting, cool, and trendy,” says a clearly enthralled Howard.
Henry wonders if that’s basically a form of cultural appropriation, but Howard disagrees (until he doesn’t).
“They’re just privileged people who are co-opting queer culture for their own use, benefit, and financial gain,” explains an increasingly moist Howard. “And it helps that they are so hot.”
Clearly, a point is being made here.
We all know there are lots of gay men who follow certain InstaHunks for the momentary eye-candy. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Sometimes, though, finding out one of these hotties is straight and clearly playing to the gays for their own gain (more clicks/followers = more endorsement deals) can burst a bit of the Insta-Illusion.
Tell us what you think, readers. Do straight social media figures who play up to queer men make a “joke” of the community, or are they “destigmatizing straight men being affectionate with each other?”
Or a combination of both?
By the way, Henry adds a disclaimer on YouTube: “The men playing the straight influencers (Franko Stevens and Bryan Anderson) are actually partners who live together which is why I felt comfortable having them be in close quarters with each other.”