Credit: Ryan Shea

This is a topic that at this point I feel like I have exhausted over the course of three years about writing on the challenges that are present in the gay community, however, the eloquence of it for me is gone.  I have tried writing it from a “glass half” full mentality a bunch of times, with some great feedback and debate.  However, with a situation that came to life yesterday similar to a bottom trying to get it in after Chipotle, I realized that the shit has truly hit the fan and I cannot be proper anymore.  Here is it- body shaming in the gay community does nothing but make you an absolute dick, and not in a good way.


This is exactly what happened, and keep in mind, this is in no way a “woe is me” situation as I am merely the messenger in sharing the experience.  I have been an active member of Scruff for years now, as well as Growlr.  Both have a huge portion of the bear community on one or the either, and it has been a great option for men like me unlike one or two others where my weight and age are over what they are essentially looking for.  That being said, I engaged in a conversation with a rather in shape, not-scruffy dude who was simply visiting Long Island.  The conversation was rather friendly, and when I asked if he wanted to meet up while he was there, he then followed up with this:

Him: “Ur handsome but how about the body?”

Now, before I even continued with what was next, I kind of had a feeling of what was to come.  The main photo of me simply a face photo, which was my choosing cuz quite frankly I look bomb in it, and don’t feel the need sometimes to show a full body in pic in order to get a guy to message me back.  Normally, I wouldn’t even want to reply as I could feel the judgement wafting through my iPhone, but I sent him the below picture just to see what he was going to say.  This was his response.

Credit: Ryan Shea
Credit: Ryan Shea

Him: “A bear… lolol”

Me: “Why the lol?”

Him: “I see guys like u and say if u worked out and was a muscle bear then u would see how guys would be after u, and u would like that”.

Me: “I have guys after me all the time.  Muscle doesn’t define attractiveness”.

Keep in mind a couple of things.  One, this is really how he wrote things, so grammar and spelling really aren’t his forte, just like manners aren’t as well.  My comment on “guys after me all the time” sounds arrogant, however I wanted to be as blunt as possible to prove a point.  Muscle is great to have, but it doesn’t equate the only time in your life where you will be the honey to the bee.  Ignorance is bliss, especially in this case, and is rampant in a community that is hell bent on its “you can’t sit with us” mentality on how divisive it is, especially when it comes to weight.

The main question really is this- what is body shaming really doing for you in the long run?  It is sort of the same question I would ask to people who don’t want gay marriage legalized- how does this affect you?  The answer simply for both is that there is an element of power when you let someone know that you think less of them, based on your own insecurities.  And it is wrong on so many levels that I don’t even know where to begin.  Aesthetics is a huge part of our community and has been since the beginning, however as I have gotten older in Manhattan, the craving for intimacy has gone beyond the big dick/tight ass thought process, and has developed into something so much more concrete and real in that I want someone who has traits like kind, thoughtful, attentive, sweet and all things meant for something positive.  That doesn’t necessarily mean they need to have a six pack with purchase (not that that is a bad thing), but no matter what your weight is, you shouldn’t body shame someone else because they aren’t your desired fuck for the night or potential relationship.  That isn’t fair.

You know how you can get your point across without being a major dick?  Get to know them still.  They reached out to you, so at least entertain a conversation but let them know in a nice way that you aren’t interested.  You might still make someone’s day in doing so, especially when so many of us (myself included) have been brutally rejected in this community which can lead to a lot of physical and mental damage.  Stop thinking that you are above someone because of the way you look and realize that we need to be a little bit more accurate when it comes to calling ourselves a community, because these persisting issues make us the exact opposite.


  1. I think you’re sexy, shirt on or off. I’d like to rub your furry belly. Many gay men are lacking in curtousey towards others because of two things. One, they are thinking with their little head. And two, the anonymity of grindr (et al). Next subject: Ageism. It seems that I land on the wrong side of 50!

  2. first I think you are cute. love moobs and little fuzzy tummy. as for that asshole his looks will fade and oh well. I have been told the same thing, so with diet etc I lost 186 lb. i felt so good about my slf and went to the local bath house saw something i liked and the first words out of his mouth was i don’t do fat boys. I was crushed and later ended up with the hotest guy there who asshole was chasing most of the night. If some is larger look at it as there is more to love.

  3. Meeting guys on line or in person can be uncomfortable and awkward at times. Just because someone we meet doesn’t fit our idea of what we are looking for doesn’t mean rude or insensitive remarks are acceptable. Just because someone rejects you doesn’t mean you did something wrong or they were insulting. It’s just not a match. Good manners and respect go a long way.

  4. I like what you said. Working in the schools made me realize that too many guys sound so much like the students I hear in the halls. These men need to act more adult, stop all the insults and comments on others without having gotten to know someone better. If anything, you could always make a good friend.

  5. Hey there. Thank you for writing this. I thought I was the only one. I also have been rudely and brutally rejected. I’m glad to hear that there are others who are looking for more than just sex. That’s all I’ve had for over 30 years. And I’m ready for more. I’m finally evolving. And I’m trying to navigate the gay dating scene. Looking for real men who are looking for a real relationship not just a one-night stand. So thanks again for writing this and making me realized that I am not alone in this jungle

  6. Firstly, I’d like to say that I’m a young, thin, athletic gay man, and you’re my perfect type. But more importantly, even if you weren’t my type, claiming that you’re anything but perfect the way you are would be rude and unnecessary.

    It’s sad and unfortunate when people feel as if they’re doing some public service by putting someone down (whether it’s unintentional or not is really irrelevant) and telling them they need to be something they’re not in order to be desirable. It is so much easier to just let people be happy the way they are and move along if their happiness doesn’t align with your own.

    Thank you for sharing this great message. You’ve put a big smile on this stranger’s face 🙂

  7. Ryan. Eloquent. Precise. A well written piece that reaffirms that we are all different and the differences are what make us attractive to people we never expect.

    You are a darned handsome and sexy bear. One who should rightfully be proud of who you are.

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