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.
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.