Gays Gone Mild


A reader writes:

Your bear video has its daft charms - love the hefty dude lip-syncing to that girlish hip-hop number. As someone who used to be a "Chelsea Boy" type and is now a big old bear, I'm excited to see that the whole 90's clone movement is over - and you called it way ahead of time, Andrew.

As you've noted, one of the best things to happen to the "gay scene" lately is the emergence of the Scissor Sisters, who make it totally OK and, well, hot, to be a big bear (Babydaddy), skinny fag (Jake,) or freaky Creature of the Night (side-burn-heavy Del.)  Don't even get me started on the gorgeousness of Ana who is so not a size 0 and so much sexier for it.

Anyway, are we seeing a shift in what "gay" can mean to the wider public? I gave up on all of the "queer" glossy magazines because they promote one type of guy - chiseled, hot, white, and massively buff. Don't get me twisted - such dudes are hot. But 90 percent of us are, ahem, bulky, or balding, or have bad skin, or imperfect teeth. Once upon a time, I probably could have posed for Advocate Men - and I was miserable. Now, I weigh thirty pounds "too much", have a beard, back hair - and love life. I've got my partner, my friends, my dogs, and a new kitten. I rarely go out at night and rarely miss it. Could I be part of this new army of "regular guy/girl" homos who don't give a blot for the "scene"? Yes I am! And I'm far from the only one - whether in their twenties or sixties. Let the radical leftist "queers" call you, Camille, Bruce, and Tammy all they like - fact is, you guys speak for, well, OK, most of us!

BabyDaddy is indeed a marvel to behold. My 2005 TNR essay on the end of gay culture can be read here. My 2003 Salon essay on bear culture can be read here.