As we had one kiki after another, I felt increasingly comfortable with my sexuality.
But I also learned that being true to yourself can come with challenges.
Queer men who oblige get to establish a false sense of protection from “fitting in.” I’ve unfortunately experienced both the consequences and the rewards of this dynamic.
During my first year of college, I met one of my best friends, whom I’ll refer to as "Ethan." Ethan and I are both gay, and we bonded through confiding in one another about our lives.
Fellas who lack self-esteem — marked by poor posture and an “effeminate” demeanor — topped the women’s turn-off list.
Men, however, seemed to prefer gals who walk a fine line between fit and curvy — but definitely not skinny or fat.
The phrase excludes feminine and androgynous queer individuals — a type of exclusion that speaks to a long legacy of internalized homophobia and misogyny both in the gay community as well as in broader American society.
Ingrained homophobia teaches us to accept and normalize relationships that fit into a heterosexist framework and oppress queerness, while ingrained misogyny simultaneously teaches us to privilege masculinity over femininity.
I unknowingly reaped the benefits of not challenging gender expectations.“Beautiful People members, through a democratic rating system, filter out the undesirables, in order to keep their dating community beautiful,” Hodge tells Mercury Press.It was just three years ago that I was a high school student ready to explore the realm of internet dating.“When I couldn’t get voted back on, it was a blow,” Hodge says.“It wasn’t good enough to just be told your application wasn’t successful, you want to know why.” Still, he maintains that the site, which has 750,000 members and accepts fewer than 15 percent of applicants, is as fair as they come.