Wise & Young

Monday, March 06, 2006

Black Masc?

So many times in conversation, online, and even at gatherings where there are gay Black males, the notion of masculinity comes in to play into the forefront. Seems as if for so many gay black males they are either trying to prove their masculinity since their lifestyle and/or romantic, sexual behaviors would seem incongruent to their masculinity. It also seems as if for a good amount of men, their ideal is someone who is not just masculine but hyper-masculine. This begs three questions: what is the fixation with hyper-masculinity, what is considered masculine or hyper-masculine, and does someone who acts hyper-masculine really even masculine?

Not just in the gay Black male community, but in all gay communities masculinity is held in high regard, many times people say they only want to deal with those are masculine, which I have come to find out means someone who is non-effeminate. But in the gay Black male community it seems to no just be non-effeminate but someone who people are not “clockable”. Meaning those who folks would be surprised to find out that they were gay or involved in homosexual activities, due to the way they carry themselves, and their appearance. But why does it even matter, one reason is that on some level gay men, especially gay Black men who grew up in an homophobic environment, feel as if they are doing something wrong, and being around people who they feel are not “masculine” enough and by being with someone who is hyper-masculine or “unclockable” frees them of that “guilt” to a degree. Another reason is that since these are gay men, they want someone who is going to typify what they desire, a man, and nothing more is going to typify that than someone who excludes what they consider to be the most extreme version of one.

With all this said, what is really masculine as opposed to hyper-masculine? In my view, masculine is someone who is not effeminate, one thing I really cannot stand is when a guy refers to other guys as girl. It just rubs me, the wrong way and I don’t consider someone who does that masculine or at least that act masculine, whereas for someone else that may have no bearing on their perception of masculinity. In other words, masculinity and hyper-masculinity are very fluid and personal, thereby making it hard to define. Some things that I have noticed is that perception is key, to being viewed as masculine. An example of this is that one day I went to this club/bar, and I was dressed in some diesel jeans, and a polo shirt, and I got a few dirty looks from people, and this one guy came up to me, and started a conversation by saying the following “ Man, I love me some fem boys”. Those who know me know that I am not. So I gave him the blankest look and for a few days I was perplexed, as to why he thought that. Was it the way I was standing, was it b/c I looked scared, or my manner of dress. Then about a month later, I decided to stop into a nearby bar/club, I had already taken a shower and whatnot, and I threw on some sweats, and headed there. I get there, and within five minutes I notice about three guys checking me out. One of them actually started a conversation and we spoke, and while we spoke some effeminate man with a purse came in. This guy who was talking to me looked at that guy with total disgust, and mentioned that it’s so hard to find masculine brothas in this area. Then it dawned on me, this time I was being perceived as masculine. Why the change? Because perception is key, everyone has their own ideals about masculinity for a lot of black men, I theorize, since they were raised in a female led household without a strong male presence, they come to take what pop culture deems as black male masculinity and theorize that all black men should be that way.

What happens when that hyper-masculine guy you thought you were talking to or dating, upon closer inspection is not as hyper-masculine or even masculine as they portrayed themselves to be? Do you get upset with them for putting forth an image that they thought would attract more people to them, other than being themselves? Or do you fault yourself for being able to tell who is real and who is fake? Too many times in this life people feel the need to put on fronts and dawn a persona that is basically a bastardized version of the ideal to which they both exalt and simultaneously represses who they really are.

Just my thoughts.

3 Comments:

  • Deep thoughts lol

    By Blogger Honey-Libra, at 3:36 PM  

  • That was deep.

    People should be true to themselves.

    By Blogger LUVIN ME, at 10:16 AM  

  • I couldn't get through this whole thing because the yellow letters on white was killing my eyes :-(.....anyway I agree that you should be who you are despite others around you

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:43 PM  

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