Real Men

As you may have noticed from some of my Facebook postings, I have recently started taking on isms and shame in the MSM (men who have sex with men) community.

To show you where I stand on the issue (in a short online hookup site blurb), here is the text from my profile on Adam4Adam:

Sober Vegan in HK
35, 6’1″, 190lb, 35w. Average, Brown, Some Body Hair, White. Looking for:Friendship.
Wanna read something fun?
Our community is under attack around the world. We are killed, persecuted, and demonized as a group. A lot of people just want us gone.
But we don’t see ourselves as a community. We are twinks or jocks or masc or femme or “old” or young or poz or “clean”.
If we could get over our bullshit of “masc only” and “no one over [insert age]” and “not into black dudes, sorry just a preference” and learned that we all NEED each other — maybe we could be UNMESSABLE WITH as a community.
Let’s unite. Who’s in?
===
Into Iceland, Veganism, fighting ISMs, and making the world a better place. (And the Oxford comma.)
Smoke No, Drink No, Drugs No.
Tonight I received a message from a user whose profile pics are headless, with the kinda body that would make a weaker me throw my ethics out the window and say “Fuck yeah!  You looking?”  He is 43 years old, 6’1″, 200 pounds, blonde, and selected “Athletic” as his body type (and his pics back this up).
Here is what he wrote me:
Hey dude . . .youre very handsome. I know I have “only into masc guys” in my profile. Not meant to be divisive. Just trying to be upfront about who I am compatible with. But I agree we should all be on the same side. There are enough haters out here without us doing it to ourselves.
For this blog post, I feel my reply to him stands alone:

 

Thanks for bringing this up.
Here’s where I challenge you to think deeper.
“Just trying to be up front about who I am compatible with.”
You don’t know that.
You don’t know that — because someone doesn’t fit your idea of masculinity — you’re not compatible with them.
And if you’re not compatible with someone because of their masculinity — that’s about you. Not about them.
And when I say “that’s about you”, I don’t mean in a pat-on-the-back “that’s just who you are” kind of way.
I mean you have a hang up about your own masculinity. Your own homosexuality.
Do you wanna carry that hangup with you for the rest of your life?
And at what cost?
At the cost of displaying a public profile in which someone who was bullied in school for being a sissy — now comes here to a community of his own — and is AGAIN told he’s not good enough?
Because like it or not — YOU ARE contributing to that.
You ARE telling guys who have shame about their feminine side “Yes, you SHOUDL be ashamed of that. I don’t want to know you. You are unattractive to me.” Perhaps not in so many words, but the impact is precisely the same.
——
Perhaps you don’t resonate with anything I’ve said above.
If so — then try this on……
Can you really not endure a little unwanted attention? If someone hits up and isn’t your ideal — really just HOW hard is it not to respond?
Guys hit me up all the time who I’m not into. (Seems the ONLY ones who hit me up are those I’m not into, but that’s a different story.) I don’t engage. I don’t tell them why I’m not into them. I just… don’t… respond… And then no conversation needs to be had where I try to explain to them why I’m not into them. Nobody needs to hear that from me.
—–
Lastly, your profile also states “Lookin for real guys”
Real?
So what are the guys who don’t meet your standards? Are they NOT somehow REAL guys?
Their very status as MEN is the very thing that YOU and ME and THEY have ALL put up with our entire lives as gay men (or at the very least, as men who have sex with men). Are you REALLY going to take to this forum and perpetuate this?
I applaud you if you’ve made it through this entire email. And I do challenge you to take a hard look at the impact your words are having on OUR community.
And I’ll end with this. As an activist who has been on the front lines fighting for our mutual equality, I’ll tell you that the people I see MOST fighting for you and I are the drag queens, the femme guys, the gender queer, and those who will not fit your idea of “real men.”
In my book, these are the only REAL men I’ve known. The rest are just overgrown boys.
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