Slate.com’s J. Bryan Lowder wrote an article called “Meet the Gay Bros”. His article discusses what everyone stereotypically imagines when they think of a homosexual man, and what Lowder experiences when he goes out on the town with the opposite of society’s perceived stereotypical man. The author tells his audience about his experience hanging out with the group called “Gaybros”, and how this group turns society’s definition of “gay” upside down.
Lowder discusses further in his article the narrow definition that mainstream culture gives to what it means to be gay. The “Gaybros”, which is a group created by Alex Deluca, aims to “break down stereotypes” of what someone who is gay looks and acts like. In the group created by Deluca, men express likes that are atypical to those that are previously held stereotypes of gay men. The men that belong to the “Gaybros” group like hunting, sports, video games, etc. Although “Gaybros” is primarily for gay men who like to do things that are not expected of gay men, all individuals of the gay community are invited to grab a beer with the group and hit up the activities that the group plans.
Lowder carries on to tell his readers about how the group is doing advocacy work. The author describes though, the issues that the group is faced with such as they are “naïve” or “just recently out” and are going to have a difficult time doing advocacy work. They are somewhat excluded from the gay community because of the image they perpetrate. Lowder concludes that this is because of a few reasons, two of them being that the gay community feels that the masculine individuals are already accepted in our society, and that it is the homosexual men that act feminine, that need the support. The second reason this group seems to be shunned is because the men that are homosexual that like typical heterosexual activities, seem to have more friends that are straight and do not belong to the gay community. I find it interesting that homosexuals are excluding other homosexuals, when the groups should be joining together as a joint effort to make “being homosexual” more acceptable in the mainstream society.
While I think that it is good that there is a group created for men that are typically left out of a community, I think that the group that does not emulate masculine characteristics should not be shunning the group that has masculine characteristics. They should be using the group that perpetuates masculine characteristics to gain approval from society. To me, it seems like this is the same lesson that we learned from the movie “Mean Girls”, if other girls’ call girls bitches, and other ugly names, it only makes it seem okay for boys to call girls bitches, and other ugly names as well. To make this parallel with the homosexual culture, if the gay community is shunning some of their own, it only makes society feel better about shunning the gay community as a whole.
I had never heard of the “Gaybros”, but I especially like that they are teasing societal norms for what is the general picture of a gay man. The “Gaybros” are also tangling what the term means for other gay men that act more feminine than masculine. I think that the gay community is having a difficult time untangling what it means to have masculine guys in the gay community that have many friends of the same sex that are heterosexual and will participate in activities such as sports and video games. Perhaps when the gay community becomes more accepted in mainstream society, the gay men that do not necessarily perpetuate a typical gay man stereotype will be accepted as well.