by Davey Wavey
I’mvisiting London—and, as an American, I’ve been surprised by a number of things.Like the minuscule size of the meal portions, that I still don’t know which wayto look when crossing the street and the abundance of seemingly gay men.
Infact, when I first arrived in England, I experienced a profound and genuineconcern for the fate of the United Kingdom. I wondered to myself, “How can a landfull of so many gay men have any hope of sustaining its population?” Surely,the UK is in trouble.
Almostevery man in London appeared to be gay. Skinny jeans, manicured appearances,fitted clothes and stylish hairdos abound. But I was immediately thrown for aloop when I realized that many of these seemingly gay men were walking hand-in-handwith women. Yes, women!
Mygaydar was thrown into a tizzy, “Does not compute. Does not compute.”
Itturns out that many of these seemingly gay men were merely European. AndEuropean men aren’t afraid to embrace many of the things that Americans mightinterpret as gay. As a matter of fact, the driver who picked me up from theairport actually assumed that I’m straight. My flame burns quitebright; no one in America mistakes me as straight. Clearly, the driver wasrather accustomed to meeting flamboyant heterosexual men.
Frustrated,I asked some locals how they’re able to discern the gay men from straight men.They all agreed that it’s nearly impossible—unless, of course, you’re in a gayclub or venue. Otherwise, it’s anyone’s guess.
Ina way, it’s refreshing to see a culture in which you can’t determine one’ssexuality based on outward stereotypes. None of us fit all of the stereotypesanyway, and some of us fit none of them at all – and so I can appreciate asociety that doesn’t define gay men by a set of generalizations. There’ssomething very beautiful and progressive about it.
Butat the same time, it makes it a whole lot harder to identify and meet other gaymen.
ThankGod for Grindr.
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