No thank you, ‘gay culture’

I find gay humor really boring and uninventive. I’ve read a lot about ‘gay culture’ and thankfully I am not a member of whatever that is. If it involves being a self-absorbed, self-indulgent, shallow, superficial, narcissistic bore I’m happy to be outside of it.

In 2009 I participated in a six day bike rally from Toronto to Montreal to support an HIV organization. I raised around $2,500 to participate in the event, with all proceeds going to a charity that provides supports to people who are HIV+. It was the first time I had been surrounded by so many gay men in my life. After day two I was over it. Every time we passed a manhole someone would say, “I’ll show you a manhole.” It wasn’t funny, at all, it was cheap.

Each night we’d have to camp and I tried to make friends but it was next to impossible. There was always an underlying sexual vibe, or if they didn’t find you desirable, they paid no attention to you whatsoever; unfriendly is putting it mildly.

There was this one guy who biked with me for the first couple of days and he would naturally talk only about himself, as gay men do, and I would listen. Well, when he realized that one of the volunteers was my boyfriend I never heard or saw him again. It was really eye-opening to me.

When we made it to Montreal I attempted to wave to him from across the street and he blanked me, pretended he either didn’t see me or didn’t know me. Oh well. I just remember how hostile and toxic the vibe was overall and I never participated in the rally again.

Tenting. My least favourite thing to do. Here I am at the bike rally in 2009.

I came across his Twitter last year and not surprisingly he is a self-described social justice warrior and only his opinions are considered acceptable; anything outside his chosen narrative is bigotry, so in the end, I dodged a bullet. I remember him telling me he was a journalist.

Friends For LIfe Bike Rally 2009
On the first two days I biked with this guy Scott. I haven’t seen him since!

I’m not like other gay guys. I’m not obsessed with talking about myself or my relationship; I’d rather talk about ideas and topical issues, but most gay men can only talk about themselves, their bodies, boyfriends, their open relationships, how hot other guys are. It makes me stupid.

A couple of months ago I found myself on a patio with a younger gay guy and it was a mess. I couldn’t hold his attention, he kept looking over my shoulder to the men passing by on the sidewalk and if he wasn’t doing that he could only talk about himself, his boyfriend, their open relationship, his hair, his moustache. Blah blah blah. Honestly, he kept going on about his hair, and his moustache and I sat there and listened to this banal subject matter.

Then he talked about how his boyfriend’s friend gave him used underwear for his birthday and how his boyfriend didn’t see how wrong that was. I stopped him to say that this is stuff I’d expect to hear from a 20-year-old not someone in his late 30s. He was so self-absorbed, didn’t care about me. In fact, I don’t think he cares about anyone else but himself or what others can do for him.

I realized that if I ordered another drink he would do the same so I got the bill. He didn’t for one second think these topics of his would be boring to me. But I figured this is probably what the conversation in his social circles are all about, all the time.

There wasn’t a single second when he was curious about me. He didn’t ask me a single question and if he did I wouldn’t have told him anything personal. He had no curiosity about anything outside his tiny little insignificant life. And he’s 37. Not 20.

Nothing he said in the couple of hours I sat opposite him involved anything of substance. He was so self-involved I cringed. I’m still thinking about it even though that conversation happened in June because of how blind he was about his own inanity. No sense, no significance, void of any ideas, immature.

The issue is he’s not the exception, he’s the rule within gay Toronto; they’re all like this, trust me, I’ve put in the grunt work. They’re maniacally obsessed with themselves and their immature problems and think everyone should care about them. I’d rather be alone quite frankly.

I’ve had several moments in social situations with gay men where I think to myself, “I’d rather be by myself than with these guys.” The overt sexual energy is also off-putting for me. I can’t help but think to myself how these guys find anyone to have sex with or how anyone finds them attractive.

The most conventionally attractive ones, the ones all gay men are told to covet are the dumbest. They’re self-absorbed and pay no attention to anyone who doesn’t meet their standards of beauty. The worst are the older gay guys desperately clinging to their youth.

I was at a pub in Toronto’s gay village a month ago and observed this man in his 60s wearing one of those string tank-tops trying to show off his muscles, his hair styled in the manner popular in gay circles and I just felt bad for him. Alone, he had focused his whole life on the superficial. Nothing. He has nothing.

This is a recurring theme I see with gay guys too. They have nothing. They own nothing, yet they use others to get these things. The guy in his late 30s was telling me about a cottage experience with 12 other gay men and I just wanted to puke. Nothing worse to me than that.

I just imagined the desperation. The peacocking, the overt sexual overtones, the sexual innuendo, the sex jokes, the hot tubs, gross, gross, gross. The rejected ones marinating in their misery. And they think that’s living, that’s interesting. It’s just sad.

About 10 years ago I was at a restaurant with some gay guys, all attractive in the ways they were supposed to be and the men sitting next to me were laughing at their smart phone cameras. I inquired what was going on. They had taken a photo of the lesser attractive guy’s double chin. I’ve seen women do this too by the way.

They had zoomed in on it and were mocking him, he was clearly undesirable to them and worth ridiculing because they didn’t find him attractive. I was with Keith and I asked him if we could leave to which he agreed. I didn’t want to be around such toxic people.

I felt so bad for that guy. He had no idea what they were doing, how they were degrading him. I had a moment where I thought I should tell him, but didn’t. He was probably a lost cause anyway, seeped in that superficiality, trying to be hot.

Then there are those gay guys who all get together and take group photos and post them on social media. There’s usually one or two women in the shot. I’m like, why do they always have to do this? I’ve been told I’m just jealous, that I want to be included with the hot guys.

That’s fine, they can think that, but that observation is far from the truth. I look at that and thank God I had enough sense never to want it, nor be a part of it. The constant need for validation these guys require, the eternal focus on their youth, desirability is exhausting.

It must be exhausting. They are obsessed with youth and don’t have the foresight to accept that they’re going to be that older guy one day, the one they find sad and unattractive and they’re emotionally and mentally unprepared for it. All for what? To have sex with strangers? I’m good without that thanks. I don’t need that sort of validation.

To paraphrase a tweet from Carrie Fisher: youth and beauty are not accomplishments.

And they’re fleeting.

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