Does "Gay culture" exist?

  • minihunk

    Posts: 21

    Mar 11, 2007 5:14 AM GMT
    Does gay culture exist?
    If Yes what form it? What is typical to gay culture?
    Sylvester? Baseball cap at the gym? Wearing jock-strap under Armani suit? "Open" couple? Social class mixed couple? (the doctor with the waiter) Great solidarity beetween us?

    No idea are too weird or "stupid" for being exprimed here... than what come in your mind when you think to our culture?

    What is the worst and the best of Gay Culture?
  • cityguy39

    Posts: 967

    Mar 11, 2007 3:53 PM GMT
    Hey mini, interesting thread. Gay culture, is a relative thing but it also mirrors the larger mainstream culture. First off, gay culture can be what you make of it. You don't have adapt the whole AF clone wardrobe. There is nothing worse then seeing a 40/50 something guy in an AF outfit designed for a 18/20 year old, but thats just my opinon. Gay culture also mirrors larger mainstream society by being just as racially and economically pocketed as the straight world. I think gay culture is just like life, it's a patchwork of many different things.
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    Mar 11, 2007 7:55 PM GMT
    Gay culture once was pretty much something shared by all gay people. I think this was true as recently as 20 years ago. Recently we have broken up into as many niches as society in general. Americans once shared a culture in which Ed Sullivan, Mary Tyler Moore, the Beatles, top-40 radio were known pretty much by everybody. Now music, TV, movies are split into many segments with little in common. Most gay men of my generation knew "All About Eve", Bette Midler, bathhouses. Younger gays I know are unfamiliar with these. Age isn't the only division. Look at Bear Culture, Muscleboys, politicals, etc. We have a lot more choices today, but the downside is we have less to talk about with one another.
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    Mar 11, 2007 10:02 PM GMT
    I read a couple of books by William Mann that contained long expositions about what "gay culture" is. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with me. Likewise when chat rooms go into long discussions of talentless pop stars and TV shows.

    Actually, I was kinda looking for some kind of "culture" that I could get into when I signed on here.
  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    Mar 12, 2007 12:36 AM GMT
    Lol, ^^ agreed with.

    Honestly...I find most gay culture disdainful. I think it's because I live in a medium-sized city so the gay scene is sort of like, one bar that sucks if you don't go with other friends.

    When I think of gay culture I think of cattieness, shallowness, pettiness. But I think that's because I'm a tad jaded. My friends...are straight. I find gay 'culture' to be to emotionally draining, and very high energy. There's a different vibe when you go out with a bunch of heteros than when you go out with a bunch of homos. My fratmates and I go out and have a blast getting drunk off our ass or playing poker. The few gay friends I actually do have are either bubble-headed glam gays, drama queens, or ambitionless nice guys stuck in life.
    And it's not like I haven't tried. I joined the 'gay club' at school to try to meet other homos (lol, which actually brought me to my frat, lol) but I find most homos my age are the same - self-centered, self-hating, shallow judgemental creatures.
    Gay culture exists, but growing up in my city, without the different pockets and off-shoots as described above, has soured me on it.
    I sound bitchy...and, well, I am. I'm not 'above' everyone, and I'm sure that we all carry some of the same characteristics I described...but it seems that most homos tend to take them to the extreme. They glorify them, and base their life on them, which is ultimately what has soured me to the lifestyle.
  • TallGWMvballe...

    Posts: 1925

    Mar 12, 2007 6:39 AM GMT
    YES there is "Gay Culture" Minihunk,
    but as cityguy39 observes, it is as pocketed these days as much as all society. I feel bad BioMatty, that all you see are the bitchy unhappy guys. I suspect there are other factions of gay people even in your area that are happier and better adjusted but don't hang out at bars.

    Gay culture is NOT just about BARS, sex clubs and dancing in the streets in your underwear at Gay Pride. Although shows like "Queer as Folk" try to maintain that stereotype which the rest of society is quick to believe.
    In Los Angeles, we have many gay clubs and activities and cultural things of a wide variety but many of them don't know the other ones exist.


    I run and play in a Gay Volleyball Club with a very diverse group of mostly great guys... Very different people than what BioMatty described.
    Sometimes I play with the straight people in tournaments... it isn't all that different... there are bitchy straight guys too! :)

    Good observations all... let's hear some more.


    Ron --- Los Angeles
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    Mar 12, 2007 8:47 AM GMT
    This is weird,but I try not to make anything justifiable anymore. I am happy to know where I can feel comfortable holding a mans hand,in public, and just for a little while its all perfect. Until then, I live everyday like its the last. Holding out for Canukdave(haha)
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    Mar 12, 2007 12:03 PM GMT
    You want to survey contemporary gay culture?

    Read these 'Forum' postings again. Every last one of them. It's all here.

    PM8
  • MarkX

    Posts: 101

    Mar 12, 2007 4:18 PM GMT
    So true, PHLmuscle8. Like mindgarden, I was looking for some sort of 'culture' from RealJock. And (though I've yet to vsit the chat rooms) these forums are just what I'd dared hope for: a cyber community of health-minded men, stretching geographicaly and socially far and wide, who are very much into support, intelligent discussion, and a sense of community. Oh, and eye candy.

    When I was in college, an overwhelming majority of the men in my department were gay, and among both the men and the women, bitchiness was celebrated. This was my first taste of 'gay culture'. Being a young man coming to terms with his sexual identity, I took it as my cue to stay in the closet a while longer - I refused to be associated with that mindset.

    It took another ten years for me to make my blanket coming-out announcement to all my friends and family, by which time I'd found that gay culture is no more any given 'attitude' than it is any particular 'scene'. In fact, of all the gay men I know these days, I'm hard-pressed to think of any who are catty and shallow. (Then again, I tend to tune out people, straight or gay, who are talking about mainstrean talentless pop stars.)

    Takes all sorts to make a world. Gay, queer, transgendered, flamboyant, str8-acting, femme, bear, leather, jock, repressed, unassuming-regular-Joe, and now g0y. Our culture is as rich and varied as human experience.

    It's among the reasons that 'gay culture' celebrates diversity.
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    Mar 12, 2007 11:25 PM GMT
    I must be tottally disengaged of this gay culture phenomena... what's this about wearing b-ball caps at the gym? That's the first I heard of this one or the jock-strap under the Armani suit... please enlighten me.
  • minihunk

    Posts: 21

    Mar 13, 2007 3:55 AM GMT
    Hi great... as the "initiator" of this interesting but sometimes "touchy" subject... i try to choose superficial (but too sometimes very significative act) fact typical to gay... and in my very gay friendly big gym... believe me just the gay train with a baseball cap!!!!.... and sometime Kodiak working boot... and that,s probably reliated to the "emergence", the valorisation of "straight-acting" ...but in fact no heterosexual guy are so butch!!!! and if they waer as it , they can be perceived are super rude guy without any sophistication in comparaison a gay guy dress as it think it will be sexy!...

    About the black jock strap under Armani suit..it's an image i like for illustrating the assumation, appreciation, acceptation of sexuality by the gay men in comparaison maybe with hetero. men... i just like the image of the 2,000$ Giorgio Armani suit... wear by fancy, good manner, high culture sophisticated men, in the establishment who undress proudly on a black jock-strap ,icon of manly gay sex... but maybe my example are too "visual" and badly choose.... by the way Sylvester is the Disco Pope ... dead from aids some years ago...
    I liked the example cited before about the 50 something guy all dressed in Abercrombie... too here in Montreal... i dont know why but if you wear an Abercrombie shirt at the gym it s sure you are gay... more sure than something with the gay rainbow!
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    Mar 29, 2007 1:15 AM GMT
    I have been interviewing gay people for a series of projects and EVERYONE I talk to defines themselves as outside the typical gay culture (read clubbing, lots of sex partners, oversexed, bars, vapid, etc.). If this is the case gay culture is a very vibrant phenomena populated by no-one.

    Also, in complete contrast and dichotomy, the language we gay people use is working to define ourselves as inherently different, chemically, biologically/genetically, and socially so. We want to be affirmed as almost a different species. I think we do this possibly in response to the religious and wrong who say that we are immoral and an aberration. If we have proof that we can’t help ourselves because we are made this way, destined by god or nature, than we block the argument, if not more. But what it we are not different, we just so happen to love someone of the same sex, why do we need grand designs of origin? We employ language of science cause that’s the religion of the day.

    I am I

    I need no explanation, but rather exploration.
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    Mar 29, 2007 1:34 AM GMT
    wow, that last article really made sense. I think that is very true among the many gay people in this world. Who cares what the typical gay person is like, I'm more interested in the person. Not necessarily the thing that makes them gay. We are who we are, and that's all that anyone in this world could ask for and respect.

    That's why I'm so confused why gay men tend to have so few Straight friends. Me personally, I have tons of straight friends. I think it comes from people not thinking about the world we live in now days. Gay men aren't about pushing ideals on anyone, but rather, finding who they are. And making the most of life.
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    Mar 29, 2007 2:39 AM GMT
    "Also, in complete contrast and dichotomy, the language we gay people use is working to define ourselves as inherently different, chemically, biologically/genetically, and socially so. We want to be affirmed as almost a different species...."

    Mr. Apollo: If you have not already read it, you might want to check out David Halperin's "How to do the History of Homosexuality." It is a good analysis of how we became a sexual species and how our languaged incoherence refers to our "origins." It's a kind of rapprochement between Foucault and Eve Sedgwick's critique of him. It was immensely helpful in my own dissertation.
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    Apr 09, 2007 6:16 PM GMT
    In my opinion, gay people are a part of every kind of community out there. We participate in the workforce, we are in schools, churches, sports, entertainmnet, bars, clubs, etc. We live in all types of communities, we live all over the world, we speak different languages, we're married, divorced, single and we even raise children.

    There seems to be this great need to try and fit into one community when in truth, the only thing we have in common is our sexuality. Aside from that, we are all very different.

    In my mind, the concept of celebrating diversity can also mean gay people accepting other gay people no matter how they choose to live their lives. Instead of putting each other down for going to bars, being a queen or fem, being straight acting, being religious, etc. We need to understand that we are all individulas and that's okay.

    If you look at straight people, they are the same as we are. Some are religious, some go to bars, some are single, some are in relationships, etc.

    Surround yourself with people based on your interests, likes and dislikes. People that make you feel good and like you for who you are. That's a community I'd like to belong to.
  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Apr 09, 2007 6:48 PM GMT
    I think of culture and community as slightly different aspects of our gay life. Looking at history, gay and lesbian people have been at the forefront of art, culture, design, etc. etc etc. We are the culture pace setters for humans in many instances. This also continues today, not just historically (who do you think brought back the sleek designs of the 60's and 70's into popular fashion - one of our homo brethren. :o)

    There are aspects of our community, some stated here, in which I would not feel comfortable and don't indentify myself with; but, at the same time I would once again join at ACTUP-like group in defense of our right to be who we want, how we want, to flaunt if we want, to wed if want, to raise children if we want, etc. without violence against us.

    That is part of my cultural identity - standing with all of you in defense of our our right to be.

  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Apr 09, 2007 7:20 PM GMT
    I suggest the Larry Kramer play "The Normal Heart".
    1. Larry Kramer is an excellent cultural leader of our time, and a kick-ass activist;
    2. The content of the play is mostly about the beginning of the HIV?AIDS epidemic and the founding of GMHC (Gay Men's Health Crisis) - a part of our history that I'm proud to know about; and
    3. There are references throughout the play to gay people who you should know. As one example, Alan Turing in WW2 was as responsible as anyone for helping stop Nazi aggression - and he was a homo! Google his name to find out more. :o)
  • getripped

    Posts: 8

    Apr 09, 2007 8:21 PM GMT
    First of all, let me say that I enjoy the thought provoking questions that get asked on this site. I am happy that within "gay culture", people are asking these sorts of questions.

    Really, no homogenous culture exists for gays, but rather a multitude of subcultures which we all bounce between like little electrons in the gay element. nice imagery, huh...

    but seriously, identity and culture are synonomous, and each one of us has several identities that we wear at different times.

    so i guess the answer is yes...there is a gay culture, and each gay person is its life blood. there is not, however, one stereotype that defines gay culture, any more than you or I could be broken down into one identity. our identities as gay man, and our culture as well, are permanently in flux.
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    Nov 01, 2013 12:00 PM GMT
    Yes, there is "gay culture".
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    Nov 01, 2013 12:38 PM GMT
    I don't see any gay culture. Just a lot of men wanting to bonk each other. Not that there's anything wrong with that. If there is gay culture, I'd love it. Could someone point it out to me?
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Nov 01, 2013 5:17 PM GMT
    JohnSpotter saidI don't see any gay culture. Just a lot of men wanting to bonk each other. Not that there's anything wrong with that. If there is gay culture, I'd love it. Could someone point it out to me?

    Oh, come on. You don't see gay theater, film, music, etc., etc. If there is "no gay culture" then we need to define what we MEAN by "culture". Obviously it is not the dominant, homo-normative culture but a sub-culture of it with its own art, 'rules' (often meant to be broken), political agendas and so forth.
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    Nov 01, 2013 5:19 PM GMT
    yeah, there's a gay culture. with many other subcultures within it. it's almost like a beautiful little microcosm of the universe.

    almost.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Nov 01, 2013 5:20 PM GMT
    MikeW said
    JohnSpotter saidI don't see any gay culture. Just a lot of men wanting to bonk each other. Not that there's anything wrong with that. If there is gay culture, I'd love it. Could someone point it out to me?

    Oh, come on. You don't see gay theater, film, music, etc., etc. If there is "no gay culture" then we need to define what we MEAN by "culture". Obviously it is not the dominant, homo-normative culture but a sub-culture of it with its own art, 'rules' (often meant to be broken), political agendas and so forth.

    This

    Gay culture =/= utopian unity
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Nov 01, 2013 5:26 PM GMT
    cityguy39 saidHey mini, interesting thread. Gay culture, is a relative thing but it also mirrors the larger mainstream culture. First off, gay culture can be what you make of it. You don't have adapt the whole AF clone wardrobe. There is nothing worse then seeing a 40/50 something guy in an AF outfit designed for a 18/20 year old, but thats just my opinon. Gay culture also mirrors larger mainstream society by being just as racially and economically pocketed as the straight world. I think gay culture is just like life, it's a patchwork of many different things.
    city guy that might have been the best description of gay culture that someone has come up with.icon_lol.gif
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Nov 01, 2013 5:33 PM GMT
    HottJoe said
    MikeW said
    JohnSpotter saidI don't see any gay culture. Just a lot of men wanting to bonk each other. Not that there's anything wrong with that. If there is gay culture, I'd love it. Could someone point it out to me?

    Oh, come on. You don't see gay theater, film, music, etc., etc. If there is "no gay culture" then we need to define what we MEAN by "culture". Obviously it is not the dominant, homo-normative culture but a sub-culture of it with its own art, 'rules' (often meant to be broken), political agendas and so forth.

    This

    Gay culture =/= utopian unity

    Yes, and referencing another RJ thread, utopian unity WOULD be boring as fuck.