To the Male Gays / ze

To the Male Gays / ze

  •     Looking for slim to slender, swimmer’s built or ATHLETIC STR8 acting guy
  •      Normal, masculine guy here
  •      XXX, muscular kinky here. Prefer muscular, masculine and athletic non smoker
  •      any normal and masculine guys out there? Looking for some safe fun here
  •      No fats No fems …just XXX XXX that keep it private…XXX dude here
  •      into other masc bros only
  •      Verbal aggressive masc XXX (XXX / XXX) looking for service from XXX XXX boys who know their place. XXX should be novice to experienced, clean, masc and discreet. SIR is not into BS
  •      Only looking to talk to masc dudes only

Adam4Adam profiles.
(Yes, Adam4Adam still exists, for all you who think grindr took over the internet hook up scene.)
That was through page 2; I took any profile that mentioned gender
This poem is to the male gaze(ys). Both kinds.
What does it mean to be masculine?
what makes you a man?
Us gays, we’ve been called unmen ever since men started owning women as a means to manhood
And we love men
We know more about them than most straight men do
We’ve been called sissy, pussy, faggot, weak, gay, as the worst you could be called
We learned early that these names meant we failed to do man just right
In the end, a lot of men don’t care what XXX XXX XXX as long as it comes from a man
When you’re a man you’re always cool, never scared
I mean sometimes you can say you’re scared, as long as it’s clear that you’re not really scared, or as long as it’s clear that you’re making fun of yourself for your fear
Most importantly, you’re never afraid to prove yourself
Always sure of yourself, never uncertain
If you don’t know, state certainly that you don’t know
Unless it’s a dumb thing not to know, like how to shave or how to wear a tire,
then it’s better to say nothing or lie
But no one can know you lied, because you’re always honest
Always XXX, never XXX
Always winning, never won
Always chill
Synonyms: collected.

Different kinds of chill are ok.
It’s OK to be angry, if someone is threatening your control of the situation ie not doing what you told them, chill angry is definitely OK.
If that someone is ridiculous, angry angry is OK but you Must remain In Control at all times.
Chill sad is definitely OK, like when someone dies or you’re heartbroken, although the sad part of chill heartbreak should only last until your bros get you drunk
Stressed chill is OK, when you’re under lots of pressure and you have to do it right, zero in on your target activity, prove you’re the best, ignore any distractions and calmly badass your champion way through

Always firm in conviction
Always standing on your own two feet, never leaning
Always resolute, never indecisive
Always strong, muscular, able to lift, hold, throw, push, whatever needs to be moved, never weak and failing
Always focused, never distracted
Always holding your liquor. Effortlessly.
Always firm, never soft
Always XXX when you should be, never XXX
Always grunting, not moaning, or sighing, groaning, or squealing. Grunting.
Always initiating, or responding ready
Because men are always ready
Men are always becoming men
Always watching other men

If this is tiring
If silencing our fear, holding insecurities an arm of denial away
If our manhood is a, burden, shall I say
Better not to let that show
If we want to feel, want company in our feelings, want someone to be with us in them
Better make it clear we’re not feminine
Not girly, femmey, faggy
Better it’s obvious femininity isn’t desirable
laugh at your female friend for being ‘such a slut’
grab her ass on the dance floor, I mean, you’re gay
Make it obvious femininity isn’t something you want, it’s something you control
This burden of manhood’s a lot easier when you’re laughing at someone
Or just, a little better than someone

That old man needs a haircut even more than he needs a new pair of pants,
which, in that outfit, is quite an accomplishment
That princess in his widebrimmed hat with a collared shirt, bowtie, and hoodie?
some people just try too hard
Masculinity’s a ladder
Someone has to be on top
and you know, most of us aren’t trying for that
long as we’re somewhere further up than down
Some of us started from the bottom, now we’re here
Even Drake wasn’t born with a XXX and breasts grown at 13
[XXX, by the way, is the only word encapsulating all aspects of female genitalia;
I use it honorifically]
Some of us know the intimacies of manliness like we know the roofs of our mouths
If others didn’t see it they just weren’t looking in the right way
It’s amazing what I learned from watching as a shut out
What came naturally to me when I said hello to my body for the first time.
Easier to confidently decide shit and have other men validate my masculinity
Than to hesitate in thought, vulnerably
It was easier to hate my breasts
Easier to objectify people with breasts,
than talk about my feelings with other men

You know I realized, writing this piece,
that I know a lot about masculinity — we all do
I don’t actually know as much about gay masculinity
It’s a world I’ve been a guest in for a long time — I might always be a guest
I know how to be the cutie
I know how to be so comfortable in my body — so shameless and assured —
that you can be uncomfortable, not sure,
and that can be a secret neither of us acknowledge

I wish I could find more men who are as thrilled to be in their body,
as I always need to be in mine next to theirs

Speaking of bodies
Can we talk about those?
Quote, from the internet: “When I wake up next to my boyfriend I feel like ursula, he looks like, Vin Diesel.”

When I finally realized I’m trans, I couldn’t look in the mirror without shuddering.
Everything I saw was fat
I’m a skinny kid — then I was 120 pounds maybe
but my thighs were so pillowy
my face had so much
my chest was all flabby
I was all too much of the wrong thing
and I lacked
Everywhere, I was so short of…man
I couldn’t flex fat
I needed the space provided, the authority granted, the recognition that muscle would give me
I wanted the eyes trailing me across the room,
the eyebrows, smile, and nod
the appreciation of a real man.

As I was becoming a gay boy I found a whole bunch of other boys
who saw something similar when they looked in the mirror
we all had an ideal we were lifting, running, skipping desserts toward.
We weren’t trying to become calvin klein underwear models
but we wouldn’t mind if “hey stud, your body’s on point, how often do you work out? I could bounce a quarter off your ass,”
rolled off the stranger’s tongue as he bought our drink.

When I went on testosterone and my voice bestowed manhood
I was bestowed humanness
It became easier to accept the ways I’m not quite
I mean, I had to do a lot of push-ups and pull-ups,
I worked out, I worked to make this body
I still work
Health is important
But now I’m working to stay in shape, not really working to make a man
most of the time
or at least it’s a nice by-product

I know a lot of men who say they’re just working out
but sometimes, mostly they’re working to make themselves men
and that can become a need that’s never met;
or rather it feels like it’s met today on Monday,
and by Wednesday, it needs to be met again, and Friday, again
and the need can become an impulse the runs a man

We have beautiful minds and souls, they belong in beautiful bodies that will carry us long
But thinner, stronger, faster, fitter
So many of us are running hamster wheels
Toward that perfect body
14 – 42% of men with eating disorders are gay or bi
Ten times more gay men than straight men have symptoms of disordered eating
Thin doesn’t mean healthy
Fat doesn’t mean unhealthy

Beauty and size only relate in the way you occupy your body
As in, the proportion of you that believes you’re beautiful is the size of your beauty
There are ways we demonstrate that belief we’re not even aware of
our body is beautiful when we’re beautiful

No fats? No femmes? Masculine dudes only?

Don’t we have enough straight people telling us we’re not really men?

We telling each other that, cuz if we push someone down on this ladder of masculinity,
it makes us a rung higher?
Makes our bodies a rung sexier?

I think I was misogynist, as most men, because
We’re jealous
When did you last hear a woman being told to “woman up”?
They’re not climbing this ladder
We hate on femmes because we hate the way we’re treated when we don’t do man enough
Trans guys, we hate on womanly things because we hate how we’re treated
when we’re seen as women,
I get that
but you know it’s easy to love being treated like a man
when that means being treated like a person
All of us men hate how we’re treated when we’re not manly
So we run hamster wheels to become perfect men
What if we got off the wheel and kept running?

Out of this cage – what is this cage? –
we’d find a whole bunch of women running down misogyny
it’s a forest fire,
we’ve been throwing gasoline on it –
been playing the same game as every man who ever called us a fag
There’s a whole bunch of women wielding fire hoses
There are whole bunch of hoses just lying around waiting for us to grab them



Published by kris gebhard

Kris (pronouns they/them) is a clinical psychologist, poet, percussionist, and gardener currently residing in Chicago, IL.

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