Dameyon Bonson was a little bummed out after reading what Joanna Schroeder wrote about being bummed out after watching BuzzFeed’s funny new gender-swapping video about how BFFs behave.
On the surface it does seem like this video is just guys making fun of what women do, dig a little deeper and you will find that the video is just guys making fun of what women do. Because men are affectionate toward each other. Maybe not how some women, yourself, or even how some gay men are. But they are. We are. I’m gay and my affection and my intimacy with my brethren, of both gay and straight mates, isn’t at all like how women are “allowed” to be affectionate or as a gay guy can be — which I’ve debunked here before, its kind of my #NotAllGayMen moment.
I believe it’s how people define intimacy for themselves and how they then project that definition of intimacy onto others with an expectation that that is how (intimacy) should be done.
Guys are only seen to be “conditioned out of touching one another” because the intimacy that is being looked for isn’t what is being seen and people can’t see behind that. It’s kind of like “if they’re/we’re not intimate like women or those gay guys” then they’re/we’re not intimate at all. Bear hugs are the “draping our legs over one another”. As for photos, Bro’s be like ALL over the place with their photos. My facebook page is literally a daily online book of faces and pictures of fellas hanging out (fellas I know btw, otherwise that’d be straight up creepy). I’ve never heard a woman say to another woman “I’m obsessed with you” other then two girlfriends of mine who recently got married and it was followed by and I love you.
For guys it to say, “I’m obsessed with you” would be odd, because it just would be odd, guy odd. So what is mostly said is “Love you mate” and “You too, Bro”. I visit overseas quite a bit and saying good-bye to a mate is heartbreaking because we live 15,000km away from each other. So “catch ya later mate” is filled with all types intimacy, guy intimacy. Yup we bear hug and yup we say love you mate. I personally think it’s terrifying and extremely norm-violating for others when men don’t act out their definition of intimacy. But here’s the thing your definition doesn’t matter.
I think it’s sad that people put these expectations upon us men, whether we are transmen, gay or straight, (or bi), to conform to their definition of how and who to be.
My straight mates, and my gay mates don’t see anything wrong with non-sexual intimacy. But again, we will define that intimacy for ourselves. I’m 6’6″ and plenty of guys, even those I don’t know, are like, “man I wish as tall as you”. And it’s not unfamiliar to hear a guy go, “Bro those guns are huge”, or “Fuck man I can not pull off jeans like you. At. All.” Or “Man, v-neck shirts suck on me man, they look killer on you though Bro.” (It’s the chest envy).
And how a guy tells another guy he’s not annoying, we generally will buy the next round.
Sometimes, as a gay man, I think it can be a bummer the strictures women and some men place over other men in our society. And also that there’s this Man Box? When really the reality is most of us have already lit the wick on that sucker and are walking away Wolverine style.
So Joanne, what do you think? Do you think you cannot look at men with an expectation to act out intimacy in the comfort of your definition?
Keep up the great work by the way, Joanne. I dig your stuff and I’m glad you wrote what you did. It’s provided me space to express what I’ve wanted to express for a long time. See I am a man and I work with men. This is the stuff I know.
Below is a snippet of a conversation on twitter between three strangers; myself @db_1974, @CameronConaway and @jamesezimoha.
We weren’t draping our legs over other but we shared a moment.
Much respect, Dameyon
PS — To be brutally honest what I am actually really bummed about is that you unfollowed me on twitter.