Body image? Insecurity? Jealousy? Ryan Shea wonders why can’t we all just get along.
Many of the articles that I write really come from a variety of experiences. Most of the time they are a combination of my own experiences mixed with others to culminate in what I take out of it all and put it in the best way possible so that it sparks a healthy debate between everyone else. Funny thing is with this one, it never really crossed my mind until a recent Facebook post. A good (and very smart) friend of mine put this post up regarding how the bear community views the muscle portion of it and ultimately how it really ultimately reflects on how you yourself are as a person:
“What’s so tragic is watching guys who should have loads of self-respect lost in this self-defeating exercise of defining these “muscle bears” as physically superior and themselves as losers in the same scene, and then blaming these guys they really don’t even know for their mental and spiritual discomfort. There’s a betrayal of something that has always been an awesome option for self-defining as bear, which is to know you’re as hot as you feel you are and not to give a fuck what anyone else might think. It’s the people standing in groups, bitterly dishing the guys they are attracted to who they assume aren’t into them who ruin the atmosphere at bear events, not the guys they point and sneer at.”
This wound up sparking a very long threaded debate on how men, not only in the bear community but in the gay community as a whole, view muscle guys. It really boils down to this- haters are really just haters. Let’s break this situation down, because I have done this somewhat and I know I am not the only one who has been in this corner of somewhat “hate-dom”. This is a random scenario here…
I am at a popular gay bar with a couple of my friends. All of a sudden, a group of muscle bears (or guys, whatever) walk in in an upbeat and happy mode, order drinks and stand around with the impression that they are having a great time. This will then trigger something in my head to think that even if they are having a great time and are laughing and dancing and whatnot, they are still a bunch of royal douchebags. Why? Because in a lot of guys minds, they are insanely insecure when they are around men like that. This is for so many different reasons.
1. They compare body types and feel as if they need to look like them in order to get that attention.
2. Snarl all they want, these guys want the muscle dudes to be attracted to them and if they go in with a defeated or c***y attitude about it, it just worsens the whole process.
3. This will then lead to them having minor chit chat with their other friends about said douchebags, who most of the time are just trying to enjoy themselves and not get into a weird process of guys glaring at them for no reason.
4. Bottom line, it’s freaking insecurity.
This can also cause a chain reaction of sorts in which I have written about so many freaking times before- separation. Division. Something that the gay community seems to fight against and want so badly-to have some sort of unification-yet these types of issues are working against that thought. Why do we do this to ourselves? Many times I have been at these bars and have found a swarm of guys who come from all backgrounds of life, be it size, race, finance and so forth, all standing around and talking to each other and having a good time. Then again, I have also seen situations where it’s the Asians in one corner, the black guys playing pool, the white bears all huddled up like they are playing a game of football and the muscle guys who stick with each other for whatever reason need be. In these types of situations, everyone stands shoulder to shoulder but no one engages and keeps to themselves.
But there has to be a reason for this happening, and in my opinion it really can stem from growing up and choosing who you want to hang with on the playground, only this time around there is a lot more body hair and drinks that don’t come in a sippy cup. We might think the other group is weird or we aren’t attracted to them or the new expression of “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. Time for what? Unless someone provokes you or gives you a reason to not like them, why the hatred? What the hating? Why glare at someone who seems to be having a great night just because you are the one that’s angry? Then again, why be angry? Because in this situation you bring the misery on yourself as a form of self-deprecation. I am guilty of it, and many others are. It stops us from really opening our eyes and enjoying what is really great about this community, especially ones who want to go to the big “bear” events and enjoy themselves wholeheartedly and not get mad if a particular group seems to be having a great time and not focusing on you. Really. at the end of the day,you gotta love yourself before you love anyone else. Am I quoting RuPaul here? Sure. But that line makes fucking perfect sense.
So let’s have this be a lesson to everyone- go out, enjoy YOURSELF, enjoy YOUR TIME, and not focus on the muscle guy in the corner and what they are doing. Better yet? Go up and introduce yourself. You never know what can happen and the positive effect it can have on your life. Cheers, y’all.
—Photo ernie archivell/Flickr