lately i've been hanging out more frequently with a crew of non trans gay guys of color ranging in ages from 20's to 40's all very apolitical not at all in the activist left leaning circles i usually run. they are generally all good, kind caring guys and i have fun hanging out with them for the most part.
one of the first pieces i wrote for this blog was about body image and hook ups - "do i have a gut". I've been thinking more about this lately due to this new crew i've been hanging with. the incredible pressure that gay guys internalize around body image.
every single guy, except for one, in this group of long time friends has had some type of surgery to make his body closer to that stereotypical gay male ideal, in some cases more than one. i had of course heard about gay guys and plastic surgery but i figured it was a wealthy white gay boy kind of thing.
These guys are not rich at all, they saved up thousands of dollars for these procedures. from hair plugs (dude was in his 20's when he got them) to butt implants, calf implants, and pec implants to surgeries to lose weight like lap bands and lipo.
while i have not had any surgeries i know that i am as sucked into the gay male body idealism as anyone else. and i do believe it has gotten progressively worse. i find myself more self conscious of my body when fucking then i used to be. i used to think about how i look while i'm fucking periodically. now i find its a pretty regular occurrence. 'ugh, it looks like i have a gut right now'... and then it definitely intersects with my internalized transphobia, thoughts like 'he's probably looking at my hips and thighs'....
its gotten to the point that i've realized in some convoluded way sometimes i would rather not fuck dudes who are toned and cut because it makes me extra self conscious about my own body.
its become pretty clear to me that the sizeism of the gay boy world has brought me back to a place. like many folks raised as girls for most of my childhood starting as young as seven and into my teen years i saw myself as overweight and unattractive. please note this is only my experience, every trans guy relates to how they were raised and socialized differently i.e. some trans guys were socialized as boys.
in college however i was exposed to a politic that sought to fight the sexist, racist, sizeist ideals of beauty. that centered a belief that everyone is beautiful and that what you wear or look like is not what's important but who you are, what you believe and what you do. for many years i embraced this belief.
when i started hormones i definitely became more conscious of how i dress and look as a means to pass. and no doubt there is alot of sizeism and body image pressure in the transmasculine world but for some reason it didn't impact me so much i believe largely because my core communities sought to resist this and held strong to a body positive politic.
but now the gay boy hook up world is definitely messing with my head. i believe strongly everyone should love their body and everyone is sexy in their own way. but applying that belief to myself has gotten more and more difficult.