Bryan Tai writes about the double-standards that exist within the lgbt community.
Perhaps in almost every gay dating website that I have visited, phrases like “No Fems!”, “No Queens!”, or “No Fats!”, appear in abundance. Although I must admit that these phrases do not offend me as they are merely written to convey the preferences of the authors, they greatly perturb me as every time I come across such phrases, I never fail to ask myself: “How would these “Fems”, “Queens”, and “Fats” feel when they come across these phrases?”.
In “No Fats, No Fems: the Gay Masculine Ideal”, John A. Lewis, Jr. describes a prevailing masculine ideal in our society today that discriminates against male individuals who portray conventional feminine characteristics. In this article, I would not discuss how “prevailing” this ideal is in various cultures, demographies or countries. Instead, I would like to express my opinions on the ramifications and repercussions attached to these overt expressions of one’s preferences.
“Face the truth Bryan, as much as we say that emotional attraction is most important, you or I would never date someone who is ugly and fat.” When a friend of mine uttered to me the aforementioned sentence in a blatant yet nonchalant way, I was utterly dumbfounded. I understand that physical attractiveness plays a role in the process of “mate-seeking”, not only for LGBT-identified individuals, but perhaps, risking political inaccuracy, for all individuals as well. Nonetheless, the question I ended up pondering for the rest of the day was: “Should we be so overtly honest about our preferences with regard to physical attractiveness to the extent that it instigates negative feelings among others or even to the extent where it would be considered as condescending discrimination?”. Should we (LGBT-identified individuals), people belonging to a community that is subjected to discrimination and oppression, force more oppression on certain sub-communities in our community?
I understand that we have the rights to be honest about our preferences. People who prefer male partners should be allowed to distinctly choose male partners and likewise for others with other preferences. However, would it be better if we were a little more subtle about it? Perhaps by saying: “I am sorry, I am not attracted to you, not specifically because you are fat/feminine, but because I simply think that we are not compatible.”, we would inflict a lot less harm than by being overtly honest.
Sometimes in life, I find that there is really no one best solution that is exclusively “right”. In this case, we either tell the blatant truth and risk hurting people’s self-esteem or we tell a white lie to inflict less possible pain. I, personally do not think that the latter or the former is more righteous than the other; they are simply two alternatives. Nonetheless, I do hope that this article would convey the message that although it is completely fine to be completely honest about your preferences, it might be more appropriate to be more subtle in order to reduce discrimination within discrimination.
Lewis, J. A. Jr. “No Fats, No Fems: the Gay Masculine Ideal”. 2008-05-13. (http://www.articlesbase.com/men%27s-issues-articles/no-fats-no-fems-the-gay-masculine-ideal-412718.html)