I changed my headline on Grindr to “Please tell me how masc you are with another dude inside you” (I told you I’m not very serious about Grindr) and the response has been really interesting.
A bunch of guys have used it as a conversation started and we’ve kind of joked about it together, which was more what I expected.
But at least two guys have attacked me for questioning their masculinity, which is hilarious. I made a sarcastic and general statement at nobody in particular that was calling out a lot of BS that happens on the app and these guys are taking it personally. For me, that’s just a confirmation of what I guessed was true when I wrote the headline in the first place: that, for many men, masculinity isn’t really proactively defined, but rather only exists in opposition to (and out of fear of) non-masculinity.
My experience makes me think this is especially true for queer guys, because masculinity is so often tied up with sexual identity/orientation. Typically when we defend our masculinity, we do so with extra vigour because we are also defending our orientations and therefore deeper parts of our identities. Being queer shouldn’t mean lacking masculinity, but very often the people around us decide whether that’s true or not.
So, in that sense I guess I kind of understand the personal associated these guys are having with my Grindr headline.
I still think it’s hilarious.