I mean, in the app, you choose what 'type' of bro you are — from 'jock' to 'fabulous'. How do you cater for all types of people when some may fall through the cracks between different 'types'?
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Do you think that the design and the marketing may look a bit, well, straight though? I disagree. For me, this is supposed to be a safe space for men to meet up and make meaningful relationships.
If this app is the thing that someone needs to open up about themselves, then great. We built up 32, Facebook fans before launch. Then, there were a few articles, like one in Queerty, which made the app into a place for straight men looking for other straight men to get oral sex in secret. There you go then. Most of the people I chatted to on there said that they identified as gay. People have called it an app for straight men because of the design, the logo, the name, the fact that interactions include 'fist-bumps'. But maybe that kind of behaviour doesn't have to be restricted to the 'straight' male community.
After all, isn't that, in itself, just conforming to another socially-constructed idea of gender and sexuality? This app has caused loads of media speculation because, in some ways, it all seems so confusing.
People have taken it as an app for confused people. Maybe we're just thinking about it too much though. Maybe it's all pretty straightforward. Like BRO's mission statement puts it, a place, "for men that are interested in meeting other men… as simple as that". Like I'm doing it all in secret. That's not because I'm a homophobe who doesn't want to be tarnished with homosexuality.
It's because I'm in a happy relationship and I wouldn't want the missus or her mates catching me on there I think that's all it is, anyway. I was 'marriage-shamed' for getting engaged at Gay conversion therapy: All Together Now: The choir singer dedicating his song to fellow members of the trans community. I'm a drag queen who wants to bring Gay Pride to Grimsby.
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This is what knife crime does: The photographic evidence of an elephant walk in the book is really important, I think. You view it as a way of performing heterosexuality, even if the content looks gay from the outside? My favorite examples of that were the casual encounters ads from Craigslist you included in the book. Hot masculine white dude here … looking for another hot white dude to come by my place, and work out a hot load side by side.
Straight Porn only. Prefer str8, surfer, etc.
A lot of these ads, which are, after all, written by ostensibly straight men seeking out homosexual contact, are couched in this hyperhetero language. I think these are really gay men who are posing as straight men. So this, I think, at least culturally, is quite distinct from the tradition of gay men being interested in straight-acting gay men.
And it sounds like all things being equal, white guys have a lot more flexibility to try to pull this off than black men do. I think a lot of people who read the blurb, but not the actual book, have been confused about why the book was focused on white men, and I made that choice very consciously.
Another rationale for homosexual activity among men was this idea of men turning to sex with men because there were fewer obligations — no pressure, no stress, no romance. Can you just talk about that for a minute? Yeah, well, that is an argument that, again, psychologists and psychobiologists have commonly made and those kinds of arguments, I think, trickle down into the broader culture so that men themselves know which claims have legitimacy. Especially reading the last part where you talked about your own history, it seems like you almost feel like white men are missing out on something — missing out on all the stuff they could feel safer exploring in the way women do.
Is that true?
The other really interesting argument you made was when you talked about fraternity hazings and other rituals in which the guys do stuff to each other, but act grossed out by it. How do we discover that vocabulary to talk about it? Yeah, well what I would like to see first is acknowledgement, more mainstream acknowledgement that everybody has homosexual sex.
Rather, we recognize that racial and ethnic communities and cultures have tremendous value in and of themselves, and so I think similarly that there are many, many reasons to want to be queer, and because queerness, unlike race or gender, is something that we can cultivate in our lives, it makes perfect sense to me that people would.