Ben Leander Willgruber | Visual Design and Personal Blog

Who fucks who at the gay zoo?

My attempt to understand how some gay men seem to think about dominance and submission in the bedroom. Also a statement about racism, sexism, misogyny and general assholery in the gay community.

Before we start, I must clarify a misunderstanding many people have about the gay community. Being gay does not automatically prevent a person from being an asshole, racist, sexist, misogynist, anti-feminist or even a homophobe. I do believe that the LGBT+ community is open to different forms of lifestyles but there are black sheep in every flock. Just think of Caitlyn Jenner.

Casual racism on Grindr

Now that we are on the same page, let’s talk about a ‘food chain’ some gays may believe to exist. As I wrote in my first blog entry, gay men use a lot of different labels to categorize themselves. This started with an article in The Advocate in 1979 titled ‘Who is who at the gay zoo’. Most of the ‘gay animals’ specified in this article are not in use anymore, but the gay ‘bear’ established itself and every gay man knows what is meant by this expression. While bears are said to be the bulkiest and ‘manliest’ gay men, the otter and the wolf are less hairy and slenderer. At the end of this spectrum is the ‘twink’, the least hairiest, slimmest and least ‘manly’ gay man.

Original Artwork from The Advocate (July 26, 1979)

The problem I have with labels is what some people think these labels stand for. I guess that I fall somewhere in between the categories twink and husky wolf. Not having the most masculine appearance (If you’re interested in my looks you can check out my narcissistic selfies on Instagram: @new_honesty) leads other people to assume that I am neither strong nor assertive; just a typical Nancy Boy.
I guess, some might propose a simplified gay food chain somewhat like this: Bears may fuck other bears, wolfs, otters, twinks and whomever lies between. Wolfs and otters may fuck each other as well as twinks. And twinks should resign to their fate and get fucked by whomever wants to have their turn. I feel like the gay community is building their own stereotypes.

At this point I am basically used to casual offenses about my appearance and fashion choices – from straight and gay men alike. But this hit a new low when a friend of mine thought it was okay to address my sexuality in a gay bar. He didn’t believe me that I was active/dominant or whatever you wanna call the partner who takes the lead in the bedroom.

Placebo – ‘Nancy Boy’ Cover

He not only claimed that I wasn’t honest about being passive but also signified that I wasn’t ready to admit to myself and others that I like getting fucked and was in denial about my sexuality. As if being passive in the bedroom were a bad thing. I was outraged on the inside but I didn’t see the point in arguing about this in a bar. You may believe what you want the same way I won’t believe everything you say but I don’t owe you or anyone else an explanation. But if we go as far as to discuss my personal business I would expect you not to shit all over me.
This does not apply to all gay men, of course. I didn’t have any trouble convincing past partners about my sexuality and of course, there are many lovely and sweet gay men who see beyond the surface of how masculine/feminine a guy looks. However, the few ones being assholes about it are usually the loudest. So, this is my statement to all of you.

If I could wish for one thing to change about the gay community it would be that it become more inclusive to all lifestyles, genders, races, sexual orientations. Like seriously, I don’t know how long I can stand the casual racism in online dating. And we should know that being feminine is neither a bad nor a weak thing. We as gay men should understand how hard life can be if you are different. We are all gay and no one is less a man because of what he chooses to do in the bedroom or in the bathroom. We are all equals and no one is more equal than anyone else.

Suggested further reading:
All gays have fetishes. And you do too.
Calling them what they want
About racism and online dating


0 thoughts on “Who fucks who at the gay zoo?

Leave your deepest thoughts or keep them to yourself.

%d bloggers like this: