My brightly colored nails with a confetti topcoat often draw attention and puzzled looks.
It is often difficult for others to realize that I’m not here to perform for them.
By Nick Artrip I turn on my phone and allow my fingers to scroll across the numerous apps. As I read more and more profile descriptions I become disheartened. I take in phrases such as “no femme” or “masc only.” Everything I’ve learned in my courses about feminisms has been thrown out the window.
However, for some, if they aren’t being rejected, they are being fetishized.
For example, another popular moniker is “Rice Queen” or “Rice Daddy,” which is a racist descriptor used to describe gay men of non-Asian descent who are particularly attracted to Asian men.
I embrace my femininity as well as my masculinity unapologetically.
By openly accepting the label “bottom” I hope to subvert the gaze that I am subject to in a gay culture where being “top” is king. My prefered position does not make me “less than.” Taking these identities and being open with them often limits my romantic possibilities, especially with men who are afraid of them.
Simultaneously, users are turned into objects that either fit or don’t fit another user’s desires.
The terms “no fat” or “no fatties” appear often, and I cannot say that I am surprised by the persistence of this given the “Adonis Factor” that has always had prevalence within the gay community.
A student of feminism and race theory, I am often questioning where fetishization begins and ends. Though one’s intent might not be racist et al., the language sometimes used to describe fantasy and desire is at times racist and othering, especially on Grindr.
In this new world of technology, interaction has — to some degree — become so impersonal that no consideration is taken for other parties.
I find, however, I would prefer to be unapologetically me than conform to a norm for companionship.