The iGays are on life support, but I’m Fabulous!

I read with great interest the article blog titled “The iGays Are Way Too Sick: TURN OFF THE LIFE SUPPORT!”
http://stopracismandhomophobiaongrindr.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/the-igays-are-way-too-sick-turn-off-the-life-support/
I too am a 37 year old gay man but I’m going on breathtaking fabulousness. This author brings up an unsettling perspective regarding a perceived younger generation of gay men (I will speak only of gay men, not purporting to live the life of a proud lesbian) that base a great majority of their interaction online. Compartmentalization, hooking up, hunting for sex, social interaction, socialization and some basic human functions have indeed been reduced to a click and a “sup?” However, two major themes struck me. One was the author’s undercurrent of abject failure, rejection, giving up and throwing in the towel because he didn’t look a certain way or wasn’t a certain age and the second was the comments section wherein several commenters sprinted to reinforce and say, “yes, that’s me too!” Now, I’m not in any way invalidating their perspective or experiences, but I’m going to offer a slightly different take on the topic.
The author’s blog makes me sad. What he speaks of doesn’t make me sad because I do believe there is a kernel of truth to his observations. What makes me sad is the focus on the negative aspects of a stunningly amazing gay life. I love a good online hook-up. I find it efficient and I love sex. I love finding what’s behind zipper #1 (and 2 and 3 and 5) and I love group sex and I love sex with guys in a 25-55+ age bracket. Hooking up online to me is quick, efficient, and if I literally just want to get naked and fuck, why should I have to buy you a drink? You can be as socially awkward as you want, we aren’t going to a movie, I just want to sniff you out and have a good time. A picture and a description online tell me a lot about the physical characteristics that I look for and that turn me on. And I love hairy guys, and smooth-ish guys, (as long as they have a hairy crack), and I love guys that are black and white and middle-eastern and Latin and I like guys with a little cushion for the pushin’. I’m not a huge fan of smooth or small of stature but I’ve been there and had a fine time. It’s just the way I’m wired. In this bloggers viewpoint that would probably make me racist, or body-ist or hair-ist or something. I just like what I like and I’m not going to label someone who doesn’t like the same things as me as bad, just different. For every guy that rejects me for being hairy and 37, there is a guy that loves my hair and wants to call me daddy (yes, apparently I’m “there”). I love it.
The compartmentalization of gay men is something I’ve observed for years. This is not a new phenomenon. You could probably track it to the 60’s and 70’s when gay men would flag hanky codes for sexual preference. If I found you hot and you were flagging dark blue left and I was flagging dark blue left, (that’s two “Greek” tops for you uninitiated, aka: let’s fuck, I’m a top) would I go home condemning the whole of gay culture for not being diverse and “versatile?” Nope. Yes, versatility is good, but I love that there are so many bottoms out there too. It just means that a lot of gay men have embraced this role of pleasure. An unapologetic bottom is a glorious thing. To fully embrace something that can be viewed as submissive is truly empowering. In the ‘80’s into the early ‘90’s only shaved and plucked men were ogled over and epitomized (for reference pull up some late 80’s porn). Now it’s scruffy, hirsute gentlemen of a certain vintage. I can feel rejected because I’m not muscly enough and I have been absolutely rejected because I was a white guy going after a black dude. It happens. That does not make me any less valid or any less of a catch. And that’s internal confidence. I did not persecute the guys who weren’t interested in me; I simply changed my focus to someone who was.
I have seen, over the course of the past decade, the same evolution to online interaction that this gentlemen has. But I don’t decry it as the end of civilization. I take it for what it’s worth, one aspect of an exploding option in our gay life. Grindr and Scruff and Craigslist (yes, I’m old school) and adam4adam and manhunt and bigmuscle (2 year boyfriend out of that one) are all completely valid places to meet people. The same way that the gay bars, walking your dog, grocery shopping, social clubs, and rugby teams can be venues to meet interesting people. Or just someone you want to fuck.
While I see a challenge with relying completely on an online presence, there can also be challenges with meeting people in a bar. I’m not a big drinker and find bars rather tedious. If I’m single and going out I largely am on the prowl. I don’t want to make silly small talk just to get my dick wet. If I do walk through those sticky doors and don’t find anyone that piques my interest or vice-versa should I then judge the entire bar scene and say, “how dare you reject me?” No, I take it at face value, socialize with friends when it’s comfortable and do my own thing when it’s not.
It has to do with attitude and perspective. If you leave the house thinking you’re ugly, old, and no one wants you, then guess what? You’re right. If you leave the house (or engage online) with confidence, self-care, self-respect, and a good attitude, you’re more than likely going to get those same qualities in return. If you don’t get that deserved respect, delete or walk away. It’s really that simple. An online presence requires effort to maintain and cultivate; the same way that interacting in a public, physical, social setting does. To throw in the towel because you’re 37 and non-white, or not your perceived ideal body type speaks more about your self-perception that it does about our society in general.
The awesome thing about our gay culture is that we are more visible and accepted than ever in history. As a result there are a ton of choices out there. Simply put: quit playing the victim. The only person who can fix this shit is you. If you don’t like how you’re being treated online, leave. If you don’t like how that guy you like is treating you out and about, exit stage left. Surround yourself with individuals that love you for who you are: your age, your race, your sexual preferences (remember, fuck your species!), your love of creepy figurines, or just because they make you laugh. But I caution you, befriending those that jump on the isolation and negativity bandwagon is a path fraught with disappointment. Misery loves company, but happiness and self-respect is infectious.