Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Andy S. Then and Now

Okay, I admit this post is going to require a bit of brain bleach, but here goes. Then:

It being Easter, the streets were dotted with the usual hairy-backed homos - this time in large, floral Easter bonnets. I saw one hirsute fellow dressed from head to toe in flamingo motifs. And they say it's not a culture. The afternoon beer-bust at the Eagle, a San Francisco ritual, was, however, a bust. Rarely have I seen such a scary crowd - and in the full glare of the afternoon sun. At times, it seems that San Francisco is almost frozen in time - roughly 1977. Gay life in the rest of the U.S. is increasingly suburban, mainstream, assimilable. Here in the belly of the beast, Village People look-alikes predominate; and sex is still central to the culture. This can be fun for a tourist, but I'd go nuts if I had to live here full-time.


"The bear phenomenon is real and strong and one of themost hopeful cultural trends in gay life right now.But among many younger gay men, the bear thing stillresonates with prejudiced notions of fat, older guys, who are rationalizing their own unattractiveness. The gyms and bars are still full of the feminized, shaved, plucked, exfoliated creatures that dominate the fashion ads. On 'Queer Eye,' the Fab Five have recommended that even straight guys trim, shave or remove what makes them sexy."


"Hairy backs do not lessen my sexual attraction to another guy: their extreme masculinity -- and their comfort with it, more than anything -- is deeply attractive. I'll leave the joys of hairy asses to others (although my own dismay at being what the personal ads call 'lightly hairy' on my upper body is immensely relieved by the fact that my genes covered me in hair from the waist down). And there is nothing more masculine than the weather-pattern of hair-cyclones on a chest leading to a thick, dense trail of hairiness down to the crotch. Anyone who shaves off this natural masterpiece is a vandal."

--Gay writer Andrew Sullivan in New York City's H/X,
Oct. 16.

Shorter Andrew Sullivan:

Now that I'm hairy, old, and chubby, I will declare hairy, old, and chubby to be the male physical ideal.