Dating Bradford: Relative Masculine


Poking around in personals, I keep seeing guys' profiles
listing them as "masculine." This confuses me because everyone's idea
of masculinity differs. Sometimes it means that they are, "Yo, dude!'s"
on the street, and "pansy boi's" in the bedroom, and sometimes it means
they just aren't comfortable with anything feminine.

once had a date with a "masculine, laid-back guy" who played butch in
his emails, but in person had blender wrists set on frappé. I didn't
have a problem with it, but the second mine approached stir, he rolled
his eyes and swished for the exit.

I used to think I was
just gay. Now I'm wondering, what's my sub-label? I don't regularly
dress in women's garments, but I'll throw on some rockin' drag for
Halloween, and we're talking six-inch stilettos. How many femme points
does that get me, and what's the quota to win a free wig?

don't consider myself "affected," but my queeny friend Tigger seems to
think I'm "worse" than him. I don't get it. I like to do things like
backpacking, and home renovation with power tools and shit, but God
forbid us fags should act like ... umm ... fags!

I also
love to be silly, but many "straight acting" gays find this a turn off.
What's with "straight acting" anyway? If we don't "pass" as thespians,
are we then "lispians"? Are there Faggot Equity dues I should pay to
join the union, and if I burn my free wig in front of Der Reichtag, do
I get a discount?

Oddly, I, too, find "straight acting"
guys attractive in that in-denial kind of way. However, growing up in
San Francisco, home of the faggotty free, I was raised to be as gay as
I pleased. My rating on the Kinsey scale was never an issue until I
moved to New York. Is it mostly environmental, I wonder -- or is a
current trend to blend?

In many circles of New York, it's
sexually unappealing to be queeny. I call it the city that never sleeps
... with drag queens. This is not to say there aren't a million dancers
and prancers, ho-mongers and vixens, but when on the prowl, we put on
the scowl.

"Oh my GOD, did you see her shoes? They were
FIERCE!" said the cute Latin boy to his friends. Then, noticing my
gaze, his posture slackened, his voice lowered three octaves and
"Wassup, dude?" came spilling out.

"Honey, I already saw
your purse fall out," I said. "There's no need to suck on that army
boot." This didn't get me into his bed -- however, it did get me a
girlfriendly acknowledgement.

Like New York, London also
boasts of social acceptability, but is it true? Morrissey sang, "Here
in London, home of the brash outrageously free, you are repressed but
you're remarkably dressed, is it real?" The answer is no. London is one
of the most uptight cities I've lived in. In actuality, both London and
our brazen Big Apple are both very conservative towns.

"That's bullshit!" one New Yorker said to me over
infused vodka at Vlada Bar. "You see drag queens at every good party in
New York."

"But who fucks them?" I asked. "Do you?"

"I only fuck boys who look like boys," he said. Then he added, with a flirtatious raised brow, "You look like a boy."

"Careful Larry Craig," I said. "I might be hiding Victoria's Secret under my Abercrombie & Fitch."

It gets me thinking:
What is masculine, and how gay is it?

(Photo: Bradford Noble)