I don’t normally throw myself into social issues I haven’t had time to fully process, to feel confident in my feelings about. I certainly try to not write about them, for risk of seeming incoherent or unhinged. In some cases, I overthink very simple solutions.
Today I came across a post from London Preppy, who’s creator is a published author and like me, a young gay man. It addresses the “bro” social movement, which has dominated the youth vernacular over the past few years, and has reached a pitch of normalcy that is akin to, as North states, the ‘gangsta’ style of years past.
When mom starts saying “bust a cap,” the coolness is over.
For one, I have to give props to North for writing such a self-depricating assessment of the situation. He himself is a fervent subscriber of the bro movement. Read his post for the thorough effect.
Being gay, though, gives bro-nessÂ a unique twist. North cites that like many other hetero-centric social cohorts, it gives gays a place to hide in their insecurity.
Being a bro is appealing, too, because it celebrates hyper masculinity, one of the gays’ favorite obsessions, in the form of extreme, affected indifference. They just want to chill, to be comfortable, and be effortless. The roll out of bed attitude.
To care, and therefore stress, about anything, isn’t cool, and certainly isn’t bro.
In many ways, “bro” it is the antithesis of “queen,” a just as awful social label.
The problem (you knew it was coming), with gay bros, is that like any mask (credit to North), it isn’t a true representation. It doesn’t come naturallyâ€”takes fine tuning to perfect. If gay men are good at anything, it is having an exact attention to detail.
God forbid a shirtless picture surfaces from a bro olympic event like Coachella, where masculinity-affirming and sexual-attention-getting abs are not present and properly lit.
The wider issue here, in my humble opinion (IMHO), is subscription to anything. Period. [~do what makes you happy~]
InÂ the bro movement and in being a bear, twink, or queen…gays find comfort in labels and rules.
To a lesser extent, so do all people.
This is a result of insecurity. In oneself, in one’s complexities and probable eccentricities that would not pleaseÂ the mainstream.
I for one could never be a bro: I don’t drive the right car or find myself in flat-brimmed backwards caps. I will always care a little too much about my body (I think it’s called dysmorphia?), and I love overpriced designer stuff too much.
No one is fully bro, frankly. We all may have elements of it, moments in our continuum when we exhibit and personify those attitudes.Â Being on the bro end of the spectrum, though, means you’re about as far away from queen as you can get, hence its popularity with insecure ‘mos. If another guy calls me “bro” on Grindr or states that he is masc(uline), I will scream.
The thing about the mainstream (and all its passing pseudonymÂ trends)…it’s bullshit.
You might love it and nurture your relationship with it, and you think it loves you back, and gives you acceptance and material success in return for your loyalty. But really, it’s using you. It will throw you away for the next best younger, more attractive, more blindly obedient follower than you.
As a result, things will really suck, sooner or later.
This is because you are placing your happiness, your value, and your love of self, in the whims of an external force. One that in some cases, is driven by such awful things as capitalism. You don’t think trends spawn from thin air do you?
OK, so I know you’re thinking at this point, he’s gone off on a tangent, into black spaceÂ where his thread of thinking is growing mighty fine.
My point here is, bro or no bro, step up a rung and see the bigger picture: to give even a single shit about what someone else thinks is not worth the damage to your self and your soul. Sure, it makes your external life a little harder, because you may always be seen as an outsider.
On the inside, however, you find such peace and satisfaction in forging your own trend. I say this well knowing that I struggle to keep up my motivation to ‘do me’, rather than ‘do everyone else’, because the forces are stacked against anyone who bucks the mainstream.
Doesn’t mean I don’t know the right answer.
My feelings about this particular post and author are mixed in that I find him and many gay and non-gay bros physically attractive, and see the author in him as having achieved some things I would like to as well. I also felt compelled to respond, somewhat critically (out of love, North), because the bros irritate me and I want them to go away.
Thus, I leave you with: if you’re a true bro, til death do you part…then get it girl. I won’t roll my eyes. Because if that’s really who you are, then I’ll respect you and yourÂ self.Â
But do me a favor. If you ask yourself “am I really a bro, or do I want to do DIY home improvementsÂ and watch documentaries?” and you waver in your response…drop the bullshit and go buy that CB2 media console. Order up that luscious scarf, or frilly cocktail. Life is too short.
“YOLO” or something.