Comment: Am I too skinny a gay to get a boyfriend?

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Liam Hackett Social

Writing on body image and his experiences of attitudes within the gay community, Liam Hackett asks whether he is too skinny to get a boyfriend.

It seems that within the gay community, we are going through an identity crisis. A crisis whereby if your physical appearance and/or mannerisms don’t match what you see on the front cover of a gay magazine then you’re cast to the side in favour of a gym bunny fresh from the free weights.

I don’t know if it’s a recent thing, or if it’s just something that starts to strike as you creep further up in your twenties, but quite frankly – it stinks. We’re objectifying each other on the basis of what gay culture and media tells us what is attractive. In the past 2 weeks alone, I’ve had different guys tell me that I’m either too skinny, too tall, not masculine enough or would just look better with a bit more muscle on me.

Without sounding precious about it all, I’m wondering about the kind of impact it is having on my esteem. Not just my own esteem, but also the guys who don’t have the time OR desire to spend every spare moment pushing weights in the gym, or the guys who don’t fit into the heteronormative “straight acting” internalised homo-hate that the entire effing community has on a pedestal. Have we lost our minds?! Are we really that superficial that a guy is cast off because there’s one characteristic about him that you don’t like?

The guy you just swiped left to because he has a mole on his face or isn’t stacked enough for you, could be the future father of your children, he could have the most beautiful eyes and the most wicked sense of humour but you just blew it by casting your focus on his physical appearance. I’m not defaulting to that age-old “appearance or personality debate”; this is far more intricate. I’m not talking about somebody just generally not being your type, I’m talking about the tendency our community has to cast somebody off in favour of another because of a tiny, insignificant detail about them. Who cares if the guy has a mole? Who cares if he works in fashion in lieu of what is perceived to be a “manly” job? And who cares if he wears a size small t-shirt?

Our “community” needs a wake-up call. And fast.

Liam Hackett is the founder and CEO of anti-bullying charity Ditch The Label, and the founder and managing director of Hackett and Tiger.

This article originally appeared on Liam’s personal Tumblr page here.