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Despite the plethora of studies on masculinity about heterosexual and gay White men, and even men of color, there is relatively less empirical research on gender presentation among gay racial minorities. First, in both historical and contemporary times, gay people of color were excluded from mainstream gay social networks and movements, which have provided the basis for most empirical studies on sexual minorities ().Compared with middle-class White gays, gay minorities tend to be more dependent on social, emotional, cultural and economic support from their ethnic/racial communities, which outweighs the benefits of joining mainstream gay social circles, which some find to be racist and classist ().
Males who fail to act tough or who show emotion are often told to stop acting like “girls” or “fags,” a practice that further reinforces the subordinate position of both women and homosexuals relative to straight men ().
Given the heterogeneity of men – across race, class, religion, geography and sexual orientation – it is important to note that masculinity does not carry the same meaning and value across all social contexts. Although men of more disadvantaged backgrounds (for example, minority, working-class, gay) reap certain privileges because of this system, they lack hegemonic masculinity because the masculinity that they deploy cannot often be exchanged for the most dominant forms of power and capital.
The men in my study closely surveilled each others’ behaviors, often sanctioning their friends who behaved too femininely in public settings.
In addition, masculinity functioned as a prerequisite to determine which men were acceptable to date.
Drawing from ethnographic findings of gay Latino social circles, this study examines how gay Latino men negotiate boundaries of masculinity.
These men employ specific strategies when “doing” masculinity, which in turn are shaped by their racialization as Latinos within the US context, their gendered socialization within their immigrant family, and feelings of exclusion from mainstream gay spaces.
In contrast, African American and Filipino males in the same school flaunted their masculinity through their clothing, grooming and ability to dance.
Moreover, minority boys would emasculate their peers by calling them “White,” illustrating how their notions of masculinity were racialized.
Many studies of masculinity examine the experiences of White men, men of color and White gay men, but often do not incorporate the experiences of gay men of color.
This study builds on recent work on Latino gay immigrants by focusing on the experiences of US-born Latino gay men, who have received relatively scant attention by researchers.
Interestingly, White peers adhered to minority boundaries of masculinity, as they never chastised Blacks and Filipinos for engaging in behavior considered “feminine” by Whites’ standards ( notes that individuals who are excluded from dominant fields create new fields that reproduce and appropriate ideologies of the original system of relations, which has been shown to be the case within gay male social arenas ().Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating