Pop-Culture | Posted by Alec A on 10/13/2010
Being A Gay Teen at Homecoming
I was at homecoming this past weekend and, given my miraculously heightened sense of male gender roles, I made a few interesting observations that I would like to share with the wild internet west. Alright, I have taken a sip of coffee, so here we go.
There is no such thing as a male dance move. I noticed this as I was trying to dance to various rap and pop songs. I would sort of try and get into it and then I would grudgingly realize that I really had no dance repertoire to draw on for that selection. I had two options: either dance like a heterosexual douchebag or dance like a flaming homosexual.
Let us look at the dance routine of the douchebag. Put yourself in the scene. The lights are flashing, there are smoke machines coughing up some questionable substance that you are not entirely willing to inhale. The douchebag places his concealed penis strategically in the small of a girls back. They begin to grind. The douchebag sways back and forth as though he has a serious inner ear condition. The girl does her thing, and she tries to arouse the boy by rubbing up and down and all around. Chances are they are not even going to have sex; it’s a fruitless ritual. But the guy looks around with a sense of superiority and he raises a hand and wags a finger back and forth in the air as though he’s signaling to the men wearing sunglasses that he has made contact with the hit.
I, of course, did not feel very comfortable because I don’t have any desire to grind with a girl. What is a guy supposed to do if he wants to dance to rap music but doesn’t want to grind? Can’t a guy enjoy himself without having to display his sexual prowess?
Now, a few minutes later, Lady Gaga bursts out of the speakers. I was able to identify more with this music because I’m gay. Don’t start screaming about how I’m setting back the gay rights movement by a thousand years. Frankly, Lady Gaga is a gay icon and her music is great to dance to, especially when Bad Romance is being played at like a million decibels. I grabbed my glow-sticks and I began to rave. I stomped and I aggressively thrust my hands in the air and it was so great. But this was the dance of the homosexual who was clearly enjoying Gaga a little too much. I think the room may have caught on to this fact when I started screaming the lyrics at my friends. It was just one of those moments.
I think in retrospect, however, that dancing to this song would have been about forty times more appropriate if I had been dancing with other gay men, instead of straight girls. Conversely, if I had had a girl to grind with during the straight music, then I would have been much less out of place as well. Men need a happy medium when they are dancing, and they need to be able to dance for their own enjoyment without having to display machismo.
Is there some sort of neutral, masculine dance move? I was trying to figure this out, and the conclusion I reached was as such: just spaz out and then no one can even identify you as anything other than crazy. Admittedly, I tried to do some sort of fist pump jumping combo at first, but then I felt as though I was making a guest appearance on Jersey Shore. Fortunately for me there were no grenades to throw myself on, and Snookie was not in the building messing around with her poof. I tried to sway back and forth, but then I felt like a tool as well for not coming up with a better dance move. But if you try a legitimate dance move as a guy, then you come off as gay and that does not really help you either. So my options are to be a buzz-kill, a flamer, or a guido.
I’m really hoping that someone out there as found a nice in between dance aesthetic because I want to be able to feel comfortable dancing to all different types of music instead of feeling shafted when something comes on and I don’t want to grind. I think that Americans have a highly inflexible dancing tradition that requires men to dance as a symbol of sexual bravado rather than for personal fulfillment.
Read other posts about: dancing, double standards, Feminism, gender identity, gender stereotypes, grinding, homosexuality, machismo, male feminists, masculinity, masculinity standards, polarization, sexuality, teenage feminism
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