“Why do they have to come here.

Can’t we have one place that is just for us?” Pete askes.
We are at self-described leather bar in New York City.
They’ are a group of young guys, early 20’s, dressed in bright colors, one carrying a purse and wearing high heels, dressed in a leather Tom-of Finland style hat, carrying a leather paddle, another in a skirt and a leather harness.

“They’re making a mockery out of the leather scene, out of being a man.”
“They’re just having fun,” Chris says. “It’s no big deal.”

Right cus you’d hook up with one of them?”

“I don’t know, the one in the harness is pretty hot.”

This last week there was a controversy when members of an American Drag show, Dragula, on tour in the UK, were turned away from the Manchester Eagle because they had a woman in their group.

There is a story of a popular LA party for “Dads” and muscle bears that recently refused entry to a trans man because his ID stated his gender as female, even though he clearly presented as male.
I’ve received countless emails and comments on my blog, jeffleavell.com, from people who have experienced being discriminated against for not being “masculine” enough.
“I was recently turned away at a gay bar in San Francisco because my boyfriend was in a dress.
As you were told the party “wasn’t for us”. When I asked what that meant the guy at the door just looked at my boyfriend and said;

Men Only

“This party is for men only.” In San Francisco! I mean, this is supposed to be the gay capital.
“I once got a fifteen-minute lecture at the door of a gay bar here in San Diego for even setting foot in there,” wrote Jess Keys, also known as the artist Xanadu Rocketship, who is a self-identified bisexual woman.
Jess performs at local Southern California drag shows and is a well-known drag ally.
“I was there to meet my friend after he was done performing. The door guys said things like, ‘Keep your gross hands to yourself.
Don’t even make eye contact with anyone. If they get aggressive with you, security is gonna let them. If we could legally ban women, we would. Most men in here hate women.”
“I was turned away at a bear event in LA because, as the door man put it, ‘We don’t let drag queens in here.’
I tried to explain to him that I wasn’t a drag queen. I am a trans-man. But even having to say that was humiliating. I’ve earned the right to call myself a man.

Why do I have to constantly explain my gender? But he didn’t care. He kept calling me a drag queen. Finally my friends and I just left.”
One of the worst aspects of gay nightlife is how it can internalize some of our most negative and unhealthy tendencies.

Growing up in a hetero-normative world that often demands men to act and behave according to strict societal rules on “masculinity”, a world where any deviation from these guidelines will get you called a faggot or sissy.

Or, rejected for not being “male” enough. It is easy to feel insecure over our masculinity, to fall victim to internalized homophobia that leads to idolizing often repressive and toxic versions of masculinity and to shame and oppress femininity and “femme” men.

Labels Limit Us

We label ourselves as Bears and Otters, Dads and Boys, Tops and Bottoms, Masculine and Femme. We try to fit each other into these clearly defined boxes that do nothing but limit who we are.
Recently, when a guy I was chatting with, asked me what I liked to do in bed, I told him, “Lately I’m feeling more like a bottom.”
“You? But you’re like this alpha male. How is a guy like you a bottom? What a waste.”

Masc for Masc

What I don’t get is what does my masculinity, or feminity have to do with my sexual preferences?

Why can’t I just enjoy bottoming, or topping, regardless of who I am as a human being?

I hate when someone calls me a bear, or when they make assumptions about who I am sexually based on how I look.

Being queer is about thinking outside the box

As Queer people, we get to define ourselves however we want, we shouldn’t have to use these ridiculous concepts of masculine or feminine attributes to fit ourselves into neat little boxes.

Just because today I’m feeling like a bottom doesn’t mean tomorrow I won’t be feeling like a top.

Why do any of these things have to say anything about who I am as a person? Who any of us are?
If you want to wear a dress and a leather harness to a leather night at your local gay bar, I think that’s awesome. If you want to go in full pup gear that is also awesome.

Puppy Play

But when did dressing like a puppy become more socially acceptable in our community than dressing in drag?
I don’t think being attracted to masculine attributes is a bad thing. I don’t think being masculine makes you toxic.
It’s when we use these concepts to judge each other’s worth, to make ourselves feel better than, or to make other’s feel less than, that I think there’s a problem. It’s when being “masculine” is used to separate ourselves from the rest of our community that it becomes, for me, a problem.

I’m not here to tell you who to be attracted to or who to hook up with. Hook up with whoever you want. That’s none of my business.

But what is my business, what is all of our business, is how we treat each other as a community.

Denied Entry

Then we start refusing people entry to Gay or Queer Spaces based on their physicality, race, gender or their masculinity or feminity, then I think we have a real problem.

We should be out there, united, defending our right to be whoever we want to be, and to welcome the whole spectrum of our queer community.
Did we really survive the AIDS crisis, political and religious intolerance, hate crimes, and homophobia just to write “masc only” on the apps?
Are we, as men, as a community, so afraid and insecure that someone else’s masculinity or feminity is a threat to who we are?
Intead of turning each other away, of trying to label and limit each other, we should begin to celebrate each other.
All of us. Regardless of gender or race or sexual roles. Because to be honest, the world can be a hostile place to Queer people, and the only way any of us survive is together. As a community united and strong.

Be who you want to be

Be queer, as femme or masc, as you want. Go explore your sexuality, be the femme-est dom top out there, or be the most alpha bottom you can.
No one gets to limit you, or tell you who you are or how to behave, unless you let them.

And why the fuck would you do that?

Was denkst du darüber?