It’s a pernicious double standard. As a 2014 report from Stop Street Harassment notes, gay, bisexual and transgender men experience rates of street harassment between 17 and 20% higher than their male counterparts who aren’t LGBT.
I should know. A few summers ago, I walked home as I normally would from a gym in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, which has a high concentration of LGBT residents and business owners. With headphones in, I enjoyed a breezy afternoon stroll down Broadway Street, the wind drying my sweaty brow, soaked shirt and gym shorts. Approaching the last few blocks of my journey home, I heard loud jeers and laughs from three men walking behind me.
“Man, look at that ass,” one man said to the others, as if I wasn’t present and listening to his remarks. “Wonder if he’ll let me get a bite of that.”
I thought if I ignored them and just listened to my music, they’d eventually stop. But they kept walking behind me, they kept discussing what they’d like to do with my hindquarters with or without my consent, my whole way home. As I arrived on my block, I suddenly realized that hardly anyone else was in an earshot, and started to wonder if they really wouldn’t stop. So I quickly shuffled to my buzzer gate, slammed it behind me, and unlocked my building’s double doors in haste, rushing inside for a buffer between myself and the men on the outside. They laughed at my trepidation as they continued down the street.
Umm, presumably gay or bi- men whoop at the buns on a male gym bunny. And this is the patriarchy?
It’s time to have more of a conversation about how the misogyny and patriarchy imbued in rape culture targets gay and gender non-conforming men