Spend five minutes on a gay hookup app, and you'll find a version of this dude: He's ripped, sometimes headless and definitely not into you unless you're "masc" (read: straight except for all the men you have sex with).
Photo courtesy of Masc Means project
There's been lots of debate about what it means when gay men express interests in specific body types: Is it a legitimate expression of a sexual preference, or a way of shaming people who aren't white, cisgender 20-somethings?
Zachary Bergeron, a senior communication design student at CMU, is hoping to bring that conversation to Pittsburgh as part of a thesis project called "Masc Means."
He's stopping by gay sports leagues, bars and other events "to initiate conversation about what it means to be masculine as a gay man [and] understand why we make masculinity a priority, why our dating profiles demand 'masc only' and why we reject the effeminate."
Last night, Bergeron stopped by 5801 Video Lounge & Cafe to hand out drink coasters that ask questions like "what makes you masculine?" or "what does masculine mean?"
City Paper multimedia guru Ashley Murray and I followed Bergeron around last night and found out what happens when you ask dudes at a gay bar about about gender norms:
Produced by Ashley Murray
Bergeron says he isn't sure what he'll do with the responses but says anyone can participate by tweeting @MascMeans.