Sit with any group of disgruntled single women long enough and you'll hear it: "All the good men are either married or gay." While most straight men get defensive when confronted with that tired complaint, a clever few have learned to work that cliché to their advantage.
But why would someone at the top of the social hierarchy choose to pass as a fag?
It could be argued that the presence of out, gay men has begun to weaken society's demand that men be rough, tough and masculine--that is, out of touch with fashion, emotionally aloof and, well, manly. Thanks to strong gay men, straight men are freer to be stylish and sensitive.
That's the stodgy, anthropological answer.
The fleshier answer? Gay men get girls.
Take, for example, Amitabha (Aumie) Worcester, 24, and Aaron Kramer, 22, who have both "benefited" nicely from the impression they elicit of being gay.
Most of Aumie's male friends are gay, he shops at Diesel and Metro, he wears pants that by all natural laws should prevent any possibility of baby Aumies, and like any good metrosexual he meticulously styles his hair. At last year's Peacock in the Park, the queer party held annually in Washington Park, he wore a black, flesh-hugging shirt, black and yellow striped pants with bondage restraints, black platform boots, and a miniskirt.
His fab fey fashion is Republican next to Aaron's. Coming of age in the club scene of West Hollywood, Aaron designs his own costumes, which can include flashy Cirque du Soleil-style makeup, drag, boas, stilts and glitter. Not only can he pull off a costume made entirely of AstroTurf, he can make it look hot. When either of these men are all done up, boys and girls both want to get into their pants--or miniskirts, as the case may be.
They look, pardon the stereotype, gay. But they're both straight.
Aumie admits, "Yeah, I tell people I'm gay." Then he adds, "But I only sleep with women."
Aaron identifies as an androgynous hetero. "I was drawn to the club scene's fiery gay mannerisms and attitudes: the sassiness, the flair, the flamboyance," he says.
The stereotype states that gay men know fashion, they're sensitive and witty, they're not mired in masculine hang-ups. And they're not after your poontang. What's for a girl not to love?
However, there's the little problem that gay men, by definition, don't date girls.
But "gay-acting" straight men do. Aaron and Aumie both agree that fashion and flamboyance--that is, the impression that they're gay--is the initial hook. Being straight is the sinker. Both admit they have to drop the hint that they're into girls, not boys, be it through mentioning an ex-girlfriend or outright declaring their hetero-sexdom.
Aaron and Aumie illustrate that "gay-acting" straight boys are no longer just sissies; they're sissies with untapped sex appeal. Perhaps het boys have something to learn from their queer brothers in their quest to sustain the human race. Or at least in their quest to score a shag.
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Aaron Kramer once facetiously brainstormed a slogan advertising his flair for gayish androgyny, minus the macho bullshit, that went "everything you need, nothing you don't." Imagine that as a commercial jingle.