Some gay men in the UK are increasingly coming under intense pressure to posses certain physical features before they are accepted into the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, according to a report.
According to BBC, the situation has forced many gay men into doing the unthinkable just to fit into the circle.
The LGBT has, however, warned that such actions make gay men more prone to having body issues than their straight counterpart.
Jakeb Arturio Bradea, one of such men, said he was once told “you’re too ugly to be gay,” by a man while at Huddersfield gay bar.
This was even as he disclosed he had undertaken several measures to get accepted by other fellow gay men.
“Guys with stunning bodies get the comments and the attention,” he told the news outlet.
“I’ve not gone on dates because I’m scared of people seeing me in real life. I would honestly have plastic surgery if I could afford it.
“I got to a certain weight from just working out and going to the gym, but I couldn’t get any bigger, and I got into my head that I needed to be bigger.”
His search for “perfect look” pushed him into using anabolic steroids — a substance capable of increasing muscle mass — that almost cost him his life after he had suffered an heart failure.
“My friend said he knew a steroid dealer, so I thought maybe I’ll just do a low dose to see what happens,” he said.
“I got to the size I wanted to be, but it didn’t feel good enough. I kept wanting more. It was like there was a harsh voice telling me I’m skinny.
“I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t sleep, I was days away from dying. The cardiologist said if I had done one more injection or gone to the gym a few more times I would have dropped dead.”
James Brumpton, a software engineer from Lincoln, also recounted how he was influenced to change a part of his body after his boyfriend gave him a disgusting look on their first date.
“I allowed another man to influence me to a point where I literally had part of me removed,” he said.
His quest to look acceptable, however, suffered a huge blow, after a tummy surgery he did went wrong.
“I’ve been shamed many times since then. A guy I was dating once said that I needed to go and find jeans in the maternity section because I have wide hips,” he said.
“People having in their profiles ‘no fats’, or that they’re only into masculine and muscular guys, so they don’t want anyone that’s super skinny. The idea in your head is that to be a gay man, is to look like a Calvin Klein model.”
Jeff Ingold, from LGBT charity Stonewall, said to address the issue, it is crucial to avoid streamlining gay appearance to a particular kind of look on the media, calling for diverse representations of body types.
“Not only would this help gay and bi men see themselves reflected in what they watch, it would also help break down harmful stereotypes that affect gay and bi men’s body image and self-esteem,” he said.
On his part, Matthew, the author of ‘Straight Jacket: How to be gay and happy,’ linked the increasing pressure on body appearance among gay men to homophobia, which in turns brings about low-esteem.
“It’s really important to remember that there is unprecedented pressure on everybody to present themselves in a visual way,” he said.
“But I think you can’t take out of this discussion the fact that LGBT people grow up, shamed, not able to be themselves.
“And I think for lots of people, that’s a massive trauma that manifests as low self-esteem. If you don’t like yourself, that manifests as not being happy with the way you look.”
Photo credit: Reuters
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