“Oh, You’re Part of the A-Gays…”

the-plastics-mean-girls

Me: “Uhm, I’m sorry?”
Guy: “Ya, you hang with the ‘tight shirt, hot body’ crew”
(Cough – he just said I was skinny, marry me! – cough)
Me: “Oh… uh, thank you?” (All the while, thinking to myself, “since when did being gay involve a social hierarchy?)

If you’ve seen Mean Girls (and hopefully all of you gays have, if not, gimme your gay card) then you’re familiar with the scene where Janice draws out the social map of North Shore High. Let me refresh your memory, “You’ve got your JV Jocks, Varsity Jocks, Sexually Overactive Band Geeks, Cool Asians, the best people you’ll ever meet and the worst. Beware of the plastics.” So this is all-good in a movie plot, in Jr High, definitely HS and occasionally creeps up in the college (university for you Northerners) years. But where is the line drawn when we can drop those titles and just be who we are with the friends we have? As much as I love Regina George, I’m not sure I want to be considered a “plastic.”

Now, us gays love to put titles on the types of guys in our community, anything from bears, to jocks and daddies to twinks. But these titles, at least for me, don’t carry any sort of social status, so when someone told me that I was included in what they considered the “A-Gays,” I was intrigued. When I asked him to explain what he meant, he just said that he had always noticed my group of friends, myself included, as the people who always dressed in the latest trends, always had worked-out bodies (who me? HA), were generally very attractive, were always laughing and looking like we have the times of our lives and so on and so on. On the one hand, I was flattered that someone had noticed things like that, but on the other hand, I was confused.

While most of the things that he had said about my group of friends are true (without sounding conceited), it was never something I took time to think about. I just always thought, oh that’s a group of friends, there’s another group of friends, he’s hot – I want him, there are some other friends, but I’ve never thought “oh, there’s the B-Gays” or “Yikes, D-List Gays, why are they here?!” So, I asked myself, what makes an “A-Gay?” Is it because we’re out in the “scene” often, because there are a lot of us, because some spend (ridiculous) amounts of time in the gym, because we dress nicely (for the most part), because we laugh a lot? What is it – because I look around on any given night and see those same qualities in multiple groups of friends?

So, I wonder, why is there this labeling obsession with us gays? I understand wanting to quickly describe someone to a friend using the terms bear, twink, daddy, etc, but why do we have to revert back to high school social ladders? Can’t we just be who we are? There will always be witty, hot, educated, successful, muscle-y guys in any group if you look around, so why aren’t they considered “A-Gays?” Ponder it, lemme know what you think, ‘cause I’m still confused.

Submitted By: Alex N.

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  • The last time I dated a seattle guy and i told him who i was friends with he said “oh, the plastics…” no fuckin’ joke 😉 x

    we got labeled “clique” up here and for pretty much the exact same reasons: “the cute guys laughing in a circle and not talkin’ to too many others” hehehe

    love it 😛

  • Homoyoudont

    I know people are complex, and not always what they appear. But humans need labels for things in order to understand and perceive their existence. Labeling continues throughout life – it doesn’t end at highschool.
    All the “witty, hot, educated, successful, muscle-y guys” are usually considered the A-Gays, I think (of course, lesbians will never be A-Gays – but they have their own labels). That’s what the media and marketing firms have brainwashed us to appreciate, and it usually requires specific “nature and nurture” to develop naturally. The majority of homos have to work hard to even approach the ideal.
    But what makes the label stick is the behaviors seen when A-Gays congregate. They all tend to go out to the same socially appropriate venues at the same socially appropriate times, and tend to form a few exclusive shallow cliques based on looks and status. Their “friendship” is loose, and tends to dissolve easily when one loses status for whatever reason (e.g. loss of money, looks, health). In essence, A-Gays get the bitter label from demonstrating moreso than others: conceit, prejudice, exclusion, materialism, racism often, conditional friendship, overriding self-interest, etc. As demonstrated in your article, they’re often disconnected from what most experience, thinking that it’s normal to have all the material things they have, and to be able to (or even want to!) party in New York sometimes or jump on the next Atlantis cruise.
    As most gays grow up already feeling excluded from the general population, being excluded by the A-Gays as well is just another blow to self-esteem, resulting in the aforementioned bitter label. Homorazzi, “where homos judge everything”, just supports the A-Gay stereotype and distaste for A-Gays – nobody likes feeling inferior and “judged”. Not everyone has a golden horseshoe up their butt.
    Except for those who devolve into complete isolation or self-destructive behavior, non-A-Gays either strive to be A-Gays themselves in order to gain social status, or learn to appreciate other humans for who they are – not what they have or look like, or how they dress, or what music they like…
    In the extreme, one might argue that A-Gays, by their behavior and existence, contribute to self-destructive behaviors in other homos like drug use, risky sex and suicide.
    A-Gays, simultaneously loathed and loved, are a normal result of human social (“tribal”) dynamics. One day, hopefully, humans might evolve beyond A-Gays, who knows.

  • Oh god, who the hell wrote this article?

    Just a little note, if you have to say you’re cool, you’re not cool. If you have to say you’re VIP, you’re not VIP. As someone who has a pretty integral part in the way the Vancouver scene goes, I roll my eyes so hard at this so that I can see my brain.

    This obsession with the “In Crowd” is absolutely ridiculous. From what I can tell, everyone thinks they are said crowd. These young queers coming up all think they are entitled and so cool, with all their labels. The older gays who think this are completely delusional, grow up already guys!

    I am surprised by what you said constitutes you being an A-List gay. “my group of friends, myself included, as the people who always dressed in the latest trends, always had worked-out bodies (who me? HA), were generally very attractive, were always laughing and looking like we have the times of our lives and so on and so on. ”
    Really? Because you’re laughing with your friends means you’re a a list gay…oh honey get with the program. If this is what constitutes being part of an elite group of people, then everyone is part of this group which means no one is.

    I think everyone should just forget this stupid obsession and do something productive with your time. If you want to be noticed for whatever crazy reason in this community, do something positive. A word to the wise beauty fades, clothes go out of style, and believe me, the average gays are the ones that strive in their lives because they just really don’t care.

    The next time someone says something like that to you, check yourself. No REAL person cares about this shit.

    Honestly.

  • Ryan

    I agree with you Tommy, but what’s the difference with you saying “I’m kind of a big deal” ?

  • I knew I’d probably get nailed for that. But the difference is that’s a complete joke. It was more of an inside joke that started about 3 years ago. Ew I don’t ACTUALLY think that, that’s retarded.

  • and the only place i had that on was my twitter for a while and it was more a question.
    i’m kind of a big deal…right?
    Which I leave up to you. Do I think I’m a big deal, sometimes. But why? because I go to the gym and wear tight shirts…no. Because if my constant involvement in tryign to better our community…yes. No one works harder than me and what I do, and no one will. There’s a difference.

  • I just completley contradicted myself didn’t i?

  • bruin

    labels are stupid
    each person is a complex individual with unique personalities and characteristics. you cant really just categorize what you “see” into a label – dont judge appearances.

    point period blank

  • Peter

    I bet the person who wrote this has ugly duckling syndrom :p

  • Alex

    YO!

    So, just so we’re clear, this was written out of a genuine interest in what constituted the title of an “A-Gay,” given that until this was brought to my attention, I never considered myself a “plastic,” “A-gay” or “VIP’er” or anything else in that realm. The point of writing the article was not to gush in my non-self-given title of an “A-Gay” but to bring to light the question of why certain gays are grouped into that category – or any for that matter.

    As I mentioned in the article, I asked the guy what HE thought made someone an “a-gay,” I didn’t contribute anything to his list as, like I mentioned, I had never even considered labeling myself and my group of friends. Now while I did agree that the qualities he listed were accurate descriptions of some of my friends and myself, I never said that we were the only ones who possessed those qualities. IN FACT – I said that when I looked around, I saw those same qualities (worked out bodies, dressed trendy, educated, witty, etc) in different groups of friends, so why was my group labeled the “A-gays?”

    I agree with Bruin’s comment that you can’t always categorize people purely based off of what you see.

    Tommy, re-read the article and hopefully you will realize that I was surprised and caught off guard by what this guy said to me. No, I don’t consider myself an “a-gay” because my friends are laughing, wearing the “newest clothes,” go to the gym (myself excluded), etc, etc. I never considered myself an “a-gay” and still don’t regardless of what people think. There is no need for me to check myself as I don’t care about the label someone has given me. I would and still do, consider myself someone just trying to make it through each day, having fun and living life as I see fit. Striving, if you will, to just be me.

    Below is a link to a Details Magazine article describing what the writer describes as “The Rise of the A-Gays.” If this article holds true, no one I know, and certainly no one in my immediate group of friends should be labeled an “A-Gay.” I don’t necessarily agree with what is written in this article, however, it is another example of labeling at it’s finest.
    http://men.style.com/details/blogs/thegadabout/2008/11/the-rise-of-the.html#more

  • Nat

    I agree with Tommy’s first post. Hopefully, beyond high school, we lose sight of “labels”. There will always be someone more fit, wealthy, popular, powerful etc than we are. We can only endeavour to live happy, positive and, most of all, meaningful lives. In twenty years, how good we looked in tight shirts will not matter.

  • I totally agreed with homonoyoudont’s beginning paragraph about humans needing labels to understand people and the world .. that’s just basic psych and totally true. They’re called schemas and that’s how we tunnel information we get about people: proven fact.

    What I disagree with is the perceived frivolity of the friendships of said “a-list gays”… i can tell you for a fact the “group of friends” in question have friends who aren’t white and friends who are currently jobless.. and (wait for it)… they’re still “allowed” to hang out with the big boys- and they don’t even have to be in charge of ice at every party to make up for it!

    To assume “a-gays” have less valid and strong friendships is imposing judgments on them you believe that they make about you… it’s not fair and you know it 😉
    And the reason these “superficial” gays who have fancy jobs, wear the newest clothes, work out tons hang out together.. is because they have COMMON INTERESTS.. you know, like higher education or working at a more intense level and spending the money they make on similar items that make them happy (and you can never judge people for what they like- that’s just wrong) and working out? I don’t do it, but i do play sports a few times a week to stay in shape and being healthy and appreciating that in others is once again no crime. so sure, “a gays” may seem like cookie-cut is because like-minds hang out together.. fact 😉

    tommy, i love you but did you really write:
    “if you have to say you’re cool, you’re not cool. If you have to say you’re VIP, you’re not VIP. As someone who has a pretty integral part in the way the Vancouver scene goes,”

    … you do realize you said “saying you’re VIP is lame and voids you from actually being it”… then the next sentence was “as someone’s who’s VIP” haha.. 🙂

    The boys in the article aren’t from this city so you don’t know WHAT they contribute or do in their’s so there’s no way for you to say the statement is invalid.. i happen to know that they’re heavily interested and involved in rights and politics in their city and yeah, they do look great in tight t’s as well.. i just don’t happen to think the latter discounts the former 😉

    bruin, “not judging what you see” is cute.. but impossible to the extreme… i see a guy, hanging around my car with torn everything, missing some teeth and strung out on drugs is GONNA raise a red flag when i park my car when my ipod hanging from the stereo… not gonna “give him the benefit of the doubt” because “i don’t judge” (said in a sing song voice).

    I often dress QUITE differently from the rest of the homorazzi cast and get ripped into all the time (you should see my clogs!) but I love my clothes and my friends love me even more for being able to deal with their ribbing and jokes… I work twice a week and go to school full time and make no where NEAR what many of the cast do and yet not ONCE do i feel any different from them or the rest of my friends! And, again, have you seen me? the gym is the furthest thing from my vocabulary and yet the big boys still let me hang out with them! homorazzi aside, i have body builder friends who could lift me with a hand and they don’t treat me ANY differently when i’m around…

    I think a world where no one judges and everyone got along is great… but it’s called a utopia for a reason: it’s never going to happen. so, let’s live in the real world and revel in who we are. i try to 😉

  • Scott

    Details had an issue a while back about “A-gays” and guess what? Unless you are a meek, millionaire business owner who is a gay-scene recluse, chances are you are not an A-gay.

    As a member of this group being referred to as the “A-gays” I have to laugh. Not one of us ACTUALLY thinks this of ourselves, so I guess a thank you is in order. If you think I am so attractive and life-loving, maybe I should start acting more like it? Truth be told, we are all pretty self-conscious and normal. We have skin problems, we have financial problems, some of us have really heartbreaking pasts. The fact that we try to shine a little light in our lives by going out at the “socially appropriate times” [give me a fucking break, it’s the called the weekend. EVERYONE GOES OUT.] and we like to throw on our best pair of jeans for a confidence boost [trust, none of us are fashonistas in the least bit] then you should see from our behavior that we are no different than you. The thing that I love about our friend group, is that we are brought together and bonded together by how well we get along. Our humor is the same, we share so many common interests, and we have known each other for a long time. Our friendship is not “loose”. The complete opposite I would say.

    Those who perceive us as “A-gays” exhibit the exact same friend group qualities as ours; not because they are trying to somehow be a part of our friends, but because THAT IS HOW LIFE WORKS. If your humor doesn’t mesh well with ours, if your personality isn’t a joy to be around, chances are we are not going to want to hang out with you no matter how pretty or ugly you may or may not think you are. Where is this bitterness coming from when you look for and possess those same qualities in your own friend group. If you stand off to the side and get all worked up thinking “God, why won’t they talk to me??”, well, have you tried talking to us? We might all be caddy and cunty, but we are by no means mean-spirited. If you have something positive and enriching to add to our group, we welcome you with open arms. Leave your pity party of one at the door.

    And as for this previous “in the extreme” comment of “A-gay behavior causing others to use drugs, have risky sex or commit suicide.. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I am dumbfounded by that statement. A person who does any of those things because a certain group of people whom they perceive have “everything”, has probably never tried to get to know any of those people, and obviously have problems much, much deeper that cannot be blamed on other people. Again, check your pity party at the door.

    Have some balls and talk to people. Not everyone is going to be best friends, and that is just a reality. Move on. We are ALL chasing something that we think is greater than ourselves.

  • Honestly, I think people are using that term in regards to people they want to be friends with, but are just to scared to come up and say anything to them. They have this crazy idea in their head of what they must be like which is almost always completely wrong.

    So intead of actually doing something productive about it, they throw judgement.

  • wait… which side are you on tommy? 😛
    xx

  • Don’t even.
    We’ll see who calls who when they need entry into the next major party 😉
    xx infinite

  • Great post Alex! A very interesting topic that people obviously have strong opinions about. I, too, am a bit confused by the term “A-gays” and it’s various applications. If, as you suggest, it’s a fixed group of people with ‘money/looks/big smiles/always going to the best parties/trendy dressers, etc’ then you’re just talking about one subset of people just like the ‘alternative’ gays, leather/bears or the lipstick lesbians. I mean, if that’s what the box they want to put you in and label you, and it fits that definition, then that’s what you are to them. But if that’s not how you self-identify, then f*%k them. And really, what makes one group better or more superior than another? It’s all personal taste and I think people with commonalities and similar approaches to life, as well as in similar stages in life, are more likely to become friends than people who don’t have a lot in common or are in different places.

    Assuming we are thinking of the same people you are referring to, I know that they are a diverse group that on the surface may appear that way (ie in pictures as you describe) but once you get to know everyone, they’ve all got different styles, different jobs, different incomes, different goals, different social skills, different looks, etc etc. And the fact that you guys are smiling and socializing together and (shocker) going to the club and having a good time in photos? Well, judging you because of that is kind of lame.

    We can all be the people we want to be (financial situations aside). If you are a good person, considerate, and sincere, that will come through and you will attract good people. Simple as that. Maybe that’s a better reason to explain why you guys are all friends, eh?

  • bruin

    Adam ~ Yeah, i agree with you. It’s very hard NOT to judge and anyone who says they dont judge is obviously in denial or lying to you. However, you can TRY your best and be intolerant of people who are different than you. It’s an everyday process that needs constant practice. Your homeless situation is a little bit extreme ~ I think you are confusing street smart please dont come to me and stab me scenario vs. just being accepting of different kinds of people who will not pose a threat to you (ie the obese fellow)

  • Shauwn

    So…I guess the big bosses are loving the traffic that this topic is bringing to the site…

    Now, I don’t know the author of this article or who his group of friends are…but I love the fact that his choice of words includes “confused” and “ponder”….

    As a very judging homo myself….my personal motto in life is that “I can judge you but I can’t blame you” meaning that sure I can sit back on my high horse and judge a person all day long, but who is to say that if I was in the same situation as them or position as them…I would do things any differently???…I just hate the fact that no one in all of these messages has mentioned anything about how wrong it is to actually use the term “A”…you argue that just like a bear or a twink this is a category…but I would argue the fact that a twink or bear is a classification that does not necessary gives a ranking to a group of people within the society whereas the term “A” Gay is basically saying that there is a hierarchy of gays in our own mini society…but I beg to find out the answer…who are the B gays? The C gays? And So on…how do they differ from the As? They don’t have dicks? They don’t like men? They don’t enjoy beauty as much as the next person? They don’t have the ability to laugh? And you know what…for someone so articulate in the written thought process and intelligent to give a lame example of a bum on the street beside his car…I say give me a break….matters of personal danger are different than someone who just looks different than someone else..and instead of giving an example of going to school full time and working two days of the week, what I want to know is what would you do if say they were East Indian or anything but white and 25 and blond, would he be able to make the casts 2.5 colored member into 3.5, clogs vs. other shoes is a lame comparison for someone that has a brain..

    I will be honest I am guilty of this myself…but to all of us who say, well if you see us in the club come and say hello or talk to us….well maybe next time around we should take a second look at our actions, our body language and what we say when we are approached by someone that approaches us and we consider them to be less “A Gay”…so instead of turning our heads at the sight of someone saying hello…maybe we can get out of our comfort zone and God forbid leave the safety of our clique momentarily to say “how’s it going back to them?”…not everyone has to qualify for your bedroom’s look requirements at the first sight to say hello back to them….

    Quite possibly over the years, due to such levels of rejection in high school, and then university or a job etc…North American Gays in my opinion have developed this system of an anti-body that “I will reject you before you could ever reject me and you know what, I am doing it because that makes me feel good for a minute”…I do read homorazzi quite regularly…but as someone who does remember U8TV and the Lofters I am realistic that at some point this might have the same verdict… the reason is because this site is lacking that element of appeal to the so called non “A Gays”…I remember having heard that the very beginning some CBC radio clip and basically on that clip…all I heard was…I got to know a group of friends over the last two years and we have had so much fun and we partied so much that we want to show the world how fabulous our lives are….(sorry if it is not word for word)…but seriously…it is quite funny how even this whole cast has 2.5 barely colored people…the sad part is that just like the flashy celebs that quickly becomes “has beens”, if all of our lives were ever so fabulous…we would not even have the time or feel the need to expose it to the whole world…that’s my view…so maybe from time to time we can stop being so incredibly Grade 12 and in the cafeteria with the cool white in our case “muscle tanned kids” and just take a walk down the hallways…I mean God forbid I am not talking about popping our heads into the Chess Club or the Debate club… just the hallways…at the end of the day…in the morning after, it is not our faces or bodies that make us pretty or ugly..it is our personalities…so if you are lucky enough to have a good body or have money to by a pair of William Rasts and work on your ass at Nash all day to make your butt look good…don’t act “confused” because you are called an “A Gay”..just be thankful while it lasts..and be humble about it and try to take pride in the fact that you worked so hard to make your money..or even though you were a pimply D gay at some point or got called a fag in high school, you still survived and made it..but at the end of the day you are NO better than the guy who called you a fag..if you consider yourself to be sooooo much higher than the less attractive gay guy standing beside you at the O or Pulse who just put all of his guts together to say hello (Again, no referencing serial killers, or murderes, or drug addicts with knives – simply those with a different skin color or softer muscles, etc)….so let’s abolish the term “A Gay” since we’re not mean girls as we say..and just maybe be who we are…”Just Gay”…we are not in the “Brave New World” and life does not end in Yaletown, Seattle and Portland…and a European trip does not consist of hitting 8 cities in 4 weeks and just taking pics with the monuments, a couple of circuit parties and bars and maybe one or two semi-ok sexual encounters…we are all “Just Gay” and not an Alpha Gay because we can have certain luxuries others can’t…hope it is not super “Confusing” anymore 😉

  • this whole talking about a-gay thing is such a waste of time i think cause it seems obvious that in every environment/community/situation there will be those who are best fit for that environment. There should and always will be a hierarchy…its impossible to not have a social environment where you CHOOSE to go to and not face some sort of hierarchy.
    this hierarchy thing is in every community. you shouldn’t be bitter about the a-gays being so highschool/cliquey if you aren’t a-gay cause your wasting your energy and there is really no sense in wasting this energy cause you are who you are and should be happy to be who you are, which is something someone out of the highschool phase learns.
    i am currently reading a book called velvet rage, which was reviewed here on homorazzi (and hence why i am reading it), and it talks to the gay community as being kind of stuck in the ‘highschool’ thing cause being the ‘gayish guy’ caused us to not develop past this ‘being so highschool’ phase at the same rate as other social systems, and soo moving out of highschool in to adult life we then find other ‘gayish guys’ and then continue with the devleopment but we definitely have a tendency to stay within this cliquey mode longer, but obviously most of us will/do grow out of this…this also kind of reminds me of Courtney Cox’s character in the new tv show Cougar Town, who was kind of a dork in school and missed out on her college years so to speak, when she decides to go and hang out with her young colleagues, and seems to be out of place, and she has a bit of a conflict with her best ‘her-age’ freind, who had the normal ‘i partied in my teens and twentys and now i am older, married, and doing what most people in their middle ages do’. anyways, my point is, you can’t be pointing fingers at the a-gays for being so ‘highschool’ (being in the corner and laughing, blah blah). just use it as motivation to either be it or if you realise hmm, maybe your not a-list material, be you, and you will naturally gravitate towards or attract like individuals and then it doesn’t matter what an a-gay or f-gay thinks or where u fit–you all should be living your life and not give thought to what someone else thinks. and yea, if it does bother you enough, try to be the a-list.

    But i do agree with tommy d, if you have to CONSCIOUSLY WORK AT BEING A-GAY, YOU MOST LIKELY ARE NOT A-GAY. You are a-gay cause you naturally gravitated towards your other a-gay friends cause of who you are, if not your just ‘following’ the a-gays. A person is who they are cause they accept themselves as whatever they are and thats what makes them what they are. ie. johnny depp, gives off a cool demeanour, and yet he is kind of his own individual and doesn’t seem stuck in trieng to fit in but most people think he’s a cool guy. Guess it comes down to trendsetting versus following. and being comfortable in your own skin. And not caring if your a or f or like z, cause you are who you are.
    Most a-gays or whatever, are a-gays at the bar cause obviously they are good at being stereotyped gay (big muscles, emphasis on fashion, etc). But this is not to say those not in this category aren’t great. I personally am most envious of gay men who are amongst our society/community who have defined themselves and their lives not based on how well they fit the gay mold, but they have their lives, their jobs, etc….oh, and yea, they happen to be gay. In most cases I would say they would have less pressure and stuff in our ‘being gay in a straight world’ and thus makes me want to be these people. BUT THE A-GAYS AT THE BAR i think are those who are the opposite–they manage to play the ‘gay man in a straight world’ so well that its inevitable of course they would be more A-GRADE at the bar SINCE THEY ARE COMFORTABLE WITH/ SUCCEEDING AT BEING GAY, SO LIKE IT MAKES SENSE THEY WOULD BE PERCIEVED AS BEING AT THE TOP OF THE HIERARCHY (IN SOME WAYS ONLY CAUSE THESE A-GAYS AREN’T NECCESSARILY AT THE TOP THEY JUST HAVE THEIR OWN CIRCLE AND NICHE, AND THOSE WHO THINK THEY ARE AT THE TOP ARE EITHER ENVIOUS THEMSELVES OF THE A-GAYS OR AR A-GAYS THEMSELVES-HENCE, IT BEING NATURALL FOR THEM TO FEEL ON TOP, CAUSE YOU SHOULD FEEL ON TOP REGARDLESS WHO YOU ARE OR WHO YOU HANG WITH).

    OH and i am not an a-gay because i dont really know who the a-gays are since i don’t do the bars at the moment since im broke and jobless but based on the above comments i think it means some of the homorazzi cast cause they to me fit the gay mold well. I personally am like hmm, it would be nice to be A-gay because I am jealous of the cast as they seem to be comfortable with being gay and who they are but I am no where near yet to even feel C-grade about myself at the moment, yes i know its a journey and homorazzi and other gay circles are helping me with the journey but this makes me motivated to move out of this state of confusion and such.
    Also, if I am to ever be a friend with one of them I want to be their friend being who I am and not because of how I fit into the mold. Most likely, the one’s who remain part of the a-gays likely are those who don’t have to think to be a-gays, they just are a group of friends. If you are not a-gay, you will probably be the one’s drifting in-and-out, like any group of friends, you are together cause u just became friends and if you have to question are you an a-gay or spend energy thinking about it maybe your just a follower and not an a-gay. Since this A-gay group is a small group for the most part, the rest of the gay bar is made up of their own A-GRADE circles or some sort of niche of amazing individuals who come to the gay bar with like people and aren’t sticking out like a sore thumb but their whole existence at the gay bar isn’t to be part of this ‘a-gays’ thing, its to have fun.

    I almost wished it was someone not a-gay who wrote this a-gay article, it makes the a-gay in this article seem so anything-but-a-gay and more a follower who is insecure thinking am I one of them??. but whatever.
    even so, i love this random submission day thing, it gives all types of gays/circles the opportunity to share their journey and allow people like me to move closer to being comfortable with their gayness and finding my own niche in the hierarchy if you will.

  • Harlequin

    I think most gay men have the brains of 16-year old girls. Hence the circles and niches.

    I find it funny with everyone’s opinions (granted I didn’t read through them all. I have an incredibly short attention span). I think I see a whole lot of talking, but no actual walking. But everyone likes to think highly of themselves (myself included), and not too many people can actually see past their own noses. I think Vancouver does that to people.

    I mean, you can say how we need to get over this, but most of these people are still going to be completely bypassing others who aren’t up to their own ‘personal standards’. Despite what they’ve said in here.

  • Alex

    Dear Shauwn (and any other who chose to read the article and accompanying comments):

    My name is Alex, I live in Seattle and I wrote this article. As I did once before, let me take the time to clear up some facts given that you either didn’t take the time to read my article thoroughly or just completely mis-interpreted it. I’ll pull some information from my above rebuttal for you to hopefully read:

    -So, just so we’re clear, this was written out of a genuine interest in what constituted the title of an “A-Gay,” given that until this was brought to my attention, I never considered myself a “plastic,” “A-gay” or “VIP’er” or anything else in that realm. The point of writing the article was not to gush in my non-self-given title of an “A-Gay” but to bring to light the question of why certain gays are grouped into that category – or any for that matter.
    As I mentioned in the article, I asked the guy what HE thought made someone an “a-gay,” I didn’t contribute anything to his list as, like I mentioned, I had never even considered labeling myself and my group of friends. Now while I did agree that the qualities he listed were accurate descriptions of some of my friends and myself, I never said that we were the only ones who possessed those qualities. IN FACT – I said that when I looked around, I saw those same qualities (worked out bodies, dressed trendy, educated, witty, etc) in different groups of friends, so why was my group labeled the “A-gays?”

    In response to your paragraph saying “…no one in all of these messages has mentioned anything about how wrong it is to actually use the term “a”… you argue that just like a bear or a twink this is a category… but i would argue the fact that a twink or a bear is a classification that does not necessarily give a ranking to a group of people within the society whereas the term “a” gay is basically saying there is a hierarchy of gays in our own mini society.”

    Shauwn, did you not read the article?? To clear up your confusion, never once did I argue that the term “A” is a category just like a bear or twink category, what I actually said was this: “Now, us gays love to put titles on the types of guys in our community, anything from bears, to jocks and daddies to twinks. But these titles, at least for me, don’t carry any sort of social status, so when someone told me that I was included in what they considered the “A-Gays,” I was intrigued.” I think the point that you are missing is that I NEVER considered myself an “A-Gay,” this title was something that SOMEONE ELSE gave my group of friends. Furthermore, this article was written from an objective standpoint as I wanted to know why we were considered the “A-gays” when those very qualities that apparently set us apart at the bars, are qualities that I see on any given night in any given group of friends.

    There seems to be some bitterness in your paragraph regarding leaving “the safety of our clique momentarily to say ‘how’s it going’ back to them? Not everyone has to qualify for your bedroom’s look requirement at the first sight to say hello back to them…” Have you been out with my group of friends to know that we would automatically shut down someone trying to approach anyone of us. Have you seen first hand one of us screening perspective “non-a-gayers” in an attempt to deem their worth? I’m going to venture out on a limb and say, no, you haven’t seen us do anything of the sort. Truth be told, I often see guys that I am attracted to in other groups of friends and don’t end up ballsing up to go say hello to them for any number of reasons. So while it seems you argue that we remain in the safety of our “clique” to maintain a status, consider this, maybe some of us remain in our clique because it’s comfortable and a safe haven for our own insecurities.

    And finally, why in the world do you feel the need to bring up race in your comment? Nowhere in my article did I say anything about race being one of the qualities that was described to me as a defining trait of an “a-gay.” Personally, I am offended that you would even bring this up as I – this may be a shocker – am black. Actually, I am half black and half white and both parts are offended. I am not part of the Homorazzi cast, however I consider a majority of those guys good friends of mine, even the “colored” one, (and while we’re at it, let’s jump out of the slavery days and stray away from using the word “colored” as I don’t work the cotton fields nor do I respond to anyone with the words “Yes, Massa.”). For you to try and slam people who YOU seem to consider “A-gays” for not having enough color in their group appalls me. When did it become a requirement to have a race quota in any group of friends? Is it not enough that we all are friends because of our common interests, beliefs, hobbies etc? Do we also now have to have each color of the rainbow represented for our friend group to be considered legit and PC? Are all of your friends a smattering of races?

    I don’t want to speak for the Homorazzi cast/crew surrounding the reasons why they started this site, but I think it’s safe of me to say that they are a group of friends who are going through life living it how they want to and decided they wanted to share their experiences with whoever is interested on the www. Shauwn, no one forces you to read this site. Like any blog, this site was created as a creative outlet for the owners to discuss a myriad of topics that interested them. If it doesn’t interest you or you are offended by what is written or who it is that is – or isn’t – writing for the site, DON’T COME HERE.

    People, please read the article and realize that I don’t consider myself or my friends part of some upper echelon of gays. This was written because yes, Shauwn, it was confusing to hear that, unbeknownst to me I was part of some gay social hierarchy that I did not prescribe to.

    Thanks to all the commenters for your thoughts. I asked y’all to ponder and you have!

  • bahaha tommy… true story 😉 xx

  • Shauwn

    Alex…I mentioned at the start of my reply that I have no idea who you or your friends are which is the beauty of a blog…now I think with the description I actually might although not sure…secondly…in what I wrote…I was not merely focusing on just what you wrote, I was also referring to what others wrote in response to your article…
    One thing that I like and at least admire in all of these posts…is that at least it seems like everyone is owning up to it…from the comments that basically describe we are all looking to chase after something that we perceive that is better than ourselves all the way to get over it etc..one good thing is that at least with the gays…even if we have our own big bag of BS, we hold onto it and own it…even though from my personal perspective it is so wrong to think or acknowledge or condone or “not deny” that one is Alpha compared to the rest because of the clothes, bodies, shoes etc..and you my dear blogger, although you say that you are objective in all of this and say that you don’t consider yourself an A Gay, no where do I sense in all your comments still that you see anything wrong with the whole concept and in some dilluted way still try to justify it by saying “I don’t consider myself that but if others do, well that’s an accurate description…I just wonder what this new phenomenon is…people please enlighten me…what makes us so great..there are others and I think they are like us too..so are they A Gays too? Tell me what exactly is it that makes us so A (Sorry I paraphrased)”

    In general, I also love the fact none of us realize (although myself guilty of that too) that even if people say these kind of things about our bodies, clothes etc…we are so consumed about getting that validation about what we can show on our surface from our peers that we don’t wonder what it would feel like if someone was to describe oh that group of friends is very nice, kind, friendly, inclusive, non bitchy, open, successful yet humble, personable, smart, has achieved a lot or anything else along those lines as opposed to that they have muscle, laugh a lot amongst each other and good clothes which could all be very short lived…I used to be only after that kind of gratification about what people could see on the surface of me but I am glad that gradually (will admit not there yet and may never be fully) I am starting to prefer someone say that I am a nice person and have nice and kind friends or they feel warm and welcomed in my presence or the presence of my friends…but then again I will contradict myself here by saying that plasatic is actually one of the very longest lasting substances there is and can only be recycled..so maybe there is some merrit to all that is taking place amongst the cliques and they do it because it is durable and it lasts…they don’t call it that for no reason

    As for the don’t come to Homorazzi etc….touche….I never said I hate this site..as with everything else in life, there is good and bad (in here it means being selective about what you read) and also has a life span and a shelf life, so I was only stating the obvious fact that even at some point Perez Hilton will be out of fashion and so will Homorazzi and other things..that’s the point of life..out with the old and in with the new…so while it lasts…I will enjoy it with your permission and blessing and when something new comes around..then I will enjoy that…I don’t know all of the cast but I know most of them…and a limited few are really good people because they are nice, humble, welcoming and not overly cliquish and some are not and it’s fair, it’s a free country and everyone is allowed to do be who they are…so just like how one chooses to go for one brand over another, one can make that choice over who he or she associates with…but not based on the cover or the ads on TV = A Gayness i.e. same taste in clothes, same Gym, same hobbies….more so in my case because I have a genuine interest in someone’s personality to make them my friend and don’t need a multitude of people to surround me when I am out or in…in a way I guess this is cliquish too…but at least, at first I consider a blank canvas and give everything and everyone a shot…maybe because I am not insecure about certain things and don’t feel like it’s my loss if it doesn’t work…only give people as much as they are willing to give back…
    so at the end…bless you for taking the time to write me such a long reply and disecting it paragraph by paragraph but please note that I am not here to attack you or anyone else for that matter…just expressing my opinion the same way you are…and my comments did not all just relate to your posting only…maybe have a second look at what others said and then read through mine again…my style of disection is more subtle and that’s why it looks like it is all aimed at you but it’s not..at least in the first reply and most of this one…

  • Adam

    Alex, I’m really happy you put yourself out there and put a face to the article. I fully agree the inclusion of race in the concept of “a-gays” as completely ridiculous. I can’t imagine being called the “barely coloured” gays on homorazzi… But not a great adjective to throw around :S
    I do agree that I’m glad people are “owning” what they’re saying.
    Oh Alex, what’s up for next Saturday?
    And, as far as my “extreme” example
    goes… I find it’s the best way to test an argument… I loathe absolute statements in any situation and the only way to prove them is to go to the farthest stretch of it. That’s how I work 😉

  • Andrew

    Whoever wrote this article could certainly do with being taken down a peg. But self-aggrandizing articles like this are par for the course a lot of the time on this blog. A lot of the content is good and funny, but I really think we could all do without the ego.

    Please, your article might as well have been “some guy told me that my friends and I are SO amazing, hot and do so much for the community! Do you think this is true???”

  • Adam

    Alex… don’t even bother.
    Andrew, if you review the comments in here, the writer- alex- quite plainly explains why he wrote this article and how he reacted to the “conversation on the street”… definitely worth a read before you start worrying he’s running around telling people some dude thought he was “awesome”. It’s an article about groups and public perception- not about self-aggrandizing.

  • “Georgina, please. Nobody wants greasy pizza and Vanessa’s home movies when there’s a sushi and sake party next door! Did I mention wasabi facials?”

    I blame Gossip Girl. Why so serious people?

  • Mike

    God, i’m only 38 but feel so oooooold right now.
    Is this highschool or what?

  • Georgio

    I don’t know why cliques are so exclusive. I have been poorly treated by many gays and I haven’t done anything wrong to people and would like to find some friends but can’t.

  • hey georgio,

    sorry to hear that. i just moved to LA from Seattle and i’m finding it hard to find a group of friends that i fit into. that said, i’ve only been here for 4 months and friendships don’t happen over night. the friendships i had (have) in seattle took, literally, years to build. keep your chin up.

    some gays are hard to break into – but if they are that hard, then they probably aren’t a match for you and you’ll find a group that better fits who you are, your morals, your likes/dislikes.

    hopefully you come back and read this!

  • Jon P.

    I personally think this is a good article, Lex (I like to shorten people’s names, I think it’s cute). You described clique mentality quite nicely. I think it’s about how comfortable you are with yourself that allows you to easily make friends, but I also feel that we (not just the gays, but every human being) has a responsibility to each other to make each other feel included. I mean, I’ve known people who have committed suicide because they felt like no one loved them.

    To add to the sentiment here, approaching someone instead of remaining in a clique tells the lonely bystander, “impress me or you’re not worth my words.” It’s unfair for any clique to assume that any of our brethren serve as a court jester to self-proclaimed aristocracy. I also understand that much like you were saying in your work, that these groups tend to happen by chance.

    Lex, I’m sure the reason you have good friends is because you guys happen to already be friends and I’m reinforcing that because you shouldn’t (and I’m sure you don’t) feel guilty for it. You all happen to be quite lovely guys. I’ve spent more time in my small town trying to find friends and I thought it was bad in the big city; it’s not, just more visible.

    There’s one club here that gays go to and they don’t talk to anyone because they think that there’s only potential for sex. I value conversation and I guess that’s the reason I’m friends with a lot of heterosexual guys (surprise! They like to talk. LOL). It’s just hard out there though, because I don’t feel the same connection with them that I do with the one gay friend I do have. It’s nice to have friends you can really relate to, that won’t be offended at a joke, that won’t be like this is my “gay friend” Jon. It’s like, I would like to have someone be like this is my “friend” or my “homegirl”. Just anything they lovingly call anyone else in their group.

    As much as I hate the clique mentality, I would love to just have any group of gay friends just because we connect on a level I just am incapable of with heterosexuals; I don’t mean that in a discriminatory way. I hope you get it Lex.