If gay culture of a bygone generation was all about Broadway musicals, interior design, and diva worship—as How to Be Gay author David M. Halperin noted in a 2012 New York Times op-ed — these days it’s all about walking fast, keeping an ear out for Grindr notifications, and finding weird ways to sit in chairs!
We jest—mostly—but gay culture is indeed evolving alongside society in toto.
In that 2012 op-ed, Halperin observed that gay culture was “the last obstacle to complete social integration” for gay men, and as gays appeared to be assimilating into mainstream culture earlier in this millennium, there were fears that gay culture was disappearing.
Related: This tweet about gay online culture is sparking some very serious debate
But gay culture, for men and other genders, keeps morphing—and staying amorphous. As ¡Hola Papi! author John Paul Brammer wrote in a 2019 Out advice column, gay culture is hard to define:
What is it? Is it memes? Is it language? Is it wearing a bonnet and signing your name on the Devil’s Leger in Puritan New England? Yes. It’s all those things, and much, much more, because it’s defined by manifestations of human activity regarded in the collective. Basically, things become gay because you are gay and you are doing them. That’s sort of how it’s always worked.
Now, onto examples of manifestations of human activity regarded in the collective! As you’ll see here, Twitter users’ specific “gay culture” experiences can feel universal for us on a certain side of the Kinsey scale.
Related: “Gay people and their…” is our new favorite meme
10 years ago gay culture was created pic.twitter.com/RViqRyMCyO
— Meh (@Spilling_The_T) March 25, 2023
gay culture is thinking your current problems will be solved if you just become hotter
— josh (@joshuwaphang) October 6, 2022
Gay culture is making a drink 99% alcohol with a *splash* of club soda and being like “wow how did we get so messy last night”
— reidykins (@thereidfeed) August 2, 2020
Gay culture be like: pic.twitter.com/GdHFaKOQsX
— Alejandro (@Aledaniel441) March 19, 2021
Gay culture be like pic.twitter.com/aqfuY72jSC
— Grogu (@JackNastyyy) August 26, 2019
Gay culture is telling another man to “please step on my throat sir” as a way of introducing yourself.
— CAMILLE PAGLIA STAN? (@AgingWhiteGay) March 27, 2023
Gay culture is knowing every riff and adlib in "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"
— Bobbiana (@thatonequeen) December 20, 2022
Gay culture is:
-sitting on the floor when there’s a perfectly good piece of furniture next to you
-resting all of your weight on only one foot when standing
-keeping your feet off the floor whenever you’re sitting down or only having one foot on the ground
— kait ? (@sadkxit) June 16, 2019
Gay culture is your crush having a crush on your other crush, both of them completely ignoring you
— Gene Makes Video Games (@xergintonic) August 21, 2020
Gay culture pic.twitter.com/4DtOdI3YlY
— Charlie (@heuuis_) November 14, 2021
Gay culture in a nutshell https://t.co/xotaA53Qdo
— Loïc ??? (@LoicTheStoic) March 21, 2023
Gay culture is twerking and crying to Lana Del Rey songs.
— Lana Del Rey (@lanasmysoulmate) July 12, 2020
Gay culture is loving the female villain because you’re obsessed with bad bitches who dismantle the patriarchy.
— Christopher (@cehm27) September 15, 2020
gay culture is sending pictures of your celebrity crush and saying "HIM" "HE" "HER" "SHE" "THEM"
— andrew ? Colour Collider (@surfacepension) August 17, 2020
soviet cartoon cats are gay culture pic.twitter.com/ZKzDChaaz3
— girl somnambulist (@fearhand_) April 8, 2020
Gay culture is being the Samatha of your straight group, but the Charlotte of your gay one
— onlyfabs (@FabDambrosio) November 6, 2019
gay culture is picking infernal and celestial for your dnd 5e languages
— james @ ttrpg brainrot (@ttrpgay) May 18, 2022
gay culture pic.twitter.com/5DbkleiDeb
— matt (@mattxiv) September 30, 2021
Gay culture is growing up saying you’d never want a 9-5 office job because you’re too creative and realising that’s exactly what you need to accomodate the expenses of a gay lifestyle
— dcag (@dontdoitdani) August 20, 2019
Gay culture is falling for someone who is either:
3) out of your league
4) lives halfway across the fucking earth
5) A Middle Aged character from a show
6) All of the above
— Georgie (@ItsMissGxrgie) September 17, 2019
this is gay culture https://t.co/KhUquqRu0I
— tyler oakley (@tyleroakley) August 2, 2021
Gay culture is using 3 different apps to chat to one person but each app conversation has a different tone – the casual one, the serious one and the horny one
— Claire St. Clair (@sleepy_homo) December 25, 2021
Wall-E is actually an allegory of gay culture:
• feels constantly lonely
• surrounded by trash
• appreciates musical theater
— john (@johnstheworst) September 4, 2019
when straights walk onto a moving walkway in an airport they get a little glimpse into gay culture
— nate g (@_nguest) December 23, 2019
This is gay culture https://t.co/lZmvyJTA7O
— Southern Homo (@SouthernHomo) January 23, 2020
Why does this site rally against gay stereotypes in films, but in the next breath embrace them like in this article?
When you’ve finally achieved equality, allowed into every profession, can create recognized families and realize you’re not that different from the rest of the world, all that dress-up is like straights donning blue and grey and re-enacting Civil War battles.
Different strokes for different editors. Better question……….why do you insist on being an asshole with very little understanding of the press?
abfab, please educate me on “the press”.
Really dbmcvey, these two never cease to amaze………….inbama is now DONNING war apparel. It’s like, let’s see if I can say something even more stupid than before.
Gay culture used to be fabulous. Then the wigs showed up. Ruined everything.
The wigs were there before disco.
The Whig party dissolved in 1856, I think we are past blaming them.
…….sorry I could not resist a wholey rediculous political pun here. #nerd
I was a musician in the Navy and a computer professional in the American life, was with my husband 57 years, married 15 years, and lived the American dream. Gay life is not just about sex, it is about living in our community, paying your bills, living as you are supposed to. Who your mate is does not have to be a concern as long as you do not make the general population uncomfortable.
Well said. Seems like you’ve have a nice full life.
I don’t think making the general population comfortable should be your main goal, because there will always be a portion of the population that, no matter how much you conform, will not like you. They don’t care that you and your husband lead a quiet life, they still want your marriage to be illegal.
dbmcvey: no matter what you are/do there is a “portion of the population” that won’t like you.
With the masses of our youngest generation identifying as queers, sporting neon blue hair, nose-rings and at least a nod to nonbinary dress, is it really the gay kids working hard to become the best in their professions and wanting to form gay families that are the conformists?
LOL. It’s not anyone’s job to make someone else “comfortable”. People need to learn to accept others for who they are.
So why worry excessively about making them “comfortable?” They don’t care about your comfort.
dbmcvey, I don’t worry excessively about making anyone comfortable. What I don’t do is go out of my way to make someone purposely uncomfortable.
Based on your posts, I don’t believe you.
The fact of your being gay purposely makes many people uncomfortable, do you stay in the closet for their sake?
dbmcvey, I’m not out to make you believe anything about me. You choose to believe what you want.
Try harder @ shave. Reading your pitiful posts makes all of us uncomfortable.
”general population” = White Trash
”the american dream” = The World’s Nightmare
Just as you choose what you want to believe, for both of us it is colored by our experiences and prejudices. Just like all the people who won’t like us no matter how we modify our behavior to make them comfortable.
Whatever it is, it would improve without Twitter. But it seems everyone who abhors Trump and Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey is determined that their attack on culture should persist in this world.
i laughed very hard at a few of these