memory lane

Gay guys share what it’s like to look at their pre-pandemic photos

As we’ve slogged through months of quarantines, lockdowns, and social distancing, who among us hasn’t reminisced about the Before Times? Life was “normal” just a year ago for many of us — or as normal as life could be under certain administrations — but the pandemic era has felt like a lifetime so far. And looking at photos from 2019 or even early 2020 can bring this current abnormality into sharp focus.

But how do you actually feel when you look at your pre-COVID-19 photos? One Reddit user put that question to the r/askgaybros forum recently. “I look at the photos when I was in London before COVID-19 messed with everyone’s life,” the original post wrote. “I was so [much] happier back then, trying to start a new life there.”

Related: Gay and bi men are having more sex than ever despite the fact that we’re in the middle of a pandemic

Here’s what commenters on the thread have said so far:

“I look at my pre-COVID pics and see it as it is. I’m not happy or sad. I have accepted COVID as the new pestiferous reality. The harder you resist, the more friction it will cause. Skip the suffering and accept reality for what it is.”

“Then I was sad; now I am sadder.”

“I’m just grateful I’ve made it this far without getting sick. The rest just doesn’t seem that big of a deal. I’ve lost too many people to this damn virus.”

“My hair definitely looked better.”

“I had a glow-up, in my opinion. I think during COVID I started to care more about my style, so I look slightly better now.”

“I’ve had a decade in isolation before COVID, so I honestly don’t look or feel any different. 😂”

Related: 6 ways to think about hooking up safely in the time of pandemic

“I was fatter. I put on some more weight during the first months of 2020, was approaching the summer, and decided I needed to improve my eating habits. So at least in that regard, I think things have improved. Some guys look good with more meat, but I wasn’t a fan of how I looked, which is why I decided to change that.”

“I don’t take or look at photos.”

“I guess I’m a bit happier considering the weight that I gained.”

Funnily enough, that last comment trigged an automatic haiku bot that recognizes Reddit comments that can be broken down into a poem with lines 5, 7, and 5 syllables long: