Gay man with bleached blonde hair wearing enlarged sunglasses with a white brim.

Sunglasses are supposed to block out the haters. But some shades the gays are wearing this summer are only inviting them.

Like many fashion accessories–jewelry, hats, shoes, scarves–queer folx have long used sunglasses as a way to add pizzazz to their lewks. Novelty shades are hot, quirky and fun. And thanks to fast fashion giants such as Shein and Temu, they are more accessible than ever.

Ubiquitous in the gay world, there are many subgroups of adventurous aviators. But over the last couple of years, there’s one specific style that’s storming the beaches of P-Town and Fire Island.

Previously only worn in darkened nightclubs, rave glasses are starting to see the light of day. Some say the large and colorful shades look ridiculous, while others say… they look ridiculously hot!

While gay fashion is always evolving, the last couple of years have been particularly chaotic. Just last summer, millennials were ordered to discard their short shorts in favor of baggy cargos. First there was outrage, followed by begrudging compliance. Nobody wants to look older than 35, after all!

Thankfully for the cargo-skeptics, baggy shorts are already on their way out. We’ve reclaimed our thighs from all that loose fabric, and set them free.

This summer, gays are rocking… 3-inch inseams! That’s right: we’re walking right past the 5-inch inseams, and heading straight to the butt-huggers.

The emergence of rave glasses isn’t surprising, given the growing prevalence of circuit culture. A polarizing group of revelers, it only makes sense their preferred eyewear would be controversial, too.

Practically speaking, the shades protect sensitive eyes from strobe lights, and hide enlarged pupils.. for those may need that. Circuit parties offer a lot of stimulation, both visual and auditory. (For the ears, we recommend earplugs.)

With huge, tinted sunglasses and earplugs, late-night carousers are free to slink back into their own worlds. They can become anonymous figments of the night, grooving to the latest John Summit mashup.

For some, that’s impersonal and off-putting. It doesn’t help that tickets to many circuit parties can exceed $100, making them inaccessible to large subsets of the LGBTQ+ community.

The negative reaction to rave-wear can be attributed to feelings about the activity itself.

There’s also the fact that some think they’re just, well, ugly.

However, there is a convincing counter-argument to the naysayers: rave shades are fun!

Gay culture, with all of its themes and memes, is intrinsically silly. Shakespeare said the whole world is a stage, and we agree!

If life is just a performance, then let’s be bold. The haters are blocked out, anyway.

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