Filmmaker Blake Pruitt decided to make the documentary short, 20MALEGAYNYC, after hearing his gay male friends express in one way or another their “hatred” for other gay men. He sat his friends down and interviewed them about being young, gay and living in New York in 2012, while trying to get to the heart of the matter.
“The problem is that the self we hate isn’t totally defined,” Pruitt writes on The Advocate. “I have heard so many times, ‘I know I’m stereotypical in a lot of ways, but…’ Why is there a ‘but’? What we see as resisting these clichés is only keeping them alive. I can see how a young gay man would be scared to come out and enter into a world in which acting too stereotypically will not only lead to bullying by others, but also a total dismissal from fellow gay men.”
While there is certainly a level of animosity among young, openly gay men in New York, Pruitt is right in that it stems from a confusing but also confused identity. This confusion is born from just being young, born from living in a city of faceless millions, born from a culture still attempting to define what “being gay” means.
But is it a New York thing that Pruitt’s friends are expressing? Do gay men across America have a similar experience? Or perhaps, is it a generational thing, where the advent of mobile hook-up apps renders other communication and forms of expression secondary? Sound off in the comments.