It relieves me to think that the LGBT history has gone past the dark ages of hidden sexual encounters, of the widespread of HIV-AIDS, and the endless bashing in clubs and even in public. The undeniable cause of this is prejudice and non-acceptance. The LGBT were hidden within their own communities, without much education on sexuality and risks, without much affirmation on one’s own identity, and without the security to live an okay life. The LGBT used to live in the caves, but because of activists and advocates, change came. Today, the LGBT gains so much in respect, acknowledgement, and recognition. Although this may not be totally apparent as the whole idea is still seeping through society, with countries approving of same-sex marriage and legal union, its comparison to how dark it was in the past keeps things intact.
With the presence of technology, everything is likely to be freer and invincible. People get to do express their thoughts. They get to move around and make changes. Technology has brought so much in the lives of people. Political and social events occur within it and the people who are involved. Things are definitely getting better.
Bring in the LGBT, it’s even way better. Tolerance is highlighted. Acceptance and understanding are being tackled in the general societal scheme. And so I just relax, and check Grindr, a gay app, a kind of social media, and I find out that the culture remains lagging, reminiscent that of the past. And I just wonder, I keep wondering, why would some men hide in the confines of this social media application while ogling for other good-looking men to “meet-up” and “encounter?”
And I end up hypothesizing, because of the lack of empirical data, that they are still in the phase of coming out. The grayest of all grays in answering this query is the resort to bisexuality. This isn’t even the case. Bisexuality is out and has preference for either men or women. But these hidden men remain to be murky because they reason out that they like sexual encounters with men, but they are straight.
I have stumbled upon one article, which gives insight into a different kind of entity outside the man-women binary or even the LGBTQI spectrum. Straight men have sex with other men just for the sexual intercourse alone and not for anything else. Men who have had these encounters see relationships as only directed toward women, but the sexual encounter is much more interesting and exciting. But they self-identify as straight.
Now, this has open my mind to the possibility. The LGBT agenda is never to lock in people within blacks or whites. It’s to let people express themselves for what they self-identify in terms of sexuality. I used to think that there is just straight or gay. But again, people’s sexuality is set on a continuum. One can even take a test on this. This principle of free expression may also be applicable to these hidden men. I don’t want to label them just yet as closeted, which means being gay and not being out. I am trying to highlight here two possibilities.
These men could, yes, be closeted. With the incorporation of culture within the context, one cannot blame these men. It is definitely difficult to live out in the open when families, friends, and people who matter set standards upon them. This, I can say is one reason for such mean flocking Grindr.
But on the other hand, other men just try this application out for the sake of relief. They are either being experimental or playful, but they still see themselves as straight. This could be another dimension in the sexuality scale, the straight but not exclusively straight when it comes to sexual intercourse. This just means that one’s sexuality is not simply determined by one’s activity. It’s by the emotional and psychological contact with the person. This can be insight for future studies on LGBT. But the point is, this is something new and unique today. It may not as pronounced as the gay or bisexual narrative, but it may make sense if people believe so.
The reason probably, that these men hide is because there is not tolerance just yet for such dimension. This entry may lead to future research and studies on this.
Grindr and all other gay social media applications are argued to forward acceptance of self, freedom of expression, platform for equality, and social norming. But it can also be counter-argued that it can be counter-progressive given that it can be used to pull people down the confines and live hidden again. But generally, I see this as opportunity for discussion and future studies.