A Handy Guide to All Gay MenS

The gay world is often represented as some sort of monolithic whole that has the same culture. That is a lie. It is actually broken down into a handful of substrata to which each gay belongs. Here they are.

Just like the world at large may stereotype gays as mincing wrist flippers with great taste bent on giving everyone they meet a make over. A queer will tell you that we are all individuals and that those stereotypes are false and horrible. That said, when the gays see a fellow homosexual in the public sphere, we try to plug them into the convenient taxonomy the community has made for itself. That's right, we have our own stereotypes for each other, and they're much more specific than you can ever imagine. They may not be very familiar to the world at large, but they are certainly familiar to the brothers in butt fucking.

To say that each gay person belongs to one of these types is a bit deceptive. It's like saying that every woman is either a Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, or Samantha. There are plenty that fit the mold for each squarely, but most are really a combination of the types, or like to think of themselves as individuals, even though they still have many of the traits from one of the pre-selected identities. These aren't the stereotypes of the world at large, they are the ones we have invented for ourselves, and they are just as reductive. Each of the groups tend to hang around only with members of the same groups, and they all have their own bars, parties, music, customs, ways of dress, and intricate mating rituals. Please, meet the homosexuals.

A Handy Guide to All Gay Men

Twinks
Body Type: Thin, smooth, often blond, usually with longish bangs and often with highlights.
Description: This young breed of gays is never over 30 and tends to be on the queeny side and hews closely to the conventional stereotypes of gay man. Wild, ornery, and still getting over their coming out issues, the twink is the gay gone wild, and is bait to older men who are into trying to suck off their youthful energy.
Subcategories: The Twunk, the Gay-sian, the A&F boy.
New York City Hang Out: Rush, Campus Thursdays at Splash
Diva of Choice: Lady Gaga
Preoccupations: Fashion, drama, partying, hooking up, college, coming out
Top or Bottom: Bottom
Celebrity Example: Zac Efron

A Handy Guide to All Gay Men

Bears
Body Type: Large, hairy, often with facial hair
Description: The bigger, generally older subset of the population is new but increasingly popular both in the community and pop culture. They have their own social calendar that is well populated with events to support the flannel-clad butch lifestyle of beards and beer guts.
Subcategories: Cubs, Otters, Wolfs, Gorillas
New York City Hang Out: Woof!, Snaxx, Nowhere
Diva of Choice: Cyndi Lauper
Preoccupations: Food, hair, coming up with silly bear puns, Tom Colicchio
Top or Bottom: Bottom
Celebrity Example: Kevin Smith

A Handy Guide to All Gay Men

Gay Jocks
Body Type: Athletic, muscular, possibly gone-to-seed
Description: This guy prides himself on the fact that no one thinks he is gay until he tells them. His love of sports is just about the only unaffected aspect of his masculinity. He wears T-shirts and ball caps with his favorite team logo, and likes guys who are "non-scene," unless the scene is a gay sports team.
Subcategories: Gay football players, gay soccer plays, gay rugby players, etc.
New York City Hang Out: Gym Bar
Diva of Choice: The guy who sings "Are You Ready for some Football."
Preoccupations: Passing, talking tough, locker rooms, fantasy football
Top or Bottom: Bottom
Celebrity Example: Esera Tualo

A Handy Guide to All Gay Men

Circuit Boys
Body Type: Muscular, waxed, preened, most usually with tribal tattoos
Description: This subset rose to prominence in the '90s around the drug-fueled, all-night dance parties that were in different cities around the country. While it has few new recruits, its core population is die-hard and aging quickly. Many of the parties have died off, but they're still dancing to bad tribal house wherever they can.
Subcategories: Tweekers, muscle Marys, those queens who twirl flags at dance parties
New York City Hang Out: Alegria
Diva of Choice: Deborah Cox remixed by Junior Vasquez
Preoccuptions: Pecs, ecstasy, house music, conformity, backne, the afterparty
Top or Bottom: Bottom
Celebrity Example: This is such a specific type it doesn't really exists in the world at large, but the Platonic ideal of a circuit boy is DJ Brett Henrichsen

A Handy Guide to All Gay Men

Gay-Listers
Body Type: Body toned by the personal trainer, hair done by celebrity stylist, wardrobe picked out at Barneys
Description: These are the uppity homos who live the good life, and are generally too good for you. They only like to talk to each other. They usually work in advertising, PR, marketing, or the entertainment industry and make a ton of cash which they use to have perfect apartments, fantastic wardrobes, and summer homes near all the other gay-listers. You can try to get invited to their parties, but you will never belong.
Subcategories: Power gays, the velvet mafia
New York City Hang Out: Beige
Diva of Choice: They're probably friends with Madonna
Preoccuptions: Looking good, work, HRC dinners, summering as a verb, what everyone else is doing, hooking up with each other, the steam room at the gym
Top or Bottom: Bottom
Celebrity Example: Andy Cohen

A Handy Guide to All Gay Men

Show Queens
Body Type: They come in all shapes and sizes, from the young, spry dancer to the balding, pudgy critic.
Description: These are the kids who are so gay they could never fit in during high school and sought refuge in the music department. They have devoted their lives to performing, show tunes, and learning all the words to very obscure songs. They often work in theater or the arts in one way or another, be it on the Great White Way or as a high school drama teacher.
Subcategories: They are only defined by which diva they love most.
New York City Hang Out: Marie's Crisis
Diva of Choice: Liza, Judy, Barbra, Elaine Stritch, Patti LuPone, Ethel Merman, Sutton Foster, Bernadette Peters
Preoccuptions: Original cast recordings, collecting Playbills, karaoke, out of town previews, Puck on Glee's abs, outing Hugh Jackman
Top or Bottom: Bottom
Celebrity Example: Neil Patrick Harris

A Handy Guide to All Gay Men

Art Fags
Body Type: Emaciated, tattooed, usually with some sort of ironic facial hair and an enormous coif.
Description: The art fag is cooler than you. He's also cooler than all your friends, and he is not afraid to show it. He is usually an artist (duh), photographer, fashion designer, band member, or something that requires a degree from RISD, FIT, or some other art school that is an acronym. He dresses either in the most current prissy fashions or like a homo version of Terry Richardson, in big glasses, flannels, and jeans that looks so thrown together that it took him hours to put together. You're more likely to find them at a gallery opening or model party, but every so often they'll be at a gay bar to rub elbows, and other parts, with the other homos.
Subcategories: Alternaqueers, gipsters
New York City Hang Out: The Cock
Diva of Choice: Peaches
Preoccuptions: The hottest club, looking down on things, cheap coke, being bohemian, the outer boroughs
Top or Bottom: Bottom
Celebrity Example: Marc Jacobs

A Handy Guide to All Gay Men

Drag Queens
Body Type: Either big, buxom Divine style or svelte and RuPaul-esque.
Description: This is a very small but very powerful contingent of the gay population. The drag queens are not only the court jesters of the gay community, dressing up like clowns for our entertainment, but they are also a bridge to the straight world. As much as gay men appreciate the queens for their looks, wit, and shade, straight people love a drag show even more than the queers do. Somehow they manage to be the most outrageous segment of the population and the most embraced, making the rest of us look positively boring by comparison.
Subcategories: Club kids, trannies.
New York City Hang Out: Pick a bar, any bar.
Diva of Choice: Oh, honey. They are each their own diva.
Preoccuptions: Shade, wigs, annoying jerks who ask for too many drink tickets, other queens biting off their look, lip syncing, straight guys
Top or Bottom: Bottom
Celebrity Example: RuPaul