This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

The stereotype of gay men is that they all live in urban environments and prance around in designer clothing saying "fierce" and giving straight women make-overs. We all know that in reality gay men are much more diverse and mundane. Here is a real picture of what today's gay world is like.

Photographer Scott Pasfield traveled the country taking portraits of 140 gay men in all 50 states. He's compiled the photos and personal stories in an upcoming book called Gay in America, which comes out this September.

To celebrate Gay Pride Month this June, Pasfield gave us a sneak peek at some of the photos (which have been modified slightly to fit your screen) and the stories that go along with them. In this collection you will see a real portrait of what gay America looks like in all its butch, femme, urban, rural, single, coupled, smiling, and struggling richness.

[Images via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"I was born in Mississippi, but I grew up in Southern Georgia. I always knew I was gay and I also knew I had to get out of the Bible Belt as soon as possible. I searched every college guide and periodical I could find to determine what the best school in the country was for gay students. I discovered that Yale was a really supportive place and I was lucky enough to get in."—Reggie, New Haven, CT

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"When I was eight years old, while watching the television show MacGyver, I felt an overwhelming attraction to a man for the first time ever. I wasn't sure what this physical response was, where it came from, or what it meant. I only knew that I was curious, and found this attraction compelling."—Brian, Washington, DC

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"Ultimately, I reconciled the pieces of myself more with my parents' teachings and with the Qur'an than in the actual community of Muslims on campus or in the trappings of religious rituals. So I gave up on trying to fit into that community (or pray the gay away for that matter). Instead, a more solitary spiritual habit became the little corner of faith I found, that, to this day, has sustained me and assured me that God loves me as I am and wants me to learn and grow from the challenge of accepting and being my whole myself."-Mudhillun, Newark, DE

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"If someone feels the need to ask me directly about my sexual preference, I have a few responses. If you're an important person in my life, I'll say, 'Yes of course I'm gay.'" If I'm asked in connection to a civil rights issue, I'm happy to stand up and be counted as gay and fight for our rights as I do for all civil liberties. If you're a relative stranger and are prying, I take the Southerner's approach by politely saying that it's my personal business and has nothing to do with you."—Trace, Orlando, FL

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"The discussion of marriage has been tossed around on numerous occasions, but since it's not yet a legal option in Georgia, instead of adorning shiny bands of commitment, we share personalized military dog tags around our necks to symbolically represent our union."—Rob and Keith, Atlanta, GA

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"Ten years ago I thought I was living the American dream in Spokane, Washington, with a successful business and a beautiful home. I had all of life's accessories but I was spiritually stagnant. So I took off for the islands, camped on the beach for four months, and when I returned I realized that all I really had was just 'stuff.' I put everything up for sale and I've been having the time of my life ever since."—Jonny, Kailua Kona, HI

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"I never thought I would be a drag queen. I was not thin, pretty, or very outgoing. I watched from the corners of the room. The first time a friend painted my face and placed the wig on my head, a new personality was born. Fearless and outspoken, I was larger than life, ten feet tall, and bulletproof."—Joe, Sioux City, IA

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"I've traveled to many places in the world and can tell you that a gay bar in Barcelona is no different than one in Sydney or Atlanta. So I don't spend much time hanging out in clubs, walking in Pride parades, or taking gay cruises. I find I get on better with my straight and macho gay friends."—Sam, Ashton, ID

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"I came out in my early twenties but went right back into the closet and married my best friend. I had no dating prospects, and neither did she. We thought we would take care of each other into our old age. I am now in the process of getting a divorce and easing myself back out of the closet. I have managed to hold it together all these years and I continue to work on becoming stronger and better. I want to believe there is someone out there for me…they just haven't found me yet."—Kevin, Chicago, IL

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"My childhood was not easy. I was raised by a very religious mother, and I still struggle with issues regarding my faith to this day. A small part of me is scared that I actually will go to Hell. I try to convince myself that no God would make me this way and then send me to that place."—Eric, Noblesville, IN

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"Being an openly gay black man, I have had mostly positive experiences since coming out when I was eighteen. Since then I have always been open in public, in jobs, and in social settings. I have learned that how people carry themselves dictates how other people treat you most of the time. I lead with my personality rather than my sexuality."—Stevie, Wichita, KS

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"I just came out of the womb looking feminine. I don't have any facial hair and I have the most beautiful skin in the world. People mistake me for a woman even when I have a baseball cap on. I come from a line of beauty queens. There are hardly any men in the family—just tall, blond glamazons."-JT, Lexington, KY

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]

This Is What Gay Men in America Really Look Like

"We were raised Christian, and it's difficult for us to believe that six verses in the Bible can tear relationships apart all over the country. Especially as many of our friends have been divorced, committed adultery, and so on. The Bible speaks to those issues in the same manner as homosexuality, but we are viewed differently. As a couple, that is a hard pill to swallow because we're in love. It has taken many years for us to come to this conclusion: God made us and loves us just the way we are or he wouldn't have made us this way. This probably sounds obvious to most people, but given our background and the parade of people telling us it's wrong to love each other, it was a hard journey."-Brent and Charlie, Loranger, LA

[Image via Gay in America by Scott Pasfield, published by Welcome Books]