- Subject index
How do gay men respond to controlling notions of masculinity in society and stereotypes of gay sexuality? This book explores the ways in which gay men in the United States engage in, contest and modify these notions and develop a sense of masculine identity. The book examines the creation of identity through the everyday lives of gay men: their work; home; community; and relationships.
Chapter 9: Masculinity among Working-Class Gay Males
Masculinity among Working-Class Gay Males
Popular thinking suggests that the norms of masculinity for working-class males are highly incompatible with being gay. Working-class men are thought of as involved in occupations such as mechanics, factory workers, truck drivers, construction workers, maintenance people—as men in blue-collar uniforms performing relatively arduous physical labor. This is not an image typically associated with the term “gay.”
More important, working-class masculinity brings up images of working in physical proximity; talking about sports and physical activities, women and sexual prowess. Along with these images, working-class men are popularly thought to have low tolerance for emotional issues, to hold strong beliefs of traditional gender-based differences, and to be strongly homophobic. Although there are multiple reasons to doubt the extent ...