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No, it’s not just a stereotype... gays ARE toxic

Breaking down the competition and division between gays in today’s culture

In the wake of a social media-dominated society, the gay community has become more hypercritical of one another than ever before. The persistent tendency for gay men to compare each other has cultivated a contentious environment that has only been exacerbated by endless scrolling through highlight reels on Instagram or TikTok.

This toxic phenomenon is less a result of the individual and more so a result of the unique lived experience gay men are thrust into: they are attracted to the same qualities they want to possess.

When a gay man finds another individual attractive, he likely wants to adopt the same physical characteristics he finds appealing. The desire to look like what you are attracted to makes it nearly impossible to avoid comparison. Who has better hair, better legs, a better chest? This unhealthy form of comparison is what breeds competition.

The competitive nature of the gay community is similar to the sometimes-combative dynamic between women, stemming from the desire to satisfy the male gaze. The community becomes divisive when men are constantly viewing each other through a lens that reflects themselves.

Body comparison on social media has magnified the epidemic of competitiveness among gay men. It has escalated the “ideal” body type for a gay man, creating one that is akin to a Ken doll; however, this contestation is not exclusive to physical appearances. Competition can infest school and the workplace, leading gay men to ruthlessly try to excel past their peers. The high expectations they create for themselves sabotage their mental health and only serve to tear them apart.

During the height of the AIDS crisis in the 90s, the gay community united against the weight of prejudice and fear. They bonded together in an unprecedented manner and supported one another as they faced a mutual threat. Since then, the gay community has begun to crumble along fault lines. Instead of seeing a same-sex relationship and feeling pride in their community and hope for the future, it is easy for gay men to feel scornful or envious.

Comparison has created a battleground for judgement and has led to a hierarchical institution whereby rejection and exclusion are made possible within the community.

The division in the community doesn’t allow for issues such as mental health, safety and equality to be addressed. In fact, if gay men can’t count on other members of their own community to stand behind them, the pre-existing issues queer men face are only expected to worsen. In order to reunite the gay community and make strides toward a more inclusive environment, gay men need to celebrate the ways in which they are all different, rather than deride it. Only then can they find support and compassion in one another.


Bryce Brown is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. When he’s not fretting over deadlines, you can find him chugging copious amounts of black iced coffee, planning his next wine night and spiraling on the floor listening to Lana. You can contact him at @brycebrownn on Instagram or at


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