Admittedly, I rolled my eyes at the article "Gay Men, Stop Hot-Shaming Me for Going to the Gym" based on the title alone.
In it, writer David Hudson takes a look at Dave Tyson, a Virginia-based personal trainer who apparently “gained attention last month after an Instagram posting in which he declared to the world that he is a submissive bottom.” Considering thaton any queer-identifying person’s Discover page on anygiven day, there are plenty of folks arguably making that same declaration with their pose and/or caption, I wouldn’t blame you if you started laughing a little bit. Hell, I’m laughing right now.
To be fair, though, bottom-shaming is real. So if Tyson wanted to change people’s rigid perceptions about men who bottom and call out what informs such inherent biases (it’s misogyny), good for him. Seriously. However, when we get to the part in the piece where Tyson claims, “Men try to bully me for liking and choosing to date men who like to take care of themselves,” I vomit in my mouth a little bit.
Apparently, Tyson wants to let the world know that folks don’t solely go to the gym to improve their looks or just do it for attention. (Well, I’m assuming by “looks” he meant physical appearance, because all the bench pressing in the world won’t fix that mug unless Paul Nassif and Terry Dubrow are the personal trainers.) In any event, Tyson wants to let you know that he be all up in the gym just working on his fitness for health reasons.
Furthermore: “And if you can’t even take care of yourself, da fuck you want me to believe you’re going to take care of me for?” Then came the quips about how folks look at his chiseled frame and assume he lacks personality and intellect. Boo hoo, bench presser. Boo hoo.
What prompted this series of tweets? “I decided to write this post to bring awareness to the fact that the LGBTQ community who claims to want unity doesn’t see how they bully others,” Tyson wrote. “I mean, really, in today’s world people get picked on for taking care of themselves and wanting that quality in a partner.”
How did this person who isn’t a public figure somehow become the Angela Davis of muscle queens? It’s either because you find the message worthy of recognition or ridicule. Spoiler: I’m going with the latter.
Typically, I try to allow people to have their feelings. The majority of us have to contend either with our own insecurities or the projections people place upon us based on their own insecurities. It’s not my place to tell anyone how to deal with perceived wrongdoing. What I can say, though, is that it pays to have perspective.
I know we all love Instagram, but Instagram is not the Alpha or the Omega. You can turn off comments on the pictures you post, or even better, you can ignore the dumb shit strangers tell you. This reminds me of those I know in real life who take Instagram far too seriously. Channel Badu, put your phone down, and let it go, Lil’ Keyshia Cole.
And if you know folks who troll you in real life, here’s a pro-tip: You can expand your social circle and avoid the sort of caustic personalities that might troll you for doing what you think is best for your body both mentally and physically.
Also, some things are better left unsaid on a public platform.
Dave Tyson may be able to bench press better than most, but he sounds like a ridiculous person who needs to spend less time on Al Gore’s internet. Body image issues are a problem for all groups, but queer men know just how awful it can be not having what constitutes the ideal body. So while a personal trainer has a right to complain about folks assuming he’s a blockhead ‘cause he has a bevy of muscles, he could also consider that anyone with anything less than a six-pack might have a bit harder than him and temper his diatribes accordingly.
That’s why it was amusing to see him complain about folks taking swipes at him but then chiding others for “not taking care of themselves.” Combating presumption with presumption is a foolish. Granted, foolishness seems to be the pattern here, but if your calling on folks to be better to each other, lead by example. If you can’t do that, do us all a favor and delete every social media account you have and spare us all of your nonsensical bullshit.
Or at the very least, get a diary and hand it to your future therapist.