New York | News

20-Something and Gay in NYC: VIDEO


Filmmaker Blake Pruitt explores the experience of the gay 20-something through a series of interviews with out New Yorkers. How does it jibe with your experience?


20MALEGAYNYC from Blake Pruitt on Vimeo.

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  1. Such a sad video.

    Posted by: jc | Dec 12, 2012 2:07:37 PM

  2. It seems like the filmmaker could have sought out a few guys who are a bit happier. Or maybe these guys should move out of New York because most make it sound like hell.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 12, 2012 2:11:56 PM

  3. What did he do, put out a call for 21-year-old self-loathers?

    When I first came out, I used to not like queeny guys. Then I met a few and became more comfortable with myself as a person.

    These kids will learn.

    Posted by: Really | Dec 12, 2012 2:13:27 PM

  4. So young and so much self hate. In a few years when they are old and bitter and jaded they will fit right in with the people who comment on this blog.

    Posted by: KM | Dec 12, 2012 2:14:30 PM

  5. I agree. Sad. self hatred.

    Posted by: Me! | Dec 12, 2012 2:19:46 PM

  6. KM - That's very funny.

    Posted by: Markt | Dec 12, 2012 2:20:16 PM

  7. Oh my god, they are all so insufferable and self-hating, except for Nico, but even he's pushing it. The gay community is what you make of it. If you live in a city of 8 million and you're only interacting with people you don't like, it's your own fault, no one else's. One guy says "If you say 'gay guys,' an image pops in my head that I'm not fond of." If you say that to me, I think of me and my gay friends. Why on earth would you associate your own attributes with things you don't like?

    Posted by: Tom | Dec 12, 2012 2:25:30 PM

  8. Calm down people...this video has nothing to do with the participants exercising "self-hate"...Interesting how we insist on labeling these opinions simply because some of their comments are actually exposing the shallowness of much of the gay community...It isn't "self-loathing" to expect more from our "community" and it also isn't a sin to have different opinions about the manner in which the "community" expresses itself and whom it includes in its criteria.

    Posted by: MJ | Dec 12, 2012 2:29:31 PM

  9. If you're living in NYC and hate being gay then you should go try being gay in Iowa.

    I live in NYC and the only complaint I have is I work 80 hours a week.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 12, 2012 2:31:14 PM

  10. This is basically exactly what 20's were like here.

    You need to realize that girls go through this all the time. Girls have this all the time, where they hate other girls, where they try to distance themselves from "girly" cultures while embracing another version of girly culture.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Dec 12, 2012 2:33:59 PM

  11. These aren't twenty-somethings, they are 20-23 year olds. There is a Huge difference. In a few years these kids will look back on what they are saying and laugh at themselves. They probably all go to NYU or Columbia, interact mainly with girls, and spend a lot of time at hipster bars where they dance to unknown Brooklyn bands and "ironic" counter culture 80's-90's music and think anything modern or mainstream is lacking in some way. When suddenly at 25 all of their lady friends start to settle down and finding boys who don't like other boys, they will start going out to find boys of their own. I doubt at that point they will eschew labels for the sake of intellectual integrity. They will be drinking at gay bars and reminiscing about their pretentious youths.

    Cut them some slack. Many of us have been there.

    Posted by: JonB | Dec 12, 2012 2:35:52 PM

  12. OK this is torture.

    Posted by: dc20008 | Dec 12, 2012 2:40:30 PM

  13. the most femme guy hates GaGa...and doesn't want to idolize females...okay.

    Posted by: Quest | Dec 12, 2012 2:42:50 PM

  14. These guys are still young and still not yet comfortable in their own skin. In time they will learn to love who they are and accept themselves, others and the gay community which is there to support them. I lived in NYC in my late 20s to early 30s and I thought the community was very supportive. It is what you make out of it. You find all types of personalities and groups each one with it's stereotypical characteristics. It's true that everyone needs to find their niche group and set of friends for a strong support system. But I can understand where some of them are coming from. It will just take time and experience for them to "come into their own."

    Posted by: Perry | Dec 12, 2012 2:46:08 PM

  15. @MJ - Don't bother. Many people on here cannot deal with the fact that people have different concepts of sexual orientation, identity, and community. I've been looked down on for not having been to a gay bar in over 5 years, as if it's some requirement that gays must always hang out with gays. Doesn't seem to register that my friends are my friends, and most of my friends happen to be straight, not intentionally, but because that's how things went. In any event, as always, it's not worth really giving a damn what others think about how you should express yourself and live your life. That goes equally for the attacked "feminine" guys and the maligned "straight-acting" guys (to the extent those labels actually mean anything substantive).

    Furthermore, I think that many of the things that are causing people here to talk about "self hating" are simply honest reflections by these young men about what has caused them to make the choices they did in the past, and what they do now. I actually found it fascinating.

    Posted by: Jack | Dec 12, 2012 2:53:07 PM

  16. I left 20 something behind a long time ago - still I identified with some of what was said there. You can dismiss it if you like, but I think the film-maker has probably diagnosed the achilles heel in the gay community. Everyone above who said that they are sure the film-maker found just this group of self-haters can't be believed. A struggle with self-hate goes with being a minority - especially since our other status comes from something as primitive as sexual urges - our struggle will be harder in its way.
    Everyone focuses on the comments about masculinity and lack thereof but more profound aspects of gay interaction were addressed there. People don't care whether a person acts masculine or not once they get to know them.

    Posted by: Markt | Dec 12, 2012 2:54:52 PM

  17. Nico is like, honestly, the only one who isn't completely damaged, jaded, hateful, and f*cked up, and he's the only one where I felt comfortable watching. The other boys gave off this incredibly tense vibe. I think this filmmaker intentionally sought out gay men that aren't in the "in" of the gay community. These guys are young, a couple said they just came out, none of them but Nico is really attractive, they obviously have a distaste towards what they consider modern gay society, at least in NYC. So their experiences in my eyes are from the POV of gay men who don't fit in with the community.

    Their problem is that they blame the community for they not fitting in, rather than not realizing that their problems in not fitting in are based on their own damage and preconceptions. And again, only one of these guys seem able to move beyond those stereotypes to see the good in anyone, regardless of if they're gay, regardless of if they're more fem.

    What's even more ridiculous is all those other guys talking down feminine gay men, or calling the gay community caricatures, are very much fem themselves and obviously gay plus believe in those same stereotypes that they consider offensive. Really pathetic.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 12, 2012 2:55:32 PM

  18. I didn't watch, but are they really "New Yorkers" or are they just guys visiting New York? I'll say it again : Real New Yorkers, the ones born here, are awesome. If you weren't born here (and just moved here because you thought it would make you "cool") you'll always be an wannabe (usually vicious) outsider (like Belonsky- lol).

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 12, 2012 3:01:47 PM

  19. Mike : More gay bashings in NYC than in Iowa. And Iowa legalized gay marriage before New York, so don't be a snobby.

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 12, 2012 3:05:13 PM

  20. I am so freaking sick of the phrase "straight-acting." Jesus, can't we all just enjoy each other, however we present?

    Posted by: Keppler | Dec 12, 2012 3:05:21 PM

  21. Interaction with the "gay community" is what one makes it. I have a different experience than these guys. I live in Richmond, VA. Very big gay community in a moderate-politically minded city, in a very red state. In Richmond, we tend to be more close knit. In a city like NYC, where lack of gay acceptance is less of an overall issue, and there are more avenues where a person can find themselves and what they are and want they want in life, there is not going to be as much of a community, there is going to be more branching out. Nico said that early in the video and he's 100% right. As a result, there is less interaction with differing groups within the gay community in a city like NYC. Plus NYC's fast-paced style, the pressures of being trendy and high-society, the pressures of existing in NYC and making a living........I can understand why it's hard to develop relationships. And develop yourself as a person. And I totally get how there is the representation of the gay community that gay men are "supposed" to dress fashionable, be cute, be in shape, be sexy, youthfulness, being bright and witty, and this view of us has been elevated above all views and has created some that chase to become this perfect gay man. I get it. There are a lot of vapid gay men out there as a result.

    But this isn't unique to the gay community. Which is what most of those boys and some commenters here fail to grasp. It's more unique to being trendy, and it's especially unique to New York. It just so happens gay culture and "trendy" culture have interconnected in many ways. But it's still two separate entities! It's about finding your place in the community instead or rejecting the entire community and rejecting gay men, because there are certain aspects of mainstream gay culture you don't feel comfortable in.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 12, 2012 3:10:10 PM

  22. Yupp, NYC has a very low hate crime rate given the populous of gay persons living in the city. Yes, more than Iowa, but there are more opportunities for hate crimes in NYC as well.

    Iowa is a decently gay-friendly state, though. Very impressive for a Midwestern state. Statistically hate crimes are significantly more likely *on average* in the South and Mountain West and cities on the coasts and upper Midwest have generally lower hate crime rates compared to the population of gays residing in the cities. That would mean Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, Austin, there are cities where hate crimes are major issues. Detroit has a very bad hate crime rate but the crime rate there is awful in general. Chicago has a bad crime rate, but low hate crime rate.

    Since several states don't even report anti-gay hate crimes, we don't know the full numbers but all studies show where there is social conservatism, there are hate crimes.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 12, 2012 3:20:38 PM

  23. Francis - Thanks for pointing out the differences between NYC and smaller cities. I think you're right that is part of the source of the internal friction described in the video.

    Posted by: Markt | Dec 12, 2012 3:21:59 PM

  24. "If you weren't born here (and just moved here because you thought it would make you "cool") you'll always be an wannabe (usually vicious) outsider (like Belonsky- lol)"

    You're a real gem, aren't you?

    Posted by: Dan E | Dec 12, 2012 3:23:54 PM

  25. The younger generation is clearly rejecting the campaign to feminize gay men. They aren't self-hating. They are self-loving. They accept themselves as men because they are men. I'm 25 and I can tell you that these guys represent.

    In the 50s-80s, some damaged and self-hating gay men would refer to one another as "she" or "girl." They didn't really believe that they were men and their speech reflected that. These guys have no need for that nonsense. In the 90s, a small group of damaged gay males created "LGBT" which lumps gay men with transsexuals. You'll note that not one of these guys refers to himself as LGBT.

    The era of self-debasement and feminization of gay men is coming to an end. That is not to say that there won't be authentic feminine gay men. They will exist and should be treated equally and with respect. But the idea that effeminacy is a norm to be encouraged is dead.

    Posted by: Dave | Dec 12, 2012 3:29:40 PM

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