A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE: Notes from an Antiquated Queen

Días Calientes and Swimwear

By Mary Khon

Hello, my queeridos!

It is July y hace mucha calor! This month is the hottest of the year, at least in the northern hemisphere, while being the coldest month in the southern hemisphere. And unless you are reading this article somewhere in South America, Southern Africa, the South Pacific Ocean, Southern Asia or Australia, your days during July will be muy calurosos!

July is the busiest traveling month of the year, mainly because most kids are out of school and parents, who have the luxury to take vacation, take them during the summer school break (June-July.) In fact, about 88% of Americans will travel domestically while about 68% of Americans will do international travel during the month of July. So ahead, pack a few clothes; leave behind your worries and travel, queeridos. There is no better time than today.

I used to love being under the sun but now that I’m older, well, I just want to stay inside an air-conditioned room or be at an exotic beach drinking margaritas. Yet despite the fact that I don’t really like the heat as I used to, every year I look forward to the month of July because 1) I love to travel and July is the month when I can do it and 2) it is so hot in July that the papis come out wearing no shirts or if you’re happen to be at a beach, wearing very tight, sexy swimwear or almost nothing at all.

When I say “very tight, sexy swimwear or almost nothing at all,” I am talking about beaches not located within the USA. And I feel I have to clarify this point because, in my personal view, American men have an incredible amount of body issues. Not because American men are not hot or sexy but rather because the media, sports, and the fashion industry have done a very good job at making sure every man is completely insecure of their masculinity. And how have they done that? By letting us all know that if you are a man, you must always, always wear those ugly long short designed to cover almost all your lower body, and because they don’t cover your whole lower body, you must wear long socks, stretched as high to the knee as possible. Anything else is not acceptable and you, as a man, should be shame/punish for it.

Just look at the commercials on TV, magazines, and billboards. Just look at the type of clothing male athletes wear when playing basketball or soccer, or football. Just look at the type of models used to advertise the meaning of sexiness, manliness, and masculinity. To be a man, masculine, and sexy America doesn’t allow for clothing that is tight, colorful, or short (as in short shorts.) And because we, the consumer, are bombarded with endless images and subliminal messages of what real American men are supposed to be, behave, and dress, without really knowing it, we come to accept such messages and social constructions. So, when a man tries to wear something completely different from the conventional attire, that man is ridicule and force to conform. And yes, a man wearing long shorts could be sexy when he’s exercising or playing sports but not when swimming in the pool, or worse, at the beach. Yet, most men wear those horrible clothing articles all the time because most men have been conditioned to do so.

Now, if you take such mentality and then add it to the gay community, we find ourselves in big trouble because, as we already know, the gay community is incredibly superficial, focusing on body image, beauty, and youth. So, as gay men, we feel insecure about ourselves—not so much about being gay but about being manly and/or masculine gay man.

Just check out the many social apps that have been designed for the gay community. In those apps, we often find direct, callous, and hurtful statements from gay men who are so insecure about their masculinity and so afraid about being seen as “less than a man,” that, when looking for hookups, their profiles say things like, “no fats/no fems” or “masculine man looking for same” or “muscular, well-tone man only” or “No one over 40, etc…” Those descriptors are only statements about their insecurities to not bee seen as less masculine and/or less than a man.

There is nothing as sexy, as hot, and as irresistible as a man wearing short swim trunks or bikinis. Those men exhume confidence and security in their masculinity. Just look at Daniel Craig in his first James Bond film, “Casino Royale,” the scene where he came out of the see wearing nothing but very sexy blue swim trunks. They were so short and so tight and, well, it took every man and woman’s breath away. Yes, his nice body helped too, but he didn’t need to have a nice body, the man exhumed confidence and masculinity. So you don’t have to have the body of an Adonis to wear sexy swimwear; you just need to have confidence in yourself.

If you are not one of those superficial people, I drink to you. Because while you are reading this article, I am, in fact, at the beach, wearing sexy swim trunks and admiring those men who wear them too. As I said before, July is my favorite month to travel out of the country. And traveling I am.