Males who fail to act tough or who show emotion are often told to stop acting like “girls” or “fags,” a practice that further reinforces the subordinate position of both women and homosexuals relative to straight men ().
Given the heterogeneity of men – across race, class, religion, geography and sexual orientation – it is important to note that masculinity does not carry the same meaning and value across all social contexts. Although men of more disadvantaged backgrounds (for example, minority, working-class, gay) reap certain privileges because of this system, they lack hegemonic masculinity because the masculinity that they deploy cannot often be exchanged for the most dominant forms of power and capital.
These findings have implications for better understanding and addressing racial and class schisms within the larger LGBT movement. I mean, when I first came out, I used to play the part, you know, be a little more femme. I was just trying to be part of the mainstream white gay scene. I love Latino Throughout my conversations with Javier and other US-born Latino gay men, masculinity was a regular topic of discussion.
Rodríguez notes gay men's valorization of the (often criminalized) west coast Latino gangster sporting baggy clothing and a cleanly shaven head – a phenomenon he describes as the “queering of the homeboy aesthetic.” Focusing mainly on Puerto Rican gay men, González notes the close association of Latino masculinity and New York hip hop culture, a gender construction closely aligned to that of African American men in the inner city ().
What is common among these different social constructions are the methods by which Latino gay men “do” masculinity.
The men in my study closely surveilled each others’ behaviors, often sanctioning their friends who behaved too femininely in public settings.
In addition, masculinity functioned as a prerequisite to determine which men were acceptable to date.
Dominant groups associate certain cultural tastes, behaviors and mannerisms with different classes and in turn use these as gatekeeping mechanisms to keep subordinate groups from entering their institutions and networks ( revealed that working-class minorities possess “non-dominant” forms of cultural capital that they use to mediate the distribution of social status in their neighborhoods.