By Richard Lawson
Working on a computer all day, I spend, embarrassingly, a significant amount of time eagerly scanning Facebook. I'd like to say that I'm earnestly interested in friends' babies or wedding photos, but in truth, I'm mostly just looking at cute boys. Because of the somewhat public nature of my job, I have many Facebook friends I don't actually know, which has provided many an entertaining -- if occasionally depressing (some people are just so skinny ) -- hour of discovering whole new people, clicking 'next picture' over and over and over again. And lately, I've begun to notice something: The gay men of New York and likely anywhere really are becoming so much more...diverse.
Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, once famously said of his new nation, 'When Israel has prostitutes and thieves, we'll be a state just like any other.' And I think that quote applies here, to this somewhat superficial issue.'I'm not saying the men on my Facebook page or those I see wandering Hell's Kitchen or swishier corners of Brooklyn are thieves or prostitutes (well, not most of them, at least). What I mean is that archetypes or ideals of gaydom seem to be broadening well beyond the simple muscled Chelsea gym god who has served as something of the universally recognized Gay Idol for years now. Instead, current gay crush objects and dream dates seem to be trending pretty, well, nerdy.
Beyond my friends list, we can see this developing in popular culture.'Look at Facebook cofounder turned key Obama strategist turned floppy-haired sex symbol Chris Hughes.'Or Rachel Zoe's hench-stylist Brad Goreski (who is, to be fair, not lacking in rippling physique), who works quietly almost cerebrally at the business of fashion, and wears nerd glasses and staid tweeds to accent that approach. Or gaze lovingly at the political (and otherwise) statistics genius Nate Silver, who sets many gay (and straight, probably) hearts aflutter with his eerie prescience and rumpled-yet-sharp geeky aesthetic.'These are not the Jeff Strykers of yesteryear! They're not even the Rupert Everetts. Sure, muscle-rippling porn gods are still held in regard, but increasingly they don't seem to be the only objects of lust for our ever more eclectic and decentralized group.