Ever since buying a pair of pink underpants, Glen Poole has been wondering "does my bum look gay in these?"
I had a bit of shock in the underwear department this week. I was making my annual shopping trip to my favourite Italian tailor, Signor T K Maxximus, when I was struck by a wall of colour in the shape of 4,000 packs of end-of-line pink underpants. Sensing a bargain I quickly checked if the aforementioned pants met my two criteria:
a) Have they got them in large?
b) Are they the cheapest pair in the shop?
With those two boxes well and truly ticked I picked up my new undies and headed for the tills, proud that I had fulfilled my annual pant-buying duties in record time. Indeed I was so proud of myself that I shared the news of my purchase with my immediate circle of straight friends (male and female) and was immediately ridiculed for buying “gay underpants”.
Don't google gay pants at work
I never knew there was such a thing as a gay underpant, but having googled the subject (something you definitely shouldn't do at work) I now have a much clearer idea of what constitutes a "gay pant" and the unifying theme seems to be that they leave very little to the imagination. In contrast, my new undies do a very thorough job of keeping everything under wraps.
I put this to my friends and discovered that it's not the cut of my pants that makes them "a bit gay", it’s the colour---and they should know because they’re all big experts on gay culture because having once seem John Inman in Mother Goose at the Worthing Pavilion Theatre back in the 1970s.
So now I'm worried about the potential consequences of a being a straight man in gay pants. Does letting a pair of gay pants hug my buttocks all day make me unfaithful to my partner (who is heterosexual by the way)? When the annual Pride festival returns to my city in three weeks time, will I be mobbed by gay men seeking to repatriate my gay underpants so they can spend the rest of their days living amongst their own kind? And most worrying of all, what if my body rejects these trans pants?
Is there a serious point here?
I am, of course, being playful, but there is---I am sure---a serious point to be made here if onIy I could just focus for one pink brief moment. Bear with me and I'll give it a go........
I think there are certain things that straight men take for granted---like the freedom to show affection to your partner in public without fearing you be the subject of unwanted attention or abuse.
There are also certain things that women take for granted---like the freedom to experience and express a broad range of emotions without question; showing physical affection to friends of the same sex and watching the latest series of Glee---simple activities like these are off-limits for many men.
Glad to be straight
So when someone tells me that my pink underpants are gay I wonder what the thinking is behind such beliefs and comments.
Are they being a bit homophobic, by suggesting that being gay is a bad thing to be? Are they being a bit sexist towards women, by suggesting that being feminine has less value than being masculine? Or are they being a bit sexist towards men by suggesting that men should be limited to a narrow range of choices when it comes to expressing ourselves---like being tough, being emotionless and only ever dressing in dull, dark or neutral colours?
Whatever it is that leads people to think that pink underwear is just for women and gay men , I personally refuse to be oppressed in the pants department. I don't care if you think my pink underpants are good friends of Dorothy. My pants and I are glad to be straight and I will continue to wear my pink underpants with pride........though not necessarily AT Pride.
Tell us what you think. Are pink pants gay pants? Why do some people think pink underpants are gay? And most importantly, would you be happy to wear a pair of pink underpants?