One of the first magazines I ever subscribed to was “Genre,” the gay man’s lifestyle publication. I began reading it as a sophomore in high school, just after I came out of the closet, and didn’t stop until it folded about five years later in 2009. It was my teacher and guide for how to live my life as a gay man, and so, just yesterday, I picked up an old issue that was sitting at the bottom of my file cabinet to see if it could offer me any more advice. Turns out I was looking in the wrong place for answers to my questions.

“Get Fit For Fashion” was one of the featured articles and while most of the workout tips were useful, some had nothing to do with physical activity or health at all and made me believe this was a guide for anorexics. Here are some of my favorite tips:

“See yourself having the body you desire. The more you think about it, the more you will do what it takes to make it happen.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I immediately go to bulimia when I hear the phrase “do what it takes” being associated with losing weight.

“Place a picture of the body you most admire on your refrigerator and bathroom mirror as inspiration. Make sure it’s not Kevin James.”

The key here is placing the image on BOTH your refrigerator and bathroom mirror. It’s just to reinforce the fact that you don’t look like the man in the photo but you think you should.

“Associate with people who eat healthfully; you will too.”

Translation: you should break off friendships with those who eat take-out or fast-food and trade them in for vegans and vegetarians.

“Take pictures of yourself naked. Update them weekly to track your progress. Don’t post them on the Internet.”

Just to remind yourself what you look like, in case you’ve forgotten. At least “Genre” had the decency to recognize that we shouldn’t be posting these pics online.

And the best for last:

“If your friends are thin like models, you’ll most likely be thin too. Find thin friends.”

If this is what it means to be gay, then I don’t want any part of it. Yes, I would like to be healthy and look good naked. Who doesn’t? Frankly, though, I would become more miserable by following these rules.

I thought being gay simply referred to men being attracted to other men. Apparently being gay actually means that you are a member of this narcissistic religion that follows certain commandments. Thankfully, I think this image has changed or at least mostly changed for today’s homosexuals, but I’m still waiting for the magazine or website for gay men who aren’t defined by these specific conformations. In other words, a publication for the average gay man.

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