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Are you shopping for your gay friend and think you found a comfortable-fitting t-shirt or jacket that seems about his size? Good, now buy the same one three sizes smaller.

A gay man’s idea of “flattering and attractive” clothing is around what straight people see as “sweaty and uncomfortable.” Sweatshirts should be taught and t-shirts should be tight enough for nipples to show. Hopefully, then, a gay man can achieve a vague outline of an imaginary 6-pack which may or may not actually be there, to be, essentially, shirtless in appearance even with clothes on.

This is how a single gay man attracts a mate. A gay man is especially sure to wear tight clothes at the club or at Pride. (I know you’re asking “why is he wearing a shirt at Pride?” but hush. Some people just like to.)

Men in many minority subcultures are stereotyped as wearing clothing that is oversized and baggy. It gives mall managers a convenient excuse for kicking black and Hispanic teenagers out of shopping centers, when they say hoodies and loose clothing are too easy to shoplift with, and athletic jerseys are claimed to be “gang-related.” Gay people are not such an enemy to retailers because they spend more money in the most expensive stores, and because they don’t freak out the mall’s white customers when gathered in groups of more than two. Nobody suspects them of having guns or drugs, which would have to be microscopic to fit in their cinched-tight clothing anyway.

Perhaps tight clothing is best at whisking body heat away, since gay men often slather their bodies with enough product to render their sweat glands inoperable. Or perhaps there is some appeal in having a phallic-looking cell phone bulge in the right pocket (gay men have enormous cell phones). Perhaps gay men, who, along with lesbians and bisexuals, are one of the few groups who can actually determine with authority what looks sexy on their own gender, simply cede to what fellow gay men, and women, like to look at.

In any case, gay men wear low-rider jeans tight enough to reduce their sperm counts and shirts that make it impossible to inhale all the way. It applies to underwear too: in this situation the operative word is “small” as much as “tight,” in briefs with the same total amount of material as a Barbie doll sweater. Some will occasionally wear jock straps for no particular reason, and almost none have worn boxers (aka “grandpa shorts”) since 2005.

A modification of this topic might be, Stuff Straight Guys Like: Clothes That Hide Their Bodies, and the explanation being that they are either ashamed of their bodies or they don’t want to come across as gay. Gay people already know they’re gay, so fuck it. They’ll wear what they want to.

Secretly, everyone likes their clothes tight: hipsters, guidos and any man living within 100 miles of Hollywood have already jumped the bandwagon as those most likely to turn a middle-finger towards professional norms, unassuaged by homophobia or conservatism for their own reasons. In Europe, tight clothes are now nearly universal, rendering “Gaydar” inoperable there. Gay people are trendsetters, folks; hop on or or be left behind.


Stuff Gay People Like (SGPL: ABOUT) is a regular column. Visit the Facebook Page.