There are a number of naturists/nudists who, for whatever reason, do not look upon gay or bisexual bare practitioners (nudists) as members of the naturist/nudist community. In their minds, anyone who isn’t “opposite-gender-loving” (heterosexual) has no place within the clothes-free culture. It’s as though we don’t even exist, even as we “non-exist” without clothing, just like themselves.
These judgments against the validity of our bareness or nudity are based on their traditional beliefs of love as only being possible or legitimate if it is between one man and one woman. If this is indeed the case, then fine. That is your belief and I respect both you and your belief. But does that give you the right to invalidate my life and my nakedness? If it does, then the argument is identical to the one that the textiles (clothes-wearing) use to deny all of us the clothes-freedom that we all seek to enjoy. We may as well all get dressed in our clothes and go home.
Another chronic complaint against bisexual and/or gay naturists/nudists is that we’re all naked just for sexual availability. I strongly take issue with that generalization. We are no more interested in sexual activity than the our heterosexual nude brothers and sisters. I am bare because I like being without any garments on my body. My nude friends who are gay or bisexual feel the same. Just as most of the textile-free world, gay and bisexual nudists prefer not wearing clothing because that is what is most comfortable for us. We’re no different from our opposite gender attracted nude counterparts in that regard.
I find it interesting that the same argument above is, once again, identical to the one that nudity-challenged (clothes-wearing) people employ as a major argument against social nudity, period. It’s as though the heterosexual bare enthusiasts can only repeat what others say about nudists in general rather than develop an original objection to gay and/or bisexual naturists.
Our same gender attraction is no more of a reason for our being naked than the opposite gender attraction of heterosexual nudists. We’re clothes-free because that’s what is preferred, not due to any hypersexuality. We’re no more inclined to publicly display our sexual proclivities than our heterosexual nude community. If it is our holding hands or sharing hugs that upset you, then either refrain from doing those affections yourselves or turn your head in the opposite direction.
Here in the USA, for many years, same gender loving men were benignly discouraged from visiting private clothing optional sites. Many of these destinations held strict admission policies that regulated attendance through a policy that kept ratios on the numbers from either gender admitted per day. If the number of men exceeded a certain quota, then males would be denied entry. In some instances, this policy is still in effect today.
This policy wasn’t written as an exclusively homophobic, but there was that tacit understanding that it was designed to prevent gays from attending. As same gender loving interest in social nudity grew during the 1980’s and beyond, a number of “gay-friendly” clothing optional destinations emerged to compete with the restrictive facilities catering to naturists/nudists.
This created in the general thinking of some that segregated resorts, gay versus mainstream, was the “unofficial” policy of the naturist/nudist community. In the mindset of many, that view still prevails to this day. The result is that at many clubs and resorts, the comment is made: “Why don’t ‘you people’ (meaning: gay) go to one of your own places?”
Let’s be honest, the naturist/nudist community isn’t that large a percentage of the overall population. We should be united in our efforts towards gaining the respect and support for clothes-freedom. This divisiveness does none of us any good. It isn’t healthy for our community and it offers no benefit for any of us, no matter our gender attraction.
As same gender loving (gay) bare practitioners (naturists/nudists), we owe it to ourselves, as well as to the community we represent, to always conduct ourselves in a dignified and respectful manner. Even if we aren’t being treated that way by others. I know that I’ve come very close to losing my temper and reacting in anger on a number of occasions when I’ve been disrespected and treated unfairly. Only the calming manner of Aaron, my husband, has saved me from an assault charge in some instances. But it is important for all of us to not allow others to drag us down to their level of rudeness, callousness and insensitivity.
This isn’t to say that we should suffer and tolerate every indignity or disrespect. Regardless of how our detractors may feel about us as same gender loving people, we all have the right to be treated fairly and as humans. Most clothes-free destinations have policies in place that we can use to address our complaints and/or concerns. It is our duty as naturists/nudists to initiate these procedures in order to document our mistreatment and/or discrimination. We may not be able to change individual attitudes towards gay men, but we can access the tools in place to change institutional policies that reinforce these behaviors as “official” regulations.
The world of the naturist/nudist community is a small minority as it is. We really can’t afford the divisiveness that attempting to discredit a group of people brings. I may not agree with homophobic clothes-free people and not particularly like them, but I can support their right to access naturist/nudist spaces. I can choose not to associate with them if I desire.
All that I ask is the same level of tolerance from them. I’m willing to share the space, so stay out of my face!
Author’s Note: The above post intentionally doesn’t include the situation where naturist/nudist destinations restrict the number of male visitors through an established male:female ratio policy. These policies were implemented to discourage predatory males from ruining visits by females through their practice of making them feel uncomfortable. This topic will be addressed in a future post.