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When considering “gay culture” one might be inclined to think of all members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered populations. While this is sometimes the case, the more traditional usage of the term is strictly reserved for homosexual men. Defining their culture, however, is challenging, because members of this social subcategory can include a wide range of individuals with dramatically varying characteristics among them.
Gay culture tends to include a number of factors, each of which are natural components of any one culture. It includes politicians and activists that work for the advancement of gay culture, as well as celebrities and artists that identify as homosexual that make contributions to the gay culture and the culture at large. Their culture also incorporates an understanding of issues relevant to their subgroup, including those in the past and the present. Finally, gay culture has come to incorporate a number of physical manifestations, as do all cultures; this includes the pride flag, drag queens, and residential areas traditionally occupied by members of the community, usually referred to as “villages”.
Within gay culture, there are unique terms and names given to individuals that choose certain lifestyle elements. Gay men that project extreme masculinity, usually physically manifested in their larger size and body or facial hair are referred to as “bears”; smaller men who identify in this subgroup are traditionally referred to as “cubs”. Gay men who are large, overweight, or obese are often referred to as “chubbies,” as they have their own unique subculture as well. Finally, young, slender gay men with little facial or body hair are commonly referred to as “twinks,” demonstrating the vast array of individuals that can encompass gay culture as a whole.