Are You What You Eat? Food, Identity, and Embodiment Among Gay Men




McCandless-Chapman, Otis

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This study explores how gay men use food to negotiate their intersectional identities related to gender, sexuality, and embodiment. The theoretical framework, meatification (a hegemonically masculine foodway), guides the analysis of qualitative interview data collected from discussions with twenty urbanite gay men. This study finds that: (1) gay men who value traditionally masculine traits tend to employ meatification to manage a hegemonically masculine persona; (2) gay men, especially bottoms (gay men who prefer to take a receptive role in sex), resist systems of hegemonic masculinity and embody their sexuality through demeatification; and (3) gay men's other foodways (sociocultural motivations for eating behaviors) are a means of negotiating an intersectional identity. This study underscores the vital role of food in the negotiation of gay men's self-perceptions and social relationships, while adding to the scarce research investigating the linkages between sexuality, food, and identity.


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Demeatification, Food Studies, Gay, Meatification, Social Intersectionality