Not Fats, No Femmes: Exclusion Within A Community Fighting For Inclusion

Not Fats, No Femmes: Exclusion Within A Community Fighting For Inclusion

Deleting the Grindr app from my phone was possibly one of the most self-care actions I’d done lately; the app had simply lost its allure for me. it has become tainted by the disease that is homophobic cishet Nigerian male, who now use it as a means to blackmail and victimize gay men (anyone else notice these antigay crimes have been on a rise lately?) and the  actual gay men on the app who are more into hooking up (no judgment) than anything else. However, the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for me was the gate-keeping and the gays’ constant use of the phrase, “No Fats, No Femmes” or some variant on their Grindr profiles. For the six months I was on the app, I observed gay men use all sorts of variants to that phrase, from “straight acting man looking for other straight acting men” and “no girly guys, you’re gay NOT A GIRL” on their profiles to the texts “I hope you are not fat/girly” that they respond to chats with.

I had to let the app go before I got even more disillusioned with my view of the gay community.

On one hand, I absolutely understand and get that we all have our weird and usual preferences when it comes to our love/sex lives (just like I have my weird obsession with photographers, don’t ask me questions). However, when you are so set on superficial things like body build and femininity (or the lack of it) and you are enforcing it so harshly to the point that you don’t want to be friends or be seen around femme gay men or chubby/thick/fat gay men, then not only are you reducing the chances of meeting someone possibly great, but you are also gate-keeping, bullying other gay people by isolating and making them feel like outcasts, forgetting that you yourself are an outcast.

I sometimes wonder if we have gotten so into fighting for inclusion in the mainstream and heteronormative world that we can’t see that we are excluding our queer brothers and sisters simply because they don’t look or act a certain way, forgetting that it was the femme gay men and trans women and butch lesbians who got us what liberation we have and not the masc4masc brothers who are so concerned with conforming for the straight gaze that they are barely helpful. This applies to the lesbians as well; how many femme lesbians and “straight acting” (such an absurd phrase) gay men are actual friends with butch lesbians? I’ve seen, both up close and from a distance, gay cliques where the gay men and women are such generic, average-sized, gay-but-not-so-gay replicates of each other that even my amazing gaydar gets confused. Same goes for the media representation; how often do you see a chubby gay influencer or one such gracing a magazine cover?

This isn’t an isolated incident; the liberation that gay people (American gay people, I mean) enjoy was fought for by trans women (of colour), but their names are barely heard of, washed away.

Look at your circle of queer friends – do they reflect the diversity of the rainbow? Do you not have femme gay men friends because you haven’t been given the opportunity to have them or do you exclude them because you are doing your best to conform to the straight man’s gaze? Are you that insecure about your sexuality that you would exclude a femme brother based simply on the paranoia that an association with him would out you? Where are the thick-skinned gay men? Where are your butch lesbian friends? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Written by Vincent Desmond

Previous Lloyd claps back at homophobic troll who had a problem with his nude album cover

About author

You might also like

Our Stories 21 Comments

The L Word

I don’t know if I’m alone on this, but the ease with which guys fall for the person they’re romantically or sexually linked with is beyond ridiculous to me. Reading

Our Stories 33 Comments


Banana Island Ghost had been generating such a buzz. The publicity for the movie was one of those highly financed movies in the film industry. And I hadn’t seen it.

Our Stories 17 Comments


Most people fantasize about leaving Nigeria and relocating to another country but never stop to consider the baggage that comes with it. I was really ecstatic when I learned I


  1. Mandy
    July 10, 08:03 Reply

    Grindr is a place for hooking up, not making friends. If we agree that people are allowed to have their preferences, why then do you take offense when someone is specific with what he wants on Grindr? I mean, I get how problematic it is for gay guys to shun the femmes and the fatties in their day to day interactions. But Grindr is for hookups. Why should anyone be taken to task simply because he specified his preference for whatever. There ARE people who are orobo chasers. Do you get mad when they specify on their profiles that skinny guys and thugs should not message them?

    • Eclectic
      July 10, 15:14 Reply

      say what? Please if you believe that grindr is a place solely for hookups, that’s your opinion. Many other people go there for different reasons. It’s this same mentality of hookup that has gotten many people into trouble with the useless setup guys. Nobody wants to take out time to know the other person before they rush into having sex. The one that vexes me the most is these same guys that want to just say hello and expect you to reply hi while lying on their bed, are the same ones that would complain about those who ask them for money! For goodness sakes, what do you expect when you always want to have a quickie? It’s not rocket science, you get what you deserve.

  2. F. Baby
    July 10, 09:24 Reply

    Well said Vincent, Well said. I believe that the fantasy porn flicks have created, of perfect bodies and perfect sex have clouded the thoughts of many gay men today. Of course, they hide under the pretense of avoiding femme guys because they don’t want kito but we all know the truth don’t we? As for chubs, the battle has been on-going for as long as I can remember. Gay men expect you to have a tiny waist and big ass with sprinklings of a bulging pectoral and biceps to match. They model their ideal partner after some gay black American Instagram sensation who has obviously been to the doctor for more than just routine check-ups and who knows the pains and struggles of a waist trainer. I certainly don’t advocate not taking care of your body just because it’s not our nature to wear waist trainers or have plastic surgery but the fact that Gay men shame these men who might just be that way naturally is crazy. We are fighting for inclusion into society whereas the exclusion in our own community is scathing. God help us all.

  3. Keredim
    July 10, 10:14 Reply

    And just like that, Mandy has spoken my mind



    It is a reflection of life. If people don’t like your type for sex on Grindr, they won’t like you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or the local market place.

    You just move on to the next person. There is something for everyone.

    It’s not that serious.

    • Trystham
      July 10, 22:14 Reply

      oshey!!! fishwife r Us. Clap ur hands wella

  4. I agree with having preferences. You don’t have to like femme or fat guys just to show how inclusive you are. However, I think the problem is with the phrasing of it. You don’t have to emblazon your profile with NO FATS NO FEMMES. It makes people feel less than because it is like shutting the door in their face without even letting them speak. You aren’t obligated to care about anyone’s feelings. However, imagine a scenario where you are a darkskinned man that wants to walk into a bar and they write NO DARKSKINNED MEN. Even if you can just leave and go to a bar for darkskinned men, you’d still feel some way about reading that. It’s a mental put down. You don’t have to scream your preference and then expect people to get over it when it makes them feel excluded.

    • Black Dynasty
      July 10, 21:24 Reply

      Agreed. Interestingly, I’ve rarely seen the no fat/no fem or the many variations on Nigerian grindr when I’m home. It’s usually far more prevalent in the western countries

      It can be negative on the psyche of those still trying to find their place in this world to see perception of male beauty so narrowly defined. It certainly did affect me in the early years

      As mentioned by other posters, don’t dwell on such folks or words, definitely don’t view yourself through those lenses and own whatever body size or attitude you’re most comfortable in. There are people for everyone and it’s alright to stand out. Took me a few years to learn that.

    • Delle
      July 12, 14:18 Reply

      You’re irredeemable abeg??

Leave a Reply