“I Was Called Gay For Wanting To Be A Model.” Instagram model, Caleb Whitehorn, shares | An Inquiry Into Why Male Models and Fitness Trainers Are Presumed To Be Gay

“I Was Called Gay For Wanting To Be A Model.” Instagram model, Caleb Whitehorn, shares | An Inquiry Into Why Male Models and Fitness Trainers Are Presumed To Be Gay

The model and fitness trainer, Caleb Whitehorn, recently took to Instagram to share with his over 48, 000 followers a bias that he’s endured because of his chosen profession.

“I’ve always been called gay and weird for wanting to be a model,” he says in a caption of a post of two pictures where he is clad in just green briefs. “I don’t know what that has to do with sexuality. Honestly, one thing I did realize is that it hurt my feelings a lot. At times, it still does. Bottom line, it shouldn’t be an insult. I’m not against gay people nor am I gay.”

He goes on to insist that “everyone deserves equality and rights as a human”, asking for his followers not to “judge people” and to “just live.”

Some months ago, someone had brought to my attention where another Instagram model, Royal Georges, had shared on his Instagram story an admonishment for gay men. In the story update, he’d said something about how he’s “not gay, not even bicurious”, and had asked the men who frequently storm his inbox to stop. He’d gone on to say that simply because he takes his shirt off on Instagram doesn’t mean he’s into guys.

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Chill! Life goes on man!!

A post shared by Royal G. (@royalelite_fit) on

These posts beggar the question why it is a widely held belief that men who go into modeling are gay. And as such, a target for the roving eye of the men who have power in the fashion industry.

In 2018, former male model, Barrett Pall spoke to The Advocate, sharing how men who come into the modeling industry are preyed on by photographers. Pall alleged that he was sexually assaulted by photographer Rick Day when he was new in the business as a teenager. He’d said that Day invited him to his studio and told him a series of strange impositions were entirely normal, which would lead to unwanted sexual acts he felt trapped in.

The New York Times had earlier reported on the alleged abuse of power by photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber, both said to have had a decades-long history of sexual harassment of models. Fifteen male models shared their stories with the newspaper, describing inappropriate sexual behaviour. Pressure for unnecessary nudity, they claimed, was an open secret within fashion circles.

And this isn’t even a thing that exists in just the Western fashion industry. Even here in Nigeria, the news made the rounds a few years ago of a young guy (I forget his name) who was targeted and preyed on by fashion bosses simply because he was a model. Granted, he was gay, but these men who went after him did so simply because he was a model, and not because he had had any exposure to them in the gay hookup scene. At some point, he opened up in a series of cryptic Facebook posts that he was raped by one of these men.

And we know this: that there is a culture of homo-sexualizing any man who is good looking and takes off his clothes as a profession. It goes beyond male models to fitness trainers. We all know of that guy on social media who frequently updates shirtless photos of himself flexing his muscles or working out. We know that Facebook post where he decries the gay community for hounding him in his inbox with propositions of sex. The post is often tasteless and homophobic, but it also begs the question why gay men take it for granted that any man who likes to take his shirt off for a living or show his body off on social media is gay.

Of course, as a friend of mine would say: “Them no dey write homo for face” – which is a way of arguing that gay men are attracted to men, and will always go for men who they like. And if that preference runs along the lines of men who show off beautiful bodies on social media or for a living, then it is okay.

And that’s alright. But I have been in conversations where gay men have taken one look at a Facebook hottie’s timeline and seen the shirtless professionally-taken photos of him – and went, “Oh, he’s into guys for sure.” And this prompts an audacious sliding into the DM, where they start off from a point of presumption that the guy whose online space they’ve breached is gay. And sometimes, when he objects and says no, the presumption becomes that he is hiding and being internally homophobic.

So, why – what is it about the profession of modeling or fitness training or really just being scantily clad on social media makes the gay community assume that the men who do these things just must be gay?

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  1. Delle
    June 21, 09:56 Reply

    It’s simple really. Most gay people are fickle-minded, superficial horndogs that are very much driven by what they see.

    Once you’re fine, they’re all over you. Add a good body to that and no one wants to know what team you play for. It’s especially annoying that gay people have sort of taken advantage of the fact that the community shuns those men who cry out when their DMs are flooded by men seeking them in a bawdy manner, and thus, have gotten bolder in their infiltration of these people’s spaces.

    As much as I also hate it when a guy comes out to shun people for thinking him desirable (most times because of the way it’s worded and not in the intention itself), it irks me that this is a very rampant behaviour.

    It needs to stop. This quick objectification of showy guys. It does need to stop.

  2. Higwe
    June 21, 11:54 Reply

    Love this humble dude .

    Such a beautiful person inside and out .

    May Jah bless me with big money make I invite am down to Naija.

    He seems pretty down for it. ?

    ****************************

    LMFAO …this is actually big coming from you Pink P of all people.
    I remember you used to hit on me on Facebook , and the day I finally discovered who you are and asked you why you seem to vehemently dislike my online personality but stay consistently chyking me on Facebook – you dismissed me by calling me “common” and told me (which I still have the evidence) that I wouldn’t be the first nor last guy you randomly hit on .
    In your very own words ” you aren’t special , I ask so many good looking guys out , asking you out doesn’t mean you’re special ” …

    Well , well , now you have it .
    I didn’t leave any clue on my page that I’m gay or anything …just my good looking self and a few shirtless pictures ,yet you found your way to my inbox .??

    Please , starting from you ,tell us your reason … because you’ll be very helpful in this conversation .?

    And if you delete my comment or refuse to publish it … that means you’re the hypocrite I’ve always known you are .?

    • Obiora
      June 21, 16:44 Reply

      Hmmm.. What a really hot tea. Please give me your FB so that I can verify as well. ?

    • Queen of Queens
      June 21, 21:58 Reply

      When anyone posts naked or half naked pictures on social media, there’s always going to be a reaction…the people who post such pictures know or should know this.

    • Audrey
      June 21, 22:13 Reply

      Higwe oh is everything okay at home or did someone else type this thing with your pseudonym??‍♂️??‍♂️

      Nawa oh

    • Taena of Myr
      June 22, 03:37 Reply

      I think I’m already starting to fall in love with you, lol

    • Pink Panther
      June 22, 09:21 Reply

      It is interesting what level of lies and distortion of the truth hatred will drive a person to. I used to think your antics toward me were just bants. But now, I know you are actual poison.

      I will not delete this. I will not engage with you. I know people will buy into the drama you intended to stoke, but after six years of knowing who i am from this forum, I no longer feel the need to prove myself to anybody but those who know me. So, in fact, this comment will stay up as it is for the day the truth will come out. And trust me, it will.

      But thank you for finally revealing the extent you will go just to show what a hateful person you are.

    • Olutayo
      June 22, 11:10 Reply

      This is in such poor taste. Are you usually this desperate for online validation? This level of spite is proof that you’re very likely the person who wanted something from PP, which he turned down.

    • Mitch
      June 22, 11:50 Reply

      You, very clearly, are just a raving mad dog!
      Jesus fucking Christ!

      I’ve always known you to be a liar who thrives on misrepresenting people and situations, but this takes the cake!

      You came whining at him for hating on your KD persona and hitting on you on Facebook. And a clarification by him gets misconstrued, with outright lies added to it, just so you can paint him as a devil.

      He said he didn’t hate your KD persona, that he simply wasn’t a fan of your KD persona, and that your suggestion/deduction that he knew the KD persona was the same person he was hitting on Facebook was wrong. That he was a single and sexual person who hits on guys all the time and that hitting on guys wasn’t significant until it stopped being mere DM banter and became something more.

      And, yes, he made a snarky comment about how hitting on you doesn’t make you special. Because it’s true. If anything, your persona, which is as nauseating and disgusting as a maggot-filled sore, is bloody repugnant. You may have your looks going for you, and that’s a huge MAY, but you’re a thoroughly obscene piece of shit.

      Your lies, your puke-worthy obsession with being the centre of attention, your airheadedness that you parade as smartness behind a façade of technical grammar that you have neither an understanding of nor a knowledge of how to use properly – everything about you is fucking disgusting.

      Tufiakwa!
      Bloody lying asshole!

    • Queen of Queens
      June 22, 17:32 Reply

      Lol people, please do not distract Higwe from providing his social media handle. Some must verify!

  3. Uzor
    June 21, 15:44 Reply

    ? what is this unsanctioned afternoon tea dears?

  4. Flexsterous
    June 21, 16:14 Reply

    Sometimes when I read kitodiaries, I feel like the only gay man that has self control over his libido (which I know I’m not). the last time I had sex was august, and its not like I don’t meet hot guys each time I leave my house, but the boldness of some guys to harass people sexually and over inflate the number of gay people (which is lower than 10%) with words like “anyone can be gay” is beyond me.

  5. Black Dynasty
    June 21, 18:32 Reply

    Hmm I’ll start of by saying it’s a male thing not limited to queer guys. Straight guys do the exact same thing to females.

    It doesn’t make his point any less valid of course and certainly doesn’t make their behaviour acceptable.
    Some folks don’t have self control unfortunately and that’s a dangerous thing especially in this age of social media and DM’s being posted as receipts etc.

  6. Mandy
    June 22, 10:38 Reply

    @Higwe, you must have a truly sad uninteresting life. That’s what I’ve come to realize of you and people like you. And we’ve seen them before here on KD. People so toxic, they stoke drama and spread venom on the internet, just so they can escape the humdrum routine of their existence.

    Hopefully, something good and positive will start happening in your life soon, and you’ll learn the unnecessariness of being an online troll.

    @Pinky, stay being a class act. And doing what you’re doing. This one is not doing anything we’ve not already seen lots others do here on KD.

  7. Peaches
    June 23, 01:35 Reply

    I came late, better for me. @Higwe, aren’t you tired? Never push people to breaking point but all you have done is push and push and push,even if i didnt know you, you pushed me too and i was not enemy.
    Grow up, you’ll be fine if you do.

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