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I just got the impression from his essay that Peitzman felt he was “disappointing” other gay men by not looking perfect.
Stern: I don't think a fat gay man is seen as shaming the entire community, necessarily; he's just not representing his sexuality very well and won't be seen as particularly attractive. These norms are changing, and they aren't universal.
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They would almost never do so for a man—not because they're shy, but because they don't care. Anyway, let’s discuss this Stern: Ideally fit; at a minimum, thin.
Waldman: Guys make those comments sort of carelessly. I mean, you should totally have one if you want one—”). Muscular, without being horrifically overdeveloped—you never want to look steroidal, but you want to look like you're committed to working out.
There's an idea that if you're fat, you don't take care of yourself, you aren't being responsible, you aren't presenting your best self, your sexiest self. And you'll probably flounder in the dating world, because, you know, who could ever be sexually attracted to a fat guy?
Dan Savage, by the way, has had a hand in perpetuating this notion, though he's backed off a bit.