I’ve been swamped with homework yesterday and today, but I want to take a brief study break to mention the appearance of several startling images in my Facebook news feed. I am a proud fan of Gay Marriage USA on Facebook and they often post photos of recently married gay couples on their page, something I am always happy to celebrate.
Recently I published a post called Gay Wedding, Same Outfit…Cute or Weird? I wanted to gauge reader opinion of one of these photos I had seen of two men wearing the exact same outfit at their wedding. The few people I talked to about this agreed with me that it was somewhat more weird than cute, because of the “different dress complex” that we have in relation to any formal wear that is not a black tie tuxedo.
Looking at the photos appearing on my newsfeed, it seems there is a startling trend of gay men wearing the same exact outfit at their wedding—and usually not a black tie tuxedo.
You may not be surprised to discover that this same trend is not as common or exclusive for lesbian couples getting married.
It occurred to me after seeing these that you don’t hear about gay men wearing dresses. We forgive women who cross-dress as long as they are attracted to other women, but not even gay men are allowed to be seen in dresses. That would be something different. He would be a cross-dresser or a transgender. He must want to be a woman. He must feel like a woman. That is the understanding of men who wear dresses.
Lesbian women who wear suits, ties, button-up shirts and the like are not bludgeoned by this same expectation. They are allowed to just be lesbian women who like wearing suits. That is because the gender identity of woman has become much more fluid than the gender identity of man. Men we still hold to high standards of gender conformity, regardless of sexual orientation. For some reason there is a difference between wearing tight jeans, v-neck shirts, and scarves (viewed to be feminine clothing stereotypically preferred by gay men) and wearing a dress to your wedding.
Is this social dynamic pivotal in the fashion trend of sameness for gay couples? Would gay men be more likely to switch things up in their outfit choices if they had a wider range of acceptable options? Or is this trend indicative of something deeper in the identity and relationship dynamics of lesbian couples versus gay couples?