LGBTQ+ Stories

Interview with Gay Men Who Masqueraded as Girls Online to Flirt with Boys by Lisa

Experiencing⁤ adolescence⁤ in secrecy⁤ can be a lonely journey. Therefore, it’s‌ not surprising that​ some homosexual⁢ men turned to unconventional methods to ‌explore their attraction towards ⁢the same sex during the early days of social media.

One such individual is Thomas*, who, as a closeted teenager, used to impersonate a⁤ girl online, a practice known as ‌”catfishing”, to interact with boys. He recalls starting this behaviour on early social ⁤media platforms like Bebo. “I was⁤ desperate and lonely,” he admits, adding that ​he would flirt with boys over⁢ MSN Messenger. Although he now regrets his actions, he ‌admits it was exciting at the time.

Thomas explains that his primary interest⁢ was in conversation, but the boys he catfished often steered the discussions‍ towards ⁤sexual topics. “The sexually charged straight⁤ boys would ‍soon ask for explicit⁤ photos,” he says. “But initially, I just wanted a platform to chat with attractive boys, something I ‍couldn’t do in real life. While my friends were dating and having fun, all I wanted was someone to talk to me ​in the same way.”

Thomas is not alone in this experience. Jay* shares that he ⁣catfished several boys at his school between⁢ the ages of 13 and 15. “I stole pictures ​from‍ a random attractive girl’s MySpace page. I knew most guys would be attracted to the stereotypical blonde girl ‌with blue eyes, so I chose those,” he explains.

Jay’s motivations, apart ‍from teenage hormones, ‍were​ rooted in his suppressed sexuality and a longing for intimacy. “I would ​always‍ hear about the straight guys getting to touch my female ⁣classmates or⁣ kiss them,” he says. “I wanted to do the same with my male classmates, but couldn’t be open about it. I felt left out, so catfishing was the closest I could get to romantic interaction – it provided a thrill that pornography couldn’t.”

The term “catfish” refers to ‍someone who‍ pretends to be someone else online. The MTV show Catfish, which started in 2012, follows Nev Schulman as he interacts with people‍ who ⁣have been ⁣deceived online. Catfish ⁤can⁣ be motivated by ‌financial gain,​ revenge, or bullying.

A study conducted by social neuroscientist Eric Vanman‌ of​ the University Of⁣ Queensland in ‌Australia, found ⁢that 41 per⁤ cent of catfish were driven by loneliness. The study also found that‍ catfish often had multiple “victims”, with some describing catfishing as an “addiction”.

The use of catfishing as a⁤ means to ⁢explore ⁢potential homosexuality is not uncommon. Vanman’s ‍study found several instances of adult catfish “changing ‌genders”. One ‌woman, who impersonated a man⁣ online, said it⁤ helped⁢ her improve her ⁣flirting skills. She told the researchers, “I was catfishing women because I am attracted to women but have ⁢never acted on it.”

Read more