STIAAN LOUW MEETS NEO-JOCK TWINK CULTURE

Though I neither necessarily agree nor disagree with his take on the subject, I am particularly intrigued by Stiaan Louw’s continued exploration of the definition of male identity and roles – and his follow-up to ATLETIEK is proving to be no exception.

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Homme Boy staring Thane Guy Williams is rollercoaster technicolor sendup of Cape Flats badboy machismo. It’s street savvy neo-jock all wrapped up in twink culture, and I’m loving it!

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The Capetownian designer explores the too often overlooked and taboo subject of contemporary ‘streetboy’ sexuality. Therein exists a subset of male culture where it seems the local neighbourhood homeboys, jocks and gang pledges can satiate their appetite for male-to-male tryst and romantic companionship without the undesirable hazard of being outed -to their shame -to their brotherhood and community at large.

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We are not to confuse their paranoia at the prospect of losing the credibility of the hard-knock, hyper-masculine image they have worked so darn hard at projecting as their primary fear. No! Indeed, their hyper-masculine image is similarly not to be misconstrued for a show – though I daresay it’s undeniable that they revel in making quite a spectacle of it.

It’s my contention that their real fear is – once being exposed – themselves going so far as identifying themselves as bisexual or – even worse (as they understand it) – gay! Alas! thus they find themselves caught between the hammer and the anvil, in that they cannot – and maybe even will not – bring themselves to desist from indulging in their most carnal homosexual passions and yet the idol they have erected to their masculinity will not allow them to even entertain the notion of affinity with the homosexual male community at large.

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Ergo, the gangster gay descends into the subterranean strata of downlow liaisons, where he can quench his proclivities in relative anonymity with fellow homeboys with whom he has an affinity, quasi-teen paddycake boys, pupcakes, bear cubs and other gay men who reserve a particular fixation with hyper-masculine men on the downlow.

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Thus, it can be concluded that the lives of the figures that inspired Stiaan Louw’s Homme Boy are dichotomous in nature. For the simple reason that they cannot reconcile the perceived inconsistency they harbour of popular gay male identity with their neo-jock machismo and vice versa. Theirs is the life of dual consciousness: the hard-knock alfa male verses the closeted and timid sexual chimera.

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What this and Stiaan Louw’s Homme Boy mean for contemporary male identity and roles, I cannot say, but if any homeboy should be outfitted in this collection, then I’d love it to be former Afrikaans Kwaito rapper Seputla.

You can view the Homme Boy film here.


Credits:

Photographer/Director: Neil Roberts

Asst. Photographer: Oscar O’ryan and Gavin Mikey Pop

Model: Thane Williams at Outlaws Models

Art Director: Michael Beaumont Cooper

Makeup: Henry Maritz

Hair: Delin Naude at Palladium Hair Company

Jewellery: Custommade by Ilda Elsje

Location: Wembley Studios, Cape Town


Photography © Neil Roberts and Stiaan Louw.


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