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‘The Male Gazed’ dives deep into masculinity, Ricky Martin, & more queer heartthrobs

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A post shared by Manuel Betancourt (@bmanuel)Writer Manuel Betancourt was fascinated with the idea of masculinity long before he had the words for how he felt about it—enough words, that is, to fill his new book, The Male Gazed: On Hunks, Heartthrobs, and What Pop Culture Taught Me About (Desiring) Men, out this week.

It’s a memoir-in-essays tackling topics of masculinity—Betancourt’s self-perception, the social pressures he faced coming of age in Bogotá, Colombia, and how the pop culture he grew up with influenced and expanded his view of what could be possible.

And even erotic.Packed with a fascinating combination of personal stories and queer theory, The Male Gazed offers a fresh take on masculinity through a queer lens, from Ricky Martin to Antonio Banderas to drag queens, telenovelas, queer cinema, and more.We caught up with Manuel to learn more about the inspiration behind The Male Gazed, and the pop culture that made him who he is.QUEERTY: Hi Manuel!

Thanks for being here.In The Male Gazed, you write about the question, “Do I want him, or do I want to be him?” How does that echo into how we experience pop culture, especially in an erotic sense?BETANCOURT: That was always the central question for me while watching pop culture… because you’re always encouraged to look for role models.

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