What is it about?

The AIDS epidemic had an impact on the sexuality of an entire generation, especially on gay men who were hated and marginalized by society. Such an atmosphere led gay men to internalize self-discrimination and see others as stereotypes rather than as real human beings.

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Why is it important?

The struggle to change the status of gay men in society from being seen as representatives of a "third gender," criminals, and sick into being seen as ordinary men has been long, and the battle is still not won everywhere. Therefore, it must be continued.


I was one of those gay men who suffered the most from the atmosphere of that era. I was in a limbo state, concealing my true identity and as a male model I portrayed the prevailing ideal of masculinity in front of the camera.

Kari Silvola
University of Jyväskylä

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This page is a summary of: A counter-story to the rags-to-riches narrative: A Finnish male model wearing hobo style during the deep depression in the age of AIDS, Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion, April 2023, Intellect, DOI: 10.1386/csmf_00068_1.
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