Battle of the Gay Brands

Tom Crowe
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I often think that the gay world is quite like the wizarding world in Harry Potter. Everything gay is in plain sight, it’s just that heteros are too blind to notice it. Need evidence? Think of all those MPs that live in Vauxhall.

Either way, there is a whole world out there that needs to be understood. How on earth can any self-respecting homo be expected to thrive if he is not able to justifiably make lifestyle choices based on a brand’s gayness? How will we ever find boyfriends, husbands, new jobs or men if we can’t congregate in one place? Bars and clubs are all very well, but we all need more than just alcohol in our lives (read: gin no longer counts as alcohol – it’s as healthy as water – don’t bad mouth the gin). Here I examine three of the biggest face-offs in the gay world and discover exactly why it is the homonation favours one over the other.


Costa vs. Starbucks

No, it’s not the fact that Starbucks supports the campaign for equal marriage in the USA, or even the fact that the CEO, Mr Howard Schultz, is a bit of a DILF that has caused Pumpkin Spiced Latte addiction amongst a generation of gays. It is, in fact, the toilets. Let’s compare the small, dingy and pokey toilets and the ‘community board’ we find in Costa to the spacious and ergonomic design of Starbucks’ toilets. Word even has it that Starbucks’ designers specifically introduced a standard sized disabled loo to accommodate men who prefer to, err, ‘go to the toilet’ as a trio (particularly appreciated in Manchester’s Gay Village – or so I hear). There isn’t even room for a twosome to just stand and stare at each other in Costa. I’ve tried.

Fitness First vs. Bannatyne’s

Let’s face it, training at the gym is not about getting healthier. Health is unimportant – a non-entity – in comparison with the need and desire to get fantastic obliques and stare at beautiful guys while you’re doing it. I don’t know whether it’s company policy or just sheer misfortune, but I’ve never seen a guy with great obliques or looks at a Bannatyne’s. My local FF however, is brimming with them. Perhaps it’s the onomatopoeic sound of rifle shooting the name ‘Bannatyne’ is reminiscent of that scares away the homos. Moreover, the changing rooms at Bannatyne’s are completely unsuited to the needs of the everyday homo. I need multiple mirrors – at least one full-length (for my risqué ‘over the shoulder’ nude selfies) and a half-length. I’m not saying that Bannatyne’s doesn’t offer this, but Fitness First just seems so much more attuned to my needs. The half-length mirror is the perfect height that I can take a selfie to show off my abs and show the perfect amount of pube. Neither vulgar nor frigid (by Grindr standards anyway).

Eastenders vs. Coronation Street

Both soaps (in fact all soaps) are camp. Coronation Street is camp in the way Carla sashays down the cobbles gagging for a cream finger while Eastenders does camp in a darker way. After all, who else could have made Phil Mitchell’s latest tragic accident such a glamorous affair? (I think Carl was actually more attractive with blood on his face) It’s Gail Platt who really swings this one in Corrie’s favour though. The shrill voice, horrendous (yet strangely endearing) hairstyle and feud with Eileen from across the road would be enough of a story line for me without all the supplementary characters. Add Gail’s uncanny resemblance to E.T, a hamster and Madge from ITV’s Benidorm and you’ve got yourself a fantastically camp character. A true gay icon.

About Tom Crowe

Just a small gay in a big gay world. A big believer in the power of perseverance. For ramblings about learning Chinese and French, water polo and anything else that takes my fancy. @tecrowe