|Desouza of Vegas says: The stories and illustrations that I create depict masculine males who look and behave in macho ways. I strongly believe that men tend to naturally look and behave in masculine and macho ways.
All that I create is intended strictly as fantasy and not to be misinterpreted as advocating violence against men or any antisocial or unlawful behaviors in the real world we live in.
Some gay men do not want to reflect natural masculinity. Instead, they favor other, self-selected outward appearances and chosen behaviors such as feminized speech traits and feminine affectations or clothing. That is a cultural right that we all should respect as I certainly do. However, as an artist and storyteller I make choices not to depict such characters or stories.
What’s in a Name?
This little word is shortened from barazuko, a Japanese word for “rose-tribe”—a code phrase that designated gay men in a time where openness about sexual identity was uncommon.
Bara works are produced by gay men for gay men. The genre depicts gay male, same-sex feelings and sexual identity of masculine, muscular men who sometimes behave in aggressive, violent, or exploitative ways towards one another.
Bara is not about romantic gay love or hearts and flowers or men who choose to speak and behave in feminized ways.
Bara is wild, adventurous, and unflinching in how it mirrors real life behaviors of male aggression, power trips, violent tendencies, and exploitation.
USA Version of Bara
I am one of a small number of gay men outside of Asia who create works within a USA version of bara.
You will discover that I am a gay male who sees things in this life from a different perspective than some other gay males. My storytelling approach in text and in 3D digital art is to focus on highly masculine men who are sexually attracted to other men who also are highly masculine.
As a gay man, I do not hide my preferences behind political correctness. In my work, I choose to steer clear of several deeply embedded traits of American gay culture that can be found in film and in print—eccentric or flamboyant behaviors (one pictured on the right), alkyl nitrites, dance music, trendy clothing, trendy hair, gay men who think age 30 is old, and so forth.
I also choose to depict the linkage between violence and sex—a controversial choice on my part. Personally, I do not enjoy the boy-meets-boy-and-falls-in love kind of storytelling that is very prominent and popular within the gay male community today. I prefer to focus instead upon gay males who are mature in life and who are wise in the ways of the world.
This creative choice I have made means that I pay attention to gay males who are around age 30 and older in contrast to a typical focus by other artists upon younger flamboyant and effeminate gay men—probably the most identifiable and stereotypical gay men across a wide variety of cultures here in the present day.
My creative works explore conflicting and opposing compulsions that all men have.
On one side there are impulses men have towards sustaining life, engaging in love, and being attracted to others.
In the opposing direction are impulses men have towards being aggressive, engaging in violence, and, causing pain and death.
For centuries, artists and storytellers around the world have found inspiration in these two opposing human compulsions that no man is able to resist or impede merely by his conscious will alone.
I am not entirely aware of any specific intent on my part to explore this duality of man’s compulsions. Nor do I plan my creative efforts so that I purposefully can reveal psychoanalytic findings. I just continue to work and create. What turns out turns out.
Illustrated Queer Sci Fi
Bara Men dot Vegas is produced by Madeira Desouza under the Desouza of Vegas brand name for bara works in digital art and also in illustrated queer sci fi.
Gay Adult Men Attracted to Masculine Men
My visual works and storytelling are intended to appeal to gay adult men who are attracted to masculine men (as pictured on the right).
You should not believe the falsehood that there is only one, singular gay male way of thinking or feeling about other men.
As a gay man, I do not hide my preferences behind political correctness. In my work, I choose to steer clear of several deeply embedded traits of American gay culture that can be found in film and in print—eccentric or effeminate or flamboyant behaviors (one pictured on the left), alkyl nitrites, dance music, trendy clothing, trendy hair, gay men who think age 30 is old, and so forth.
My creative works have clear motives and themes including the presence of weapons in some of my illustrations.
Each of my illustrations is surrealistic and often controversial.
Each depicts a particular story or theme or point of view that is intended for mature, open minded adults regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, but this stuff is intended for gay adult men.
In my illustrations and stories I explore conflicting and opposing compulsions that all men have. On one side there are impulses men have towards sustaining life, engaging in love, and being attracted to others. In the opposing direction are impulses men have towards being aggressive, engaging in violence, and, causing pain and death. For centuries, artists and storytellers around the world have found inspiration in these two opposing human compulsions that no man is able to resist or impede merely by his conscious will alone.
Macho Masculine Men
My works all are easily identifiable by the way I show motives and by the themes that I choose to depict in stories and illustrations. This all falls within the USA version of the bara genre. That’s a Japanese word that signifies a particular content type and style of depicting macho masculine men.
No Feminized Men Here
Throughout my website you will find very specific opinions that I state directly about outward behaviors and speech of some gay men. I am referring to how I call attention to gay men in the specific context of masculine men behaviors versus feminized men behaviors.
Butch versus Fem
In the English language we have the words butch and fem that are commonly used to describe these very visible and recognizable attributes in gay men. I am not attempting to be politically incorrect when I call attention to these attributes and my choice as an author and illustrator to steer clear of feminized men behaviors and speech. I am simply stating what is commonly observable in the 21st century.
The concept of sissyphobia—a dominant norm in worldwide culture today that disparages effeminate men—is easily found wherever gay men are found. If you want to learn more, read one author’s 2001 book about why some gay men are more effeminate while others are more masculine, and, why society tends to find effeminate gay men objectionable.
Observations made about masculine males versus feminized males date back to Ancient Greece, where same-sex relationships were a basic element of that civilization and culture.
There is ongoing debate about whether gay men are being compelled to adopt masculine male behaviors and speech versus feminized male behaviors and speech.
As an author and illustrator I choose to focus my attention and creative efforts on masculine male behaviors and speech without any attempt to address what is a gay man’s true self as outwardly demonstrated in real life by his choices in how he speaks or how he behaves.
I have read some commentaries online from gay men who defend behaving in feminine ways. The claim usually is made that gay men who behave in feminine ways are attempting to make a statement and to feel empowered by their choice to behave in feminine ways. I have to admit how seeing it from that perspective (making a statement, and, feeling empowered) gives the choice to behave in feminine ways a powerful political context.
When I was a boy, I had an irrational fear that I would turn out to be a merely ordinary man. I created a pseudonym for myself that would sound considerably more Old World ethnic compared to my own birth name while being a name that everyone should recognize no ordinary person would ever have.
During journalism school, I grew to admire writers who distinguished themselves through their professional works. But, I also must confess that I developed a very strong attraction to the well-known practice of writers who use a pseudonym. The earliest experience I had with pen names was when I was a teenager. I learned that Mark Twain was the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Filtered through the perceptions of a teenage boy, that discovery was the coolest thing I had ever come to know about the writing profession.
No surprise that Mark Twain has remained my favorite American writer of all time. Not that I think I am as good as he was or ever will be. But, I seek to be humorous like him, to tell vivid and imaginative stories like he told, and, yes, to have a memorable nom de plume like his.
It does not really matter whether someone with a pseudonym is prominent and globally identifiable like Mark Twain or Stephen King or J.K. Rowling or Jay Z. The simple reality is that having a pseudonym is a timeworn way of differentiating yourself from everyone else.
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