Fanny Packs

Fanny packs are coming back in style.

Yes, you heard me right. Those packs that went the way of the Dodo around the year 2000, have made a comeback. I started noticing bicyclists were wearing fanny packs in 2019, but then the gays started wearing them at bars, and I’ve even seen a few straight men sporting a pack. How did this happen?

Let’s describe what a fanny pack is so Gen Z and Alphas know what we’re talking about.

The kangaroo pouch fanny pack was designed to be worn on the waist of the wearer, in front of the crotch area. This is to help protect valuables from pickpockets in crime-riddled urban areas. The intended use became moot when people started wearing them on the side of the hips, or even on the lower back.

That’s the exact opposite of how it’s supposed to be worn!

Around the year 2000, pretty much everyone forgot all about the fanny pack. It was a time of great change. We got caught up in the Y2K scare and we “part[ied] like it’s 1999”, in 1999. If they were seen after the dawn of the new millennium, they were worn by “boomers” on vacation (to the embarrassment of grandkids everywhere).

Fast-forward 20 years, and they’ve made a comeback!

I first noticed that die-hard bicyclists were wearing fanny packs during group rides I participated in. Instead of on the waist, they wore the pack over their chest. I thought it was a neat idea, because most athletic clothing lack pockets.

Even if you happen to find athletic shorts that have pockets, a true athlete or enthusiast won’t bother using them because it messes up the workout. I hate keeping my wallet, phone, and keys in my pockets while riding. They flop around, dig and cut into legs, and tend to fall out. It’s too much of a distraction and hassle.

But wait, here comes the fanny pack!

You can strap this to your chest and keep all your essential items in an easy to access pack. You’ll even look stylish in the process. No-one will look twice if you choose to wear it on the back of your waist either.

Fanny packs are a useful accessory for bicyclists, but they started getting smaller and smaller… and men began wearing small leather packs at the gay bars. This new form of fanny pack is obviously intended to be a sexy accessory. It accentuates the muscles and shows how flat your chest and belly are. Unfortunately, a lot of guys with “average” bods (like my body) wore them, and it didn’t look hot.

The strap made the dad-bod and moobs more prominent.

There have been a lot of successes using new versions of the packs in the Downtowns of most major cities. Business dress seems to match well with some of the higher-end packs. Spurred on by this fashionable success, fanny packs experienced even more alterations and began looking like form-fitting male purses.

And then, some of the prettier men began sporting actual purses.

It’s rare, but I’ve even seen the occasional straight man wear a high-end leather fanny pack. I think the only times I’ve seen straight men wearing them is at sporting events, or if they’re out with family.

Most times it’s painfully obvious the wife or girlfriend made him wear it.

***

From bicyclists, to gays, to metrosexuals, the fanny pack is making a comeback, but is this fashion trend here to stay? Or will it fade away and only resurface in awkward family get-togethers, like all those 90s photos your grandparents keep digging up from storage?

Who knows…

Oh no! I’m one of “those” gays 😱

While washing my hands the other day, I noticed the walls of the men’s restroom were painted a dark grey color. I never noticed the color of the walls before, and as I was scrubbing my hands, I corrected my initial observation that the color was merely grey. It was charcoal grey.

I instantly stopped my scrubbing and took a long, horrified look at myself in the mirror. I had the sudden realization that I’m one of those gays who knows the specific names of colors! 

As I finished rinsing my hands, I asked myself: How could this happen!?

While struggling to make the automatic paper towel dispenser, dispense a couple towels I thought:

I don’t even care about colors. When someone asks me what my favorite color is, I have to think about it for a long time because I don’t have a favorite. I just tell people grey is my favorite because it’s in between black & white.

I finally got a couple paper towels from the stingy machine, and continued thinking about colors while drying my hands.

I guess if I had to pick a normal color, I’d choose dark green. But, that “oxidized avocado” colored shirt I have is hideous. I only keep it because it-

Dammit! I did it again!

Why is this happening? I hate colors!

I used the damp towels to open the restroom door and tossed them in the trash bin as I left the room. I continued my mental tirade as I walked back to my desk.

If I had my way, I’d never paint or repaint the walls of my home because changing the color is the worst investment of time and money. Why bother? I won’t notice the color after the paint has dried, unless someone comments about it.

I was about halfway back to my desk when I remembered I had spent about 30 minutes helping the family look for a list of paint-chips at Home Depot recently. I felt a wave of relief because it makes perfect sense that I’d still have those weird color names rattling around in my head[1].

Before then, I had no idea different shades and hues of colors actually had names. The isle littered with a collage of colors was an abstract location in the store, and I don’t normally need anything from that section. The last time I noticed the name of a different shade of color was when I had to pick a color to differentiate my comments in a group email. The color I picked was: Dark Blue, Text 2, Darker 25%.

Now, I’m keenly aware stores sell colors named: Charcoal Grey, Thudercloud (greyish blue), Glacier Pearl (dark blue), Beavertail Brown, Shiitake Mushroom, or Dove (off-white) … and the list goes on.

***

I’d like to preempt any misconceptions, by explaining that I am proud of being a gay man and I enjoy all aspects of gay culture. “I’m not one of ‘those’ gays.” “We’re not ‘those’ kind of gays.” Are phrases which may pop into a conversation in or out of the gay community. It’s said as a description of oneself to inform the other party that the stereotype does not apply to us.

I’ve certainly seen many people who fit the gay stereotype, including a few straight men. I don’t particularly think there’s anything wrong with the stereotype, or anything is wrong about being the embodiment of it. I just tend to see myself as an average guy who happens to like other men, including those who fit into the gay stereotype.


[1] I think I invented the color “Oxidized Avocado”.