Not all of us spent our high school years pining for the quarterback of the football team. Some of us were more drawn to the shy, sensitive types — the kind of guys who actually listen when you speak, and who have something interesting to say in return.
Like gay men, nerds have had to face down plenty of stereotypes over the years. Pocket protectors and bad haircuts? Ridiculous. A stutter and an obsession with computers? Not necessarily. Plagued by neurosis and insecurity? Well, okay, that last one’s pretty much spot on.
What is it about nerds that can be so sexy? It partly is their awkwardness in social situations. Honestly, who really wants to make small talk at a party anyway? Give me an actual conversation — and this is where nerds shine, the result of having read actual books and newspapers. The fact that a guy has never heard of Perez Hilton is a huge, huge plus in my book.
Sure, maybe nerds can sometimes take things a little too seriously. They might be a little too rumpled or maybe too perfectly pressed. And there’s truth to the idea that if someone is nervous, that makes you nervous too.
But most nerds don’t spend their whole lives in the gym. They don’t spend three hundred dollars on a haircut and another three hundred on “product.” You’ll never catch a nerd glancing at his reflection in a window when he’s supposed to be talking to you.
In other words, nerds don’t know how sexy they are. Which, of course, just makes them that much sexier!
Here’s to hot gay nerds! And here are a few of AfterElton.com’s favorites:
Gabriel in Trick (1999)
Trick’s Gabriel (Christian Campbell) may be an office temp during the day, but at night, the shackles come off and he becomes … a composer of Broadway musicals?
Yup, Gabriel’s a nerd. He may even be the ultimate gay nerd — or maybe just the most adorable.
Favorite movie moment? When Gabriel gets nervous while getting hot and heavy with Mark, his would-be one-night stand, and calms himself down by playing the piano in his underwear.
Parthenon got screwed!
Out reality contestant Dan Williams was Parthenon, the first gay superhero on the second season of the Sci-Fi Channel reality show Who Wants to be a Superhero? And once the competition was underway, he immediately proceeded to pulverize the competition — not necessarily with physical strength, but with his sharp wit and quick thinking.
Alas, Parthenon’s kryptonite turned out to be none other than a group of attention-deficit seven-year-olds. According to series host Stan Lee, the superhero didn’t bond with them well enough — as if he was applying for the job of kindergarten teacher, not a chance to save the world.
“Bling’s my thing!” says Parthenon, who derived his powers from a collection of Atlantian gems discovered by his archeologist alter-ego. But Parthenon was our thing too, because he proved once and for all that being smart is better than being loud.