Heel-clad hetero ‘influencer’ says queer people make his life “worse” and the Internet has thoughts

Mark Bryan, 62, has built an influential brand on his style. The straight, Texan grandfather and mechanical engineer is known for pairing traditionally masculine or unisex tops with skirts and heels—a pairing that has earned him numerous modeling campaigns, brand deals, and general admiration from the queer community.

In a new clip from his appearance in a German docu-series Beyond Fashionit would seem that that admiration is not returned.

In the first episode of the series, titled “Hat Mode ein Geschlect?” (“Does fashion have sex?”), Bryan chats with host and Strange Eye: Germany star Avi Jakobs on her style journey over frugality and manicures. Their rapport was easy enough at first, but things take a turn when Jakobs gets her nails done.

She expresses that she was excited to meet Bryan, because she assumed he was fighting for the queer community in some way.

“I don’t really think I’m fighting with you, but I’m not fighting against you either,” he says.

When she asks if he understands why some queer people might be upset about him using his “sexually fluid” style just as a fashion statement, it’s clear that he doesn’t.

As we see in the now-viral clip, the conversation quickly escalates:

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“It’s not about the clothes, it’s about who they are and how they represent themselves,” he says.

“I think they made it harder on themselves by being more flamboyant. I think they are too outrageous and too extravagant.”

In a bit not included in the Twitter edit, Jakobs responds, “I just wish you would fight on our side. I’m so disappointed.”

“I’m trying to separate myself from the LGB community because of the gay community that wore skirts and high heels before me,” says Bryan. “I feel like they actually made it worse for me, being honest, because now I guess I’m gay.”

All Jakobs can do is gasp in disappointment before dryly replying, “I’m so sorry we made things worse for you.”

As the clip rolls around, people share in Jakobs’ disappointment and anger:

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Earlier in the episode, sparingly, Jakobs got teary-eyed hearing that Bryan could wear what he does almost unchallenged.

“I’m really happy for you that you didn’t have to experience that,” she says. “Deciding to wear that, for me, is a big statement because we’re only allowed to do that because of the past and brave people. That privilege that you have… it would be wonderful to use it to speak to honest men.

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“Usually, I get attacked by straight men – it’s happened to me so many times – and usually the people who don’t have to experience that are the ones who will be listened to.”

Even after her emotional pleas, it’s clear that Bryan isn’t interested.


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