The one question we get more than any other one is…
“Are you two brothers?”
It never fails. Whenever we go out to eat, to see a movie, or visit another city, we get this question at least a few times a month. It usually comes from women, though sometimes it’s a guy asking. And we can’t blame them. We both have dark features, similar (ish) hair, and generally thicker eyebrows and brown eyes. But do we really look that much alike?
If you’re in the gay community, you know that a gay man who dates someone who looks like him is a real thing, and they’re called “boyfriend twins”. In fact, Buzzfeed even wrote an article a few years ago talking about a Tumblr account that compiled pictures of gay couples who look like they could be related. We have to admit, we found a couple of them to be strikingly similar. “But that’s not us! We don't look as similar as they do!” Is what we thought to ourselves. But maybe we do? Maybe that’s what everyone who looks alike thinks and we’re all just fooling ourselves?
When looking for a picture for this post, we purposely chose the one above because we feel this picture, more than any other one we’ve ever taken, is where we look the most alike. Honestly, we almost didn’t share it because it kind of freaks us out a bit, because WE LOOK THE EXACT SAME IN IT. Same hair, same eyes, same smile. Don’t you think? It weirds us out just looking at it.
If we’re being honest, we don’t really don’t think we look that much alike most days because we can see the differences better than anyone else. Sure we have dark hair and eyes, but our facial features, if you look closely, are very different. Still, we do get messages ALL. THE. TIME. from people who say we look like twins or brothers or they ask if we’re related. We wish we would have screen shotted them so you could see them here, but just take our word for it, they’re pretty comical. One time, though, we received a comment on our YouTube from a guy who was so angry at the fact that we apparently look alike, that he called us narcissistic for being with each other haha! He called it weird and gross etc etc. It bothered us at first, but then we just shrugged it off. It’s too late now! ;)
But back to the question at hand: why do gay men date other men who look like them? Is it inherent? Something that we don’t even think about but it’s just who we’re attracted to? Is it a society thing? A culture thing? We actually feel fortunate to have found each other in our small, southern town, so when we first got together, the fear or realization of us looking alike wasn’t even a thought in our minds. We were just grateful to have found another gay person within a ten mile radius.
According to Rembrandt Duran, who talked to them.com about boyfriend twins, “I think we just feel more comfortable dating [people who seem] familiar to us,” he says. “Most groups of people are homophilous, so of course dating pools would be that way, too.” It’s an interesting article, and it brings up a couple of different points, but as a whole, we didn’t really agree with it all too much. Still, it’s definitely worth a read.
We believe people mostly ask us if we’re brothers (at least here in the south) because it’s a safe, polite way of asking if we’re really together or not. They don’t want to just come out and ask, maybe because they feel awkward or embarrassed, but asking if we’re related is definitely a lot easier for them. We always smile and say “No, we’re actually husbands.” That usually leads to their eyes getting really big and a big “Oh! Cool” or something to that effect. It’s funny, and most of the time we don’t mind. Most of the time.
What about you? Have you found that people often ask if you two are brothers? Do you think you and your boyfriend/husband/partner look alike? How do you handle it?