Out gay singer Tom Goss is reasserting his love of big men. Five years after he released his track, Bears, he’s revealed a video today for new song, Round In All The Rights Places.
‘Even after ‘Bears’, people would constantly ask me if I really had a thing for large men,’ Tom Goss said in a press statement.
‘I used to get annoyed by the question, but then I started to reflect on it and I came to the conclusion that I hadn’t done an adequate job of describing what is so intoxicating to me about men of size.
‘For this one, I wanted to write something that was more specific and mature. I didn’t want to hold back. I wanted to be direct, honest and graphic; to really convey the shape, the allure, the seduction of big men.’
Struggles with his sexuality and love of big men
Goss was raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He learned at a young age that relationships can be painful and damaging, after his parents divorced while he was in 4th grade. That and his own struggles with his sexuality cast a dark shadow over his romantic life. He entered a seminary to train to be a priest, and didn’t go on his first date until he was 22.
‘I had spent my high school years focused on wrestling, my studies and friends. I didn’t have the typical emotional or sexual drive that other guys seemed to have. Honestly, I thought it was something everyone around me was making up.’
However, that sexual drive was awaked when he met and fell for a plus-sized man and became aware of the bear community.
Finding his voice and beginning his music career
After putting thought of the priesthood behind him, he began his singer-songwriter career in the coffee houses of Washington DC in the early 00s. He self-released his debut album, Naked Without, in 2006. Since then, he’s released five further albums and has regularly performed around the US and at Pride festivals.
He married his husband, Mike Briggs in 2010 and is now based in Los Angeles. In 2012, he released a music video for the track, You Know That I Love You, that documented his marriage ceremony.
Round in all the Right Places
‘I had been trying to write Round in all the Right Places for some time, but what was coming out simply wasn’t working for me,’ says Goss of his new track.
‘Then I got a text from a friend who happens to be round and absolutely beautiful. I asked him what he hated most about his body. He said his Flintstone feet. I was floored, mainly because, to me, everything about his body is stunning. So I began asking other men of size the same question and no one was able to tell me, “not a damn thing, I love it all!”
‘The world is telling plus sized people that their butts are sagging and their bellies are too flabby. “Change who you are, lose it at all costs,” we’re told. Then we wonder why people often view themselves in a negative light. I want to send some messaging out into the world that says the opposite.’
‘Too often in media, large men are painted as villains or buffoons’
Goss directed and co-produced the video for Round In All The Right Places, with additional production and by Nathaniël Siri. It features a couple of friends and some men he approached online.
‘I couldn’t be happier with the visuals, and the beautiful men behind the visuals,’ says Goss. ‘Yes, I absolutely objectify the men, but I’m careful to do it in a way that is respectful, artistic and focused on that which makes them beautiful and unique. Too often in media, large men are painted as villains or buffoons; the butt of a joke. The goal here was to uplift and empower men of size and embrace their beauty.’
Despite the growth in the bear scene worldwide, some people continue to find the portrayal of big guys in a positive light controversial. When GSN has run articles on body positivity in the past, someone will inevitably accuse us ‘glamorizing unhealthy lifestyles.’
Goss rebuffs that criticism.
‘My focus is simply to highlight a different perspective,’ he tells GSN.
‘I find round men absolutely beautiful. That’s a fact. I want to do what I can to challenge our society’s stereotypes of beauty and offer another vision of beauty. The truth is, I can’t speak to who is living an unhealthy lifestyle. I am not a doctor and I have no intimate knowledge of other people’s daily behavior.
‘That said, I’d like to respond to this challenge with a couple challenges of my own. A large percentage of fashion models suffer from eating disorders and/or acknowledge that they’ve been pressured to lose weight. Do we glamorize their behavior by taking their picture?
‘Fitness models partake in a grueling physical and dietary regime that includes all sorts of body manipulating drugs, including, but not limited steroids. Do we glamorize their behavior by taking their picture?
‘We are quick to label abnormal behavior or attraction as ‘unhealthy’ or ‘damaging.’ The only difference between your challenge and mine is society’s idea of normality. As an artist, my job is to be authentic to the way I see the world. I see beauty in round men. I hope I have succeeded in showing the world that.’
Goss’ video really celebrates chubbier bears, at a time when much of bear culture seems to push muscle bears as an ideal. Does he find the bear scene to be welcoming and supportive, or can it also be bitchy and cliquey?
‘Honestly, it depends. I’ve found both to be true. That said, I’ve found both to be true in the world at large.
‘It is not a gay thing. It is not a bear thing. I’ve always chosen to surround myself with people that are warm, welcoming and positive. Believe me, there’s no shortage of that in the bear community.’
Round in all the Right Places is out now on Spotify, iTunes and other platforms. Tom Goss will be touring the US (Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis, Des Moines) in November. Details at tomgossmusic.com