By Dan Smith
I’ll offer you a typical scenario: I’ll be at a party, or a bar, or on an off-day, a family funeral with my girlfriend. We’ll mingle; we’ll socialize. I normally have my hands perched on my hips in my “attentive” pose, pretending to listen to people and generally looking sexy. Once boredom sets in, I politely excuse myself to the bathroom.
I’ve discovered that once a man leaves a crowd comprised of mostly women, even briefly, they like to get in as much gossip as they possibly can. Upon my return, most will come right out and ask me: “So, are you gay?”
I’m always glad to crush expectations and make people feel dumb, so I’ll courteously reply, “No.”
“Are you sure? My ‘gaydar’ never fails.”
Sorry, it did.
A flood of apology usually follows, as if I’m a terminally-ill cancer patient.
“No big deal,” I say smirking and flailing my wrist. “I get it all the time.”
Why people think it’s necessary to act like they’ve horribly offended me in making their assumption about my sexuality boggles my mind. Is it really still such a stigma to be gay in the United States? …OK, I won’t even go there.
But what really bugs me is why people think I’m gay in the first place. If all it takes is fulfilling a few stereotypes for someone to make such an assumption, allow me to retort by bringing up a few more: You’ll never hear me express my love for theater, and I absolutely cannot stand Tegan and Sara’s music.
Is it all just a matter of body language? Is it because of the way I dress? I’d consider myself a fairly “sharply-dressed man.” I’m thin, so I wear tight-ish clothes: not excessively tight; just tight enough. But, on a good day, it’s not uncommon to see my ass cheeks through my pants, or even hints of the ol’ package. Hey, I figure if you’ve got it, flaunt it. It’s not just for women anymore.
Maybe it’s because of my … tendencies. I, as all of-age newbies, like to drink. And like that age group, I like to go crazy with the booze from time to time. However, when I’m feeling particularly “loosey-goosey,” I have a penchant for making out with dudes. But it’s hilarious when I do it, as opposed to creepy when, say, frat boys engage in such behavior. At least I’ll admit to it the morning after.
I know it’s cliche, but I’m comfortable enough with my own masculinity, or lack thereof, to know that I’m just having fun. I’ve never felt the need, like so many others, to assert my straightness on a constant, nearly-sickening basis. I happen to find it irritating.
In fact, perhaps it’s my complete and utter contempt for people like that which would mislead one to believe I’m homosexual.
They’re the kind of people who, when they were younger, were fairly built and liked to fag-bash and high-five in bath towels in the locker room. Afterwards, they’d typically take hot, steamy showers together after their rousing game of catch.
I had the option of becoming somebody like that, but then I decided I didn’t want a job mixing concrete after high school. Besides … that’s just gay.
Those are the same people who fag-bash and high-five at the bar, wearing youth-large Hollister T-shirts to accentuate their rippling muscles. They like spending their time groping and catcalling women. What’s the legal term for that? Oh yeah, sexual harassment. I wouldn’t want some hormone-driven bar hussy feeling me up, and I would assume that the feeling is mutual with women, unless of course they’re begging to be date raped.
In time, these people end up fat, balding and divorced and will never get laid again by the age of 40. Bummer, right? The only regrettable part is that they’ll probably reproduce at some point before that.
It’s so much more fun to keep people on their toes. Hell, Prince was a sexually-ambiguous straight guy and look where it got him. I’d much rather someone assume that I’m gay than to know for a fact that I’m straight. The reactions are priceless when they find out.