Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I work with this guy who is..."overtly straight" to the point of being hella annoying. For example, working in the convenience store industry, we have the opportunity to see many lovely co-eds(being in a college town and all.) Anytime a female enters that has been blessed by God in the bossom, he starts salavating and points it out to me. *Quick Side-Note: I am not out to many, and I do my best to keep my work and personal life separate* I do my best to entertain his hormonal surge at that moment with comments like, "Uh huh," "Yep," and my favorite, "Hmmm...Interesting." This lack of interest is kind of my cry for him to leave me out of the loop on the "Who's Who Among Springfield Boobs."
The other day, while taking out the old magazines and stocking the new, a lady I work with was tearing the cover off a Hooter's magazine when a scantily clad centerfold fell out. She asked me if I wanted it, and without hesitation I said, "No, 'Daniel' would like that kind of thing though." *His real name is not 'Daniel'...just been reading enough Dear Abby to know you change the names! Immediately realizing that I would have outed myself to anyone with half a brain, I was horrified. Luckily, working in the convenience store industry, half a brain is not a requisite for employment. When 'Daniel' got the picture he was elated.
Later he asked me if I wanted one. Once again, without even thinking, I quickly said, "No." Then my co-work asked why, was I gay or something. I still don't know what the "or something" option was, but really wish I could have gone with that. After several seconds of dead silence, we were interrupted by a customer, thank God! Usually I am quick with responsed to hide my sexual orientation, but it's like the part of me that generally worried about what others thought had been shut off. My later response to him was, "It just doesn't do anything for me, but thanks." I did successfully evade the question at hand; however, he did appologize a few minutes later if he "Offended me."
Until this point I had not been offended. Stunned, yes...but offended, not so much. I took it as him appologizing for the insult of insinuating I was gay. Do we really live in a society where it is more important to appologize for thinking someone is gay, like it is the ultimate put-down, than it is to appologize for invading someone's personal life, especially when they try extremely hard to check their personal life at the door.
I decided to not let it get to me...but it did. It's amazing how in our culture it is not only ok, but expected that straight guys flaunt their sexuality everywhere, even the workplace, and the gay population is expected to "know their role." What role is this? It's the role of second class citizen who MUST watch making comments that could put non-gay in an uncomfortable situation. Can you imagine me taking a copy of Muscles of the shelf and asking my co-worker if he'd "ever seen a pair of pecks that hot!" Or even better, when one of my attractive male customers enters, ask 'Daniel' if he's a "top or a bottom" while biting my bottom lip in anticipation. Granted I don't have the guts to do either of those things, and also respect him enough not to. Oh well, just another thing the straight culture has to learn!


Bernard Park said...

I don't think it's entirely fair to assume he was apologizing for insinuating that you're gay. He could have been apologizing just because it was a personal question and none of his business. Granted that isn't very likely considering his geneal attitude as you said it is, but it's still a possibility.

And yes, the double-standard about who is allowed to flaunt their sexuality and who is supposed to suppress it really bothers me too. People like the Fab Five aren't helping the situation. Their desexualizing homosexuality so that it's permissable to show on public airwaves. It sends the message that acting like a queen is perfectly fine, but anything else....well then you're in deep shit. Or premium cable. Just try to imagine one of the Fab Five bringing one of their boyfriends/partners/whatever on the show. I'm sure if they'd shown any romantic involvement the show would've been canceled a long time ago. Right now we're just supposed to show straight men how to dress, and to just say no to the boobies pointed out by coworkers.

(Great blog by the way. It's great to have the perspective of someone who's been through LIA.)

Anonymous said...

indeed, a great blog. very cathartic, is it not?
Hang in there.
We'll be down in Lauderdale soon, doing a response conference to the fine folks at Love Won Out.
i think you r right. the truth will win out. when? not soon enuff for me... but, it will happen.
ever check out heartstrong.org??

Bruce Garrett said...

You know, there are straight guys, even young ones, who don't particularly like it when they're in the company of someone who just can't seem to stop making crude remarks about women. They like women, they like watching them, they like the beauty of them, and perhaps because of that they don't like it when they guy next to them is being all boorish and crude about it.

I'm gay and I'm pretty much the same way about guys. Beautiful guys are my personal proof that there is a god and god is good. And when I'm in gay company I can appreciate it when we're all rapt and awe-stricken by the sight of a beautiful guy. But I don't like it when the talk turns crude. I usually just sit there in polite silence. And it does annoy me sometimes when I get the sense that the people I'm with think there's something wrong with me just because I'm not acting like a dog in heat. I don't think I have any hangups about sex, but I =Am= a romantic and I'm really not impressed when sex is reduced to tits and ass and mere button pushing.

The point being: anyone who assumes anything about a guy's sexual orientation simply because he isn't interested in constant sex talk or a Hooters magazine centerfold is just an idiot. Everyone relates to sex in their own way and beyond a certain point people need to just respect that and let the other person manage their sex lives their own way.

It's one thing to talk about what you and your girl or boyfriend did over the weekend, and another to keep chattering about tits and ass all the time. I know homophobes can't seem to grasp that difference when it comes to gay people, but that's the old double standard and it need not apply here. If you're still dealing with coming out issues that's one thing, but apart from that you still have a right to not have your libido intruded on by someone else's.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't boil it all down to a gay vs straight thing. I am straight, but I've been accused of being a "prude" because I don't like crass talk and I don't like to boast about my sexual conquests or talk about my sex life. People of all sorts, gay, straight, male & female, can be crass. Personally, it just kind of grosses me out.

Also, it's possible that a light went on over his head and he's figured out that you are gay, and he was apologizing for making the comment "are you gay or something?" because you are gay. Probably not, but it's a possibility. I remember making a comment to a friend once (when I was young and stupid) about bi-sexuals being weird, that they should choose one sex or another and stick with it, only to find out later that she was bi-sexual. I was horrified. Not that she was bi-sexual, I mean who cares really. I was horrified that I'd said that to her.

A Troll At Sea said...

What an enormous relief to hear that I am not the only person who lives with his heart in his mouth --- tucked right in there next to my feet, most of the time.
However, J, my friend, you need to post soon and give us all some more food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Are you going to be able to keep up with this blog?

Writing a blog can be tough to commit to.....as you need time almost every day.

When you started this blog, I enjoyed the premise and was looking forward to your insights.

Gays who attempt to hang onto their Christianity is relatively unknown to most of the world.

I hope you can find the comittment to keep this blog going.

Christine said...

Hey J...

You still doing ok?

nonsequitur said...

Hey man, are you still hanging in there? You've not blogged for a while and we're getting worried. I hope that all is going well for you.

Marco Valente said...

Don't you sometimes wish you could see the look on this dude's face if you had said you were indeed gay when he asked.

Christine said...

Hey J., just a note to say I'm still thinking of you. Check in if you can...

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