Do I really look that gay? Sure, by body language is a little effeminate, but not overly so. I think. If I walked into the room and the first thing that popped into your mind was that I was clearly a total, flaming faggot, you’d let me know, right? I try to keep an open mind about what sort of people I’m interested in pursuing friendships & more with, so no, I wouldn’t immediately rule men out as being among the people that might be worth close, personal interaction with, but come on! Most men are pigs, who don’t know what’s important in life, or how to communicate in any worthwhile fashion (unless they’ve been trained to do so by their SO, and even then it seems to wear off as fast as the relationship they learned it for.)
Anyway, the first thing that brought this subject to mind recently was Iain’s parents. I recently had the pleasure to meet both of Iain’s parents for the first time. We only had a brief conversation, mostly small talk, and a little chat about road bikes with Iain’s father. Later, in a discussion with Iain, his parents told him that they thought I seemed like a nice guy, I seemed friendly, I’m Gay, and aside from that I seemed like a really good person. He asked them why they thought I was gay, and I guess they couldn’t pin it down. As far as I can tell, Iain’s parents are normal, rational people with only good intentions overall. So, I am inclined to assume that there is something about me that convinced them so quickly and wholeheartedly that I was gay. (Iain and I discussed it, and neither of us could remember whether or not I mentioned my having gone to a gay bar the previous night and dancing with a lot of hot guys, or admiring their muscular, shirtless appearance, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have mentioned that to them.)
Another recent thing on this matter: I met an attractive young woman at my fitness center. She was in a couple of the Yoga classes I take (though she has failed to re-appear in the last 3 or 4 sessions), and after one, we had a brief conversation. The conversation turned almost immediately from small talk to the lack of any good gay bars in Phoenix, and not by me. Then we discussed the sort of difficulties that living with 3 drag queens presented her, the both of us laughing at their wacky (if not altogether typical of drag queens) hijinks. Then our paths parted for the evening, but a moment or two later, it occurred to me that she may have no idea that I’m attracted to her, since she gave the impression that I was just another friendly, gay person.
Then today, just a normal day, I walked across the way to get something for lunch at the local Jack In The Box. I am wearing a T-Shirt, Jeans, and tennis shoes (it’s casual Friday), and I have “blazing auburn” hair. Just after I jay-walked across the road, I was flagged down by someone in a car pulling out of the parking lot of an apartment complex right there. He was fairly dark-skinned, black-haired hispanic man dressed professionally, probably late twenties to early thirties, and as he gestured me to his window I thought he might need directions. Then he asked me, almost under his breath (it occurs to me that this is probably becuase he lives there & doesn’t want to draw too much attention to himself), if I would like to have my dick sucked. He assured me that he really just likes giving oral sex, and that there were no strings attached. He saw me coming across the road and I was so hot that he just HAD to stop me. So, there I was, bent over to his window, hands on my knees (because I thought I would look just a little too much like I was looking for a good time if I leaned on/into the window of his car), my ass sticking out, being propositioned for anonymous, gratuitous oral sex on my lunch break. “Do you like oral sex?” he asks. Sure. What man doesn’t? This man really likes giving as well, I guess. I indicated that I couldn’t oblige him right now, I had to get right back to work, and he gave me his phone number so we could “hook up some other time”. He indicated that I should be discreet when I call; he has a roommate. I broke away politely, sticking to my story of having to get back to work right away and turning down the ride he offered to get me back to work…
Does not being offended by his offer tell him immediately that I’m gay? More importantly, what is it about me that lets people immediately believe that I am gay? I remember last summer when I was in San Diego, Iain and I went to see Natasha’s Ghost at a gay pride festival. (Apparently, Natasha’s Ghost is very popular with the Gay & Lesbian Community.) Parking was across the way, and there was a shuttle service. There was also shuttle service from there (about every other one) going to the historical museum at the other end of the park from the festival. I was with Iain and I had my backpack with me. A shuttle came up, and people started getting on; several senior citizens, but also some young people, and not knowing that there were two shuttles, I moved to get on. The driver stopped me and let me know that I wanted the other shuttle; this one is going to the historical museum. I know I didn’t SAY anything to indicate that that was where I was going. My hair was …normal. My clothes weren’t even flamboyant; I was wearing one of only two or three black shirts I own & jeans. No rainbows or limp wrists or … gay pride shirts to be seen, but the driver instantly knew that I should be headed to the gay pride festival, not the historical museum. (I really do like history, by the way. I’ve even considered majoring in History, before I realized that that would most likely relegate me to a career teaching history to uninterested students.)
What is it about me that screams gay? Do I really look like I don’t belong in a historical museum? Do I look like I’m particularly in need of oral sex? Does something about me say “Goes to gay bars”? I’m not sure I have a problem with people thinking I’m gay, except then I have to try to explain that I like girls, too. Yet I know there is a certain level of discrimination against homosexuals in the heterosexual community at large, and no one wants to be the target of discrimination. I want to be an “everyman”. I want people to see me and think they know me, because I’m generic. I want to appear to the casual observer to be a generic person, not a generic gay person. What am I doing wrong?