As we are only two days away from 2018, one question I have regarding heterosexual men still plagues me to this day: why in the hell are you still so uncomfortable around gay men? Seriously.
Now, I know there are still several parts of this country and world where homosexuality is still very taboo, but for the parts that are lucky enough to be able to integrate on both the hetero and homosexual side like myself, it's something that has become very frustrating given how far we have come in terms of acceptance and also awareness in and out of the media world.
This question presented itself yesterday, when I met up with my best girlfriend who all of a sudden sprung on me that we were going to meet her new boyfriend. Let's call him Bill, for name's sake. I had heard a lot of great things about him up to that point, so even though I wasn't expecting on meeting him, I was excited nonetheless as I knew how much he meant to her.
After introducing himself to me, we sat down at the table with one another where the first thing out of his mouth was "So how long have you been gay?" I laughed it off, as I have gotten these questions before from heterosexual men for whatever reason possible, so of course my response was "my entire life." I said that not to even be funny, but more factual and to the point, as I came out years ago and didn't feel the need to talk about it all over again as it's really a non-factor at this point.
He then went on to discuss how much he knows about the LGBTQ community, his support for it and whatnot, which is appreciated but at the same time can feel super forced or that you are just trying to relate. It's a good thing, of course, but here's what it boils down to, straighties:
WE ARE ALL THE SAME. The only difference is that I like a bulge, and you don't. Case and point. Doesn't mean our entire conversation has to revolve around awkward talk regarding what gay artist I like the most and is Cher or Madonna fiercer (seriously, I've gotten that before.)
I find that I'm a pretty easy person to talk to, however in this same conversation, I had a hard time navigating the wheel back to normalcy as he kept going on about how he would go to gay bars back in the day because he felt secure in his masculinity. Cool! Neato! Great! Let's change the subject. We can talk about anything, ANYTHING, but the whole conversation shouldn't revolve around that so you feel comfortable which makes me uneasy and feeling super weird.
It goes beyond trying to have a conversation with a straight guy to an extent, as I have dealt with several boyfriend's of my girlfriends who actually think I'm lying about being gay in order to get with their ladies. GIRL.
My best friend up in New England had this experience, where her boyfriend didn't think I was gay at all and was trying to get in her pants. To lighten up the mood and make him laugh (hopefully), I said to him "I'm gay. I don't want your girlfriend at all, matter of fact, I would go for you first." She laughed, he laughed (nervously), but it got the point across that your paranoia about your girlfriend's best gay is just that and I, like many others, have no ulterior motive.
Similarly, there are also men who don't seem to get that when you are on a train and staring off into space, that we aren't necessarily staring at you. I had a situation once where I was on a subway, staring into space, and a guy said "Stop staring at my girl." I clearly wasn't, but to make the situation so much better, I said "I was actually looking at how handsome you are, bro." His girlfriend laughed and said, "I know, right?" so at least her humor was in tact. He felt like a moron and got off at the next stop.
So to repeat to my straight bro brethren: relax. We aren't here to try to fuck you (unless initiated), we aren't trying to steal your girlfriends, and while talking about Britney vs. Christina is a fun way to relate, there's so much more in this world to talk about.