People frequently make the mistake of assuming I'm gay, certainly much more frequently than they mistake me for a comedian. But despite the fact that I studied theater in college while working at the Gap, living in the co-ops and sucking dick on the side for money (seriously, I still need a job; help!), I am neither gay nor bisexual. I only began encountering this phenomenon of mistaken identity after I left the bubble of liberalism and pubic hair that is UC Berkeley for the bastion of conservatism known as San Francisco.
As the frequency of misperception about my sexuality increased, so did the jokes amongst my friends. One year they were even nice enough to surprise me with a "Happy Coming Out" cake.
These days jokes about my sexuality hardly bother me, but the ownership that many women feel they have over it most certainly does. Let's dish! (I'm thinking my new catchphrase will really help reinforce my masculinity.)
The sacred kinship between
obnoxious gay men and obnoxious straight women is as old as the paring of mainstream successful sitcoms and unfunny. But do gay men actually get along better with women on the whole, if not in the hole? And what happens when that bond is falsely presumed?
I'm no scientist, which is why numbers scare me and I like to make broad, sweeping statements based purely on anecdotal evidence, but many women seem to have a sense of entitlement when it comes to friendship with gay men. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a woman say, "Oh, So-and-so is gay? Oh, my god, we'll get along great! I love gay people!" First off, by "gay people" I think you mean gay men. And considering how annoying you are, I think you mean annoying gay men. And by "love" you mean you want to do annoying things with them.
Realistically, sexuality is what drives everything in this world, from our economy to social dynamics, but I can't help but cringe when I hear someone announce that they get along with an entire portion of the population based solely on their sexuality. If I said, "I love straight women!" or, "I can't stand straight dudes!" or, "I'm euthanizing my gay dog!" I think a lot of people would find these statements pretty odd. At best the sentiment is a commodification of an entire demographic based on their sexuality. I'm reminded of my gay friend who frequently mentions that he finds the term "fag" far less offensive than the term "fag hag." Females he encounters have, in their most boisterous voice possible, tried to relate to him via E! reality television shows and talks of mani-pedis, when really he'd much rather discuss neo-empiricism over whiskey and then go build a boat in his backyard.
The same goes for gay men who think that they can somehow "turn" me gay: "Once you feel how good a man can suck you off, you'll never go back!" The hubris that we as men have when it comes to our own sexual prowess is truly phenomenal. But as cute as this sentiment may seem, it needs to be recognized as a pretty dangerous argument to be making. It's basically saying that sexuality is a choice, and that with the right "therapy," anyone can be "converted." Sound familiar?
Which brings me back to my encounters with women who have refused to accept my own sexuality as a straight man. When I approach a woman at a bar or ask her out on a date, it's safe to assume that I'm interested in her. Sexually. Not to go antiquing. I love a confident woman, but no woman should flatter herself and assume that gay guys are just going around buying women drinks willy-nilly for the hell of it.
Yes, I tweeze my eyebrows (thanks to some ninth-grade taunting regarding my forehead caterpillars). I don't care care if there's a kink in my wrist when I hold a glass of beer -- or a dick, for that matter. I like talking about and sharing feelings and being an emotionally connected human being. But I'm not gay. And when you ask me if I'm gay and I tell you that I'm not, believe me. If we're to live in a progressive society, then you need to be OK with this.
The most insulting responses I get are from women who try to convince me that I've been hiding some dark secret, one that only they will be able to unlock in the 10 minutes that we've known each other. I'll correct them on their assumptions about my sexuality, and then they'll lean in, as to get out of earshot of those around, and say, "It's OK. You can tell me. I would have absolutely no problem with you if you were gay."
Lady, are you f*cking insane?! I grew up in the Bay Area. I've lived in San Francisco for over six years, surrounded by some of my best friends. Everything from my penis-sucking days to my penis size is online. I have no problem whatsoever with being an open book, in both public and private forums. And you think that after I've met you once, maybe twice, somehow you're the person I can finally confide in after all these years, as though my friends around me were insufficient? How egocentric and dumb are you to think that you possess some gay-BFF-proselytizing magical powers? Go get yourself a blog already and air your dating grievances there. Also, have you ever been f*cked by a gay guy? And if not, would you be interested?
Seriously. I really need a job. Someone hire me.