I'm a Gay Man and I Love When Women Say to Me, 'Let's Go Shopping!'

Portrait of happy couple in shopping mall
Portrait of happy couple in shopping mall

I'm a gay man and I love when women say to me, "Let's go shopping!"

I'm a 20-something gay man soon to be living in New York City, and I really love when women ask me to go shopping.

I love being told that this style of stereotyping doesn't exist. That gay men use it as a way of garnering attention. That young gay men in their 20s should feel appreciated enough by women to be included in the holiest of grails -- a shopping date. That older gay men in their 30s and 40s still have a use for the female population, along with helping them feel better about being single.

I love that gay men exist for the pleasure and amusement of predominantly women, but some men, too. This includes, but is not limited to an odd object of desire and a ratchet mess that makes the lead female look better in movies. I like that gay men can be "fags" and "queers" instead of just people. I like that gay men are taken at the value of being a token in a group of friends, or as the person you go to when your man won't watch a musical with you. I like knowing that if a gay man makes it into show business he has to hide who he really is because of fear of being boxed in and unable to take on roles that are seen as "straight." I think it's amazing that gay men will still face homophobia in an array of jobs and will be the first to be hunted if the witch hunt should indeed take place.

I love how straight women determine when gay men are attractive and when they are not. No self-respecting woman wants an ugly gay. We must all be fabulous and well-dressed at every stage in their lives. It's incredibly important. I like that my purpose is to make women feel better about themselves. At least their mess is small in comparison to mine -- that makes me feel great.

I enjoy my privacy being evaded with the shake of my hand. "Are you gay?" is a wonderful opening question in new company of women, followed by, "Gay men are always funny -- be funny." I love nothing more than to be funny for women.

I like the sadness I feel when I walk around this world -- where I am constantly reminded that it was not made for me. Not made for my love stories. I like the daily reminders that how I live is wrong -- the back-handed comments that if I were straight and normal it would be easier.

I like that we all get so wrapped up in ourselves and our own forms of equality that we forget the smaller daily struggles of others. Because alone, we are most important and together we can do nothing but fail. I like that a lot.

I like men who hide themselves in changing rooms because my eyes may "make them gay." I like being made uncomfortable in public bathrooms. I like people rolling their eyes when I say that gay people aren't equal. Marriage isn't everything to us all. I love parents who pray their child doesn't wake up gay -- as if any of this is a choice I would wish upon someone. To feel constantly out of place in this world, to never feeling like I fit.

I like that women think it's okay to make me go shopping with them. To ask about their dress and if it looks nice. To let their wrists fall limper when I'm not so keen on it. I love it all.

I love being the validator for straight women in the media and in movies. It makes me feel special that at least if her life is going down the pan, it will never be as worse as the "gay man she's friends with."

I love that when I have an opinion I am a "bitchy gay" or a "queen." I love that those two phrases reduce me to being a woman. I love how that makes me angry when it shouldn't. I like being called a "fag" because to me it's nothing more than a cigarette that will give you cancer. I love how I have equated being gay to cancer. I love how I am reaching new forms of low. I love how I am told that it will get better, but for people in countries that it won't. What will they do? How will they cope with this?

I love that, in some countries, we are murdered -- and unlike in the "oh-so accepting" Western world, love most definitely does not always win.

I like wondering if we'll ever be equal.

I like listening to people think that we already are.

I like that I am a gay man living in a straight man and woman's world.

I like knowing that it will never change.