It’s cold and I’m shivering to my bones. I’m at the park, sitting with my boyfriend on an otherwise empty bench. I glance over at the couple sitting on the opposite bench—the girl is fairly beautiful, but the boy is handsome as hell. I even think to myself that he is too good for her. They are cuddling tightly and kissing innocently. My eyes connect with my boyfriend; he understands the reason for my slight move to the end of the bench is to put some more space between us. I can see his longing eyes.
I imagine the scene that could happen: I move closer to my lover and put my arm around his neck. Our eyes connect, and I give him a sweet little kiss on the lips. Then another and another… Everything seems cool, right? Wait, there’s more. Every eye in the park turns to us. On the opposite bench, the couple’s jaws drop open with a shocked expression on their faces. The boy quickly stands up and pulls the girl by her hand. As they pass us, he swears big time.
Of course, this is only in my imagination, but the reality would not be too different. I mean, you don’t see two men kissing indiscreetly every day.
Life is rough and full of chaos. Add being gay to that, and a brightly lit “Welcome to Hell” carnival sign flashes at the back of my mind. Most people seem to want us in Hell, preferably at the very far end.
Some people think being gay is just a choice, some think it is a genetic disorder, and others see it as an evil perversion. No matter how they consider us, they stay away. I am willing to argue this subject without being stuck to the religious fears of creation or the persistence of humankind.
We are surely different to most “normal” people in our lifestyles, sex lives, and loves. This difference, whether you want it or not, brings exclusions. We’ve all had an event—in college, high school, or even during childhood—where you take a part in a group and exclude from the game anyone who doesn’t fit. Even though you are an innocent child, you are cruelly judging the “oversized” child who wants to play ball with you when you call him a “sack of potatoes.” It’s not that different in our adult lives.
However, we don’t differ in the basics that much. We eat, sleep, and breathe to survive. We all fall in love, cry when we break up, cheat and be cheated, read, and listen to music. I could give more examples, but there’s no need to bore anyone with details. On the other hand, the difference is that we fall in love with someone of the same gender. We can’t marry this person (at least for the time being in my country), nor can we have a biological child as a couple (although maybe even this may change in future). Of course, our sex lives are also different. I suppose this is what repulses most straight people: To imagine a man with another man in bed? Disgusting!
Yet it’s not right to think this is just about sex, even if most gays act like their only aim is to get laid. Most straight men are just the same. It’s a normal thing for men.
An Ordinary Day…
My mask, which I’ve been wearing every day when I go to work, is beginning to slowly wear out. I need to get a new one as soon as possible, because this one is fading from overuse, and its edges have begun to fray. But what is my reason for acting like this. When I’m sitting with my colleagues in the cafeteria, why does my main topic have to be the new secretary’s beautiful legs or how she should wear a G-string because those other panties don’t look good through her pants? The answer is quite simple: I want them to continue speaking with me. If they knew the truth, even the ones claiming to be open minded would soon stop talking to me. Of course, this is just the other men—women regard gays a little differently. While conventional women would not accept a gay man as a friend, some would continue the friendship out of interest, and others would accept things without too much prejudice.
Regardless, many people would despise, curse, and even beat gays in an exaggerated reaction. Simply because of this, most gay men continue to keep their private lives secret. They share their pains and loves in their underground communities, well aware that society is not ready to accept them.
Lately there has been an increase in the number of gay friends I have, and this unfortunately reduces my contact with my other friends. I can be completely free with my new friends because I know they won’t judge me. If my choices are wrong, I know they will not slap me in the face but rather tell me delicately. When I lose hope, they will say, “Oh come on now—pull yourself together!” and make me smile again. Of course these kinds of conversations don’t occur in daily life. Instead we speak in toneless scripted conversations: “How are you today? …Very well, thank you. How are you? …”
If there was no chance of being identified as a misfit, would I behave with other people the same as I do with my gay friends? I’ll answer with a partial yes. I would not act as extravagantly, but being freed of the need to restrain myself, I would act more like myself. I suppose the way we act among ourselves is because of the public pressure being temporarily lifted. It’s kind like girls having a pajama party. This doesn’t always happen, just from time to time when we are really bored.
I suppose the main reason for people to despise such a large section of the community is the number of bad examples we encounter every day, such as street fights between transvestites or a feminine “sister’s” coquettish laughter in a café. Even if I don’t approve of their actions, I can understand their motives.
The biggest advantage of being excluded is it helps us to produce good things for the world. The success of gay people in the arts is a prime example. Some make so much effort to hide their identities that when it comes to arts—such as writing, painting, fashion designing, and composing—they can express their inner feelings without fear. This manifestation of emotions often turns out to be a masterpiece. Some also try to recreate the world in the way they want it to be. Sure there are some disasters from time to time, but there are plenty of successful examples.
Of late certain thoughts have disturbed me, such as everything happens for a reason and nothing is coincidental. Maybe I’m gay for a reason I can’t understand at the moment. Maybe there is something else about society’s opinions about us, or maybe I just need to wait a little more… I am just becoming annoyed with this anticipation. I don’t want to watch my shattered soul come out of my mouth like steamy breath in cold weather. Even if you inhaled it again, it wouldn’t return to the places it came from, because it would have lost its essence.
Aware of my differences as a homosexual and above all as a human, I hope this year brings us brand new improvements. Maybe then you will clearly see the heaven I’ve been experiencing instead of the hell you think I’m living in. Sure I’ve encountered problems and even rioted from time to time, but I’m extremely happy with myself. Are you?