Last weekend was pretty gay for me. And no, I’m not using the word “gay” as the derogatory term it’s so often used as today. I literally mean, this last weekend was gay. It was indeed PRIDE weekend in the city of Des Moines, and I finished the weekend with one realization… I like being gay!
This wasn’t an epiphany of thought. It’s not like I’ve spent the previous 20 years hating myself for being attracted to men rather than women. Instead, after my weekend of dancing, merriment, networking and canvassing for change, I realized that being a guy who loves guys has given me more than I realized.
For starters, being gay gives me game with the ladies. It’s true. I sometimes wish I could flirt with guys half as well as I do with girls. With them, there’s no chance of rejection or failure. Even if they did like the pick-up line, it doesn’t matter. Drew’s not putting out either way.
Plus, it means they feel comfortable around me. I’ve been in the same room as a girl changing plenty of times and we’re both completely comfortable and it’s no big deal. I become the envy of every heterosexual man.
Thanks to that little twist of DNA, I was born with the ability to dance better than most men and the insatiable ability to dress well.
Last weekend I spent a solid hour and a half on the dance floor with the bass vibrating through my body and my limbs flailing about. I know I got more of a workout than most people do in the gym. (Which is another reason the gays are in such good shape; we dance like mad.)
When it comes to fashion, I have a keen eye for what looks good and what doesn’t. Plus, I’m a usual go-to guy for the girls to come to for shopping trips and guys to go to on whether or not their shirt and pants match. It gives me street cred. I could actually be totally wrong about the looks of an outfit, but no one’s going to argue, because I’m gay.
While most of this is in jest-my game with the ladies, my dressing skills and sweet dances moves-being gay has also had a serious impact on who I am today.
I credit my homosexuality with making me comfortable with myself at an early age. I consider myself fortunate enough to be someone who’s known he was gay essentially since coming out of the womb. I remember having a crush on Sean Austin in, “The Goonies,” and watching, “Swiss Family Robinson,” at the age of five and getting a weird tingly feeling seeing the boys with their shirts off. No, I’m not kidding.
I was the kid that played with girls at recess, and I even dressed up as Scary Spice twice for Halloween. Once when a guy friend invited me over, I ended up playing Barbies with his sister, instead of Nintendo with him.
Being so awkward and different from all the other guys in my class often led to name calling and social rejection. In elementary school, everyone called me a girl and weird and by junior high, when we were old enough to learn that how I acted was a sign of homosexuality, my names turned to faggot and queer.
Getting this treatment didn’t deter me or force me to change who I was. It didn’t make me want to hide my obvious flair for life. Let’s get real, it would have been pretty hard to do. Instead, it encouraged me to embrace it. To laugh at everyone else who was “normal” and be obnoxious and say “Here I am. Now Deal!”
It’s like what Dr. Suess says, “Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”
It taught me early on to ignore the people who make fun. They’re a waste of time. Instead, find those who support you and like you in all your awkwardness. This has definitely helped me throughout life, especially in the early college years.
I’ve had so many people tell me that my life is wrong, that I chose to be this way or that I’m going to hell. As a result, I’ve become a more empathetic and accepting person. I know what it’s like for someone to tell me I chose the life I’m living, when I know I didn’t. So where do I get off telling the same thing to someone else? I don’t.
This weekend was also a little disheartening. I spent a good chunk of time walking around, canvassing and asking people to sign postcards that would be sent to their legislator in support of equal marriage rights.
It upsets me that, as of right now, I actually couldn’t get married and be legally recognized as the partner of the person I love, because we’re both men. It disappoints me that people are too caught up in their own beliefs that they don’t realize that the ultimate sign of commitment and love is something that should be available to everyone. Not just a man and a woman.
No matter what the reason, whether it’s because I have great game with girls, I know how to dress or because I have known who I am since junior high, I like being gay. And while I hope that someday I can actually marry the man I love, the truth is, Drew’s here, he’s queer and he’s not going anywhere.