I’m sorry for staring at you, gay couple.
When I saw you holding hands the other day, the whole thing caught me off guard and all I could do was stare. Sorry about that. It was surprising because we’re down here in the fabulous South, with all of these Tea Partiers and Confederate flags and that one Baptist pastor lady who stands on the sidewalk yelling at people not to vote for Obama because he supports gay marriage. Seeing some affectionate gay dudes down here under those conditions took me by surprise, and I seriously didn’t mean any harm by staring. I didn’t mean to make you feel judged, if you did. I wasn’t trying to criticize you.
Some people stare at gay couples because the “h-word” is still too weird for them to deal with. They just don’t understand how two men or two women could be in love (or lust!), how they could dare flaunt that love to the world in the same way straight couples get to do, virtually unpunished, in basically every social sphere. They’re maybe slightly judging you, too, writing off your sodomy as unnatural and disgusting and non-procreative and weird and they’re wondering which one of you is getting poked. But whatever — you know they’re just jealz because they aren’t getting any sodomy, so.
When I stare I’m not judging you, I promise — especially not since I’m a gay myself. Doesn’t that make it weird? Why do I, a gay, gawk at other gay couples when I see one? I don’t even know what I’m staring at when I look at you, really. I’m looking because I’m excited and happy for you. I’m thinking how cute you are together. I’m cheering you on! And sometimes, other people stare at you because they’re cheering you on, too. I once dated this guy and we didn’t even have to hold hands or touch — people knew we were getting it in. I guess they could smell the Astroglide, which is very difficult to wash off completely. These strangers kept coming up to us — like 10 different people — to say how cute we were together. Wasn’t that nice?
It takes a lot of balls to be gay and affectionate with your partner/boyfriend/hook up/FWB/jump off, even in 2012. I doubt you think about it this way because when you hold his hand you’re just doing what seems natural to you. It’s one thing to come out of the closet once to your friends or family. What an ordeal that was, right? But when you hold his hand or wipe some ketchup off his face it’s like coming out all over again in front of everybody, every time. And that must really stress you out. The fear of holding your boyfriend’s hand in public is that you could get verbally stoned — you want to avoid being called “fag” this or “cocksucker” that, a word that, to me, doesn’t really seem like an insult per se.
But still, who wants to be stared at like a zoo animal?
I can’t speak for everyone, but when I see you being affectionate, gay couple, I’m staring at you because it is strange to see other gays holding hands, and that’s what makes it great. It’s a fabulous surprise every time I see it. We’re not used to seeing gay people outside of those sassy roles scriptwriters like to put us in. We are a sassy people — hey girl hey!!! — but when we’re stuck in those roles all the time it means that people get used to us as comic relief instead of people with romantic feelings and libidos.
I think it’s both easier and harder to be gay right now. It’s harder because there are right-winged conservatives brewing everywhere, giving us all of this anti-gay rhetoric and frightening closeted teens when these people should really just STFU. But it’s also easier now because a gay kid in Oklahoma or West Virginia can make a YouTube video about being gay and come out to millions of strangers but to no one in particular.