Last night I was offended so deeply that it didn’t even occur to me to be offended until I processed exactly what was said to me. You know that thing where someone says something super racist or sexist or homophobic and you’re just kind of like, “hehehe” and look away because you have no idea how to really respond to it in that moment? It’s like, a third shock, a third “handling someone’s racist 98-year-old grandma,” and a third “do I really want to have this conversation right now?”
It was this guy I didn’t know. We have a ton of mutual friends but have never properly met (except I guess like, once when I was drunk but who haven’t I met once when I was drunk?) Somehow it came up that he’d dated a woman that I am friendly with and I had one of those, “Wait, really? You two?” moments.
So I asked him why they broke up and he told me that she wanted more than he did and also he felt like he was dating a gay guy. I asked him to clarify what he meant by that and he said she talked way too much about Real Housewives and everything she said sounded like, “omigod, omigod, guuuurrrl.”
I kind of knew what he was implying because after my boyfriend met a bunch of my friends at dinner one night, he said to me, “It’s just occurring to me that you’re going to talk like Ryan and Ed [two gay male friends of mine] for the rest of your life.”
But my dude wasn’t saying this as an insult, it was an observation that, for the foreseeable future, I will speak mainly in pop culture references and have a difficult time having a full-blown conversation without somehow relating it back to a Real Housewives feud. That is how those two particular friends of mine tend to speak even though all three of us can pull our shit together and speak like someone’s parent when we need to. That’s how many people my age talk, gay or straight, black or white, whatever. Everything comes back to Teresa Giudice for so very many of us and I don’t want to live in a world where me or anybody else is judged for that. If you don’t like it, you can change the station, honey!
I played it off in the moment because I knew I was going to have to have a conversation with this guy for at least the next hour of my life, but I woke up this morning like, “What the fuck?” because what does “I felt like I was dating a gay guy” even mean?
Was the homosexual intercourse they engaged in too much for him? Was she uncut? Was her penis crooked? Were his parents unaccepting of his sexuality? Was she a closet case?
And today I’m totally ashamed of myself because I should have been like, “Excuse me, I know a lot of heterosexual males who watch Real Housewives and have thoughts about Taylor Swift’s lyrics so I don’t know what makes you think it’s okay to say you felt like you were dating a huge faggy fag fag faggot. You just weren’t interested in the same things. FYIsies, that’d be a less homophobic way to put it. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe you’re right, dating her was like dating a gay guy, but at no point did you mention that she was a versatile top and you met on Grindr.”
But I didn’t say that. Instead I was like, “Haha! Totally!” because I was caught off guard and a little self-conscious that I too was being judged for the way I speak. I’m also a coward who avoids conflict and then writes about my feelings on the Internet when I’ve had time to process them. I haven’t yet developed that “I just witnessed something politically incorrect and harmful and I need to fix that” reflex that pretty much everyone I admire has.
So I’ll say it now: If you don’t like someone because they talk like a bimbo about Real Housewives all day, that does not mean they are a gay guy or gay-adjacent or anything remotely close to that. Don’t take our consumption of frivolous media out on the gay community. That’s very “Sonja Morgan at the marriage equality march” of you.