I Don’t Care If You’re “Cool” With Me Being Gay

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I love straight men. I do. Sometimes, though, they really, really annoy me.

A few months ago, I found myself at a stupid party talking to a straight boy about whatever it is that straight boys like to talk about. Desert roads? Whiskey? Paper airplanes?

No, we were actually talking about something different this time. We were talking about me being gay because apparently that’s an interesting or novel topic in 2013. Ugh, I knew it was going to turn into this kind of conversation. I knew I would be made to feel like a fucking lab sample.

“So you’re gay, right?” He asked me with a tinge of nervousness in his voice.

“Yes,” I replied, clutching my glass of white wine a little tighter.

“That’s cool,” he said. “Being gay is cool. I’m totally okay with it.”

Wow. I wanted to spit back to him, “Oh my god, you are? THANK GOD because I was really losing sleep over it. Now I can rest easy knowing that you’re cool with me being gay. Praise Jesus!”

Why do straight guys feel the need to tell me that they’re not homophobic? We live in New York City, you doofus! You should be asking me if I’m cool with YOUR weird hetero yuppie lifestyle!

“I just want you to know that I’m totally fine with you having sex with girls and wearing a Bluetooth,” I would tell them, patting their arm. “I come from a place of no judgment.”

I understand that these guys have good intentions. I really do. They just want to let me know that they’re with me rather than against me, which is great! I love that they would never try to, like, beat me up or murder me. Still, it’s frustrating that they think I need that confirmation from them. Basically, I don’t care if you’re cool with me or not. You don’t get a medal for not being an ignorant asshole. Sorry!

This attitude might sound bratty. Again, these dudes aren’t bad people. I just wish exchanges like this didn’t have to happen, especially in a metropolitan city like New York where being a straight white male almost makes you the abnormal one. I grew up in a small beach town in Southern California and have spent the last near decade of my life in big cities just so I wouldn’t have to apologize for who I am. Of course, homophobia knows no geographical bounds but I’ve found it to be less scary to walk down the street holding a dude’s hand in San Francisco than, say, in Oxnard, California. So when I still encounter this shit 3,000 miles away from home, I’m just like, “Really? We’re back here again?”

People don’t realize that all gay people want to do is live their life without being constantly made to feel like they’re gay first and a person second.  Like, am I supposed to feel grateful to someone for being a decent human being? What’s the correct response here?

The next time you feel the need to tell a gay person that you’re totes down with the homos, I’d suggest you keep it to yourself. It doesn’t do anything besides make you feel good about yourself and make the gay person feel like “the other”. Got it, dude?TC Mark

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