The Gay Thing
I’m not trying to hide anything, so I think it’s important to put the word “gay” up there in big, bold letters. But some days I think the concept of “gay” only barely applies to me. Maybe I dislike labels so much because so few of them apply properly to me.
I’ve never done much coming out. I’ve always lived a life that is obviously gay, so coming out has rarely been necessary. I detest lying. And hiding is lying, so I don’t do it. I usually set fifth grade as when I “came out” in school, but if you happen to remember me then, you know I was just as gay before fifth grade. I can’t even remember why I set that date now. I do remember discussing being gay with people in fifth grade, and I really don’t know if I knew the word before then.
It’s funny sometimes to hear people referring to David and I as a couple when neither of us have actually told them we’re a couple. How could they know? How could they not?
A lot of things that come with being gay don’t apply to me. I’ve participated in gay political events in Fort Worth, Dallas, Tyler, Austin and Washington D.C. as well as others that I’ve probably forgotten about. I haven’t done that in a long time, however, because I’ve lost any passion for politics that I may have had as I’ve gain a wider perspective on life. Even if politics is important, it’s about more than one issue. For much of a decade I wrote for gay and lesbian newspapers around the nation, often about politics. I was good at it then. Very good. But I’ve lost my passion for that as I’ve gained an understanding of both sides of some issues. I reject the concept of marriage and am more inclined to think marriage as a concept should be scrapped rather than extended to gay and lesbian people.
I don’t think I own any six-striped rainbow flags, although I certainly once did. I don’t have an equal sign on my car’s bumper, although I’ve written extensively about the Human Rights Campaign (the creators of the symbol) and even given them money. There are other examples of where I don’t fit the stereotype of a gay person, but there’s no point boring you with more.
Here’s the bottom line: I like guys (one in particular). I’m also out and proud — proud that the life I’ve built doesn’t revolve around any one characteristic. I try everyday to be whoever it is that I am. That means I’m silly, passionate, intense, tall, overweight (very slightly!), educated, insecure (at times) and gay, if you must label me. Please don’t assume I’m everything that goes with each of those words, however, and don’t assume the list is complete. It never is.