Thursday, August 25, 2011

Those little things

Relationships have been weighing relatively heavy on my mind lately. The relationships you have with your family, co-workers, friends and lovers. I've started a new job and with it come the stresses of meeting new co-workers and establishing boundaries and begin building those relationships. Being a gay man that is "passable", I always have a horrible time when these new relationships are formed because not only do I have to worry about whether or not they are going to like me because of my work performance and my sparkling personality, but I have the added layer of potential judgement for something that is so minor it shouldn't even be a consideration.

So I meet these new co-workers and begin to worry, almost immediately, if they are going to have issue with my sexuality. In order to gain some reassurance, I turn to social media and ask my gay friends across this great country how they would deal with the situation. My answers were not from those people that had experienced this but from straight friends that wanted to help me practice my self esteem skills and be able to say, it doesn't matter....they are going to love you for you. If you have never been put in the situation where you are going to be judged silently or otherwise, it's very difficult for you to have an opinion on the subject, unfortunately and as much as I appreciate your words of assurance....it doesn't do me a whole lot of good. I left the conversation with not really getting much advice but what do you do.

Let me back up for a minute and talk about being passable. To me this is a horrible Catch 22 because it means that when you look at me, you don't immediately know that I am a gay man. And throughout the course of our interactions, unless I want you to know there is more than likely a high probability that you will never know. This doesn't mean I am "straight acting" but it does mean that for all intent and purpose I can step back into the closet and pull my screen door shut and all is well. This is a skill that can come in handy but it makes meeting new people unbearable sometimes because you end up having to come out all over again. When people ask me how old I was when I came out, I have to explain that it's an almost every day occurrence and it's something that I will always have to do. This leads me to another point where people tell me, "It's none of anyone's business". That's all well and good until people start asking me about my personal life or guys start in on the objectification of whatever female may be close at hand.

Sure, I agree, it's no one's business but I don't want to be a liar either when people start asking these questions. I don't want to have to worry about making sure I say the right pronouns and make sure that I am gender neutral enough not to offend some one's sensibilities. I just want to be me and part of that is who I sleep with. So it becomes their business and I have to eventually share otherwise I spend all my time being miserable.

I've made comments in the past stating that I wish I was "gayer" than I am and by that I mean more obviously gay or flamboyant so that I didn't have to worry about coming out all the time but I know how closed minded that statement and sentiment can be as well and it's not allowing me to be who I am either.

I've rambled on enough in this post and I intend to come back and do it some more about other relationships I am proud to be a part of and relationships that I am happy to be on the periphery of looking in as they are growing and changing, so it's not all gloom and doom.