Saturday, September 18, 2010

A New (Gay) Friend

T lives with elderly parents and his 2 younger sisters.  One straight sister I will call SS and on lesbian sister I will call LS. (I am going to have to have a list of all these people soon just to keep them straight.)

Last night I had dinner at T's house with his sisters.  Also joining us was a friend of his straight sister.  Let's call him R.  R met SS online while she was looking for a boyfriend.  

Now, T and his sisters think everyone they meet is gay.  They have a CPA that manages the money from T's business.  They think he's gay.  They have a lawyer who they think is gay.  SS is taking Spanish at a local community college and guess what?  Yup!  The instructor is gay.

They don't know any of this for sure, but it seems between the 3 of them, they have the most highly refined sense of gaydar on the planet.

Anyway back to dinner.  T invited me and they invited R.  I have been hearing about R for months now.  They tell me he is a really nice guy who is fun to be around.  SS liked him, but there was a problem.  Can you guess?  They think he is gay.  Apparently, there are others who think so too.  He is 35, single, and even his parents have asked him if he is gay.  He insists he is not gay, and is actively looking for a girlfriend. 

Anyway, I met R for the first time last night with T and his sisters.  He is very tall for an Asian man, One of his parents is Korean and the others Caucasian. He was at the house before I was and when I talked in he came right over and hugged me warmly.  It is a little unusual for men to hug each other on their first meeting, but I did not think that much of it.  My own gaydar, which has limited abilities, started pinging right away.

We had a really nice dinner and conversation that lasted about 2 and a half hours.  T and both sister had to work on Saturday morning so by 10:30 the part was pretty much over.  

T has not come out to R as gay.  In fact there were 2 opportunities to reveal that during our conversation, and both times T deflected to questions and changed the subject.   T and his sisters are afraid that if R knows that T is gay, they might suspect he is gay and that will scare him away.  They really like him and don't want him to feel uncomfortable.

Assuming that R is gay and in denial, I think if he is not comfortable in his own head to come out to himself or others that is his business.  I have no desire to change that for him.  But when I was in denial, I think one of the things that kept me in denial for so long was I did not know any openly gay people.  I felt very alone.  If I had known a person who was gay, and comfortable being gay, it would have provided me with a positive frame of reference for what a gay person is.

T is a person like that.  He is gay, and comfortable being gay.  He leads a fairly normal life.  If you have it in your head that living a gay life means being Jack from "Will & Grace", T would be a good counterbalance that gay people are really not that different from everyone else.

If I had had T (or someone like him) to show me that, I would have come out much sooner.  I am pretty sure that R will ask SS what is the nature of the relationship between T and I.  She has said, if asked, she will tell him the truth.  I think that is the right thing to do and then stop.

They should not ask R about his sexuality or otherwise probe in that spot where is is clearly uncomfortable.  Eventually he may see there is a safe place for him to reach out to, he may.  If he does not, that is OK and he should not be pushed.  But sometimes you may be more likely to take a swim if there is a lifeguard on duty.

Personally, I find that I like R.  I can see myself having a beer and hanging out with him.  No, I am not interested in him in any sort of romantic way.  I have my heart set on T and I expect it will remain there.  After R left last night I stayed back and learned from SS that he does not have a lot of close friend, especially male friends.  For whatever reason, he and I are in the same boat in that regard.  Maybe we can help each other.


T said...

Yes, Jim. :) You know he's gay. And, you forget to tell that he has a crush on you...LOL. He grabbed your coconut!
Anyway, thank you for reaching out to R. He's very nice.

jim said...

I think it's important to note that "coconut" is not a euphemism. There were actual coconuts served at dinner. I am not a fan of coconuts so R took mine.

TwoLives said...

T is so naughty. Good thing you cleared up that coconut confusion because I was wondering!

I agree with you 100%. Badgering anyone about a deeply personal issue never works. We all need time, patience, understanding and a supportive environment when it comes to dealing with personal stuff.

Whatever your sexualities are, if you and R are comfortable hanging out together and you both would like to be friends - go for it! What do you have to lose?

Just your coconuts I guess...

Bear Me Out said...

Grabbed your what . . .? Oh my.

I remember years of denial and coconut grabbing. It's not just a closet, it's a dungeon (and not in a good way).

The more we are out, the more we will help those who want to be out.