Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Who Cares What They Think?

Rob, from Below the Radar, asked a good question about my last post:

"OMG, Those people think we're gay!!!  Who the fuck cares what they think?"

Every time I comment on a comment, I preface it with, "I don't usually comment on comments, but I'm going to on this one."  So, here goes.

When T and I go out, I give some thought to how we act together and how we are perceived by the people around us.  I think about it on a couple levels.

Survival is one.  We live in the buckle of the Bible Belt and walking around holding hands could get us both killed.  Now, this is not something I think about a lot, but if I am being honest, it is a consideration.

Putting that to the side, when I think others have identified us as a gay couple, I am not stressed about it.  On the contrary, I think it's a good thing.  I have not been out very long, relatively speaking.  On some levels, being an out gay man is still something of a novelty for me.  It's still new and fresh.  When think that someone know who I really am, and I don't sense a negative change in their behavior, it really does give me a lift.  It makes me... well ...  just a little bit happier.  

If I get a negative reaction, like I did from the kid clearing the table at the restaurant, I note it, but I don't dwell on it.  It does not make me feel badly.  Not even a little bit.  Probably because I have trained myself, over the years in the closet, to assume everyone will react negatively, so when they do, it is really of no consequence.

So, who the fuck cares what other people think?  

Not me.  

Unless what they think makes me just a little bit happier.


RB said...

Holding a guy's hand almost anywhere in this country, outside of SF or NYC, could possibly get you killed (or beaten, or screamed at). I wouldn't recommend doing that.

A guy can't have dinner with a guy friend? Whenever two guys are together they must be gay? Gee, then a lot of straight friends I have lunch with must be gay, unbeknownst to me. Unless you and T are holding hands or kissing in public no one knows FOR SURE that you are gay. They can suspect, but that's all they can do.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same geographic area as y'all are, and when I see two guys out at a restaurant or shopping or wherever, I don't assume they're gay unless at least one of them seems sort of flamboyant. And even then, I don't assume they're a couple. They could be two guys who are friends getting something to eat. I don't even really notice two guys hanging out together unless their mannerisms get my attention.

T said...

We had a very friendly gay waiter. I think the gay Asian kid was jealous because Jim was with me instead of with him. Even the gay guy at the ice cream store was jealous. He gave Jim a smaller scoop of ice cream than mine. The lesbian women at the ice cream store understood why Jim was with me: I was hot in my jeans!