“Hey everybody, meet my gaybors!” she yelled into the living room filled with her New Year’s Eve guests. Her hug squeezed us both with gusto, and then she dashed off to the backyard to continue her game of flip cup webpage.
“Thanks for the outing, B-Train,” I mumbled underneath my breath as Clara and I waved at the room full of curious eyes glued to the lesbo couple that just arrived.
The living room appeared as though it were a reunion of all the MTV Real Worlds smashed into a small 300 square foot space. There were busty ladies on roller skates, clean-cut muscular guys dressed to impress, and guys with 9-year-pregnant-beer-bellies. There was every shape, size and class of human known to American pop culture. The tang of beer, sweat and more sweat burned my tongue like hot soup and made my nose hairs curl. Justin Timberlake was playing on B’s iPod, and cheap beer was freely flowing from the keg.
B and her boyfriend were our downstairs neighbors. They played ice hockey together, and she was a lead jammer for the Orange County Roller Girls. I was never introduced to any of the roller girls by their first names, so I loved that I only knew them by their derby names (Sister Labia, Beantown Brawler, and Dirty Deborah Harry). Regardless of our intro, I adored B-Train and rather enjoyed her parties due to the unknown types of characters I would encounter.
This was not the first “public outing” that had ever happen to me. It’s kind of a phenomenon encounter that tends to happen to gays more often than not. Most gay people fear the day they finally “come out of the closet” to their family and friends. There can be a great deal of panic and rejection they might face. Yet, what they don’t quite realize is that the whole “coming out of the closet” deed consists of having to repeat it over and over again for the rest of their lives. Each time a gay person starts a new job, makes a new friend or reconnects with an old high school buddy, they are faced with concern of possible rejection.
I don’t understand the offensive curiosity some straight people have when they are introduced to a gay person at party. In my younger years, dealing with invasive questions left me feeling as though I was being held at gunpoint. It was as if I had an obligation to answer the questions so the person asking them wouldn’t be offended, or even worse, they’d think I was hitting on them. However, as I got older, wiser and more comfortable with my gay flesh, I became pretty good at turning the tables.
Plus, Clara and I were at a New Year’s Eve party. We were ready to ring in the New Year and leave all of that crap behind us. We began to move about the cramped room when we were unexpectedly approached by a guy we’d never met before.
“So, which one of you is the, dude?” he slurred.
And already it starts.
“Why do you ask?” I asked.
“Cause, there always has to be a man in a relationship,” he informed us.
Typical alpha male. Women couldn’t possibly have true love without a man involved.
“Where’s your dude? Cause I clearly see you’d be the bitch in a relationship,” I said as laughed out loud at my own joke.
“Oh! You’re one of those lesbians. Angry and hate men,” he replied as he bent down a bit closer to my face.
I then leaned in and whispered to him, “No, I like men. I just don’t waste my time with unintelligent boys.”
The alpha male wasn’t impressed with my reply and turned away to talk to his friend. As we moved away, Clara rolled her eyes. Since I was the more outspoken one, she enjoyed sitting back and watching the show. She was twenty-six, and I was thirty. She had only come out a couple years ago. She was still uneasy and hesitant as to how she should handle situations like those. If Clara handled it, she would have probably told the guy who in our relationship just might be more of the “dude”, even though she didn’t really feel that way. She, much like me in the past, would have answered his question, giving him a satisfactory reply that would only lead to more persistent questions. Yet, the night was still young and we had plenty of other people we didn’t know to bump into.
I found an empty sliver of the tattered couch as my girlfriend went to get us drinks. The small, confined living room had two folding dinner-tray-tables that served as the honorary beer pong station and took up the majority of the tiny living room. People were jammed together like a New York subway train during rush hour, and the smell was almost as similar. Not long after I gingerly took my time to get comfy within my tiny couch region between the other bodies, a bubbly blonde strolled up. She forcefully nudged herself beside me by using her ass, which resulted in someone at the end of the couch off being bumped off. She didn’t seem to care about the tidal wave affect her rump created.
“You could possibly be my type. I mean, I’m not gay, but you’re cute. I like your haircut. It’s not too short where you look like one of those butch girls. You can still tell you’re a girl, but with a hint of a boyish look,” she said.
She began to rub my head as if I were an old dog that had stopped getting attention from its owners, and she felt the need to take pity on it.
I smiled at her as I delicately removed her hand from my tussled hair.
“What makes you think you’re my type?” I asked.
She tilted her head to one side as if her brain was a dial on a radio that tried to tune into what I said. Before she responded, a guy sitting next to her that resembled Channing Tatum suddenly chimed in.“So, what is your type if you don’t like her?”
“Well, the girl I came in with is my girlfriend. So, it’s safe to go with that impression,” I commented.
“Ahhh, you like the cute, hipster, librarian types. I guess I don’t look smart enough for you,” the girl responded.
“Your looks aren’t what deter me. It’s the fact that you don’t act like you have any smarts,” I said.
“What’s that supposed to mean? You think I’m not smart?” she asked.
“No, I’m just saying that your questions aren’t very polite. They lack respect and intelligence. There’s more to know about gay people than shallow questions. I like comic books, I love to cook, I do stand-up comedy, and I’ve been to seven countries. See, more stuff to know about me than what type of girls I like,” I answered as politely as I could.
The Tatum lookalike interjected, “Yeah that’s great and all, but that stuff isn’t interesting. I want to know why lesbians use dildos when they can just go get the real thing.”
OF COURSE you would want to know THAT.
I smiled and said, “Because the “real thing” can sometimes be attached to idiots like you. I’d rather use a fake one; then put it into a shoe box rather than deal with the machismo attitude that comes with it.”
I got up and chuckled as it took them a moment to absorb the unkind words I had just laid upon them. I was very aware of my pompous attitude. However, I didn’t give a damn. If people weren’t willing to get to know me beyond my sexuality the same way they got to know their straight friends, then I wanted nothing to do with them. I had been “out” for over a decade, and I was fed up with being the obedient lesbian that was supposed to answer people’s offensive demands.
While those two rambled into my ear, I happened to notice some of our friends were talking to Clara in the kitchen. It was Viicious Ness and her boyfriend, Dave. Viicious was a gorgeous, 5’11, voluptuous blonde. She had hips as wide as an eighteen wheeler flatbed. Her greatest weapon on the derby track was her amazing ability to hip-check a girl clear across it. Also a talent she enjoyed showing off at parties. As I padded over to hug them, I now only saw Dave and not Viicious. That’s when it happened. Suddenly my 105 lb. body was met with 195 lbs. of Viicious Ness muscle! Her gigantic hips collided into my puny frame. The sound of my spine popping mimicked the crushing of a plastic water bottle.
“HIP CHECK!!!!” Viicious yelled out.
I was immediately catapulted into Dave’s jolly, round belly which created a soft landing for my face. He chuckled as he removed my mug from his stomach and helped me to my feet.
“Whoa there! Gotta watch out for those hips. They’re deadly,” he said with a wink.
“Ohh, I’ll show you deadly!” Viicious called out as she advanced towards Dave.
I don’t quite remember how in the hell I got out of the way in time, but before I knew it; Viicious hip checked her boyfriend. Hard. So hard that his feet lost their grip on the sticky tile floor and he sailed halfway through B’s waist high kitchen window. The glass was old, so it didn’t shatter as cool in the movies. It fell apart in four chunks and luckily Dave only suffered a slight gash on his right elbow. Viicious responded by fluttering her long eyelashes as she placed her hand over her mouth to conceal her evil, cartoonish giggle.
“What the hell are you trying to do my place, turn it into a drive through?” B asked nonchalantly as she strolled up to the broken window and assessed the damage.
Clara nudged my arm and handed me the drink she had been holding the entire time the Viicious Ness extravaganza took place. Within no time at all the party resumed as if nothing had happened. We sipped our wine and just smiled at one another. No words had to be exchanged. There was no telling where the night was headed.
We decided to walk back into the living room towards our friend Debbie, who was at the front door. Before we knew it, the count down to the New Year had reached zero and everyone was kissing and hugging. We inched our way over to Debbie through the throngs of hugging arms and sloppy colliding lips. It was nice to see a familiar face in order to have conversation where we didn’t have to have our guards up. However, there’s always some meddlesome lame-ass at a party that likes to butt into an already flowing conversation.
Debbie was telling us about the new black lab puppy that she and her husband had recently adopted. She was in the middle of a cute story involving her puppy playing with their cat when some random guy decided push his way into the conversation. “So, when did you know you were gay? I mean did you like get raped or molested or sumpthin’?” the tall, stocky male blurted.
“What the hell kind of question is that?!” Debbie quickly snapped back at the guy before either of us could get a word in.
“What? It’s a valid question. I’m just curious,” he said, as if he should be the one offended by Debbie’s tone.
“I believe you were born with no brains! No wonder why they’re gay. They’re smart enough to not have to deal with idiots like you!” Debbie snapped.
The guy leaned back and attempted to look at Debbie with one eye as is he was focusing it like a camera lens. “You sure you ain’t the dyke? You get angry like one,” he said as he took a big gulp of his beer and wiped the sudsy residue onto his sleeve.
I stepped into the conversation at this point in order to keep Debbie from being arrested for decking the guy.
“When did you know you were straight?” I asked.
“What do you mean? I was born this way,” he said in a loud and proud fashion with his chest puffed out like a cock in a hen house.
“Well, same here. I too was born this way and have always known,” I replied.
“Nope, I don’t believe that. You sure nothing ever happened to you? Some guy push himself on you and turn you gay?” he pressed.
“Why do you ask? Is one of your ex-girlfriends now gay? Did you push yourself on a woman? Did you make a girl gay,” I pressed back harder.
He straightened up his slouched shoulders and rolled them back. Both of his eyes were open now and had aligned their focus right into mine. “I would never do such a thing! I would never hurt a woman,” he snapped. His finger was pointed in my face as the other fingers curled into a tight fist.
“Did you ever stop and think that these insulting, perverted questions you’re asking might be hurting these two women right now?” Debbie asked.
“Oh God! Really? Why do you have to be so sensitive!? Forget it. I don’t even care anymore,” he said. His hand casually waived into the musty air as he sauntered off.
Debbie looked at us in disbelief. “Have you ever dealt with someone like that before? That was insane!”
“That was a new one for me. I have never been asked something like that from a stranger before. Only my mom when I told her I was gay,” Clara responded. “She was curious if something had happened to me when I was a kid. Yet, when she asked it was definitely from a place of concern.”
“Ehh. Not the first time for me and unfortunately as the past has shown, it won’t be the last,” I responded.
The rest of the evening went mostly well. I had successfully removed us from those that overstepped their boundaries. Although it was a New Year’s Eve party where many people had hopes that all the bad from the year prior would somehow melt away, for me, it confirmed that I would most likely be faced with invasive questions for many years to come. I couldn’t expect the whole world to change at the stroke of midnight during each New Year. However, I at least knew that with the New Years to come, I’d be very successful at isolating myself from the morons that asked ridiculous questions.