Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Some Things Never Change ...

So I'm on the subway heading downtown when I see two straight couples standing nearby. Late thirties, early forties. The women are both white, the men are black and white. The guys are average-looking, as are the women, who are dressing perhaps a bit too loudly to accentuate their sexiness and minimize their age. There is something rather common about both of them. The white guy seems to be a bit of a lout, while the African-American guy at least appears to be the most intelligent and best educated of the bunch.

However, as the train pulls into a stop in Greenwich Village, it is the African-American guy who decides --since this is "gay" Greenwich Village -- that he has to tell the story of how -- gasp! -- a gay guy came on to him at a subway stop in the area. [This is another example of how dated these people were, as it is Chelsea that is now considered the big gay neighborhood in Manhattan, not Greenwich Village. Of course, they don't quite get that we are everywhere.] It is almost a dating ritual when straight couples go down to any area that has more than three gay people in it that the guy has to make clear what he thinks of gays, and that he is definitely, positively, thoroughly heterosexual.

Believe me, this particular gay guy wouldn't have cruised the fellow telling the story even under the influence. Guys like this feign disgust and disinterest at gay attentions when you sense deep down that they kind of like the fact that somebody thinks they're attractive. One of the women, while wearing a nauseated expression, said "Why didn't you tell him to get the fuck away!"

Good question. Maybe the guy telling the tale was on the down low. But he was establishing his heterosexuality for his date, hoping to bond with the Jersey gal in their mutual homophobia.No, I didn't hear "fag" or any obvious slurs, but the disapproval and negative attitude were definitely there.

Just a reminder that not everyone is cool with gay people, even in liberal New York City, and it's foolish to think that they are.

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