Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Am A Fortunate Gay Man...Just Not as Fortunate as Ricky Martin

The irony that a man who performs “She Bangs” dallies with dick is not lost on me. Like all infamously histrionic men, Alexander the Great, Abraham Lincoln, and Sarah Jessica Parker, I am a homo. I also adore irony. However, you should not find this essay at all ironic. While I’ve only “officially” preached the queeny gospel to my closest family, friends and one-night-stands, YOU, the everyday-man in in my world of grandiose delusions, should have gleaned this info on your own. If you did not, you are an idiot. And, much like our Puerto-Rican-Vida-Loca friend, I’ve decided to start at this point, here in gaytown, laying the foundation of my sexuality because it will serve as a common theme in this new undertaking, this new journey of clichéd self-discovery. I am a fortunate gay man.

However, my fortune stops at a Chelsea apartment and minimal savings and the people in my life. With no former Menudo band alumni to fall back on, I must rely on the people I’ve touched. It has not, though, been all peonies and mylar balloons. Without going too far into it (because I don’t presently have the energy), I grew up in the South, birthed by Republicans and attended a high school where the Christian Youth met each week before the homeroom bell signaled the day’s education. You can imagine the joy I felt in such a habitat as an insecure stick figure by day and child tranny at night. Rather than slit my wrists, rebel, or God forbid, tell my story, I firmly decided to rail against my being. I put it in a box. I perched that box on a high shelf in my closet and went about my childhood and teenaged years with moderate abandon. That is not to say that certain aspects of my personality always sequestered themselves in said box. My vanity and dress sense never faltered; I maintained a strict aversion to ugly, toothless people; and my affinity for HGTV (and later Bravo) was not unknown to my peers. Yet, I practically walked around with a stamp on my forehead that proclaimed “I like girls...seriously.”

Fast-forward roughly ten years, and we arrive at the point of my exhaustion and Kirstie Alley’s epic largeness. I’d had enough. So, I tell myself one day: “Chad, you’ve simply got to let the gay flag wave. Tell someone.” I did. Over an IM convo and, minutes later, a phone chit-chat that turned into a shameful mix of phone sex and self-help buildup, I dabbled into the bisexual waters. Of course I wasn’t ready to go fully gay, so bi it was.

Being bisexual lasted about 27 minutes. I knew at this point I had arrived at my personal crossroads, the likes of which I had not faced since my decision to choose Barbie over Skipper. On the scale of George Bush to Hillary Clinton, I elected to go completely homo...Democrat. The first step in my three-point strategy was to immediately make my diet stricter. The second step involved someone else’s tongue and a scrunchy. The third had me informing my friends. My beloved friends and uber close acquaintances were wholly supportive, barely feigning their surprise at my pronouncement. My Jewish sister and early-20s roommate (I’m not really Jewish, nor is she, but we like to think we are) simply said she was waiting for me to say it for ages.

After the education of my social network, I broached the conversation with my brothers. They were not shocked either. The box on that damned closet shelf betrayed me yet again. Two weeks later, I summoned the descended testicles to tell my parents. After a few tears, some leaden threats and the Flying Biscuit’s Shrimp n’ Grits lunchtime entree, all was well. Yes, there is a larger story here, but not now. I survived it. I told my friends and family, and I still held their love, support, acceptance and bank accounts. That is my fortune. My mother goes to drag shows with me, and we pound vodka shots. My father wants me to plow into the successes of Match.com and find a man and be happy. My friends see me like I see my black friends - we’re all pink on the inside. My therapist charges me a fortune. I am so blessed.

Let’s end on a high note because I’ve plenty more in the pipe to bitch about.

Again, this version of events and mores is severely abridged. Unlike my time in the bedroom, I can’t always give it all away right up front...

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