“To be young, rich, and gay… and in New York. It’s a mouthful. Literally”
Call it coincidence or fate but this morning when I logged on to Facebook I read a very moving post by a fellow blogger, Duncan Roy, about being gay and what it means to him. I had been thinking of writing about this whole “open relationship” situation I’ve been dealing more and more constantly lately, but I feel compelled to address more than just gay relationships. And thus I start:
Duncan mentioned he feels like an outsider amongst the gays. I agree, I do too. I am not sure if we really are or if it’s that innate “quality” many gay men share to feel out of place. I’d like to thing it’s the former. There is also a big age difference between me and him and thus I believe that, in my case, I am still maturing, and although I feel somewhat more connected to “the gays”, I also feel a bigger rift. I am sure I’m not making much sense but as I elaborate I hope it becomes more clear.
He talks about two friends of his coming out of the closet and the different approach they took, one being a bit more in control of his situation vs. the other letting himself indulge in the many decadent pleasures that being gay offers. It is not until recently that I can say I’ve been delving in said pleasures. I used to be a prude. I used to be a saint. I used to never have casual sex nor do any drugs. Sometime between breaking up with my ex of four and a half years and moving to New York I lost my restraints. I am not sure what the reason for that was. I’ve thought it’s just my nature, I’ve thought it’s growing up (I’ve always been a late bloomer), I’ve thought it’s something deeper, even spiritual. Whatever the catalysts, I am somewhat content with who I’m becoming. This is not to say that I am the party and play (for those of you who don’t know, that means unprotected sex and meth) type, not at all, but I am more relaxed and enjoying more what being gay has offered me. I’ve been told many a times: “you are young, beautiful, smart, and fun to be around, enjoy the opportunities that come with that”. For a while I fought my instincts, but I’ve been realizing that the more you fight them, the more you end up making stupid decisions when you have one too many cocktails and your inhibitions are low. Really, it’s OK to have a fuck buddy, it’s OK to date multiple guys at a time, and hell! it might even be OK to have an “open relationship”. Who am I to judge? I’ve certainly never been one to judge others on these accounts, so why judge myself?
Like I’ve said, maybe this whole move to New York has had a bigger influence than I thought in who I’m becoming. After all, bars close later, there’s more options, and since there’s no driving, there’s also higher levels of intoxication. Duncan pointed out the difference between us New York gays and our West Coast counterparts (more specifically, LA). I couldn’t agree more! We are like water and oil. For how tolerant we claim to be, there is definitely a more understated segregation in this city. New York gay men don’t mingle as often with the rest of the people who live in this island. Maybe we have more options, maybe we’re more “European”, whatever it is we just don’t. I’m surprised at how I never go to straight bars in this city. Back in LA those were the only bars I would frequent. Consequently, I’d safely say that the majority of my going out friends here are gay. In LA I could count the ‘mos I considered friends with the fingers in one hand.
Furthermore, the gay “scene” in LA is not as diverse as it is here. We have so many more subcultures. I no longer hang out with my New York friends who I used to visit when I lived back in the West Coast. I’ve found my own niche. I find them too tame for my taste. They are looking for something that I might’ve wanted a long time ago but, to be honest, I’m not even really sure I did anymore. They are more Chelsea than Brooklyn/East Village (and it pains me to use those terms, but they kind of lend themselves to give a broader explanation of what I’m trying to say). They are concerned with their looks, their outfits, their professional success, their “aura”. They go out looking for kindred spirits who also go to the gym religiously, manscape, get some “color” for the beach, and wear color pants during the summer. They want to get married (because they can now!), and buy a house in the village. They want to adopt a foreign baby and assist PTA meetings with their heterosexual neighbors.
I might sound like I’m contradicting myself. What I mean to say is they want to settle down and blend in, but blend in as the token gays they feel the need to portray. It is not going forward, it is going backwards. It is saying: “yes, we’re gay and we’re fighting for equality, and look at us! we’re just like you!” We are different. I seek integration, not assimilation. I refuse to fit the mold I’m expected to fit. I want to celebrate what makes us different and embrace it like I embrace others’ difference. I don’t need a high paying job, a beautiful husband, a summer house, and offspring to feel accomplished and I don’t appreciate being told I do. So what if I enjoy being single? So what if I enjoy going out every day of the week? So what if I enjoy having two or three reliable fuck buddies who don’t want to “settle” either? So what if the thought of children makes my stomach turn, but puppies make me feel warm inside? I’m not being scared and noncommittal. I am perfectly comfortable with my choices and, as far as I’m concerned, I’m being a deeper, more conscious gay than my peers and focusing on more important matters.
I am far from perfect. The idea of an open relationship is not for everyone, I don’t even know if it’s for me. I find it ridiculous when I meet guys who are in them. To me it’s insecurity. To me it’s being afraid of sleeping alone at night. To me it’s being greedy. If you’re having fun with someone, why put labels? Honestly, I’m a bit concerned with DJ and how things are evolving. I don’t want to date him. I want to casually see him, and be single. I want to date other people. I want to be my own person. I have a dog. I enjoy going to dinner and a movie on a date with myself. I want to keep it that way. I am quite disappointed with the human race, and I’m trying to stay away from their norms. It is a big turn off when I meet a guy (and I’ve met plenty!) who have a boyfriend yet flirt like hell with me (or others!). Are you that scared to be on your own and have lots of flirts, fucks, friends, whatevers? I don’t want to be one of them either. ‘Fixie’ opened my eyes and, although I don’t agree 100% with how he lives his life, I do love how honest and upfront he is about it. He is a realist and a very responsible human being. He fights the good fight when it needs to be fought despite the fact that many judge his lifestyle. I don’t.
There is a lot of judgment towards gays. Some heterosexuals see us as debaucherous hedonists, but it doesn’t stop there. Within ourselves we judge the shit out of each other. I’m not surprised, after all, part of being “gay” is being bitchy, right? We have to strive to be better than that. We have to accept ourselves and each other before we can expect others to do the same. Does it “get better”? Great question. It does. Slowly, but we’re loosing more and more of us to many issues and we have to stop! We are pushing ourselves to rebel in the wrong ways. We are pushing ourselves to overindulge in what makes us different. We are perpetuating the stereotypes on both ends and simultaneously creating a greater rift and bridge between us. We are pushing those who won’t conform further away, yet we are embracing those who do more and more. It is not about assimilation, because all that does is segregate those who won’t assimilate. In a perfect world we would just welcome each others’ dissimilarities and thus ending the taboos. We are human and, as such, we have a rebellious nature. If we’re told not to do something or that something is wrong, we do it more. That is why some gays feel the need to go overboard, because if they’re going to get blamed for something, then they might as well give the world a reason to do so.
The title of this entry is a quote from a friend when we were talking about how another friend of us was going crazy when he moved to New York. Sadly, that’s more common than we’d like it to be. This city is intoxicating, and if you don’t have a good head on your shoulders, you better grown one fast or you’re going to loose it. I’ve been badgering the so called “assimilating gays”, and maybe that’s the case because I tend to identify a bit more with the other side, but I wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t further address the other spectrum as well because, really, they both have similar issues, just different ways of approaching them. There are a lot of drugs and promiscuity on both sides, but I do feel like it is better to just come to terms with that. Like I said, the more taboo we make it, the more tempting it is, and the more unsafe it can become. The “dirty” gays, as some of our counterparts might deem us (and I include myself in this group just because like I said, if anything, I feel I’d fit more on this side, as opposed to the other), can be actually dirty but, honestly, we’re just more upfront. We love sex, we love to party, we love to indulge but, just like everything, there’s degrees of that. I can say that while I know a lot of the ones on the darker side of the spectrum, I’ve also met quite a few clean “dirty” gays. DJ for example. Just like ‘Fixie’, he has a good head on his shoulder. He is upfront, and very open. We often talk about our experiences with other boys and, to me, this brings a certain level of comfort. If you’re going to be fucking around, at least I want to know. It is not, by any means, typical behavior on either end. We are not looking for a committed relationship and kids, but we are also not fucking for the sake of fucking.
I am not the saint of tolerance, I am aware, but I strive to be. It might be conflicting for me to state that and go on a rant about all this but, if you want to be a practically straight homosexual or a deranged liberine , then do so, but only by your own account, not because you’re expected to.