WTF. I thought things had gotten better for gay men since I was young and single, but I see they haven't. It's time to get real, guys. If there's ever been the need for a kick in the ass, it's right now.
Back in the day, I was not pretty and I was not hot. I may have had youth on my side, but that was fast waning. Thirty was just around the corner, and I was still single. You know what that means. My currency as a gay man was about to plummet, just like the stock market in fall 2009. I dreaded turning three decades old. I thought that was it for me, I'd be alone and lonely for the rest of my life. And I was only thirty. Unbelievable.
Meeting someone I might want to spend my life with? What a joke. Oh, it's not for a lack of trying, believe me. I put myself out there as much as I could. There weren't many places for me to meet other gay men, so I spent plenty of time at the clubs, hoping someone just like me would be there, someone who was looking for me as much as I was looking for him.
You know what I met instead? Attitude. Lots and lots of attitude. From punks who I see now were so insecure about themselves, they covered it up by being nasty and bitchy. There's nothing worse in the gay community than a cute, young, gay asshole who thinks he's so much better than everyone else. Scratch the surface, and they're nothing but scared little kids. Not worth the time of day.
In David Michael Connor's March 23 commentary on Advocate.com titled "The Trouble With Happy Endings," he writes Dan Savage's It Gets Better project sends the wrong message to today's gay youth. School and "torture" may end, Connor writes, but "...adult gay men can have a tendency to act just like those bullies in high school--maybe not physically, but the emotional effects can be the same."
Single, Connor will be thirty-three next month. He lives in the gay village in Washington, DC but has no friends in the neighborhood. He thinks he's probably unattractive to other gay men because: 1). his face is pock-marked from bad acne when he was a teenager (you can't tell from his picture); 2). he's not straight-acting (that is, he doesn't try to butch it up for the benefit of others); and 3). he's not athletic or muscular (read: hot). (Unfortunately, he admits to being "snarkastic," "always on the defense," and he has a few bad habits not helping his case.)
My point is this: What the fuck is wrong with us? We take all the crap in school only to give it out to our own after we graduate? Have we learned nothing about how it hurts to be treated like shit? Do we really think by being decent and pleasant and humane to another gay man, we'll have "Fatal Attraction" on our hands? Really?
I'm worked up about this, yes, because I can't tell you how many times I was on the receiving end of the exact same bullshit. All I had to do was glance at some of these fags, in the bar, on the street, at the mall, and I knew from the dirty looks I got they didn't have the time of day for me--a lower life form, no better than the fifty-somethings who trolled the clubs or public washrooms in malls to pick up boys. Man, they thought they were such hot shit, but I wouldn't rate them lukewarm diarrhoea. How I'd like to kick their sorry asses today.
What occurs to me, if you want to treat people like that, is it will come back to you. I promise. You put out that attitude, you get it back--somehow, someway, someday. You will. You may just find yourself over thirty years old, alone, and wondering what went wrong, why you're not so appealing anymore, why all the boys aren't clambering for you. And you'll get no pity from me.
To those of you victimized by these fools, don't despair. I was in my early thirties when I met my partner, Chris, and we've been together nineteen years. But the door with Chris behind it didn't open until after I began to see my self-worth, stopped trying so hard, obsessing about being alone, and realized I didn't need anyone in my life after all. I really didn't. I was all right all by myself.
And to those who continue to victimize the rest of us, by thinking your shit doesn't stink, go clean your pants. My footprint's on your ass.