I came across this NPR article while waiting for a mango chicken wrap from my local juice bar. “In Changing America, Gay Masculinity Has ‘Many Different Shades.” I chose to read instead of a competing article about the ebola virus because I didn’t want to spoil my appetite with descriptions of death, but also because, hey, I’m gay.
It’s a nice article about how men in Colorado (who are gay!) are playing rugby and acting tough. I scanned the screen of my phone with narrowing eyes waiting to see if the article was going to take it somewhere new or fresh; to me this rugby team was not big news. I play on a gay sports league in New York and I’ll be the first to tell you: it’s competitive.
The line that stood out the most (the pull quote on the top photo) takes, I think, a very defensive position about homosexuality, quoting one of the players: “I’ve always thought of myself as … the rugby player that happens to be gay… I never want to be the gay man who happens to play rugby.”
I remember thinking that way. I remember telling people that it’s a small part of who I am. I remember building consensus with my family that it wasn’t important. But that philosophy is a phase, right?
I have just come back from a week-long vacation (or was it work?) hosting Absolut Vodka promos in Provincetown, MA. As I described to my mother on the phone, Ptown is a seaside artists’ colony, with plenty of places to buy lobster or souvenir sweaters, that also happens to be this incredible gay mecca. Theaters, cute boutiques, gay bars, costume parties, drag acts, art galleries, and a parade. It’s a very special place and I feel blessed to have visited it. I also feel blessed to have claim to it. Being gay is awesome. We create great neighborhoods, great art and culture, and I’m pretty sure a gay high school student just beat an asian high school student at teen Jeopardy (at JEOPARDY, people!).
That above comment isn’t meant to be racists, only funny.
So, I didn’t mean to write a diatribe this morning, nor did I intend for THIS SUBJECT to be my first post in about two years (eek), but I am really gay… like through and through. And it’s maybe one of the most permanent things about me. I’m glad that this guy can self-identify as a rugby player who happens to be gay, but my life is in way to much flux to let me feel permanently identified by my career, city, hobbies, sports, etc.
In 30 years I don’t know what I’ll be doing, who I’ll be with, or where I’ll be, but I’m pretty sure I will still be gay.