Tuesday, December 16, 2008

comment blog fodder

Recently, in a comment to yet another post about coming out, good friend and blogger Franklin had the following to say.
I would like to post more comments on your blog, its difficult and kinda not needed when they are about self realization and discovery. Let's get some opinionated content in here so your readers can participate.

p.s. I'm surprised you are still having awkward moments coming out to folks, I imagined most posts of this nature would be other people having awkward reactions. You touched on it in this one which was interesting to read about.
The earlier days of this blog contained more opinionated content, and it was likely more easy to comment. I've thought about this myself, as I enjoy several blogs for both the content as well as the discussions likely to happen in the comments.

Over time, as the life changes began ripping up and down the street at all hours, I found myself mostly unable to blog. Now that I'm back I feel different posts forcing their way out, and often I do fall into the self discovery track. It isn't that it's easier, because often it's much more difficult both to open up and to write a post I'm happy to give to the public. As I've mentioned a time or two, I'm not a life-as-open-book sort of guy. At the same time, while I'm not always uncomfortable opening up, I don't want the same whiny rants I'm afraid almost became my m.o. for too long.

So for Franklin and for myself I'll try to think of more things to say. I'll try to get back somewhat to the good ol' days, the days when I could fire off a whole post about my disdain for Robin Williams. See last night's anti Hardee's screed for the newest.

Now to the second part of the comment. Franklin doesn't think that it would still be awkward coming out to people. In a sense it's not. My point in coming out is generally to find a way to get it over with, get it out of the way.

Most people don't really see it coming. I don't scream gay in general either through my speech patterns or my mannerisms, unless of course you see something I don't. I didn't suddenly start acting like a different person when I came out, for the most part.

It's not really awkward to me for people to learn that I'm gay. It makes it easier to interact with people when I'm not having to feel as if I'm hiding something or being less than honest. And once I'm out, though I still don't scream gay in a general way, I am in fact a pretty much out person. I'm not going to hide or pretend things that aren't true. I'm not going to take most heterosexist norms into consideration. Maybe it's just a typical out and proud sort of way to be, or maybe it's the fault of years of hiding and pretending pushing me to over compensate. Hell, maybe I'm just not smart enough to keep my big mouth shut, and I think we've seen some proof of that in the past.

The awkwardness, when there is any, is just in letting people know. Franklin will remember a recent night that he and I went out to a local club. As we stood outside in the cold chatting with the doorman, a club patron left with some friends. I'd seen this particular fellow inside and commented to both Franklin and the doorman that I found this fellow attractive. It was exactly the sort of thing the two of them might have done (and likely did do) when spotting a girl they found attractive enough to mention aloud. It's one way of coming out/being out, but how could I gauge the likely reaction of the doorman? In this instance I decided that I just didn't care, but that didn't make any less sort of weird.

I guess my whole point is that it doesn't have to be awkward to come out. It is something that happens repeatedly. It's something that, as attitudes change, will likely become easier. But it is something I'll probably always have to do. Non gays seldom have to alert people to their sexuality as it's assumed about all of us to some extent, while gay people must constantly decide who and whether and when and where and why to tell people. If nothing else it's always a little awkward because of that.

real men don't what?

Have I told you how much I hate the newish Hardee's commercial? I'm sure you've seen it, a bunch of really guy guys sitting around watching t.v., what we are led to believe is some sort of Nascar like event.

They are verbally noting their opinion of the race as it takes place, and they are most likely bonding in a male-centric sort of way. It's quite likely the sort of thing guys do when they're left to their own guy ways. There are certainly no chics around to kill their collective buzz.

And then another friend enters the scene, approaching the real men with a pan of biscuits we can only assume that he himself has just baked. For some reason his biscuits appear formed in a fast food restaurant; they just have that look about them, but I suppose we are not meant to notice that. And it isn't really part of why we're here.

The friend offers the guys a fresh baked biscuit, and they all turn to him with a sort of astonishment in their eyes. It is quite obvious that we are supposed to agree with them, to wonder why their friend is offering something like biscuits.

And then the voice over cements our opinion by telling us that, "Guys don't bake." And of course it becomes clear. "Real men" don't make biscuits and offer them to their friends. That's the sign of something not man like. We should now doubt the masculinity of this biscuit offering man shaped person.

I have the following to say to Hardee's:

Fuck you! I'm man enough and make a damn fine biscuit. I do in fact enjoy making biscuits, and I'm quite proud of my ability.

So, in conclusion, fuck Hardee's. Biscuits=good, and hot guys bringing biscuits=also good.


For far too long I've not really made a point of making friends. The Cute Ex pointed this out to me one night when he was discussing a time when he planned to hang out with some of his friends.

I should point out that it was the same conversation when he discussed that he didn't like his boyfriends becoming friends with his friends. He felt there should be some sort of understood line between the two parts of his life. I disagree, but that isn't the point.

His words at the time had to do with the fact that I didn't seem to have my own people, that Momma and I shared our people. It's pretty much how we've always rolled; we share our people. I'm not sure how it works out, but we've never necessarily had our own friends. The people we meet and befriend away from each other have always become friends with us both.

In a sense I've tended always to not have a lot of close friends. As a child I always felt that my younger brother was somehow always stealing my friends, and all too often it did feel like people who were my friends for whatever reason always liked him more than me when he was around.

Some of that sort of thing may have bled over into modern life in that I've tended to see people as being my friends because of my association with Momma. I've only recently begun to accept that maybe some of those people also like me in addition to her as opposed to because of her.

All of this comes on the heels of my trying to open up to and be less of an anus to many of the people in my life, often people who I've assumed liked Momma as a friend in spite of her association with me, or people who I would have liked to be friends with but that they were Momma's, and not really my, friends.

It hasn't stopped being weird. This whole opening myself up, actually making attempts to befriend and be nice, is somewhat alien to me. I often feel exposed in some way that I'm not sure how to consider much less explain. And there's some amount of discomfort in all of this.

It's all part of my new plan of self discovery I suppose. It's all part of having created this facade of me that wasn't really me, but over time, as you build the facade, eventually you forget entirely what's behind there. In the case of old western buildings, there was nothing behind the facade more than an attempt to make your shit little town appear bigger than it really was. In my case the facade was an attempt to hide, even from myself, who I really am.

So, self discovery and all that, good for something, not fun always but sometimes. I think we've covered it all for now. There's certainly more, and I could get into the intricacies of what I've self discovered, but at some point a girl has to keep something to herself. There's got to be at least a hint of mystery.