I discovered my kinship for gay men when I was at Emerson College. Emerson was dedicated to the arts. It was a place where performance ruled and people got to re-invent themselves and some magic happened. From my point of view, it was a safe place where people could discover and explore being gay. I befriended many of these guys and we danced the night away, watched and studied every move Liza Minnelli made in Cabaret. We went to parties, trying to out do and out funny each other at every turn. They sharpened my funny bone and helped make it what it is today.
After my brief, but wondrous stint at Emerson I moved back to New York City, where, you guessed it, my love for all boys gay continued. They were everywhere and I couldn't have been happier. The guys I meet were creative, scathingly funny and loved to go out and have fun - traits that I admired and thrived on. My jobs seemed to draw them to me. I worked one summer as a bar-tender at private parties on Fire Island. Another job I had was the office girl for a small PR firm owned and operated by gay men. One Halloween my husband and I dressed up as Axl and Slash from Guns-n-Roses. I was Axl, and I wore a flannel shirt, bandanna in my hair and a pair of white, skin tight bike shorts. To give the costume that final touch of authenticity, I stuffed my shorts to re-create Axl's sweet and prominent bulge. We went to a wild gay Halloween party that night - I got felt up by gay boys all night long.
Ahhhh, those were my gay salad days. I miss those days so very much.
I don't know what happened. I moved out of the city stopped working in restaurants, had a couple of kids and here I am now, without a single gay friend in my town.
I'd like to think for a married woman with two kids, I have a happening and solid social life. But, I am missing my gays. There is nothing in the world like a gay friend - and I need one -one that lives in the same town as me. I have been on the search lately - I feel as though I am looking to pick some gay men up for fun and friendship. But either my gaydar is sorely out of practice or there just aren't many rotating in my circle. I have come across a few gays, but either they live too far away or the timing wasn't right.
Then at the supermarket last week, I spotted a gay couple - with a kid! I tried to pace our food shopping together, but that didn't work because I didn't want to look like a stalker. I kept trying to find a reason to talk to them, "Oh, I love the peaches they have in store right now, so tender!" But everything seemed forced. I even considered walking up to them and just laying my cards out on the table, "Hi! I'm Stephanie! I love Elizabeth Taylor and Rufus Wainwright and I really would love to be your friend." I wasn't feeling it. By checkout time, our paths never crossed and I wistfully watched my chance at gay love drive away.
These guys could be militant right-wing Republicans for all I know but I haven't stopped thinking about how I am going to talk to them next time I see them. It is not that big of a town. Everyone has to eat, they will be at the supermarket again.