Speak Out : Where Are You Going?
Today is a junk out day. I guess I don’t remember when I started using language like this. I joined a gym, I work out, I changed my diet a little bit and started getting results. It was exciting. At first my motivation for working out was to achieve a really hot, muscular body to gain the attention of other men with hot, muscular bodies. This is because those same men won’t give me the time of day unless I have six pack abs or a big, worked out chest. I thought, “I’m going to get those things and then when those guys talk to me I’m going to tell them to go spend some time playing in traffic”. How delighted I would be to have my sweet revenge.
Of course, it didn’t really play out that way. After I lost 50lbs and my muscles started to develop (a little, please don’t mistake me for a gym rat or some well defined athlete…yet) my motivation shifted. I did start to gain the attention of these muscle boys as I had suspected; many of them starting up conversations with no realization that I was the same person who months earlier had tried to say hello to them only to get “I don’t talk to fatties” or “you’re not my type” and so on. The fact that they didn’t even recognize me was infuriating. It shouldn’t have surprised me, because we sort of accept that being shallow and vapid is part of the gay culture. And yet, I was still filled with rage that this shallow, vapid stereotype was being directed at me.
How could they not remember me?! I’m memorable!
At some point we just have to realize a few things about ourselves in general. The type of gay person you see on tv shows and the type of people who get up there and speak in front of the Human Rights Campaign are not the same kind of gay person you find in your own friend circle. Yet, these are the types of gay guys that get the most attention. We make remarks like “I can’t believe they act like that!” but in truth, we believe it. It’s just infuriating to us because it seems like no one cares enough to try to change it. We let the beautiful gays be beautiful because they’re fun to look at; well, they ARE! Our internal conflict of “I hate the way they dismiss me because I don’t have muscles” and “Oh my God look at those pecs!!!” are always at war. There’s a bit of shallow in all of us and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. All things in moderation, I think the saying goes.
In my community we had come to this kind of rut where everyone seemed to be having the same problems all the time. The characters changed; boyfriends broke up and found new boyfriends, guys got new fuck buddies, the merry go round of the hook up culture spun and spun…but the problems remained the same. I felt like there was no forward movement, but mainly I realized that it was because I wasn’t facing forward at all. I was looking behind me, trying to find a way to get back at this guy for not going out on a date with me, or that guy for never calling me after we fucked, or that guy for never calling me after we fucked, or that guy for never calling me…well, you get the idea. At some point I thought “I can’t make everyone stop what they’re doing and I’m not even sure it’s my place to do that”. I had to turn myself in the right direction and start moving forward on my own. So…I did.
And wonder of wonders, I slowly began to run into people who were going in the same direction as I was. I felt like “where did THESE gay guys come from?!” and they’d been there the whole time. I was just facing the wrong direction and grumbling about everything I was seeing. We can’t change our past. We can’t always predict what is to come in the future. But we can exist in the now and affect what is happening. If we’re always worried about that last relationship, or that last hook up, or why James stole my boyfriend, or why Paul didn’t invite me to his party, or why Joseph has better abs than I do and why won’t his hot friends talk to me!?!?! then we’re never really going to move forward. Usually it takes a few people to make the first few steps in order for everyone to follow suit.
I never did get to put my thumb on my nose toward all the muscle boys who didn’t recognize me. It turns out that looking forward, none of that really matters as much as I thought it did. So if you’re wondering why gay people are so stupid…maybe you’re facing the wrong direction. In the wrong direction, “forward” is behind you. Spin around; maybe what you thought was behind you was the right direction the whole time.