You don’t know this by the look of me, but I’m very, very straight. I mean, I grunt whenever I get up. I crack my knuckles, and give things slight punches à la Underwood (there’s an irony there, I know). I do pushups and shadowbox—a Rocky fan. A die-hard Die Hard fan, a roadie for Roadhouse.
Along even more stereotypical lines, I can watch anything from basketball and football to curling, golf and snooker for supple, easy hours. I’m also, in the most personal of terms, unwavering, decisive and, as far as my most discerning and schizoid pal AJ is concerned, manly.
Basically, I am, in the queerest of terms, a male-identified cis male, and I’d probably score, no joke, a 5 or 6 on the Kinsey scale. For the sake of exposition, this is how it is.
Meanwhile, I’ve spent the better part of the last 5 years in very tight 510 Levi’s. We’re talking so skinny they put a “super” in front of it. And the occasional ladies’ pair, too. And coupled with the rest of my telling sartorial zealotries, I’ve gotten so many double and triple takes and finger points and flaring come-ons—and put-offs, even in fair ol’ Montreal—I’m quite aware of and comfortable with the impression the whole look delivers. It’s never posed a real problem, so that’s that.
Granted, however, the square narrowness of that impression remains a continual curiosity for me, and I mean with queer, not-so-queer and straight-as-an-arrow types alike.
And so—somewhere between my queer-minded dialectics, which have worked their way into my queer-acquainted rhetoric, and the “Blossom”-coloured ladies’ cable- knit sweater I picked up at AA last Friday—a lady friend started making the most expectable little jabs at my homo potential. Plied as she may be by both my clothed and unclothed charms, “You’re so fucking gay!” was suddenly coming out of her mouth on the regular.
Now, for the sake of the utmost clarity: my lady friend is no homo-basher. In fact, she’s a bit of a queer one herself. And the colloquial phrasing was in fact uttered for the sake of conversational irony, mostly—a kind of off-colour joke that opened up to a much enjoyed, crappy Southie-accented “You’re so fuckin’ qware!” line of jokeries shouted at each other over donuts. We both agreed the sweater looked good, and so it was. The Coldstone Cremery section of Timmy Hos is the most agreeable.
But then another queerish lady friend, beholding the same sweater I was modelling for her over the sound of “Raspberry Beret” (played in honour of a certain cyclical affair), multiplied the sight of it by the factor of the last 510s I’m sporting on the regular (a rather baby blue mineral wash pair that fits rather perfectly, looks rather flaming), smirked, shook her head, and let out the exact same “You’re so fucking gay!”
And I was, yet again, arrested by the curiosity of it in the moment.
There I was: feeling manly as hell in my sinew-accenting dirty-rose sweater, a young straight man with something to give, and apparently qware as fuckin’ rainbows. A lady before me on a quest for a slick midnight delight, pinning the G word on me, only half joking.
In that moment, I pondered the idea of a dude in my bed, yet again, and got ever so softer. I thought ‘maybe Paul Newman, or that boy Bryce Cody,’ but even then, I knew I’d get nowhere. I am what I am. I looked her over. I gave her a smile. So where do we take this?
I decided to slip the sweater off, and stuff happened. I slipped out of something else, and another something else, and more happened. “If I Was Your Girlfriend” came on, for instance.
Finally, naked, nothing got lost in translation. No one gave a good goddamn. Finally. So I kept doing my thing.