Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Gay Man Comes Out Of Closet As A Heterosexual
What follows is my interview with Sam.
Me: Sam, when did you first realize you were gay?
Sam: It happened at a very early age. My parents were very progressive. They were ahead of their time. They had a solar-powered sundial. My dad tore out all of our grass and replaced it with astro-turf to save water and not pollute with the mower. We were partial vegetarians. We only ate meat four days a week. My mother used to bake a lot too. She made these brownies that she never let me eat. I could have all the cookies I wanted, but she always told me to stay away from the brownies. Maybe she thought I was allergic to nuts.
Anyway, when I was about two years old, my mother dressed me up in a dress and a frilly bonnet. Because I didn't fuss, she had a revelation that I was either gay or a transvestite. For about six months she dressed me like a girl. Eventually, I hated the lace bloomers and she realized that I wasn't a transvestite and that I was, in fact, gay.
Every night, she'd serenade me to sleep by singing Barbara Streisand songs. They gave me a headache, but I enjoyed the time with my mother.
Mom bought me Barbie dolls and Ken dolls. I played with both. Since I played more with Ken than Barbie, mom was sure I was gay. And she was so proud of me.
Whenever we went anywhere, she announced that I was Sam, her gay son. It raised a lot of eyebrows and got some hushed remarks from the other room, but most people seemed to accept it.
I was five and I remember being enamored with Hillary Clinton and her pants suits. I always put pants on Barbie.
[We just got a call from Sam's mother. He told her about the interview and she was livid that he was using a silly fake name like Sam. She insisted that Sam use a more appropriate fake name. Sam agreed to be called Renaldo, then hung up.]
Renaldo: Mr. Blazic, do you mind if you call me Renaldo for the remainder of the interview? My mother insists.
Me: Sure Sam, I mean, Renaldo.
Renaldo: Thank you. ....ah.... My mother noticed that I couldn't take my eyes off of Hillary Clinton. She bought me pant suits just like hers. I wore those for about three years. No jewelry, just the pant suits.
Me: What was it like when you went to school?
Renaldo: At first it was tough. On the first day, my mother took me into the new school and announced to the class that my name was Renaldo and I was gay and I was looking to make as many new friends as possible. Most of the kids snickered, but I didn't care. At that point I was used to my mother's introductions.
Me: So what happened next?
Renaldo: Well, at lunchtime, several of the boys spit on me and called me a fag. But there was a small group of girls from liberal households that felt sorry for me and they took me under their wing.
It was cool. We shared lunches together, I did their hair and they taught me how to jump rope. I became the queen of Double Dutch.
One day my mother saw me jumping rope and thought that I should take ballet lessons. After about six months, my teacher said I looked like an epileptic on a pogo stick and should quit. Mom enrolled me in drama classes.
Me: And how did that go?
Renaldo: At first it wasn't bad. Over time I discovered that I couldn't act. So I wound up playing a lot of inanimate objects. I was a fire hydrant, a tree, a billboard, a shopping cart and a Volkswagen Beetle - my hardest role. I did well in all of those rolls, but something didn't seem right. Eventually, I quit drama.
Me: Did you still hang out with the girls?
Renaldo: Oh yeah. Since I was gay, none of the girls felt threatened by me. By the time I was 10, one asked me to attend a sleep-over with a bunch of other girls. When that happened, there was the obligatory phone call between the parents to make sure everything was going to be alright. My mom called the girl's parents and immediately told them I was gay and that I'd show up with a bunch of cookies and some caramel corn. I wanted to take brownies, but my mother scowled at me and said that cookies and caramel corn were perfect.
At the sleep-over, I had a great time. I started to learn the art of gossip and calling boys and hanging up, then giggling. The girls wanted me to call a boy, but there weren't any that I was interested in, so I called the weather and told the female recording that she was a nasty bitch. All the girls howled.
As time went on, I went to more and more sleep-overs. All the girl's parents knew me. Being gay, they felt their girls were safe. Then there was that.... there was that... Oh, it's hard for me to talk about it.
Me: Go ahead Renaldo. You can tell me.
[Right then we got a call from Renaldo's ex-roommate. He gasped when Renaldo told him about the interview. He was ready to throw a hissy if Renaldo kept using that ridiculous name. He demanded that Renaldo be referred to as Huggy Bear, otherwise, he was going to burn all of Renaldo's clothes and use his Melissa Etheridge CD's as frisbees. Renaldo snapped his cell phone shut and turned to me.]
Huggy Bear: Mr. Blazic, I'm so sorry. That was my ex-roommate and he's in quite a tither. He's going to burn all of my clothes and destroy some of my property unless you refer to me as Huggy Bear.
Me: I can do that. I'm flexible. Huggy Bear, when we were interrupted, you were at a very emotional moment. Do you want to continue on that thought? You don't have to if you don't want to.
Huggy Bear: No, I'll be fine. Just let me catch my breath for a second.
Me: Sure, no problem. Do you want some water or coffee?
Huggy Bear: Water is fine. Thank you.
Me: Are you ready to continue?
Huggy Bear: Yes. What I was about to tell you was something that happened at one of the sleep-overs, and it really scared me. While we were playing a board game, I could not take my eyes off of this girl, Miranda. She had long, dark brown hair and big beautiful brown eyes. She was one of the first girls to be developing in the group, if you know what I mean. I just couldn't take my eyes off of her.
When it was time to go to sleep, I had her face burned in my mind. And that's when it happened. It, ah... It, ah...
Me: Huggy Bear, what happened?
Huggy Bear: Oh, it's so hard for me to talk about this, but while I was dreaming about Miranda, I started to.... I started to... ah...
Huggy Bear: I started to feel a tightness in my underwear. I didn't know what to do. I tried to dismiss it as a reaction to my cotton briefs being too tight. For about ten minutes, I laid there, scared out of my mind.
Me: Then what happened?
Huggy Bear: I switched to boxers. But that only made things worse. At the next sleep-over, I was again fixated on Miranda. Now, what was going on in my underwear was free to roam.
Me: So what did you do?
Huggy Bear: I managed to get through it alright. When the girls went in the kitchen for ice cream, I had to stay behind until the swelling went down. After that I made up my mind I wasn't going to let that happen again. I started wearing three jock straps, tight cotton briefs and a pair of European Speedos. Not even Miranda could make me bust through that.
But for the first time in my life, I started to wonder if I really was gay.
Miranda moved away the next summer and I went into high school.
Me: How did that go for you?
Huggy Bear: It wasn't too bad. My mother sent me to an all-boys private school, thinking it would help me when I wanted to date. She was going to send me to an all-boys Catholic school, since we were Catholic. But the Catholics condemned homosexuals and my mother lost it. She ditched the Catholic Church and joined a New Age religion. We worshiped a piece of bark for three years.
At school, I joined the Gay Intramural Chess Club. There were only two of us in the club, so I got to play every match.
Socially, life was a disaster. My mother felt I needed to see a musical. We went. I don't even remember the name of the play. But I vomited after the first act.
[Huggy Bear's phone rang again. It was a friend of his. He said that he got a tip that INS was rounding up illegals. And since Huggy Bear was smuggled into the country by his parents, his friend said he had to use a more American sounding name. They agreed on Franklin Escobar.]
Franklin: Mr. Blazic, I hate to do this to you again. But could you call me Franklin?
Me: At this point, I really don't care. So go on with your story.
Franklin: High school proceeded without too much drama. There was the usual taunting and derogatory comments and a few times I got beat up for being gay, but I survived.
When high school came to an end, I went to the Gay Prom. There were only five of us. We held the prom behind the field house past the football field. We built a fire and listened to show tunes on a boom box. We also had smores made with imported dark chocolate, marshmallows, a touch of cinnamon and basted with Bailey's Irish Creme on graham crackers. One of the guys brought beef braised in a delicate red wine sauce. We spent most of the night ranting about the poor color selections used in the classrooms at the school and the worst dressed teachers. We were glad to get out of that garish environment.
Me: Did you go to college?
Franklin: Yes, and that is when everything changed for me.
Me: In what way?
Franklin: I was still hanging out with all the gay guys, but I didn't want to date anyone.
Then a bunch of the guys got into gay porn. It freaked me out. I knew at some point I wanted to sit down in my life and it didn't look like I'd be able to if I had a fling with one of the guys. I tried to put sex out of my mind.
On weekends we'd have Will & Grace marathons and I found myself slipping away to a sports bar. I really wanted to watch football on Sunday.
Me: So you could sense something wasn't right?
Franklin: Yes. I wanted beer, not Chardonnay. I wanted to go to Red Lobster and not eat sushi.
My mother kept calling, "Are you dating anyone?" NO! I found myself drinking a lot. So I dropped out of college and moved back home. Then something miraculous happened. I ran into Miranda at the mall. Her dad had been relocated back to our town. I couldn't be happier.
Me: So you started dating her?
Franklin: Not at first. But within a few months I couldn't control what was going on in my pants. I had to have her. And I knew that I couldn't keep living a lie. So I went home and told my mother, "I'm NOT GAY!" Mom was crushed. She knelt in front of that piece of bark for hours, praying for me to come to my senses.
Me: So what happened next?
Franklin: Well, I had to come out to my friends. I knew it would be tough, especially after I borrowed $200 from Ricki to buy a pair of leather chaps.
But I got the courage to unleash my secret. I got everyone together at my mother's house and sat them down. I said, "Guys. I have some news and it has nothing to do with how good the chaps fit." Everyone looked perplexed, because they thought the chaps were just fantastic and I should own that look for a while. "Guys. I have a secret." A hush came over the room and all eyes were riveted on me. "Guys. I don't know exactly how to put this, but... but... I LIKE GIRLS!" A collective, "Ewwwwwww" sneered back from my friends. "I'm serious. I like girls and I want to have sex with one." OMG, OMG, OMG... text messages started zipping out of the house. "Franklin is STRAIGHT, OMG, OMG, OMG."
After about thirty minutes of questioning, my friends began to believe that I was straight and that there was no way they were going to change that.
Eventually, I got a group hug and a few kisses on the cheek. "We'll miss you Franklin Huggy Bear Renaldo Sam Escobar."
I was relieved. So relieved.
Me: So what happened after that?
Franklin: I got laid, what do you think? And it was fucking fantastic.
Franklin abruptly grabbed his jacket and shot out of the coffee shop. I guess he had a booty call waiting.
And that is how a gay man comes out of the closet a heterosexual.
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