Posted by HIM on Thursday August 6th, 2009
Sunday morning, 2 a.m. A night of cocktails, lots of cocktails. It’s time to head home after spending too much time chatting up a (too confused) bisexual guy at 1181. No need for companionship tonight, especially confused companionship.
Damp air has coated the pavement on Davie Street with a black sheen, reflecting the traffic. The street has a split personality, both ominous and celebratory. A jacked-up black 4-by-4 with ridiculously huge tires zooms past, perhaps transporting fearful and angry homophobes to an as-yet unchosen destination. A limousine glides by, teens reaching out the sunroof and hollering greetings to the pedestrians. Pairs of handsome and horny gay guys pass by on the sidewalk, happily holding hands and chatting intensely as they head home for a tryst. Groups of happy partiers make their way to the next bar for some dancing and a final beverage or two. I feel invisible to all, yet content.
I’m overdressed: smart business wear but no topcoat, despite the cool moist weather, and much too formal for a final cocktail at Numbers. Everyone else is in blue jeans and runners, or cargo pants, pockets bulging with keys, chewing gum, cellphones, condoms and other necessities for a safe and fun evening. The braver gym boys are showing off their muscles, clad only in t-shirts, oblivious to the low clouds reflecting the streetlights and the chill in the air. I, however, am wearing a black suit, white shirt, vest and subtly striped black tie, a silver fox outfit selected to wear to an important benefit dinner earlier in the evening.
Shouting on the sidewalk near the drugstore ahead catches my attention. On my right, one young guy has another in a friendly headlock just off the curb, tussling and laughing, giving a knuckle rub to the scalp. On my left, a stunningly handsome and impossibly young beefy boy sits on the bench while another throws himself on top. Peels of laughter, and then the two roll to the side, all four feet on the bench, hugging each other and laughing. Amused at the youthful exuberance of all four of these guys, at the feigned male aggression mixed with affection, I chuckle aloud.
All eyes turn to me.
Suddenly I am encircled by these four young guys. Under most other circumstances, I would have been worried, expecting an attempt to extract my wallet, keys, cellphone and my little remaining cash, but these guys are in such a happy mood, I don’t feel any sense of threat at all. I chuckle again.
The four guys move closer, leaning in on me on all sides, hugging me. Their sweet breath warms my face and neck. I’m facing Beefy Boy, who is wonderfully broad-shouldered, with short, cropped blond hair. I’m swept away by his beautiful strong face and huge smile. If angels exist, surely they look just like this. Beefy Boy reaches forward, loosens my tie, pulls it out from under my vest, pulls my shirt-tails out of the front of my pants, laughs, and runs his hand up inside along my bare chest. He growls. Apparently some young guys still like hairy chests, and I feel rewarded for those regular trips to the gym.
Suddenly I am spun around. Now I’m facing Football Boy, at least four inches taller than me, beautiful curly black hair, classic Italian nose. His red jersey sports a huge number 10, that fantasy number of gay men of all ages. Football Boy leans very close to my face, beaming. More than a smile. Real happiness. “I’m just coming out. These are my friends, and they took me to a gay bar tonight. I went to my first gay bar tonight!”.
He leans back from our circle, and shouts, “I’m just coming out!”. All four boys cheer, the circle around me breaks up, raised hands slap each other in congratulations. There is real joy all around me. We laugh, and go our separate ways.
I am reminded of my own history, my difficulties in coming out, and glad that at least sometimes the world is a safer and more welcoming place for gay guys than it used to be. Thanks, Boys, for welcoming this Silver Fox into your coming out celebrations.
- Carl Bognar
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