Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Days That I'm Not Gay

I had occasion yesterday to visit my old law firm in downtown Salt Lake City. The receptionist immediately recognized me. Well, actually, she didn't. She said as I walked up to the counter, "Man, I had to take a double take when you got off the elevator. For a minute I didn't recognize you! You've lost so much weight! Wow, you look great!" She was all smiles. I always liked her.

I realized as I was standing there as she notified the person I was there to see that it was Birthday Treat Day. One day a month, all the birthdays of firm employees are recognized on one day, and pies, cakes or other treats are brought into the lunch room for everyone in the firm. Lawyers and secretaries were descending the stairs and passing by. I saw several lawyers I knew and had formerly worked with. They were all cordial. Some of them looked at me as if to say, "Man! You don't look like the same person that used to work here." 

It was only later that I realized. I had been wearing a short-sleeve blue dress shirt (no tie) and slacks. I hadn't even thought about it. My bracelets were plainly visible. Like big time. And they are, well, kinda gay-ish. When the realization came to me, I stopped for a moment, then shrugged and continued with what I was doing.

Then came the other realization: there are actually whole days that go by when I don't even think about the fact that I'm gay. I'm just me. Going through my day. Actually, there are times when several days might pass and I don't think about the fact that I'm gay. Then I thought, "That's cool." I mean, it would never occur to the vast majority of straight people to be conscious of the fact that they're straight. That would be silly, right? 

Yet for most of the time since coming out, I have been very conscious, day by day, that I am gay. I have wondered what people would think of me, whether they could tell, etc., etc. But I'm gotten over a lot of that. Now, I'm just me. And me happens to be gay.

Loving Mark seems to me to be the most natural thing in the world. I rarely think about the fact that I'm embracing or kissing a man or holding his hand (and the times I do are usually when we're in public and we are more conscious of other people). It doesn't occur to me. Again, it seems totally natural. 

That's what so many people unfortunately don't get. They call it "unnatural," when actually, it's the most natural thing in the world - particularly when one starts with how two people feel about each other rather than starting with a whole boat load of cultural, religious and sexual baggage.

I'm grateful for the days that I don't feel "gay" because those are the days when I am truly in touch with and living who I am. 

Life is good.

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