Who to Tell

Is there anyone more egotistical and inconsiderate than a straight man? Most of the time, the answer is no. Yet, even with this knowledge, we still find ourselves trapped by their self-centered monologues. Unfortunately, even Ryan Gee is subject to these entrapments, one of which he depicts in the following article (hint: it mainly consists of girls and sex and girls and sex).

I was being talked at a few weeks back, by a person who I know (please note the lack of the word friend), about girls and sex and love. The situation wasn’t one I could exactly walk out of, and so I had to deal with this guy for the next half hour. He handled most of the heavy lifting in the conversation, my contributions being mostly nods, “mhmm”s and “yeah”s. As with so many guys – myself included, sometimes – he seemed content to talk about himself endlessly, like he’s the most interesting person on the planet (which if you haven’t heard, he actually is!). I learned more about him than I ever needed to know, and it was information carefully gathered up and immediately dumped out of my brain. Finally, he stopped talking, and assuming his monologue had ended, I settled into the comfortable silence. 

“So,” he said.

Shit, I thought. 

“So, you’re gay, right? Are you gay or are you bi? I don’t think you told me.” 

No. No, I didn’t tell you, and I made that decision consciously. 

With my cover blown, I said that yes, I was gay. Which was pretty horrific of an experience for me. See, I’m at a point in my life where I never want to have to literally say, “I’m gay” ever again. It’s annoying and awkward, and I dread every situation where I have to specifically come out. It mostly happens when I’m talking to dumb straight boys. Boys who ask questions like, “What’s the deal with you and that girl?” The deal is that we’re friends and I’m gay and you’re stupid. 

I’m not hiding from anything; I just think having to declare your sexuality as though it’s some all-important part of you can get tiring. The goal is to slip it into casual conversation, to be super indirect about the whole thing. I promise if you talk to me for twenty minutes, I’ll say something super gay like “Artpop is Lady Gaga’s best album” or “I can’t tell any brands of car apart” or “I really love cock.” Piece by piece, I’ll drop enough hints or state it outright, and you’ll not only get my sexuality, but you’ll get plenty of other things about me too. 

But no, to this guy, the most important thing about me (the only thing he wanted to hear) was that I was gay. And now that he got it, I figured he’d drop it and stop talking to me. 

Unfortunately, this person-who-I-happened-to-be-talking-to weighed that information for a few seconds, and continued chattering about more girls and more sex only to arrive at the number of people he’d slept with, saying that he felt ‘dirty’ and ‘like a hoe’ about sleeping with what to me seemed a pretty small number. 

He looked at me, expectantly. Ah yes, ask the gay man about sex, that’s all we’re good for. I assured him that there was nothing wrong with being ‘a hoe’ and also that he wasn’t one. To prove it, I gave him my number (or at least my rough estimate). He said, “Well, it’s different for gay guys.”

Yeah, I suppose it is. There certainly seems to be a big hookup culture surrounding gay men, which is not exactly something I want to get into. Neither did he (shocker!), so rather than hearing about my nighttime exploits, he picked his monologue back up, which wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. But, considering he was pretty much a white-noise machine, I figured his droning was the quietest it was going to get. So I got comfy and settled in.

I ended up thinking back to the original (and only) question he asked me, and I realised I should have lied and told him I was straight. 

“Oh, really?” He would say, “But I heard you and—”

“Yeah, I mean, sometimes I have sex with dudes, but I’m totally straight. Like romantically.”

That would have shut him up. And then finally I would have had some long needed silence.