I’m pretty gay-friendly when sober, but if you are gay and happen to be around me when I am drunk, I would like to apologize in advance and forewarn you that this is what you are likely to experience:
- At some point, and without provocation, I will confide in you that I have a really lax attitude towards gay people. “No seriously,” I’ll assure, “I like gays.”
- “I just want you to know that I support your rights,” is probably going to come up at least once.
- I’ll joke that I support gay marriage, but that I’m staunchly against gay divorce. We’ll both laugh. Although you’ll be laughing from pity, and I’ll be laughing because I was sure it was a great joke.
- I will take you on a magic carpet ride of all of the gays who have appeared in my life throughout the years. I’ll unfurl a glorious rainbow tapestry and discuss:
a) That poor guy in junior high school that we used to tease, and how badly I felt later in life to think about how we made him miserable, and will you, a gay person, please forgive me so I can stop feeling badly and stop overcompensating while drunk?
b) The nice girl who advocated for gay people in high school in spite of how much flak she received.
c) The math tutor relative who always showed up at Thanksgiving with his [cough cough] “roommate” Gary, and how it always seemed to me that Gary had been tricked into being homosexual. Does that ever happen?
d) The first gay male co-worker I ever had and how it made me feel.
e) The second gay co-worker who helped me to not feel weird around gay people.
f) The first time I ever hugged a gay man.
g) The co-worker everybody thought was gay because he had a tight body, never talked about girls and would go on tropical vacations with his “homeboys.”
h) The weekly Carl’s Jr. dates I had with a gay man for about a month, completely by accident.
i) The lesbian I dated.
j) Tales of The Vamp: a former co-worker who systematically destroyed heterosexual men’s sexualities as sport, and had the photographs to prove it.
- After we meet all of my ghosts of homos past, I will spontaneously pause to remember the gayest person I have ever met and then inject it into our conversation. Maybe something like, “Boy, yeah, speaking of shrimp cocktails, who was the gayest person I’ve ever met? I met Rip Taylor once! Boy is HE gay or what? Do you ever see him in the clubs?”
- Now seems like a good time to tell you about the times in my life when gay guys flirted with me. I will probably say something very magnanimous like, “I was surprised at first, because it doesn’t happen too often, but I realized that it was very flattering! I mean, if a gay man is hitting on me, that’s pretty good, right? [awkward laughter]”
- I may even get into a drunken argument with a stranger to defend your gay honor, and I’ll do it very loudly so that you can hear that I was there for you.
- “Who the hell do you think you are calling him a name? You don’t call people that. We live in America, asshole. You will be accepting of him or you can leave America, got it jerk?!”
- “Hey relax, buddy, you misunderstood me. I said ‘Hey, look over there, it’s Bob Saget.’ Bob Saget is at the bar. Relax.”
- “I don’t care WHO is at the bar, you don’t call my friend names, okay? He is human and American — he’s Human-American and he has rights like his CIVIL RIGHTS!”
You know how excited you might get when you get a new black friend? Because maybe you haven’t had a black friend in a while and you’re really looking forward to it working out because everybody needs a black friend? And you want so much for the black person to accept you back, so you ham it up by trying to identify with the person and playing all of your black cards, as the case may be? You talk about The Jeffersons and Sanford and Son and maybe you afford yourself the liberty to talk a little more “street” than you ordinarily would. You might say “DY-NO-MITE!” a lot and even sing the Living Single theme song just to be entertaining. I have a similar level of excitement about gay people when I’m drunk. I assure you, my heart is in the right place, I do believe in the goodness of the gays and I just want to be friends. Anyway, I felt I should give you fair warning in case you are gay and in case you ever have the grave misfortune of being located anywhere in my vicinity when I am drunk.
[c] 2009 Russ of America
To help you relate to your black friends a little better.
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