“Oh look. It’s a well dressed, verbally articulate, polite, single African-American man in his mid-30s. He must be a homosexual.”…F*** you, Rochester.
Seriously, I finally found something wrong with this city. Before, I always said is it 1/3 of Baltimore in every aspect, which was a good thing: 1/3 the size, 1/3 the population, 1/3 the drive from one end to the other, 1/3 the museums, 1/3 the crime. It was the perfect scaled down version of my home town. Well, I found the one flaw: 3 times the ignorance. The public’s desire to cling to social and cultural stereotypes is messing with my love life.
Case in point: I went out to a bar here, spent an hour and three shots chatting up a young lady to the point that we were embraced, slow dancing to no music at all, and she brings her lips close to my ear and whispers, “I have a question for you: [even quieter] Are you gay?”…Really? So the fact that I’m holding you up by cupping your butt with both hands, we’ve been talking in clever innuendos for the past 60 minutes, and we’re discussing where we should go when the bar closes, but none of that tipped you off that I’m a card-carrying heterosexual? She said I was so gentlemanly and nice looking and spoke so well even drunk. Translation: “You didn’t outright grope me, you have a sense of style, and you don’t talk ‘black’”. By the way, I was only holding her bum because I mentioned how nice it was, and she invited me to “take a big grab”. No man would fault me for that, and no jury would convict me.
I chalked that incident up to that fact that she was pretty drunk: the whisper actually went like, “I have a qwishin fer yoo [burp] ‘Re yoo gay?” Then she ran to the bathroom for some heavy regurgitation, and she wouldn’t come back out. I could hear her talking to her friend, “I can’t go out there! I need to sit here! I’m so embarrassed! [BLAAARGH] Where’s my shoe?”
…OK, so my fault for even trying to talk to someone at a bar. It’s nothing but a meat market anyway. Were this misconception not an isolated incident, however, I would think nothing of it. Every month since I’ve been here, some idiot mistakes my lack of use of Ebonics, common sense in dress, and good manners as a flag for homosexuality. Explain how the fact that I don’t where ridiculously baggy overpriced clothes, speak with proper subject/verb agreement, and treat people with respect correlate to me being gay! Does the fact that I’ve been glancing at your cleavage while I think you’re not looking mean nothing? Should I have just shoved my face in there, or maybe just told you to shut up while I ram my hand up your dress while chugging Jäger Bombs? Seriously, the East Ave dude-bros, with their greased up hair and extra small Ed Hardy and Tap-Out t-shirts and extra tight jeans look gayer than me!
Me being a gay rights activist MAY be a shallow reason for anyone to think I’m a homosexual, but that is because LGBT Rights is the only social issue where people think that because you fight for them, you are automatically a part of that group. Think about it: Tony Bennett never got accused of being black when he participated in the Selma March in the 1960s. No one said that John Stuart Mill was a woman after he wrote The Subjection of Women. However, once a man speaks out for gay rights, “Oh, he’s definitely gay.” COME ON! Maybe I just have common sense, and I prefer that all Americans get afforded the same rights than for me to live in a country of hypocrites. But I digress…
I think the best part is that you ask a woman (at least the ones to whom I’d talk) what they want in a man, and they’d say, “I want someone who doesn’t dress like a slob, reads something besides the sports page, knows how to treat a woman, and can form a sentence without saying ‘f***’ or ‘like’ every three words.” The second they are approached by someone who doesn’t dress like a slob, reads something besides the sports page, knows how to treat a woman, and can form a sentence without saying “f***” or “like” every three words, they say, “Oh, but aren’t you gay?” You know what? F*** you, f*** you, f*** you! Woman, make me coffee! Beer! Chris SMASH!!!! Is that better?
This issue is a problem of the small-mindedness of a lot of Rochesticles. I don’t fit in a categorised box of what they think I should be and how I should behave, therefore I am an anomaly, and the default anomaly for some reason is “gay”. I’ll own up to being an anomaly, but it’s not because I’m gay. It’s because I’m awesome. This only happened in one other place: Watertown, or as I like to call it, the Ninth Ring of Hell. It’s smaller than Rochester, and there is much less opportunity for education and lucrative employment. I didn’t act “black” enough up there, according to many people, so I HAD to be gay. Come on Rochester. Be better than that. Be better than the frozen Cradle of Alighierian Satan. I don’t want to have to move.