Empty Restaurants With No Available Tables

Sam2000's picture

[Part 3 of "To Live Is To Survive"]

Before I started writing here I spent (wasted?) a lot of time in gay chat rooms, sometimes giving my real age, sometimes making myself 18 or whatever I felt like that day. The attention I was given pretending to be an adult was freaky and usually scary, strangers wanting personal info like my phone number, location, and penis size...and other stuff. It got to where I'd just do a intro giving that out (never using a location anywhere near where I live) and the weird questions would happen like magic.

I thought and was always told that being gay meant you were simply attracted to your own gender, and my Grandma never made it out as anything weird. Just like people have different skin shades and races, some people just have different attractions.

In the gay chat rooms I learned the truth of being gay, and most of that is still creepy to me. I would ask questions that I now know proved how little I knew about being gay, and some of the answers are simply repulsive to me even now:

Is you waist more then 30"? If "yes" you're fat, which makes you a bear, only a bear, and nothing but a bear. You must be into and idolize "real men" that have extra facial and body hair and are much older than you. A leather fetish is mandatory. Failing to agree to this means you hate yourself and now are "The Enemy". YOU WILL BE PUNISHED!!!!!

Being gay requires a strict role of giving or getting anal sex. You either get it or you give it. Any questions? Oh Pussyboy, anal sex is gross to you? You think rimming is disgusting? Fisting isn't your thing? Gay sex HURTS and you better accept that!!!! Condoms?!?!?!?!?! Is you butt going to get pregnant?

Not into Katy Perry? Glee? Musicals? Dance music? What are you...straight? You like Metallica? Iron Maiden? Ewwwww! Gross!!!!!!

You're not out???? What's the problem? You must hate yourself! What are you afraid of? Are you ASHAMED to be gay? It's 2012 and nothing bad will happen to you.

Hey you little twerp, this is a FAG chat room! Bet you can't even get hard? I didn't when I was your age! Get out of here! Go play video games! Come back when you're a MAN!!!!!!

I know what kinds of reactions I'll get from this, and I'm smart enough to expect the worst.

All I ask is that you read the rest of this journal before putting me in front of the firing squad.

If you're still reading (I hope so) my goal here is to show what the gay world looks like to me. This is what I KNOW based on my experiences, and it makes me not have much faith in my future, at least as a gay person.

The gay community has many sides, but the one that is most visible has little to do with my life as I live it, but it's what you are expected to be as an openly gay person.

Don't I have a choice?

Honestly, I don't. You're either with us or against us, either or 100% of the time, no exceptions. I see this in politics, in Church, and even among the groups that make up my interests.

As a gay outlier (thanks Nat Geo for introducing to me that term) I don't know where I belong in the larger gay culture, or even if there even is a seat at the table for me?

The shitty part of this is that I know I'm not alone here, and my struggle to me just myself is going to be a lifetime uphill battle.

My Dad has told me this.

So has my boyfriend.

So have so many others.

Some of them are dead from suicide, some are contemplating it.

All we want is to be ourselves, and be accepted.

We have PRIDE, and I know that for some attendees that's the one day of the year you can be open about being gay, but is running around in your underwear the best image for us to show the rest of the world...

The straight majority.

President Lincoln wrote that a divided house cannot stand, but we are just that, and divided we don't fall.

We just exclude.

I've experienced reaching out to local gay support groups and having the door slammed in my face for not being "gay enough". In my heart I know my physical limitations and speech trouble didn't help things, but fucking damn I'm still a person! And think whatever you want but I'm just a gay as anyone else, I'm just being myself!

Is that so bad?

I sometimes think that minority groups really don't want acceptance, and I'm saying that because one you're accepted you don't stick out as much. People look beyond their prejudices and take you as you are.

You become invisible, but people know you're there.

I'm invisible too, hiding in plain sight, but I know the truth about me.

I'm strong and I know it.

Every day of my life is a uphill battle, and I accept that.

I may not be able to get a seat at the restaurant of my choice even though it's empty, but there's other places that will satisfy my hunger. I'd like to think that as smart as the members of our community are that we'd learn to accept the outliers among us, and I won't give up on that hope.

To anyone reading this who's given up hope, don't.

You're stronger and smarter than you think you are, you just have to accept yourself as you are and find you own community.

Or even create a new one.

Just don't ever forget how it felt to be rejected by your own kind.

I never will.

Thanks,

Sam

Comments

jeff's picture

Hmm...

Not sure I would make the leap that the people you meet in online chat rooms represent the gay community. The truth is you get to find your own way. Can conforming to some parts make things easier? Of course. You're more likely to find a bunch of gay guys going to a Scissor Sisters concert than Slayer, but if you go to Slayer, know who will make fun of you? No one.

If you set yourself up as a victim, you can find lots of supposed proof that you're right, but's largely untrue.

But let's break it down:

"It got to where I'd just do a intro giving that out (never using a location anywhere near where I live) and the weird questions would happen like magic."

Yeah, gay chat rooms are weird sexual, anonymous places. That doesn't mean they represent reality. You were lying about your location, your age, and other things, and they were lying and making things up, as well.

In the gay chat rooms I learned the truth of being gay, and most of that is still creepy to me.

Actually, you only learned the truth about gay chat rooms.

Is you waist more then 30"? If "yes" you're fat, which makes you a bear, only a bear, and nothing but a bear.

There are a lot of bears, but that is a separate community, really. They have a lot of their own events, and are rather nice people. However, are the majority of gay fatties bears? No. Most are just fat and gay. And a waist over 30 isn't fat, anyway.

A leather fetish is mandatory. Failing to agree to this means you hate yourself and now are "The Enemy". YOU WILL BE PUNISHED!!!!!

Weird, I've been out 20 years now and never wore leather, dated anyone into leather, hate leather events, and seem to be fine.

Being gay requires a strict role of giving or getting anal sex. You either get it or you give it.

I know a lot of people who aren't into anal sex, and don't have it. I know people indifferent to it, who will do it if they are with someone into it. And I know people who LOVE it and can't get enough. Also, many people are versatile, but most have a preference. But, again, no one cares, do what you want. To be fair, if you aren't into anal sex, and you date someone who loves it and can't get enough? Sure, that's not going to last. But that's hardly strict.

You think rimming is disgusting? Fisting isn't your thing? Gay sex HURTS and you better accept that!!!! Condoms?!?!?!?!?! Is you butt going to get pregnant?

All nonsense. Rimming is enjoyed by some and not others, and guess what happens? The people who like it do it, and the people who don't don't. I think I only knew one couple into fisting since I've been out, so that's a pretty small population of all the gay people I've known. And, I don't know anyone who doesn't use condoms. I have never had anyone suggest we don't use them, ask if we should or not, it is usually, do you have them? If not I do. I've never heard this come up. I've heard people get high, lose their inhibitions and not care if they were safe, but that's never been my scene and it's never been someone forcing someone else to do something unsafe.

Not into Katy Perry? Glee? Musicals? Dance music? What are you...straight? You like Metallica? Iron Maiden? Ewwwww! Gross!!!!!!

While Metallica and Iron Maiden do indeed suck, again, no one cares. Plus, there's a Broadway musical *about* hair metal, and Rob Halford is openly gay now.

You're not out???? What's the problem? You must hate yourself! What are you afraid of? Are you ASHAMED to be gay? It's 2012 and nothing bad will happen to you.

Some truth to that, but it is age dependent. Like I will nag hellonwheels about coming out, since he's overdue, that wouldn't apply to someone younger or in different circumstances. If you're lying about being 18+ in the chat room, then sure, there would be more likelihood you would be out at that age. But guess what happens if you don't come out to friends, at work, to your family? Nothing. You can still date, have a gay life, etc. Once you're out of college, in your early 20s, it does start to be ridiculous and something to overcome, that part I agree with.

You're either with us or against us, either or 100% of the time, no exceptions. I see this in politics, in Church, and even among the groups that make up my interests.

Again, if you surround yourself with morons, not wanting to fit in with them is natural. But you also need to realize you're drawing conclusions from an all-moron pool. Do you see a chat room on Oasis? Do you think that's an accident? If you can't find diversity in the gay community, you aren't looking. There are gay Republicans, gay conservatives, gays in all religions, I have a friend who runs a website for gay knitters, you name it. If you keep trying to fit in with people unlike you, that isn't a lack of diversity, that is a waste of time. You have to find people who share your interests, and they exist.

As a gay outlier (thanks Nat Geo for introducing to me that term) I don't know where I belong in the larger gay culture, or even if there even is a seat at the table for me?

One imagines you became a gay outlier by spending 10,000 hours deciding how you don't fit in, as opposed to finding places where you do. Usually when people define the gay culture or the gay community, as some monolithic thing, it is to show that they don't fit in. It is usually like the definition of slut being anyone who has more sex than me, so there is no real definition, just perpetually defining something oppositional.

We have PRIDE, and I know that for some attendees that's the one day of the year you can be open about being gay, but is running around in your underwear the best image for us to show the rest of the world...

Yes, all of the people who don't go to Pride always complain how it doesn't look like them. Know why? They don't go. Yet everyone has very specific opinions about what it is, almost always untrue.

I'll let Harvey handle this one:

I've experienced reaching out to local gay support groups and having the door slammed in my face for not being "gay enough".

Without any further detail, I feel comfortable saying this is what you may have heard, but likely not what was said. Don't fall into the transgender trap of looking to be slighted every single day and then being shocked when it comes true. You're making it come true. You're presenting yourself in a way to confront people, and then being pleased when you're right. I've been involved with many groups, ran my student group at college, etc., and never ever heard of anyone having this experience. Might someone in the group joke that you're nearly straight? Sure. But how serious is it?

This journal is a good example of finding a bad place, learning from it, and drawing a bunch of untrue conclusions that you accept and perpetuate as fact. Is Oasis like this? I don't think so, yet I feel we're part of the gay community, so how can that be?

There is a lesson here, but it's stay out of gay chat rooms unless you want to have freaky, sexual discussions and meet a bunch of social misfits who talk a good game about their mythical 11 inch penises, and what fake sex they enjoy, but are really home typing on their computer and not out living a positive gay life.

That's the real lesson.

---
"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

swimmerguy's picture

Hehehe...

I laughed at your montage of things a gay must do and be, and then again at Jeff's crack about social misfits who talk a good game about their mythical 11 inch penises hehehehehehe...

Frankly, I've never much understood the whole I don't fit into the gay community thing. I mean, yeah, I guess I don't really fit into the gay community, because I don't really have that much to do with "the gay community".
I've never really thought of it that way, The Gay Community, all caps, you know?
Basically, I write on here, and I have my friends on here, and I enjoy writing on here, and when I'm offline, I talk with my friends and the people I like, and I may or may not go to pride, if I feel like it or not, or I'd go to like the Scissor Sisters or Lady Gaga if I felt like it or not, or then again to see The Wall, which I did.

Like I personally know a couple gay guys, and they're kinda bubbly, effeminate, etc, however you wanna put it, and that's not really my thing, but does it have to be? I mean, however they wanna act is fine, and I guess I don't really know what they think about me, or care.

Like this whole notion of a Gay Community that I must fit into or be an outcast, I've never really got that idea before. Like, I'm just gay, I do a bunch of regular things with regular friends, and if I ever meet some single gay guy somewhere around my age that I like, I'll date him.
I'm into some "gay things" and some "straight things", and no one cares.
I've just never really understood the whole "I'm an outcast" thing...
I don't feel like an outcast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xt5ghXdq6Z0&safe_search=on

jeff's picture

Well...

That's pretty much how most people live. Do what they want, make friends with people, enjoy their life.

Femme boys are hot, though. Chase after them!

---
"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

swimmerguy's picture

I will, Jeff

I'll do it for you

elph's picture

Well... I'm quite impressed...

...i.e., with Jeff's very reasoned, point-by-point response!

I just returned from lunch with the plan of posting something along the same line... and, voilà, there it was!

Swimmerguy's comments are equally noteworthy.

So... I'm "off the hook" and free to return to my current David Weber SF. :)

Bosemaster42's picture

Really Sam,

There are far better places to meet 'gay' people than online chat rooms and the like. You never truly know who your dealing with. I've never belonged to any groups, so it's hard for me to comment on that. I also felt like I didn't fit into the mold, if you will, but my perception was wrong due to the fact I was isolating/insulating myself from what was real. There are plenty of good gay people out there, young and older, but you have to take the chance to meet them. Hey I love metal too, and based on my own admission would seem somewhat 'Butch', but the thought of seeing myself in leather is laughable, honestly. I will say, I have actually met more gay people at metal shows/events than I thought possible.
There are people who would accept you for who you are.

Sam2000's picture

When I wrote this journal I

When I wrote this journal I was feeling really frustrated about some things, and now looking at it I think I may have been too harsh on some points? I knew this one would bring out some strong reactions but there are tons of GLBT's that feel excluded by other gays...I just wanted to write some of my experiences.

Right now I have some things going on with my new school and my family that's taking everything out of me, but I've been asked not to write about it because it's somewhat private. I have tons of stuff happening right now that I just have to keep secret for now, but if I could write about this stuff I think anyone who reads my journal would understand how my life is right now.

I've gone to PRIDE before so I think I'm safe writing about how that made me feel.

If I don't like something I won't say it sucks, I'll just say I'm not into it...if that makes me come over as cocky, fine. I can't control how people think.

Thanks,

Sam

jeff's picture

Well...

OK, but your "experiences" were based on anonymous people in chat rooms. But you said you learned the truth about the gay community as a result.

I agree that some people feel excluded by other LGBT people, and I'm not saying they don't feel this way, but that doesn't mean it's true.

I used to work out at a gym in the Castro, the gay ghetto in San Francisco, that Out Magazine named "Ground Zero for Gay Body Fascism," and I met dozens of people who said they would never work out there because everyone was so elitist and into themselves. I would always ask for examples, and they were always like "They just walk around like they are so special" and essentially a bunch of bullshit people with body images had projected onto the muscle queens, porn stars and models that worked out there.

I did something else. I would talk to them. Say hi, smile, make small talk in the water line (when we didn't all have headphones on, heh). So, when I would go, a lot of people would wave hi, offer me tips unprovoked if I was using a machine wrong, some would come over to make small talk, and some of us even started hugging hello/goodbye. They were completely supportive and delightful.

So, I would argue that the people who came in with a set of beliefs put in enough effort to confirm what they believed to be true, only it was all bullshit. They came in believing something they had heard, and did nothing but see a bunch of strangers (who came to the gym to do their work out, not make friends) working out, and decided that had proved their point.

---
"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)