October 1999


With some people I know the phrase should be 'Why so gay?'.

It is very probable that in the quest to become comfortable with our sexuality we sometimes over-compensate on a fabulously flamboyant scale. We mince around all day singing ABBA while shopping for shoes and glittery accessories. By 'we' I mean my current boyfriend, let's call him A.

When I met A. he was as straight as a closet case could be, that is as straight as a closet case student nurse can be. He was gay but just didn't know how to pull it off with style; recently I fear that he'll be unable to pull it off with dignity. I am his first boyfriend and I know it has been a big step for him but I have been having problems with his whole gayer-than-thou attitude.

A. and I have been together for 6 months, well four months in the same time zone. While we normally reside within thirty minutes apart but for the past two months I have been at home in Trinidad, a small (minded) island in the Caribbean. The time apart has been hard with the pendulum swinging from insane jealousy to complete indifference.

A few days ago the girl I share an apartment with, P., sent me an email recounting the tales of a costume party that they attended, however this time both of them were in dresses. That freaked me out. What was my man doing in a dress? Disturbing? Yes.

Is my man a closet drag queen too? It seems some people didn't just come out of the closet, they explode. I am putting this whole barrage of emotions down to the distance factor playing with my head. My problem though is that the distance-dilemma by itself would be something of a non-event, but throw in a gay-hostile environment and it is a whole different kettle of fish (pun intended).

The Caribbean region as a whole is not known for its gay-friendly status. Many of you may remember the extravaganza a few years ago with a gay cruise ship (how apt!) not being allowed to dock because sodomy is still a criminal act. Trinidad is almost the same, though changing, slowly.

I am out to my closest friends down here, but that does nothing to stave the paranoia. I have seen many an after-club beating of a suspected gay and I think the whole fear issue has turned me into something of an anti-fag. Lately my head has been full of proposed life plans of not being gay, getting married and being somehow normal-a long time dream of many of us. These insecurity issues are being inflated by the fact that I have decided to tell my mother about my lifestyle choice within the next week; A. arrives on the 3rd of September.

On meditating over the subject, while seated under a fluffy pink crystal pyramid, I have come to an obvious conclusion:

Long distance relationships are not for me, this has been the strangest few months. It has left me dreading A.'s arrival on this hostile turf. Though it is much easier said than done try to look at things objectively in a long-distance situation. The fact that he was in a dress is probably nothing worth fretting over, though I will continue to monitor the situation.

Being in a gay-hostile environment can alter our confidence in our once concrete sexual identity, be strong, or at least think about it properly before saying something stupid.

It is difficult getting to know someone when he is only beginning to know himself, tread carefully.

Comments or flaming arrows to: Jaimito@yada-yada.com

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