My stepsister, Elizabeth, has been accepted into the Peace Corps. I didn’t find out about it until a little more than a week ago—obviously I had known that she was trying to get in, but I hadn’t known she’d actually been accepted.
So the point that I found out she was going was just over a week ago, when I got an invitation to her going away party. So that’s nice. The only un-nice thing about it was its location, which was where my other stepsister lives, in Esperance, New York (way out there in upstate New York, about three hours from my location here in Connecticut and about two and a half from my parents’ place in Vermont). So there was a pretty hefty drive out to the party.
I went to the party in a caravan with my parents, and my sister and brother-in-law. We got out of the cars, unloaded Liz’s clothes and such, and went into the party. I happened to walk with with my brother-in-law, Dan. All in all, it was a pretty innocuous entrance. I said hello to the people that were there.
It wasn’t until later on that the strangeness started, or rather, that the news of the strangeness got to me. Apparently, Liz’s mother, who hasn’t seen me in years, saw me walking in with Dan and apparently assumed that he was my boyfriend.
I’ll repeat that, because it bears repeating.
She thought that my sister’s husband was my significant other.
I could sort of understand something like this, if it was somebody who hadn’t known me for twenty years. In fact, I’m actually quite used to people thinking that I’m gay, at least when they first meet me. It’s apparently quite common. Which, I suppose, leads me to the question that is the whole point of this entry:
Why is it that people seem to enjoy making the assumption that I’m gay?
I accept the fact that I am hardly the “typical” male. I’m not big into sports, I don’t mind talking about my feelings, I’m a performer (always a sign of the Queer), I have lots of gay friends. But the last time I checked, there’s only one thing that constitutes a gay male, and that is a desire for the same sex. And the last time I checked, I lack that qualification.
The strangest thing is that I would expect somebody who was practically family to know me the best (well, not as well as people who actually were family, but you get my point). The fact that Kathy saw me walk in with another guy and automatically made the assumption that he was my boyfriend means that she was already predisposed to thinking it. I get that this is all modern times and everything, but most people don’t think “Oh. They’re gay” when two guys walk into a room together, unless they have some reason to think so. So what is it? What is it that makes people—apparently the people that are even supposed to know me—assume that I’m batting for the other team?
I would make the suggestion that maybe this is why I haven’t had a girlfriend in forever, except for the obvious everybody-knows-this fact that women loooove gay guys.