Me: “Uhm, I’m sorry?”
Guy: “Ya, you hang with the ‘tight shirt, hot body’ crew”
(Cough – he just said I was skinny, marry me! – cough)
Me: “Oh… uh, thank you?” (All the while, thinking to myself, “since when did being gay involve a social hierarchy?)
If you’ve seen Mean Girls (and hopefully all of you gays have, if not, gimme your gay card) then you’re familiar with the scene where Janice draws out the social map of North Shore High. Let me refresh your memory, “You’ve got your JV Jocks, Varsity Jocks, Sexually Overactive Band Geeks, Cool Asians, the best people you’ll ever meet and the worst. Beware of the plastics.” So this is all-good in a movie plot, in Jr High, definitely HS and occasionally creeps up in the college (university for you Northerners) years. But where is the line drawn when we can drop those titles and just be who we are with the friends we have? As much as I love Regina George, I’m not sure I want to be considered a “plastic.”
Now, us gays love to put titles on the types of guys in our community, anything from bears, to jocks and daddies to twinks. But these titles, at least for me, don’t carry any sort of social status, so when someone told me that I was included in what they considered the “A-Gays,” I was intrigued. When I asked him to explain what he meant, he just said that he had always noticed my group of friends, myself included, as the people who always dressed in the latest trends, always had worked-out bodies (who me? HA), were generally very attractive, were always laughing and looking like we have the times of our lives and so on and so on. On the one hand, I was flattered that someone had noticed things like that, but on the other hand, I was confused.
So sitting at dinner in Palm Springs a few weeks ago with a group of guys we like to refer to as the “A-Gays” – defined as the smart, sophisticated, classy gays, haha. There was all of these amazing, intellectual conversations going on about Prop 8 and gay marriage and politics and all sorts of things that were way over my head – being a 23 year old gay from a small town without much of a strong view on any political topic. All of these discussions I found fascinating and for the first time left me thinking for the first time, “how can I help people see gays in a more positive light?” or “what can I do to contribute?”.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, we definitely have it better than any gay man 20 years ago and being gay is so much more accepted now days, even kind of trendy (See Glee, modern family, etc). That being said, we do have a long way to go to reach true equality, with Prop 8 just being turned down and people still being killed for being gay in some parts of the world (Won’t be rushing off to Saudi Arabia anytime soon!)