Friday, May 16, 2008

A first...of sorts

AOG, Madrid

Last night I was having dinner with some friends. We spent part of the evening watching videos on youtube (on my friend's amazingly large flatscreen GE television with internet connection) and then an episode of Titty Bang Bang- the British comedy series- to mixed reviews. Paula, my Improv teacher and as of late, confidant, found some of it a bit gruesome.

In-between coffee and dessert, one of my friends asked me an odd question. I was, to say the least, surprised and slightly bemused.

"Is it true that gay men are sometimes active, or passive, or both?", my friend asked out of the blue as he took some plates into the kitchen.

I replied quickly and, I thought, without batting an eyelid. He nodded, then went back to the kitchen to do the washing up. Nothing major, just a clarification. I was, however, surprised by the question.

When he came out, the rest of us were deep into sex talk. Couples, positions, feelings, etc.

The aftershock came a few minutes later. These guys are not 12 and I would have thought that by now they would have had a chance to ask someone about this. Wrong.

After thinking about it for a while (I never said I was the sharpest knife in the drawer), I asked, innocently, if he and our other friend had any gay friends that they knew they were openly gay.

"No. Not really. There was this guy at acting class, but he left", said one.

"Like you? No, not really", said the other.

I can't say I was flattered by their comments, though they were trying to say something else other than what they were saying (body language, smiles etc etc). I was, am, their first and they are cool with that. Perhaps because I don't fit into their definition of a gay friend/man/person.

On the way back to the car I mentioned this to Paula. She was not surprised.

"Many men in Spain don't have gay friends", she said.

"Not that they are aware of", I corrected her.


She then mentioned how she herself had some now that she was an adult, and excused our other two friends for not having gay people within the circles they move in. I, again, mentioned that gay people are in all circles. And that visibility, or lack thereof, is something which I, increasingly, look out for.

She agreed.

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