I’ve written about how I feel about being gay from a variety of different angles before, from the more traditional coming-out story to the the hints of the Early Gay Crushes series, or how I’m somewhat uncomfortable with comforming to gay stereotypes, even though I use them myself to navigate. But there is one thing that’s more important than any of these when it comes to what kind of gay I am, and that has to do with how I talk to other people about my gayness.
Like pretty much every person in the world, and especially anyone who writes a blog, I love to talk about myself, and thus I would like for people to talk to me about this stuff (at least some part of me continually hope that I have more closeted gay friends than I know, heh). But still, every time anyone make a reference to my being gay, I find it slightly uncomfortable, because I’m no longer necessarily in charge of where this very personal conversation is going. On the one hand I guess I’m still not past the point where I want the whole world to know, but on the other hand I don’t want that information to make them see me in a different way.
These reflections came to me when I incidentally caught a rerun (season three, episode nine) of Weeds the other day. During season three it is revealed (minor spoiler ahead) that Sanjay (played by Maulik Pancholy), one of Nancy’s dealers, is gay. A scene in which the Botwin family and associates discuss their dealing policies, perfectly captures my own attitude toward other people about my gayness. Nancy has just given Sanjay his instructions when he adds:
And gay bars and dance clubs, ’cause I’m a fag***. I can call myself that, but you can’t, ’cause I’m gay and you’re not. I’m not ashamed. This is who I am.
The ‘I’m not ashamed. This is who I am‘ part is probably added as some sort of joke about the correctness of it all, but to me it carried some significance still. Having been out to everyone for more than two years now, I still have to tell myself that if I don’t want this to be a big deal for my friends, then it shouldn’t be a big deal for me either. In the next moment, Sanjay’s sudden need to re-introduce himself comes to life again, as he blurts out that he’s gay to Nancy’s son Silas (played by the incredibly attractive Hunter Parrish, who currently rests at #3 on the Sexiest Males Alive list). I imagine I would have done pretty much the same thing, just not nearly as confidently.
People who think they might be gay are often told that it’s just a phase. I’m well past that. The phase that’s not talked nearly as much about, but it implies that you actually are gay, and that you neither can nor want to change that, is what happens after you realize you’re gay. I’m talking after the coming out process, about learning to live a gay life without the need to defend yourself against what you think others might think of you, or perhaps just as important, what you think of yourself. Let’s call it the Life is gay. So am I phase. Weeds doesn’t give out the answers, but in a way it made me understand myself better.