This is my newest love letter. A love letter to the modern straight man.
In decades past I hid my sexuality, somehow making my homo nature painfully evident the more I tried. I freaked out when I’d meet a ‘manly man’ who still had a limited view of the world. Yet it was me who chose not to give him more perspective, too nervous of what he might say. He did have the upper hand, after all. So I’d watch every gesture I made as if viewed under a microscope, and avoided getting too drunk for fear my ‘gay’ would slip out.
And then there was the workplace. Who do I tell? Do I bring it up? Should I let colleagues work it out in their own time? I stepped through the minefield of carving a place for myself that felt safe within a company .
But I was okay with that. I somehow could charm the straightest of men to eventually see me as a person, and not as a homosexual.
In those years, letting out the ‘gay’ was a relief in clubs and bars. We gathered as a tribe to let ourselves be a bit girly during the huge dance party scene of the 1990’s. A decade before the only visibility came from gay men making no apologies for their look. Think Boy George and David Sylvian. Pretty boys like Mel Gibson (hard to think of him as a sex symbol now) and Tom Cruise popped into our fantasies.
And now we’re Post Metro-sexual. A tattooed straight man can wear designer glasses. A bushy beard sits well with a trendy haircut. The line between straight and gay has been blurred.
But what I like most is the change in the modern gay man, thanks to the open minded straight man. We’ve found our male side, and we’re lovin’ it! We can drink a beer if we choose to. We can hang out in sloppy clothes with our mates.
And for those younger than myself, sex is not an adventure needed to help you find your sense of self. It’s a new frontier, where boundaries are being pushed, and acting masculine with your partner(s) is the reward for being a man having sex with men.