Monday, May 28, 2012

Use Your Inside Voice, Please...

I've heard parents say this to their children at least a million times.

Sometimes, it's apparently necessary to remind supposed adults to do the same thing; not always because they're yelling their lungs out, but because the subject matter of their conversations might not be considered proper in the presence of any of the following:

a. polite company
b. mixed company
c. children

This was the case at a barbecue that I attended yesterday.

The event was held at Tess' friend's house (we'll call her Gina), a very good friend that she has known since her high school days., and I know her, through Tess, for nearly as long.She comes from what one could describe as a super-traditional Italian family, which means two things: you're going to get fed as if this day was your last meal, and there are certain subjects which simply will not be discussed because they are -- according to the Catholic Church -- either a sin, or an abomination before God.

Which makes Gina's brother a bit difficult to explain. Because he's gay. Not a flamboyant, in-your-face kind of gay, just extra-specially effeminate. Still, he's a nice enough guy, who would do anything for you, if you simply asked. He's a gentleman, and a well-meaning and earnest sort of guy. But you can tell when you enter this home that his homosexuality -- though accepted by his family -- still stings a bit every so often. Like when you hear Gina's father mutter under his breath in Italian when he thinks no one is listening.

Anyway, Gina's Brother (we'll call him Anthony) also invited some friends for this barbecue; four other gay men, and I assume (because I don't know for a fact that she is/was) one gay woman.

Now let me say -- for what seems the 30-billionth time on this page -- I don't particularly care if anyone is gay. I have my own problems, thank you very much, and wasting energy and braincells on the sexual preferences of others seems to me to be a complete waste of effort. I don't care what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms, and I don't really care about the intimate details of most people's lives (mainly because I believe that most other people suck). So while I will not judge you harshly for being gay, I would ask that you please return my measure of tolerance with a bit of a filter, vis-a-vis the more personal aspects of your life. Keep your gay out of my face, thank you.

Most gay people, in my experience, are unable to do this. They enjoy the attention that comes from being "special". In fact, it's long been my belief that most gay people "became" gay because they have this insatiable need for attention (any kind of attention), and somewhere that addiction leads them to places where the attention is drawn simply from pure shock value. The thrill of being gay, I gather, is in the raw emotion -- often negative emotion -- that it evokes in others.

Now, I could very well be wrong, but I've associated with so many homosexuals over the course of my life that it seems evident that most would probably be straight if it weren't for the fact that they believe themselves inherently "special" in a way that others don't see. It is as if -- often despite evidence -- that the homosexual in question has always considered him/herself better/smarter/sexier/more talented than than everyone else, but nobody has ever seemed to notice, much to their dismay. Hence the often outrageous behavior and antics.

But, I digress...

Back to the part about your Inside Voice:

The first indication that it was going to be one of "those" days was when the Gays started showing up, and then self-segregating at one end of the dinner table. There were hurried introductions, and then very little socializing afterwards. Fair enough, I guess, but I can tell you that had it been different and had we "Straights" shunted "The Gays" to the end of the table and then made little to no effort to socialize, it would be considered "discrimination". I don't care if they wanted to stay among themselves, but it is considered rather poor manners to at least not try to mingle.

The Second Indication that it was going to be one of "those" days, occurred during desert. when one of the gay guests dropped this little bombshell, which I believe was intended for his gay friends only, and not  for general consumption. The only problem was that he forgot where he was, and took no precaution to lower his voice, or had no mental alarm that could tell him that this particular newsflash was not fit for mixed company. We all heard it as plain as day:

"...I get gang-banged all the time. Just this past weekend I was at ______'s house, and he was plowing me, but he must have invited some friends over without telling me, because the next thing I know, I'm getting fucked by at least four other people...I had to practically kick them off me after a while...I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me..."

I wanted to laugh, seriously, but before I could snicker I saw Gina's father -- who had also heard this -- visibly redden, storm away from the table, and go into the house where he could safely curse at the top of his lungs in Italian. From what I was able to translate for myself, he was insulted by such talk at his dinner table, and ashamed that his own son and his friends would  flaunt their homosexuality in his face this way.

When he returned from his tirade, he sat as far away from the rest of us as possible. He became, rather than host, a sentry, looking on from the perimeter. And every few minutes, he got further away from the social scene, until finally, he was watching the party below from the terrace above. You could see the hurt and anger on his face.

Anthony looked as if he wanted to cry. Gina and her mother sat there stoic, but you could see the hurt and shame in their faces, too. They may not approve of what Anthony is, but they love him just the same.They've now just been embarrassed before their other guests by her son's friend and his public pronouncement that he takes it in the ass, and often from small groups of complete strangers.

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