Saturday, August 02, 2003

So our gang, the ten of us who have dinner each week and do lots of other things together like going to Busch Gardens or bowling in tournaments in Raleigh and D.C. or having Christmas parties, consists of eight gay men and a married (heterosexual, since we ain’t in B.C. or Ontario or Scandanavia) couple. I’d like to draw your attention to the man in said couple, and not for the (stereo)typical reasons.

Steven is an absolute gem, the proverbial diamond-in-rough, a marvel of a straight boy. [In his late 20s, he’s a full five years younger than the youngest of the rest of us.] He’s married to Jenn, which you would think would tend towards making him more tolerant than your average straight Navyboy off the bat – and you’d be right. But there’s so much more to it than that. What I find most fascinating is the role/place he holds in our gang. It’s not as if we only embrace him because we embrace his wife, oh no. He’s our mascot.

Yes, I said mascot, and here’s what I mean by that: in some ways, he’s the one we all love the most fiercely, because we’re all rather protective of him. Steven knows that none of us would ever dream of laying a finger on him in an untoward manner (and if we did, we’d have the rest of the gang to deal with), and on those rare occasions when we’re out en masse and another ‘mo tries to do so, it’s made very clear, very quickly, that that is not how we do things. We respect Steven’s sexuality the way he respects ours – and he’s even, amazingly (well, I find it amazing from a Navyboy in his 20s) taken to kissing us goodbye and hello on the lips, as the rest of us do with each other. Now, that’s a straight man awfully confident and secure in his sexuality.

I don’t know if Steven knew many, if any, openly gay men before he came our way; I’d guess not (not that it matters an iota). Now here he is, thrust into a situation where gay men (eight of us, no less) are pretty much his entire social circle. I wonder if he ever contemplates how that came to be. Interesting, too, is the fact that in his daily life (i.e. work), he seems to be fairly an Alpha dog, with a decently dominant personality. Amongst the gang, however, he’s most certainly not; if anything, I think he tends to acquiesce to us from time to time.

We love him dearly, and he’s ours. [No offense, Jenn; I assume you know what I mean.] I think every group of gay pals should have one token straight boy – they often tend to make things more interesting, and are good with grilling. [Grin.] Not to mention that straight men who hang with gay men know where it’s at. Well, except if they’re hanging with those of us in dire need of Queer Eye for the Gay Guy. And even then, we’re generally at least a little bit clued in – even me (right, Stumpy?).

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