Dear Man at the Swimming Pool/Locker Room,
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Now listen up buster. Yes, I’m gay (surprise!, high-pitched giggle) and that means I’ve got Gaydar—good Gaydar. In fact, I’ve got the Raytheon of Gaydars. Show me satellite imagery, TV reruns, or a police line-up and I will pick out who is and who isn’t. I’m so damned good, I knew Mr. Brady was gay before he did, and that’s when I was 6 years old. I get on the subway and in 3 seconds I’ve identified every homo commuter trying to look glamorous and all the ones that are trying to hide it. I meet married men everyday who set my little gay-ger counter beeping away. And like some unoriginal plot, I find out I’m right every time.
So, set me straight (figuratively). We run into each other at the pool fairly often, and have gotten to know one another like guys do when they hang out in a locker room. You enter wearing mod, all-black European business suits. Then you change into your super sheer, almost-not-there, lycra swimsuit that’s a cross between boxer briefs and just plain brief. You swim delicately and point your toes. You’re the only man not to close his shower curtain. You’re the only man not to cover up his dick in the steam room. In fact, you flaunt him by spreading your legs wide open. You take 10 minutes to rub yourself dry and spend an inordinate amount of time drying between your legs. You chat with me while I dress hurriedly, and despite my being happily partnered and secure, blah, blah, etc., I find myself fighting a glowing erection due to your yanking yourself in front of me. You never rush to get dressed, which means you have to jiggle your weenie back and forth from the water fountain to the sink to the scale to the shower and back to your locker.
If that ain’t enough, you freakin’ work for the National Endowment for the Arts, which is gayer than the French Embassy in June. Pause. But you know what, even if I was to look beyond all that superficial stuff—the queer eye wardrobe, the pinup swimsuit, the exhibitionism, the voice (did I mention the voice?), your career, and the penis pulling (none of which is exclusively gay)—and just closed my eye and trusted my Jedi Gaydar . . . well, you still come up G-A-Y as in Queen, Fruit, Fag, Poof, and so on. Yes, Gaydar always sniffs out a queen and lets me know about it.
So, imagine my surprise when you nonchalantly informed me—in a cloud of steam and whilst lying down on your back buck naked—that you and your girlfriend did such and such this weekend. And I’m thinking like Will & Grace girlfriend, but NO, you keep on telling me all about her and how you’re together and how she’s so sweet.
In retaliation for your blatant lie, I talk openly to you about my partner and how he’s great. And then, like a scared little girl you jump up, hiding weewee between legs, and go tearing out of the steam room, far away from the faggot. Then you give me the silent treatment (?) like we’re best friends in junior high, and then a few months later you’re telling me how you’re engaged and all planning your wedding.
So I give up—you win. You’re straight. It’s my gaydar that’s broken, not yours. Just please let me fix it and get on with my life. You screwed it all up and made it malfunction wildly, but gaydar’s really important—it’s a gay guy’s best friend (even better than introspective, masochistic, overweight females). So if you’re straight, just start acting like it. I need to get back on track, and as long as you’re prancing your straight self in front of me, it ain’t gonna happen.