Written by Mitchell Jordan.
Before our first — and final — date, the French man whom I’d been chatting to for the past 48 hours offered some comforting words to help calm my nerves.
“At the very least,” he assured, “we can still be friends.”
Possibly he meant well, but this flimsy promise made me realise I was already in trouble. I mean, who uses “least” and “friend” in the same sentence, as if acquiring someone to spend time with in a non-sexual manner is some sort of pathetic consolation prize?
Sadly, he’s not alone in this assumption.
In my bedroom, I have journal after journal filled with pages of yearning for people who disappeared, never to return, to come back or at least explain why they left. (To his credit, at least the French man was honest enough to let me know that “you are not the one for me.”) My words for all the others read a lot like heartbreak, even though they were written in memory of gay men I’d never so much as kissed.
I’ve spent my whole adult life trying to make friends with other gays, only to feel just as alone and outcast as I did as a bookish thirteen-year-old in a sport-obsessed, country high school. No one likes being rejected, but it’s certainly harder when the door is closed by somebody who promised you that they aren’t judgmental, and pride themselves on escaping the vexatious shallow stereotypes that have long plagued, and to some extent been perpetuated by, the gay community…