I’m a guy. I like guys.
And you know what’s worse than when another guy who likes guys tells me he’s not interested? When a guy who likes girls tells me he’s not interested.
Let me flash back a little. Last spring, I found myself climbing a mountain with a few other guys and girls all roughly my age. Sa-weet!, right? Yes, sa-weet indeed. Then I found myself in the bathroom. And another guy from my hiking group happened to be in there as well.
A bathroom is a man’s shrine. It’s that one place where he holds intimate conversations with himself and his bowels. The sound of shit passing through his stomach and dropping into the commode and the sound of a good heave after a good shit are sounds that are best coupled with silence and nothing else. But enter this other guy from my hiking group.
I hadn’t been eyeing him at all. In fact, I was oblivious to him until an instance arose in which he responded, “If I’m a girl, does that mean I can flirt with you?” when I, in a burst of fake bubbliness, squealed “Hey girls!” to a group of girls and him.
But you see, now imagine two men in adjacent stalls, both concentrating on expelling the contents of their stomachs into the commode. Now imagine the silence. Awkward stillness. Imagine the guy who was, hours earlier, joking about flirting with me, asking me if I was into men.
Now this was when I was in the infancy of my bisexuality. I was still, for the record, bi-curious. But then I started adding things up in my head. Perhaps he was hitting on me. Wait, this guy is hitting on me? Wow! Suddenly, I started looking at him in “that way” – that specific way reserved for looking at potential significant others or one-night stands. For this, I retracted my “No” and said “Kinda, sorta.”
Of course, when asking for a follow-up the next day, this guy told me, “Well… it was a joke.”
When asking for a follow-up months later because, ladies and gentlemen, sometimes the heart has problems letting go, he told me, “It’s a case where I felt you weren’t opening up to me or anyone really so I wanted to get to know you. So I asked you a fast question in a weird situation.” Cunning, really.
I’ve told a few of my friends (gay men and straight girls alike) about this anecdote and the consensus has been that this guy is desperately in the closet and in denial of the slightest possibility that he might be interested in the opposite sex.
There never was closure. Afraid of any kind of remote substantial friendship or something, this fella ran as fast as fast could possibly run. So now, in the off-chance I have a run-in with him, my heart flutters and then falls low enough to pierce the center of the earth.
And now, let’s relate all of this back to the question on hand: Why shouldn’t straight men mislead gay men?
In all fairness, this guy probably did not intentionally play with me, so much as act on his own fears of homosexuality. Perhaps he’s a closet-case. Perhaps he’s a homophobe. I have no idea.
I just know this: never ask a horny gentleman if he likes men while in the bathroom. The situation has “messy” written all over it — whichever way you choose to interpret it.