Being Straight Is So Gay

*update: download the
audio version of this post

I know that we're supposed to keep personal and professional separate. But sometimes my judgement is off and I act without thinking. I blurt out things that have no place in decent conversation. Usually when drinks are free.

Last week my company held a happy hour event at a local pub. And without much forethought — when do I ever do anything with forethought — I revealed to my coworkers something very personal.

After my third margarita (they were out of appletinis) and a few new friends, somebody mentioned that they were surprised to see me so relaxed and outgoing. "You always look so serious." I figured that while we were surprising people, why not up the ante and drop a bomb? So I told them as plain as possible, "Yeah but you know what's even crazier? I'm actually straight." Everyone laughed. For a while. "No. Seriously. I am." The music screeched to a halt as the room fell hush.

I didn't think it was a big deal. I surely didn't expect it to be an issue the next day at work. Until I saw Dale. Dale is definitely gay. He's like their mascot. But he's also extremely... I'll be nice and just say 'bitchy.'

Since Dale is the office supply guy, it's smart to be on his good side in case of a stapler emergency. So yeah- I flirted with him a little bit. I'm not ashamed: I'm a stationary whore. Or is it stationery? Eh. Either way.

"Jozeph! Jozeph! Get over here, girl. What iz this I hear? Ssssomebody said you came out of the cave. Tell me it's just a cruel joke."

"Well, Dale... It's sorta true."

"Whaaaat?! I don't get it. What about our talks? No, no. I don't buy it. No straight guy is that good at doing the dances from Footloose. No hetero could pull that off. Admit that you were hitting on me. I can always tell a straight guy and you are NOT one. My Stra-dar is never wrong."

"Actually, I find the term 'hetero' to be offensive. And I wasn't hitting on you. I was just trying to make you laugh."

"Trying to make me laugh? That's the most disgusting thing I've ever heard. I feel so used. I want my face scrub back."

I expected this from people too obtuse to get to know me. But not my friends. I decided to talk to a coworker I felt close to.

"Hey, Margot. Can I talk to you for a second?" (Seriously, who names their kid Margot?)

She seemed hesitant and approached me soaked with apprehension. "Uh, yeah. What's up." Her eyes avoided my gaze like a deer being chased by an offended straight guy.

"Is everything alright around here? Lately people have been... weird."

"Joe. The thing is... everybody's kind of freaked out by what you said at the bar last night. I know you and I are sorta friends, it's just..."

"Just what? Sorta friends? I mean — you're the one who said, 'Boy, if only you were straight.' So... ? I am!"

She looked disgusted with herself. I've seen this look on women before. "Yeah... I know. But that was gay-you being straight. That was exciting. Straight-you being straight? That's just so... so boring."

I was stunned. I had clearly misjudged our closeness. And her sanity. But she kept going: "So I guess I won't be setting you up with my brother?"

"I don't know. Does he have any intelligent sisters?"

"Um... I don't think so? I'll have to check..."

Then my mother called. Oh Jesus is right, sister.

"Joseph Bradford! What is this I am hearing? Your father is livid!"

"Who gave you my work number?"

"Miss Upton gave us a call and-"

"She's the Human Resources Director, Mom, not the school principal. You can call her Debbie."

"Well everyone is very worried about you. Tell me this isn't true. I TOLD your father not to let you play baseball. I thought soccer was okay. All I wanted to do with my life was not put another pigheaded, chauvinistic man into the world. I smothered and coddled you as best I could. I thought I was an overattentive mother. Apparently I messed up..."

"Mom! Can we not talk about this now? I'm in a meeting and you're on speaker phone. Goodbye."

the joey b
nothing could be less gay
It's just ridiculous. People amaze me sometimes. The other day someone hinted that I could lose my job over this. That I may have only been hired to show that the company was friendly to gays. And yesterday my car was defaced with a flamboyant mural of of rainbows, ponies and purple flowers. On the windshield, they had elegantly written "GO HOME BREEDER". The calligraphy was actually quite nice.

I don't get it. I'm the same Joe. I just - you know - like girls. Is that so wrong? I'm just trying to find a little bit of love in this crazy world, same as anybody else.

I mean, we can still go shopping together. I still love the mall. And I'll still tell you that you look wonderful in everything you try on. Unless those shoes do make your ass look fat .Then I'll just say that "I don't think they're in season, honey." And we can still watch 13 Going On 30 and I'll swear that I'm not crying, it's just my allergies. And we'll always be gossip buddies.

Oh! Time for Gilmore Girls! Rory can do so much better than that Logan jerk.

Even though I'm not gay, I thought I should give something back to the gay community for stealing all of their positive stereotypes. Therefore, I have invented the most gay word ever:


You're welcome.

1 comment:

  1. A straight man in an oppressive society

    With the SSS's voice. Yes, that's sounds especially straight, lol. How could they mistake you for anything other than straight, straight guys say "hoot" all the frickin' time.

    You're insane, you realize that for almost eight minutes, you stayed in Sss's mode and after three minutes, you began to scare me.

    Stop with the Sss's, you're getting too good at it.