“When you’re gay, nothing changes. You stay the same. Your personality doesn’t change; the people in your life don’t change; who you are doesn’t change; nothing changes.” This was said by a drastically unqualified heterosexual man with good intentions that was participating in a mandatory HR training on diversity hosted by our employer several years ago. At that time in my life, I recently began identifying as a gay, so I had a lot to say on the matter because I did change. I always knew I was gay, but gradually, everything about me and my life changed. Does this apply to all gays? Of course not. I can only speak for me, but let me give you an example.
Catch Phrase is a game where you are provided a word or phrase from the small screen of an electronic device with the objective of having your team guess this word or phrase without using the word, words that rhyme with the word, part of the phrase, etc. I played this with a diverse group of friends shortly after revealing my true identity to the world.
Below are a list of words and phrases from that game and the clues that would be provided by each sexual orientation. Clues that would be given by heterosexual men are on the top [twitters and giggles], and clues that would be given by the homosexual males are on the bottom [twitters and giggles].
Team Hetero Clue: Home of the Bears.
Team Homo Clue: (singing) And all that jazz!
Team Hetero Clue: Sang ‘All My Ex’s Live in Texas’.
Team Homo Clue: Uhhh…Heterosexual of the Jungle? I don’t know. Who the fuck is this?
Team Hetero Clue: I just installed this in our bathroom.
Team Homo Clue: Poor people use this for their kitchen floor.
Team Hetero Clue: Gulf Shores, Gulf Port, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula
Team Homo Clue: Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey movie.
Team Hetero Clue: Tool used to pound in nails.
[insert twitters and giggles from homo team for hetero’s use of the words ‘tool’ and ‘pound’]
Team Homo Clue: Dorian used this last week to kill a spider.
Team Hetero Clue: Used to watch porn.
Team Homo Clue: Used to watch porn.
So whenever someone tells me that nothing changes when you identify as a gay man, I like to provide this example from my life to prove them wrong because when I was a practicing heterosexual (I was just experimenting, really), I would have provided the clues on the top. However, the deeper I found myself in my gay world surrounded by gay people with gay interests, the more I found myself answering “Beaches” when asked to provide the 1988 movie starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey and directed by Garry Marshall that included the hit song Wind Beneath My Wings which won Bette Grammies for record of the year and song of the year in 1990 (all of which I could not have told you before I identified as gay).