Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Medieval Torture from Hell

It has been a month since I had the medieval slow torture wires from hell, also known as adult braces, fastened to my very sensitive and now wallowing in self pity teeth. Having had braces when I was a child, I assumed I knew what I was in for, but the human mind can be one deceptive devious bitch. Like natural child birth for women their minds supposedly let them forget the pain and trauma of pushing a watermelon through something the size of a lemon, therefore allowing them to go through the same torture again; getting adult braces seems to be rather similar. You selectively remember some discomfort but it is not until your mouth is filled with wires and jagged edged metal pieces that the true reality sinks in. This is what I have been dealing with the last four weeks and still have to endure for the following 13 months.
Having adult braces is not a fashion statement! Even though I opted to get the porcelain braces that are less conspicuous there’s no way of really hiding the fact that you have a metal mouth. Firstly, the first couple of weeks I was practically classified as disabled. I had to learn to speak again and sounded like I was drunk or retarded every time I opened my mouth. I couldn’t really eat anything solid because I was in pain and only had 4 available teeth with which to chew. I also lost the ability to smile, because every time I did my braces would scratch my inner lips and/or my lips would get caught on my braces. This not only caused a fair amount of pain, but also left me looking like some kind of psychotic serial killer showing people the teeth I was going to use to cannibalize them with combined with a forced frozen uncomfortable unflattering smile.

But having adult braces isn’t all bad. The inability to eat and chew your food properly is the best diet I have ever been on. I have lost at least 5 kilograms to date and baby food is starting to look and sound really scrumptious! There have been times that I was absolutely famished, had strange noises bellowing from my stomach and forced myself to sit down and at least try to finish a whole plate of food. I have only managed to do that once. Eating takes me ten times longer than usual, chewing has become a skill I had to master with some effort and some days half way through my meal I just give up – eating should not require such a tremendous amount of concentration and dental agility. And then there’s the downside.
Combine braces with food and inevitably you end up with embarrassment. Just last week I mastered the skill of actually eating a hot dog. Yes people if you have braces certain foods require “techniques” to eat and Oh Boy it ain’t pretty. I managed to eat a whole hot dog which took me twenty one minutes and thirty five seconds (I timed it!). Washed it down with a Coke, and then rinsed my mouth out with sparkling mineral water. I then left to attend a meeting. The meeting itself was quite taxing and after leaving it, for some unbeknown reason, I decided to check my teeth in my car’s rear view mirror. Lo and behold, half of the hot dog was firmly lodged in my braces and on my front teeth none the less. I spent 90 minutes talking to people trying to be all professional and such with food stuck in my wires. God only knows what they must have been thinking! But none of the bitches said a damn thing, although I think they had quite a good chuckle after I left!

As you can now clearly see food is a major issue in my life right now. I am constantly hungry craving thinks I am not allowed to eat. If I can’t suck it, swallow it whole or if a morsel needs more than 5 minutes of careful chewing I don’t touch it. But there is an upside. One meal can last you a full day. Even though I do my best with a wide range of specially designed gadgets to dislodge my breakfast, lunch and dinners from my food magnets there will always be a couple of pieces strategically hidden that dislodges during the course of the day. This in turn conveniently allows you to have a taste of your previous meals at the most inconvenient of times. It’s like cows regurgitating their food only I’m not a damn cow. And then there’s the dental hygiene issue.
My dental hygiene routine has become super complicated. What took me five minutes twice a day now takes me 30 minutes and that’s why I have been late for work so frequently. I refuse to get up 25 minutes earlier because of it. Being a smoker (yes, I have not quite yet) I may be prone to gum infections due to my railway tracks in my mouth. So now I not only brush my teeth from all 1000 angles I also have to brush my gums, rinse my mouth with a special mouth wash and try to floss. We wired and tortured folk have a special type of floss. It’s 20cm long, consists out of three parts and using it requires dexterous fingers, extra mirrors and a shit loud of patience. Flossing will add an additional hour to your routine and that’s only when you become quite good at it. This past weekend, when I had some time to burn, I tried it. After an hour I only managed to floss four teeth, got the floss stuck in three of my braces and ended up crying on the bathroom floor like an emotionally disturbed child covered in my own spit and a little bit of blood. I have not flossed since!

Braces have changed my life, my diet and some days it negatively affects my mood. I dream about steaks, eating out in restaurants, get nightmares about restaurants, obsessively check my teeth before meeting meetings and day dream about taking pliers and removing them. I have only 13 more months of this to go, and 13 months can be a very long time. I keep on reminding myself that it will be all worth it in the end, but when faced with my arch nemesis which is the flossing kit I am not so sure I am going to make it!

Till next time.

Sherry Vine's Parody You're a Home

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thank God I am Gay!

I love women but oh dear god they can be full of shit! This past week hubby and I had to navigate our faggoty asses through the treacherous labyrinth of melodrama, mood swings and passive aggressive tantrums that sometimes is the female psyche. Both of us lost our Fag Hags as a consequence and having minced and flapped our way through it, I have a new found respect for straight guys and lesbians because I don’t know how the hell they cope. The experience have left me drained, annoyed and had me realize how fucking blessed I am to be gay!
Firstly, before I get inundated with hate mails again I must state that I am by no means generalizing and this blog post do not purport that all women are bitches. But some are and as a humble socially responsible queer I thought it appropriate to write this blog post to serve as a warning to other queers who are considering taking on a new Fag Hag. Here are a few things that I have learned over the years.

Women are complicated and their brains are wired differently. This is clearly demonstrated in the manner in which they choose to communicate especially during times of conflict. Men will get angry have an argument, have it resolved and move on. With women it’s never that straight forward. No argument gets resolved in a single day unless they win the fight. They will brood over an issue, it will fester and days and even months could pass before they consider it resolved. They also have memories like elephants and believe you me they do keep score. So how should the average queer deal with this?
Well, it is easy – obsessively make mental notes of everything! Know your Fag Hag’s menstrual cycle. This is especially important if she’s naturally emotional and if you plan on surviving that one week of irrational hell a month. If you don’t you will unwittingly and inevitably say or do the wrong thing and the Godzilla PMS Bitch Monster will kick you in the balls twice. You should also know your place. In some Fag Hag relationships you will be the surrogate boyfriend and/or husband. You will be expected to provide all the emotional support and listen to all the bitching their lovers are not interested in. This can be taxing, sometimes traumatic, frequently entertaining but mostly boring. Best you do a brief counselling course and quickly learn about selective listening – it is expected of you to master both skills. But wait there’s more...

Not all Fag Hag relationships are healthy. There are the few out there that will use you as an emotional crutch and will become co-dependent. It is important to identify the warning signs early on. If you notice that your friendship is becoming one sided, the fights they pick with you should actually be with their real boyfriends and/or husbands and your own relationship is suffering as a result you are in trouble! It is suppose to be a friendship and not to feel like a bad marriage! The only thing you can do when your Fag Hag becomes an emotional toxic wasteland and the bitch turns on you is to take your fag bag, lip gloss, designer sunglasses and get the fuck out of there. It will be imperative to disengage completely, discreetly mince your gay ass out their lives, screen your calls and in some extreme instances you might also have to move because the bitch will stalk you!
When looking for the perfect Fag Hag that will suit your unique lifestyle it is important to create for yourself a set of criteria. As no two queers are exactly alike and our preferences vary so will your criteria. However, there are some basic requirements that should be met. A prospective Fag Hag must never be prettier than you. Remember as much as you might be her fashion accessory or "Token Gay" this is not what you are looking for in this particular case. You want a female that you can mould and introduce into the world of fashion, splendour and general gay fabulousness. She must be fierce, loyal, mentally stable, know what boundaries are, have her own money and car and proudly and confidently able to fan our flames of faggotry. Lastly, and most importantly, she must understand that you are gay as in “I will never turn straight and marry you gay”.

Having broken up with our Fag Hags this past two weeks, I must say I am relieved that our emotional melodrama and temper tantrums are now officially gone and placed back in the heterosexual domain where it rightfully belongs. We are free from the toxicity and more than ever glad that we are not straight! All the straight guys out there, chin up and just remember that you were born that way. The next time I see heterosexual couples fight in the mall or restaurant I will fondly remember my Fag Hag wondering if she ever did meet a heterosexual man that actually could stand her. I hope she does. There, I got my gay bitch on, now I shall move on.

Till next time.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Giving Christians a Bad Name

It never seizes to amaze me how ignorant and intolerant people can still be. Throw religion into the mix and you have the makings of one fine orgy of hatred. This was clearly illustrated by the response to an “Opinion” piece that was published in local newspaper on Monday. The author questioned this particular newspaper's hesitance to publish anything positive about the GLBT community, citing South Africa’s win of the Mr Gay World competition as an example. The responses that followed was nothing less than disconcerting and this led me to wonder, do all Christians condemn homosexuality or are these people just giving Christianity a bad name?
We have all heard the phrases “Turn of Burn”, “God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve”, been quoted Romans from the Bible, referred to Sodom and Gomorrah and been told homosexuality is a choice. Needless to say I wasn’t surprised that all these subject matters and more were covered in the hateful comments by some “Christians” (and I use this term loosely). It seems there are people out there who appear to be able to read and interpret the Bible with much better comprehension and spiritual insight than their religious leaders. Furthermore, these people’s God also appear to be vengeful, discriminating and intolerant.

I must admit I am not a very religious person and I do have some problems with organized religion. When incidents like this happen my apprehensions are further stirred and my willingness to participate or associate myself with such religious groups wanes. It strikes me that some people choose to use their religion (Christianity in particular) to openly discriminate against groups of people. In South Africa the Apartheid government use to do this too. It seems all too convenient and all too easy. But let me tell you - it is nothing but bigotry!
The same people who call themselves Christians refer to homosexuals as dogs and cockroaches. These “Christians” goes further and elect themselves to be judge and jury and empower themselves to condemn as if they are without flaws or sins. They quote Bible verses, out of context I may add, that suits their draconian small minded and Oh So judgmental set of beliefs. They think they speak for God, but I have one question for them – What would Jesus do?

If you want to be an asshole, by all means be one but do so but on your own accord. Don’t use your religion to hide behind when you spew your own personal biases, hatred and small mindedness. Don’t use your religion to justify your own intolerance and then seek to generalize that all people of your religion hold the same ignorant view as you. Because they don’t! And don’t pretend to know what God, Jesus or the Holy Ghost’s view and/or stance is on the GLBT community. I am sure there are much more serious condemnable sins occupying their interest than our small community that were created in their likeness as every other human being.
For people who call themselves “Christian” their behaviour and attitude is in direct contradiction to their religion. I will go even further to state that what they are doing is in fact sinful; there must be a verse in the Bible that would substantiate this perhaps somewhere in Romans or Leviticus. I would recommend they look it up! Who knows, this exercise may even encourage them to understand the bigger context out of which they so frequently quote from incorrectly.

Having read through the now 277 comments I am pleased to see that there are some true Christians out there. Christians who are sane and objective people who can apply their minds and exert sound judgment; Christians who are embarrassed by the hateful comments and uninterrogated thinking behind them. So it seems that not all Christians condemn homosexuality after all. Some people are leaving the judging for judgement day, as it should be. As for the rest, I hope when they sit in church this Sunday they have a good long hard look at their own lives, their own sins and own flaws and rather focus their attentions on bettering themselves instead of judging others.

Till next time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Queens and Kings of Yesterday

(Old post republished for your reading pleasure, new material coming soon!)
Last week I came across a post by an older gay man. I was quite surprised that he had access to the Internet and knew how to operate a computer, given his age. He seemed angry and disillusioned with the younger gay generation. He made mention of the younger community being ageist, sexually promiscuous and living in a fantasy world where coming out and having new found rights made them unappreciative of what is important in life. He made us sound like a bunch of fairies living in fairytale land. He stated that there are no gay role models and noticed a clear moral degradation amongst our gay youth. This made me wonder, is there an immutable generation gap, is it just a matter of growing up and coming of age in a different era or could he actually be right? This is my opinion…

Different generations face different problems. When I came out of the closet, at the age of 16, the reaction of my parents, peers and family was stereotypical. At that time (mid 90's) homosexuality was still taboo but considered less of an affliction and mental disease than it was before. Still my parents believed that prayer and therapy could “fix” me, but alas neither did! I am grateful I came out after aversion therapy’s popularity dwindled, as I am not that fond of straight pornography nor am I of electrical shocks. Many older gay men and lesbians found it much more difficult coming out (prior to the 90’s and 80's). Many chose to stay in the closet and some even went as far as to get married and lived as heterosexuals to avoid reprisal and/or being ostracised – Brokeback marriages! The ones that had gay relationships did so in secret, having a “special friend” or “house mate” but never openly admitted their sexual orientation. It was only rumoured behind their backs. Access to the gay community was also restrictive as gay communities were small and sometimes hidden from sight.

Gay people became open about their sexual orientation when gay clubs and bars started sprouting in every town, as the gay community became more accessible and gay rights came of age. We express ourselves more freely now and no longer hide our relationships. We even have pride parades. This new found freedom could be conflicting to the older generation who were never offered these opportunities and whose value system were shaped by their era they found themselves. As the gay culture evolved the changes could have caught some queens and kings off guard. The traditionalist values of yesterday have now been defied, but this does not mean that the princesses and princesses does not face challenges of their own.

In a society that has not truly overcome homophobia we all still carry this burden at times - coming out still is not easy. Issues of acceptance, monogamy and ageism still pose a challenge. As mentioned in a previous post about relationships, I would hate to be single at the age of 33. Being single while in your prime (ages 18 to 30) is far less complicated. Once you enter your thirties you no longer have youth on your side, you are more career orientated and, I for one, could be said to be somewhat set in my ways. Therefore, finding a companion is slightly more of an endeavour. Being a gay man or lesbian in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70's I would suspect is even more difficult.
Being middle aged and gay, where do you go to find your soul mate? At a certain age clubs and bars may seem daunting and understandably the younger crowds could make you feel out of place, like a sugar daddy or a dirty old man. There are no real places for our Queens and Kings of yesterday to shine. Does this mean we have to exclude them from our community? Should we do what was done with the elderly in the middle ages and expel them from the village as they serve no more perceived function?

I would admit that there are not enough gay role models. We might not have accepted or fully understand the freedoms we have today apposed to the lack of it our older Queens and Kings faced. If we did, I believe we would act with greater responsibility, respect and appreciation. Maybe we should not look for role models amongst our own generation, but rather to those of the generation before us. Look at what they survived, sacrificed and accomplished for us. We may not always understand their reasoning or certain judgements they fell over our behaviour, relationship choices or sexual escapades, but we can make more of an effort to understand them.
Till next time.

Born This Way Parody by Sherry Vine

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Beaten up by a Lesbian?

It has almost been two weeks since my surgery and I’m slowly awakening from my antibiotic, ant-inflammatory- and pain medication haze. I’m bruised, battered and slightly worse for wear but at least it’s all over and I can again string two coherent sentences together. The surgery went well, I’m healing and in six to eight weeks, after I have seen every hue of purple my body can produce and the swelling finally subsides, I shall be happy with the result. Plastic surgery isn’t for the faint of heart and looking back and catching unflattering glimpses of myself in the mirror it begs the question – Will I do it again?
The morning of my surgery I was a mixture of excited to finally have the source of my esthetic discontent cut out of my body and incredibly nervous to undergo twilight anesthesia. The prospect of being semi conscious while somebody takes a scalpel to your eyes is less than thrilling. Hubby and I arrived at the doctor’s office fashionably 5 minutes early and like a lamb to the slaughter I checked in. After a short but agonizing wait the surgeon fetched me from the waiting area, introduced me to the nurse that was going to assist him, made some small talk, laid me on the bed then took my arm gently placed the drip’s needle into a vain. It wasn’t long after this that things became fuzzy and my recollection of what transpired is patchy to say the least.

I do recall that at one stage I was in discomfort and after responding to the surgeon’s question to that effect things went blank again. I also recall that I was asked to open my eyes, being aware that I was being stitched up and after the surgery asking to see what had been cut out (I’m macabrely weird like that). The next memory was of us driving home and then waking up in bed. Queerly, I don’t recall ever actually being in any kind of pain. Waking up in bed realizing that the surgery was over I couldn’t resist taking a look at my face. Looking at myself in the bathroom mirror I recall thinking to myself that I didn’t look that bad, I was only slightly swollen and bruised, little did I know it was about to get a great deal worse.

It wasn’t until that evening that the swelling began. My eyes swelled up like carnival balloon, went pink and then a dark purple. I looked like I was in a fight with a butch dyke and her biker friends and I had lost! For dramatic effect I was also bleeding a little from my stitches. I looked ghoulish and hubby was understandably horrified! It was a long night; I slept in the vampire position and became very familiar with the term “discomfort”. Strangely enough it didn’t physically hurt but it sure was painful to watch, so I decided to keep a photo diary of my recovery (again I’m macabrely weird like that). The next few days were spent mostly in bed and an unhealthy relationship with ice packs emerged. I was in loved my two blue frosty pads of comfort – they were my precious!
The first week of being semi immobilized vertically and socially unacceptably looking I did the only thing I could – I watched allot of television and slept. I caught up with Oprah and Ellen and watched all ten hours of the 83rd Academy Awards (E’s red carpet, the unedited award ceremony and E’s Fashion Police’s Oscar special). My sleeping pattern was noticeably screwed up and I felt jet lagged. Week two wasn’t much better but I was at least out of bed more. The main source of annoyance after the surgery strangely enough wasn’t the bruising or the swelling but those damn stitches! They itched and it drove me insane! Luckily, a week after surgery they were taken out, much to my relief, and this was also the only painful part of my plastic surgery procedure. My follow up visit was largely uneventful, I was told I’m healing great will be looking fabulous in two months time and to still take it easy for another week. But I was really getting bored at home, tired of television so I had to find something else to do.

So I discovered Facebook’s Farmville, the most annoying and frustrating thing ever invented by mankind. It’s time consuming, competitive and after one week I was ready to give it up and let my little cyber farm wither and die. But at least it kept my occupied for a while. As my bruising and swelling started subsiding I ventured out of my self-imposed isolation and instead of asking hubby to get stuff from the shop I braved going out in public. My Prada sunglasses came in handy nicely hiding my now blue, green and yellow eyes. However, it is quite strange how quickly one can forget that you still look pretty bad if you don’t look at yourself in the mirror every five minutes. This little slip of the mind grossed out and shocked a few people the other day.
In the shop minding my own business I was looking for eye drops in the self medication section and was unable to find it. Being far- and near sighted at the same time and the well illuminated shelves dimmed by Prada and deep in thought I took off my sunglasses to take a better look. Not finding it, I proceeded to finish my shopping. I noticed people looking at me funny but I just thought they were all having a bad day and I ignored them. It wasn’t until I made it to the front of the checkout counter that I realized the cause of the stares. “Sir, I know it is none of my business but who did this to you?” a very concerned lady asked me. Taken aback by her frankness and realizing that my sunglasses were on my head and not on my face the only response I could think off at that moment was “Dr Paul Pienaar”. Not elaborating the lady probably left thinking my plastic surgeon beat me up and that’s fine too.

Tomorrow it will be two weeks since my surgery and I will be returning to that place that pays my bills. Most of my colleagues know what I have done and those who don’t will probably think I was either gay bashed, beaten up by a lesbian, in an abusive relationship, in a car accident or walked into a door. In retrospect I am happy that I have done this and the experience was not all that unpleasant. I’m still healing, still a bit bruised but all things considered it was worth it. I can’t wait to see the full result and patience is not one of my virtues, but alas I have no choice. Will I do this again? Ask me again in ten years and the answer will most probably be yes!

Till next time.

Lady Gaga - Born This Way

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Personality Whores

This classic is dedicate to The Bitchy Waiter.
Reading about Steven Slater’s (JetBlue Flight Steward) recent dramatic resignation from his illustrious 28 year career I couldn’t help but giggle and secretly admire his bravery. Not many queens would have the courage to throw their tiaras, dildo’s and KY out of their baskets, deploy the airplanes inflatable emergency chute, grab their luggage and two beers before dramatically exiting bidding adieu to almost 3 decades of rude and difficult passengers. Having been in the service industry myself once, I can honestly say I understand why “Mrs” Slater flipped her lid and this made me reflect back on my days as a personality whore.
Many moons ago I too worked as a waiter. I was serving mediocre food in a main stream steak and grill mostly frequented by straight folk. It didn’t take long before it dawned on me that I wasn’t a very good waiter. One day, after being thrown with a handful of french-fries by a two year old the thought “Maybe I’m not meant to serve, I am destined to be served” crossed my mind. However, it would be many years before that reality would realize.
During my stint at the straight meat dispensary I had to deal with many difficult, rude and generally bad tipping customers. The one I recall most vividly ordered a rump steak extra rare. As I was placing his almost still alive and bleeding piece of meat in front him he had the audacity to tell me it was over cooked. After I politely tried to explain to him the difference between a restaurant and a butchery he ordered me (yes ordered me!) to bring him a correctly cooked steak. It having been at the end of a particularly trying and poorly paying shift, I did the only thing I could think off. I took the bastard’s plate, went to the grill asked for a 500g piece of raw rump steak, placed it on his plate and took it back to him and said “Extra rare, just like you asked for sweetie”. Needless to say the man had a hissy fit and got my ass fired!
Having had it confirmed that I was a truly bad waiter I did the only thing I gay guy could do. I looked for a gig at a gay bar or restaurant. You see at gay bars/restaurants you expect to get bad service but that’s OK only if the waiter or bartender is hot, cute or funny. You see at gay bars/restaurants it’s all about the looks and personality and less about the actual service, food and watered down drink. Believing that I could fit the bill I decided to become a personality whore and promptly got a job at relatively upmarket gay restaurant/bar.
The place was called The Lounge and it was run by two lesbians who ran their business like Nazi Concentration Camp Sergeants. We were a small compliment of staff: Two kitchen staff, a GI Jane lesbian and 5 femme fags. We were an eccentric bunch who always made work fun and there were never a dull moment. On my first day at work I arrived at the venue 20 minutes before opening time. As I got dressed in my “uniform”, a very tight fitting T-shirt branded with their logo and even tighter leather pants (later aptly dubbed the money maker), I was called aside by the sergeants.
In a very serious and rather abrasive voice one said “Before we let you lose in this queer zoo, let us explain the rules”. I knew all places had “rules”, but wasn’t quite prepared for the ones that would be laid on me. “You are to flirt with every customer no matter what they look like, you are to learn every regular’s name, you are allowed to accept shooters from customers and drink it only if they ordered one for themselves too! Sitting on customers laps are allowed, kissing, grabbing and exposing yourself is not!“ With the rules thoroughly explained I affirmed I understood. Sergeant 2 then added “If the Lesbos start a fight let them finish it, if there are broken glass or bottles involved call GI Jane , and never, ever look a drunk angry lesbian in the eyes, just back away slowly!
As my first evening was coming to an end the drunken lesbian rule was tested. A very butch and very inebriated lesbian staggered towards me. “You’re new here aren’t you?” Avoiding all eye contact, as I was told, I stared at her biker boots and responded with a quivering voice “Yes, I started today”. She responded “You’re cute” and with that she pushed me against the wall and stuck her rum tasting tongue down my oesophagus. At the verge of suffocating GI Jane intervened, grabbed her by the shoulders peeled her off me and screamed “He’s a fucking femme fag not a femme dyke you dumb drunken clit!” Relieved that I wasn’t going to get raped with a strap-on dildo I escaped to the safety of the kitchen. With sore feet, the taste of lesbian in my mouth and clothes smelling of beer, tequila, vodka, nachos and smoke, my first evening as I personality whore drew to a close, and I kind of liked it!
Working at the gay bar was loads of fun, most of the time; however it also had its drawbacks. Apart from being employed by two cold hearted bitches who worked us like Taipei red-light district whores, I also had many not so pleasant experiences with patrons. You see having to flirt with every customer has many annoying disadvantages. Firstly, many believe that they have a chance to have sex with you and as they become drunk their advances becomes less subtle and more inappropriate.

Secondly, as the word spread about the cute and friendly boy waiters at the bar, all the weirdos, creeps and freaks pitched up. A colleague and I was once offered $2000 each if a guy in his 80’s could watch us have sex, I was offered several roles in gay porn, offered money to have a threesome with a couple (bisexual man and woman) and also offered a Rolex for sex – needless to say I declined all! During my 6 month stint as a personality whore I also received the strangest tips. I was tipped with ecstasy tablets, cocaine, a lottery ticket, monopoly money, a poky man, clothing vouchers, many telephone numbers with sexy messages and once a guy even tried to slip me a roofie in a shooter all of which I declined with a polite smile simply stating “I’d actually prefer cash”.

Many evenings after we closed the bar we had laughs about the tips, the customers and the bizarre propositions we received. We often times spent chatting until the early hours of the morning laughing until our stomachs hurt. The 6 months I worked as a personality whore was both the best and the worst time I ever had in any part-time employment during my student days. I even coined the phrase “Do you want head with that?” for anybody that ordered a beer (referring to the froth off course). A phrase that would most likely get you fired in most straight bars and is the most suitable epitaph for my career as a waiter.
Working in the service industry can be challenging. Most of the time it’s a thankless job and with your worth being determined by the clients’ tips. I struggle to imagine how people can be in such an industry for decades and remain sane, I suspect there are many people like Steven Slater out there, but only a few that would have the guts to do what he did. I only lasted 6 months and due to my experience I am always nice to waiters, always tip generously as I know what they are going through. I take my hat off to all the waiters, bartenders and flight crew out there. Thanks for serving us and not spitting in our drinks!

Till next time.

Hedda Lettuce - lady gaga "Bad Romance" Parody

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why don’t you sleep with lesbians?

Another classic and the last in my series of republished posts.
Being an openly gay man working with conservative heterosexual males has interesting consequences, especially if the working environment is traditionally associated with butch, straight hardcore men. My dress sense, hair style, general demeanour and referring to “my husband” is but a few things that makes them fretful. I sometimes feel that if I change anything about my appearance I should try and ease my colleagues into the transition, because any drastic changes would cause their worlds to collapse into a frenzy of confusion and distress. Having a gay man mixed in with a group of straight guys has a tendency to let their neuroses surface, as their masculinity is threatened and they question themselves on their own effeminate traits they discover.
My first day at the office, one of the older gentleman almost had aneurysm: At that stage I had a mo-hog hairstyle and the poor soul had learned just minutes earlier that I was married to a man, that was just too much for the 63 year old man to fathom! Another colleague thought I was a suspect in the illicit drug trade and believed I was brought in for questioning, as I was sitting right in the middle of two fairly large ex police officers. Then there were those who were in denial and stayed in denial for a long time.

It took months for the men to adjust to this new addition to their group that they found queer, threatening and enigmatic. Months passed and they came to understand that I am not so different from them, apart from the fact that I prefer sleeping with men, have a better fashion sense, pay significantly more for a hair cut and have peculiar grooming habits. They relaxed more around me and even ventured into asking selective questions: "Who’s the man in your relationship?" "Have you ever slept with a woman?" "Doesn’t it hurt having sex?" "Do you guys wear dresses?" "When did you decide that you were gay?" …etc, but the pièce de résistance was “So if you are gay why don’t you sleep with lesbians?”

In a predominantly straight working environment one must also always be on the alert for the closeted homophobes. They are the ignorant ones that discriminate against you behind your back. They are too afraid to air their views or directly confront you. Sometimes I firmly think they believe homosexuality is contagious and can spread like the black plague. The outright homophobes are easier to deal with as one confrontation usually will stifle them. My personal favourite tactic in dealing with all homophobe is to be extra flirtatious, it’s cruel I know. I get a sadistic pleasure from the fear they have of me getting into their pants and their associated mental pictures, this usually is enough to keep them at bay for months at a time.

One morning I received a phone call from a colleague who sounded distressed. I was told he just arrived at work and forgot to put jell in his hair. He knew of nobody else to call without being embarrassed apart from me, and asked if I can bring some to work. That was the first day I realized that my “gayness” was having a positive influence on my co-workers. The change was so subtle that I almost missed it. The rest of that day I had a critical look around me. Most colleagues started using hair products, the colour of their belts matched their shoes and conservative ties were replaced with modern colours and a few even risked wearing pink. I was left wondering, are my colleagues turning into meterosexual men or have they just discovered that the world is not as limiting as they once thought? Have my presence enlighten them to be freer?

Being the only gay man at my office, I do not particularly feel that I have something to prove. I prefer to educate by example, and show through skill and action that gays can do any job as well if not better as straight people. I do fit into some stereotypes straight people have of gays, but I am not ashamed nor am I apologetic of it. I am who and what I am, being gay is apart of me, but it does not define who I am.

Till next time.

"My Turn" by Yehonathan

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