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(See also: Last week's column)
Dear Breakup Girl,
Lately I have been the dude-magnet from every late night NBC sitcom.
Pheromones? My new perfume? Winter boredom? Who knows. I have no idea why, and
honestly, it is more stressful to me than glamorous.
Well, after a few dates with all four of these guys, I have narrowed it down
to the one I like the best. Problem? I also have this niggling suspicion in the
back of my mind that says "I wonder if he is gay..." Not just because
he is gallant and remembers the date and time that we first met (no joke...),
but also because he has this lisp that just makes him sound like he might favor
guys. (stereotypical, I know...). I am now interpreting everything he says by a
"gay or not gay" barometer and it's really unfair to him and it gives
But I am so afraid to ask him! I don't want to be stereotypical, and if he's
straight, I don't want him to think that I think he acts gay! ACK! What should
I do! I really don't want to wreck what we have so far, but at the same time, I
don't want to be devastated 6 months from now after I have given him my heart,
and he tells me it's true...
How does one approach this subject with the smallest number of casualties?
I'm walking on eggshells ...
At some level, the real question here is not: Is he
gay? but rather: How do I shut down that damn barometer? Even so, let's explore
this a little more.
We all know that there are certain stereotypes
associated with "acting" gay: you know, lisping, sleeping with men,
leaving the military, etc. And many of them do ring true. Then again, BG knows
a bunch of gay hockey players who make the Rangers look like the cast of
"Love! Valour! Compassion!" You never know.
So how do you find out? Well, here's the flip answer:
take what you will from this NYC comedian's wisecrack: "I don't understand
it when people say, 'I don't know if I'm gay or not.' Here's a tip: keep a
But yes, there is, except in certain Manhattan
apartments, that crazy little thing called a closet. If anyone has any
tried-and-true suggestions on how to shine a dim, delicate flashlight inside --
as opposed to marrying someone and getting a harsh clue later -- I'm all ears
(as am I to the name of that comedian). Meantime, I'd say this: for the reasons
you state above, you can't really ask. But you can give him the opportunity to
tell. How about when you initiate that 90s conversation where you share just
enough information about your pasts to be useful to your future health? I know
he may not have any actual gay action in his past (and I know that being gay is
NOT only about what/whom you do on the futon). But this topic -- more than,
say, Gretzky's injury -- might be more conducive to soul-/sexual-preference
-baring. Oh, wait.
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