A strange notion of safety


Some days ago I was in the company of a room full of gay men. No, it wasn’t the much-talked about march… it was just another party. The room was full…chock full, I should say. A big room filled to the brim with every kind of stereotype associated with gay folks and otherwise.. dressed to nines, stud-like, dressed like women, pot-bellied-could-be-mistaken-for straight-laced husbands – all kinds.

And I have never felt safer. Nobody ogling at me.. or brushing past me or even really giving me a second look. All the men I met were polite, actually listening to what I was saying and assumed I was journalist (since I was in the company of them). Those who came close enough for an introduction made such a production of it that I was better off as a wallflower.

In retrospect, I am inclined to believe it must have been something in my head but through the evening (or rather late into the night), while drinks spilled around me and various beings tangled, I was almost a dispassionate viewer, wondering why regular (or should I be saying straight parties) weren’t like this.

The one observation that hit me strongly was how aggressive each and every man was at this party. Strutting men passing groups of men so studiedly lounging and giving each other the looks …. hot, wanting and no mistaking it. Nothing coy about it. No wasting time in idle chatter or summing up. Just get to it…

When I mentioned this to the friends I was with, they had an answer ready. One, in particular, was emphatic. ‘We are never this open or uninhibited when it comes to our real lives and the point of these gettogethers is after all, to meet like-minded people. So nobody wastes time in idle chatter.’

At that moment, I realised how distorted the lives of homosexuals could be.


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