That Time I Chose My Gay Friends Over A Homophobic Man I Dated
I’m someone who is typically very friendly. I’m the bubbly person who will make rounds in a room of people to introduce myself, pay a compliment and a smile. So it’s no wonder I’ve been able to make and sustain relationships in an otherwise fickle city like New York.
As per usual, during one of my many hobby group meet-ups I met an attractive man by the name of Kwame and we hit it off pretty quickly. He and I were into the same kinds of things: running, photography and general thrill seeking. He had a strong personality, but was also weirdly tender. We’d talk for hours on end about almost anything and things seemed on the up and up — until they weren’t.
Our conversation got a little interesting one night when I was out with some friends and he noticed I was hanging out with a bunch of men. He asked if they were gay, to which I confirmed yes. I noticed he rolled his eyes disapprovingly but never said anything about it. I brushed it off as nothing serious and carried on with my night. Fast forward to the recent pride parade in New York City. I wasn’t able to attend due to scheduling conflicts, but in solidarity with the wonderful colorful souls in my life, I made a little video wishing everyone a “Happy Pride Day.” I really didn’t think anything of it – and doubted anyone else would when it came to those 15 seconds of my lipsynching along to a Queen song with a rainbow pompom headband — but they did.
Shortly after I posted the video, I received a message from Kwame. With no greetings or salutations proceeding his inquisition, I was asked “Are you Gay or Bisexual?” I was obviously taken aback by this and asked why the interest in my sexuality, especially since we hadn’t progressed to the point of discussing being intimate with one another. He responded, “I never asked, so I’m asking.” The entire exchange reeked of entitlement and I could already tell where it was going and, thus, became immediately turned off. The idea that it’s okay to ask someone about their sexual orientation when the conversation of actual sex between both people hasn’t come up is incredibly forward.
I indulged him snarkily and responded saying that to the best of my knowledge, I was on the mostly straight end of the Kinsey scale. Poking a bit further, I asked what spurred this line of questioning and whether my Instagram video had him concerned. He replied, “I just find it funny how so many ‘so called’ heterosexual women support this God forsaken way of life.” I proceeded to politely inform him that as an ally I would always support the people nearest and dearest to me, regardless of whom they chose to love. He then asked why I had so many gay friends, why heterosexual humans didn’t have a parade, if he could bring his child around me, and then went off on some tangent about us burning like Sodom and Gomorrah.
*Spoiler Alert *… Remember the episode of “Dear White People” where Joelle realizes that Trevor is a hotep? That drop in my stomach when I realized that this man was homophobic sent me packing.
I’m all for you staying true to your personal beliefs. However, as an ally I would never put myself in a situation where the man I’m with is averse or overtly repugnant to anyone with a lifestyle or sexual orientation different from theirs. It would be a huge disservice to myself and a slap in the face of the people I hold near and dear to me.
I ended things with Kwame and chose to be on the side of my friends. I still keep it cordial whenever we see each other in public. It seems that I’m going to add this to the never-ending list of prerequisite questions to scan a potential Bae. Like I always say, unless we’re [redacting], my sexuality (or anyone else’s) is really none of your business.