This past weekend a good friend of mine had his 31st birthday. Being who he is, my friend made grand plans on the Friday, Saturday and even Sunday. He loves the spot light.
Friday night we got together with alot of his oldest friends, most of which I know well, and went to dinner and a movie. Eating steak and drinking beer at a local roadhouse style restaurant we then went to watch the movie 300, the current epic retelling of the famous Battle of Thermopoly, wherein 300 Spartan warriors stood their ground against nealry a million Persian soldiers. The movie was truly a male retelling of the historic battle, riding the themes of self sacrifice and courage in the face of absolute death, echoing that free men choosing to die rather than become slaves is the ultimately noble sacrifice one can make. I left the theatre with the rare desire to impale an enemy with a spear.
Contrastingly, my friend chose the second night of his birthday weekend to go to the gay bar. He and his boyfriend have been "out of the closet" for less than a year and find their sudden ability to feel safe in a gay environment intoxicating.
I have never been comfortable with homosexuality. My friend even chose to out himself to me fairly late in his coming out timeframe because he feared my reaction. The truth is, the problem I have with homosexuality is that I believe it is a sin, it is wrong, but it's a tough sin to hide.
You see I would never claim to be a good upstanding Christian, but I have spent the majority of my life appearing that way to my family and church community. Being gay is a little harder to hide unless you want to live a very repressed life... I could have given my friend pointers there, but suffice to say he wanted to feel lioberated at age 30 and thus, came out and is living in a homosexual relationship now.
I love my friend dearly, and he's one of the most caring, sacrificing friends I could ask for. This is another inherent difficulty I have, love the sinner hate the sin? I try to seperate the two. He's my friend, and he's gay. I have lots of friends and I'm quite often an asshole. They look past it, the world keeps on spinning. Some day I will get into a dissertation on why I believe homosexuality is wrong despite the worlds slow acceptance of it as a biological make-up of an individuals genetic self.
Instead I promised I would write about my experience that Saturday night.
The evening started at the witches house: pre drinks and birthday cake. The only gay members of our entourage were in fact the birthday boy and his boyfriend, so I wasn't too worried. My girlfriend was there, along with my brother, and many old friends.
When we got to the bar I was a little taken back.. I suppose I pictured a more relaxed atmosphere for a place that's supposed to be "safe" for London's gay community. It was run down and dirty, which didn't help my preconcieved ideas about the homosexual community or their practices. My brother bailed, I think he and his girlfriend were having some problems... most of their problems arise from her drinking habits and I think just coming off a major fight, they decided a night out getting drunk wasn't what they needed.
Anyway, I was really uncomfortable without my brother there. He and I can have a good time where ever we are because our humour just plays off one another. When he bailed, I felt the control I thought I had on the night slipping away.
When we first arrived the debit machine was broken, which meant I couldn't pull out any cash to buy drinks with. Alcohol is a good way for me to handle uncomfortable situations, again, slowly my control slipped away. My girlfriend got money from somewhere and bought a few drinks... not only was it far less than I needed to be at that bar, but I hate being given things, not having my own money to buy drinks pissed me off a little.
Furthermore, the group we were with split up, most of the girls and the two gay guys went off to dance, the straight guys stood around (there was no where to sit) slowly nursing our beers. Mark is great, he and I had fun catching up and playing celebrity look alike with the gay people in the bar. It was an odd mix of obviously, flamboyantly gay queers and your average looking 20-something male who just happens to like the mouth on the end of his cock belong to another male.
Most people who know me would probably describe me as someone who enjoys attention, and to an extent I do. I enjoy female attention, and enjoy talking to females who may approach me in a straight bar. What I am not comfortable with is attention that I don't want. I dislike attention at church, I dislike attention when I am in a bad mood, and I found on Saturday night, I also dislike attention from gay males or people who assume I am a gay male.
One girl commented to my girlfriend (thinking she was my brother) that I was very beautiful and had a striking demenour. A compliment I would enjoy coming from someone I could flirt with and play around with, not from someone only saying it because they assume I'm gay, therefore safe. Furthermore, I dislike being sung "Baby, you're all that I want" to in the washroom by a trio of gay guys who said I looked "dashing". If my brother was there, perhaps I could have made fun of the situation enough to enjoy it, but I quickly found myself getting more and more uncomfortable.
When 5 of the girls we were with left along with the birthday boys brother and his buddy, it was just me and Mark standing with empty beers wondering where are girlfirneds were on the dance floor. I know Mark dances sometimes, and I stood there hoping to God he wouldn't decide he wanted to. My girlfriend was drunk, the witch was dancing up a storm and my gay friends were drunkidely attaching themselves to any gay person they had ever met with the screams and smiles of 16 year old girls at a high school party.
At this point I was ready to leave. I don't think my girlfriend understood that I had reached a point where I finally had to leave, or smoke, or punch someone... the first seemed like the best scenario.
Would I go again? Not for a long, long time. But that isn't to say I would never go back. I would just need an entourage I knew wasn't going to leave early and atleast a few people that share my own hatred for dancing...