Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to spot a gay. Painted nails?

I'm all finished closing up the shop. I'm out on the sidewalk unlocking Tall Cool, and one of our young customers just rolled up. Let me amend that. Customers are usually people who buy something. This young guy just hangs out on a regular basis, and sometimes we fix his bike.

I don't know all of the details about how humans work. Humans as a whole don't either. That's why we have sociologists, and they're still chipping away at the edges and reading each others' science reports.

This young guy is twelve or thirteen, and to my untrained eye and ear appears to be what many people would call 'flamboyant.' He can't be classified scientifically as gay, but there's just that certain twang, sass, and style. I hope humans and life treat him well, because he is a polite young man and I wish I thought that was good enough to hold him over to a confident adulthood.

We're standing here on the sidewalk, and he's telling me what some people think is gay. I have fingernails painted the brightest blue you've seen. How I explained it to one curious customer a few hours ago: "I just like to look pretty."

I just like to look pretty. And I'm a little queer. I'm a good example of some kind of queer who never poked around or explored too much because it's too easy to walk toward the straight side of the line. Maybe the nail polish is just to remind me to be honest with myself. No - it's also about solidarity. If you have a problem with blue nails, then you also have a problem with a quick dozen or so people who I love. It's both.

I'm on the sidewalk talking to the young man - he doesn't need help, he's just stopping for a chat. I keep the can of worms closed at this point in time. No, I'm not gay. I'm just colorful. I talked about how sometimes you can tell when a person is gay, and sometimes you can't. Many times you're wrong, and never does it matter. It's was a quick and light conversation at 7:21pm. The topic is one that crosses both our minds.

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