Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In This Post, I Talk about Sex; So You Might Want to Skip It

Pick the gay guy. Nope, not him.
Just kidding, you're right.
I lied, you're wrong... ;-)
As you may or may not know, I've been working as a contributing director on this little production about marriage among the gay people called Standing on Ceremony. Standing on Ceremony is a Capra-esque fantasy, a little picnic basket full of short one-act plays that are funny and poignant and deal with people who find one another and want to stay together and have things like insurance and retirement benefits to go along with their stemware and Cuisinarts. The kind of things that people the whole world over want. Well, maybe not people in the Third World; but they will want these things once they get running water and the Big Mac, mark my words.

I don't want to talk about the Third World, though. What I want to talk about here is this: that I have discovered something about people, myself included, while working on this play. There are things I do not know about the gay people, and I'm pretty confident you don't either. Like, for instance, what it is that makes the gay people different from the general population, what they are that other people aren't!

You think you'd know that, wouldn't you? You'd think it would be pretty easy to figure out.

You'd be wrong.

Okay. Try again. No, not her. Her!
Maybe back in the late 1940's or the 1950's, you might have been able to tell. I mean, if a girl went around looking like Rosie the Riveter, and WWII had been over for something like ten years or more, you might have a clue; or if a guy wore his neckties long... well, that was a sure giveaway.

Today, you're working without a net.

Let me tell you what I mean. There are ten actors in this play. Six are men, four are women.

Three of the guys are pretty obviously of the friendly persuasion. They talk about boyfriends and call each other "girl." I say "three." Actually, it is possible one of them is trying to pass. You get those kinds of people every now and then. Confused, unpopular, they just want to belong, but they're not sure where. They usually grow out of it—whatever it turns out to be.

Of the four women, I cannot tell. No, that's not entirely true. There is one gal who could probably take me in a back alley free-for-all, and I'm a pretty robust guy. So, for the sake of argument, let's put her on the Big-Girl side. That leaves three other ladies whose square pegs are pretty-near impossible for me to fit into the round holes of my board. (Pardon my awkward phraseology, but I think you get my drift.)

So what we got is three gals and three (or maybe four) boys who are indeterminate to me. I cannot tell. They could all go either way. Or both. Or none. Or not.

This behavior just demolishes everything I thought I knew about the Kinsey scale. These kids today are just skating all over the damn thing from top to bottom, or left to right, however old Dr. K. intended it to go. They don't stop long enough for us to staple that tag to their ears like we do to those beasts in the wild whose ways we want to track.

It makes me wonder if this is something new or was this already happening back when Kinsey started all this mess; why he decided to use a scale and not just a name tag that read, "Hey! It's Nice to Meet You! I Am 'This' or 'That!' You Wanna Do It?"

Having been around the block as many times as I have been so far, I'm inclined to think that this is nothing new in the world today. That people have been skirting the issue of "this" or "that" in their own private lives as long as there have been people on this planet—or even penguins. That men or women who, when they want to have the sex thing, will manage to have it one way or another. And that when they fall in love, they're going to fall in love with the person they were meant to fall in love with. Gender might not even be a variable in the equation. Who knows? I don't.

So I say, go and gather ye rose buds while ye may, make hay while the sun still shines (always being careful to practice safe-hay and avoid those needles in your haystacks). And if... No. When you fall in love, love that person with all your heart, with all your body and with all your soul, and with all your joy and all your sadness.

And may your stemware not arrive all shattered in the box.


  1. Gather ye rosebuds ... in whatever darn garden you find them?

  2. As long as you don't get caught by Mr. McGregor!

  3. i would say you're absolutely right, kids today are skating all over the place, and they might be crushing on someone of the same gender this month, and fall for someone of a different gender next month and back and forth. i've decided i'll only know who is what when i go to their weddings. luckily i'm in nyc where the wedding can be any persuasion they want. this by the way is from my own first hand research of the young people in my life, and there are many. for them, it's not even a thing. and the wanting to belong. that's real, too.

  4. I like your term "friendly persuasion", very civilized, sir.

  5. I think it might be purely natural and primordial; and I think the openness to the range of possibilities is natural and primordial, as well. What's new, or relatively new, is the carefree refusal to stigmatize—oneself or others.


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