Sunday, January 06, 2008

Free Your Mind

Last Saturday night we went out to a party thrown by our newish gay friends down the street. ...and yes, it's taken me this long to write about it. It was nice: new friends, great good, and wine. You know the drill. It was also great that we could just walk to their house.

...and what a house. It makes our house look like a rundown cottage the Unibomber might pass up living in. Tin Roof.......Rusted!

But we are clearly new to this group of party-goers. Obviously, the 'newest'. Judging by most of the overheard conversation, almost everyone else had been at "Dave's party" the night before....including the hired help. I don't know who Dave is.

And while I think we were approachable, clearly we weren't. Nor were some people very welcoming. I hate when people do that - especially gay men. For a minority group who wants overall acceptance, we don't exercise this in practice. Exclusion and snobbery can be everyday standards. Throughout the night, I would over hear things like ".....I don't know....I think they're neighbors....". Honestly, I wanted to turn and say, "I can HEAR you!"

But I made efforts too - not so you think I assumed people should be the ones to approach us. More often than not, I was rebuffed with a monosyllabic answer. Was it my breath? Did I not floss? Were they afraid of being immortalized in a blog they didn't even know existed?

That being said - there were a number of very friendly folks there too. Mostly straight - including one couple that were just hilarious of different reasons. The husband was just downright funny and we got along great. His wife - the best way to put it was 'spacey'. And I think I'm being nice. Drunk. High. Head trauma. Mentally unbalanced. All would be four other possible explanations.

She has known one of the hosts for over 20 years and claims she 'turned him', to which I replied, ' were his prom date!'. Everyone around me laughed. I thought I was funny.

The other couple was gay and I thought we were having a bonding experience. We ended up hanging out with most of the evening. hey were nice and had been together for awhile and seemingly normal. Key word is 'seemingly'. Michael was a very very quiet kind of guy. His partner, Chuck, was much more outgoing and friendly. They were easy to talk to.

I figured we might have found a new couple to befriend. But as the evening and conversation wore on, I found myself more and more uncomfortable at how comfortable Chuck was with us. sexual.....just how freely he thought he could speak.

It soon became clear he tended to be racist. And you can take 'tended to be' right out of that last statement.

It really threw me. Yes, I know racism still exists, I'd be a fool not to. I haven't seen it in such a blatant form of it for such a long time. Ironically, they lived in a section of town where they are the minority - the white minority....not the gay one. I'm sure where they are and who they are, they are in sub-specialty minority.

Their 'hood is, and has been, traditionally been 98% african-american. They chose to live there. So I first sat there thinking 'where the fuck do you get off......', then I was thinking, how do I get out of this little grouping.

Part of me thought about saying something, but we were already on thin ice with the entire party-going group, and I know me - it wouldn't have come out nice at all or subtle. And we were guests of our neighbors.

I'm not sure I did the right thing by not doing/saying anything. But at least I know enough not to associate with them in the future.

Song by: En Vogue

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