This Table Is Reserved

In one of my cousin’s circle of friends is a gay couple. I didn’t like when this couple would come around because they were quite vulgar. Dinner conversation with them consisted of listening to their sexual appetite as well as what acrobatic feat they performed on one another the night before. The flirted with every male that passed by our table, with the other males at our table, and didn’t mind that their exploits were heard by surrounding tables, even if those surrounding tables had children.

One time while dining with them, my cousin’s friend said that she and her boyfriend were going to bring another couple to join everyone for dinner. The loudest of the couple said, “there are enough straight people at this table” (they were the only gay ones there–plus me, but I’m still in the closet). She then said asked what the problem would be. He then stated that he hated dining with straight people because he had to censor everything he said, he had to curtail his conversation to fit the “mold”.

Of course I had to open my mouth and say, “Since when have you ever censored anything you’ve said? If you call the profanity that has been spewing from your mouth censored, the movie association will have to come up with a new rating”.

Oops, that did it. I saw the fire in his eyes as they narrowed on me. He went off! He said that he was tired of being judged by straight people. He said the only reason that he spoke the way he did around “you people” was because over the years he had become comfortable enough to be himself. He said to me that he liked this group of straighties (was his gaydar for me broken?) because we always invited him and his partner to our dinners and even to some of our homes. He said that in most situations, he could never be himself but among those who didn’t wrinkle their forheads or turn away in disgust.

His partner touched his arm and said “I think they are talking about your explicit descriptions of sex”. They both quited up.

I didn’t know what to say next.

But now, in some way I understand. I don’t understand his need to talk to us in R rated detail about what he does behind closed doors. I do however understand what he meant by having to censor himself.

At dinner the other night, I was with a circle of “straigties”. As they happily chatted about their lives, their children, their careers, their love life, I found I could only contribute so much. I don’t have any children. I don’t have a love life (well there is one that building it’s way there–but I still couldn’t even talk about it). I wanted to concur when one of the women at the table spoke about how hot she thought an actor was, but couldn’t. I had to keep from looking up when a sexy waiter walked by our table.

I understand the censorship he was talking about. I still don’t like his play by play pornographic stories, but I do understand what he means by watching what he says.


5 Responses to “This Table Is Reserved”

  1. Lemuel Says:

    I find myself doing similar things in the company of straight friends. I clam up or sometimes I make a “gay joke” about myself. (One of my friends an I have this running gag about me doing pole dances.) They think I am just joking. If only they knew.

  2. Steven Says:

    I am in the same boat as well. It got to be the worst with these discussions around the office. Every Monday morning, staff seemed to gather in the reception area (forget the water cooler) to talk about what they did over the weekend and what fun they had. The same thing seems to happen on Fridays when discussion arises as to what they will be doing. I felt undervalued as a contributor to the conversations as I knew I couldn’t be open enough to tell everyone what fun I indeed DID have or was going to have.

    That seemed to change when it was a conversation just between me and another employee. I told her that I was jealous of everyone being “open” to talk about their fun weekends and I told her I was gay. Since that time, conversation has never been better and I feel better as a person. I since came out to another employee within the department but have not told anyone outside the department.

    However, I also know gay friends who are adamantly private and will say the least amount to their colleagues, telling me that their life is private and warrants no discussion in the workplace.

    I am also uncomfortable when another gay person does just what you detailed above at the dining table.

  3. Matt Says:

    I would be equally offended if a gay or straight person acted in that way. Feeling “liberated” and able to openly discuss who you are does NOT include everything you do in your bedroom … or, well, wherever. I consider myself very liberal, progressive, and open, but there’s a lot to be said for traditional manners.

  4. Daniel Says:

    Maybe he acts that way because he doesn’t feel easy about himself,and he projects it onto all the straights…

  5. "Joe" Says:

    I completely understand the ackwardness of having to “censor” you participation in the conversation, having to watch what we say because we’re not out. But to dominate it with so much sex — that was just meant to shock.

    Being gay is no license for being rude.

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