My ex and I, who have known each other for 18 years, have dinner together every Friday night. Last night we went for coffee to our usual spot and as a companionable silence fell between us, we both started listening to the other conversations around us, since the tables are so close together. Without me having to say anything, he offered, "Now you know why I wear my earphones all the time."
The conversations were of gay men on dates. I found myself bemusedly irritated. It was not that anyone was being bitchy or ranting, but the chats were so...predictable. I'd heard them all before. Many times. Many times. Cant, nostrums, etc.
I watched my companion's face as he subtly but clearly registered a similar displeasure. "You know," I told him, "I think you're almost as homophobic as I am." He smiled, "How could that be possible? I'm not homophobic. I'm just evil."
Then I laughed because I realized something. "You know, the one thing that I am definitely not homophobic about is men having sex with other men, men making love with each other. That I am completely in favor of. In fact, it is the one thing that I really like about these guys. What makes me homophobic is all the rest of it: the attitudes, the poses, the approved ideas and interests, the gender confusion, the victimism, the lockstep thinking masquerading as transgressive open-mindedness. That stuff makes me homophobic. The only thing I really like about gay men is that they have sex with one another."