Out and About

Posted: 12 January 2008 in other folks

D. and I spend a lot of time at the dog park. Most of the summer we took the puppy there, spending several hours every evening willing him to wear himself out before he killed us. With our spiraling ball of canine energy, death by exhaustion was likely. Still is. Now that it’s January, our park time is limited. This is unfortunate, mainly because winter has had no effect on his energy and so we’re spending all those hours in our house, yelling “No!”

We have dog park friends. We don’t know their names, but we know who they bring to the park. Izzy. Shadow. Toby. Boomer. Bailey. Most of the dog park people have the same haunted look on their faces, the look built on evenings of being terrorized by a puppy. They are all friendly, but mostly straight and suburban. The few notable exceptions are all women and we have a quiet moment of recognition when we see each other. As you can imagine, we don’t often find ourselves discussing strap-ons, sleeping arrangements or gay rights.

This afternoon a new character joined us at the park; a tall, flaming, gay man with two beagles in tow. He was loud (not usual at the park), he spoke to people immediately (really, you should warm up first), and his first words were, “What is this, a cult circle here?” This should have tipped us off. Instead, we moved to sit on a bench, away from our dog park friends, unwittingly making ourselves a target. He sat next to me, discussing his “grand champion” dogs and breathing waves of alcohol around us (drunk at the park?!) “My partner!” he loudly started and then asked us if we let the dog sleep with us. Before long he moved on to, “I just can’t believe they won’t let us…” and we thought for sure he was going to bring us onto his platform of gay marriage right then.

It’s not that we aren’t out. We’re out. Totally. But we don’t run around…announcing it. Not to our straight, suburban, dog park friends. We assume they know and don’t care if they don’t. But I doubt it had ever occured to them until today that we share a bed and do sweet sexy things to each other when no one is watching. But now they’re thinking it, no doubt about it.

  1. bipolarlawyercook says:

    I try to think about this as well in terms of the obnoxious frat-boy/cheerleader couple who’s always talking about their sex life, and joking about others’. Does it translate? I don’t want to talk about what I do in bed with anyone, and I don’t want to hear about what anyone else does, either. Sexuality doesn’t enter into it. But the stereotype of the flaming gay man persists.

  2. dylan says:

    I’m this same kind of gay. I don’t hide it, but I don’t flaunt it either. I’m very open to conversation around sexuality and sex, more so than most, but still, there is a time and place and a tone of voice to be used if said topics come up around others.

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