‘Ask a Gay’ is where straight WeHo’ans go for answers to questions they can’t ask their gay friends or neighbors. (Questions from LGBT folks are accepted too!)
I have some gay coworkers, and most of the guys on the hall in my apartment building are (it is West Hollywood, after all). My mother, who lives in Iowa, keeps asking me if I’m “comfortable” in West Hollywood. The other day she finally explained what she meant. She’s afraid gay guys are hitting on me. I’ve never noticed the slightest flirt. So my question: Do gay guys find straight guys attractive? Do gay men want to sleep with straight men?
I was at a party the other night and overheard two gay men in their early 30s talking about the boyfriend of one of them. One guy said to the other: “So how’s the relationship going with daddy?” Apparently he was referring to the other guy’s boyfriend, who was at the party and appeared to be in his mid-50s. Daddy? Isn’t that a creepy, and maybe perverse, way for someone to refer to his boyfriend? It conjures up images of incest and pedophilia. My husband is five years younger than me, and if he ever called me “mommy” I’d put a diaper on him and kick him to the curb.
Just call me Mommy Dearest
Two dear friends of mine just stopped by my apartment Friday to tell me that they’ve decided to get married now that same-sex marriage is legal in California. And they asked me to help plan the wedding! I introduced them three years ago, and of course I told them yes. But I need some advice. First, they are such manly men, and while I’ve helped heterosexual friends plan weddings, it’s clear to me that these guys aren’t going to be into tossing bouquets and all that stuff. They describe themselves as more Scruff than Grindr, more bear than twink, more Faultline than Rage. I don’t know what all that means, but I thought it might help you come up with some suggestions.
Everybody tells me that gay guys are into fashion. But honestly, when I go around West Hollywood, I’m just not seeing it. Looks like it’s all about t-shirts and jeans or shorts during the daytime, and t-shirts and jeans at night, with a sweatshirt or hoodie tossed on for warmth. Is this another one of those stereotypes you keep writing about? I know fashion (used to work in the industry in New York City) and this isn’t fashion.
Our girlfriends forced me and a buddy to watch “Vanderpump Rules” the other night. You probably know it’s a TV show about a bunch of celebrity wannabes that wait tables and work the bar at Sur, that restaurant on North Robertson. So here’s the question: Is that guy Tom, the bartender, gay? The show made a big deal about him having a girlfriend named Kristen. But my buddy and I couldn’t get over that scene where he’s at home shaving his forehead and stressing out that he doesn’t have the right hairspray. We also think it’s kind of weird that he’s so hairless with his shirt off. Our girlfriends are crazy about him and think we’re nuts to suggest he’s anything but hetero. So we all agreed to ask you. By the way, there’s a lot riding on your answer. If you say he’s gay, the gals have to buy us dinner — at Sur, which ain’t…
One of my friends married his boyfriend not long ago (I actually attended the wedding in NYC, and it was pretty amazing). Now David is introducing Clay as his “husband.” Gotta tell ya, it makes me want to ask if Clay is the wife. (And that leads me to inappropriate thoughts about sexual positions). I haven’t had the nerve to ask, because it seems like none of my business, but are gay and lesbian people who get married struggling with what to call their spouses? Husband? Wife? Significant Other? Partner? None of those words sound quite right to a straight (and happily single) guy like me.
I’m a straight woman with a lot of gay male friends — pretty much the norm for West Hollywood, I think. The gay men I know seem to enjoy the company of straight women. But they don’t seem to have lesbian friends. Why is that? Do gay men like straight women better than lesbians? Gay men would seem to have more in common with lesbians.
I read in the newspaper about “gay” rights. Sometimes I read about the “LGBT” movement. I’ve also read about “lesbians”, and “homosexuals”. Sometimes I see the word “queer” used by gay people, which I thought was offensive. And the other day I saw a really strange set of letters — LGBTQI — which I think means “gay.” It’s all very queer (in the old fashioned sense of the word) to a heterosexual woman like me who would call herself “straight” except for what arthritis has done to my back. Where did all these letters come from? Is there a dictionary somewhere that explains all this? What is the right way to refer to my homosexual/gay/lesbian/queer/LGBTQI friends so I don’t offend them?
I was sitting in EatWell the other day, waiting for some friends to show up for Sunday brunch, and I picked up a copy of Frontiers, the gay magazine. Even though I live in West Hollywood and I see it on the street, I’ve never really read it. Guess that’s because I’m straight.
The thing that caught my eye was how hairless all the guys in the magazine were. I showed it to my buds, and they thought it was strange too. There also were ads for laser hair removal (on the body) and hair implants (on the head). So, do gay guys not like hair on their bodies? Shaving it off seems kinda girly to me.
Plus, it’s a lot of work. I know because I watch my girlfriend shave her legs.
My brother is gay, and the other day he showed me these crazy apps on his iPhone that gay men use to meet each other. He had so many of them: Scruff, Grindr, Daddyhunt, Manhunt, and Recon (he wouldn’t let me look at that one). Lots of cute guys on there. What was interesting to me is how many of those guys said they were in relationships. A lot of them said they were in “open relationships.” I’d be really hurt if my boyfriend was fooling around on me. Is that sort of thing really okay with gays?
I’ve learned a lot about the gay world since I moved to West Hollywood 10 years ago from Sacramento. I’d never been that aware of gay people, except for the florist next door and my hairdresser. Frankly, I thought “gay” meant effeminate. Well, my eyes certainly have been opened here, where I’m surrounded by gay men of every possible type. One of my gay friends tells me that the gays actually subdivide themselves, and that some groups of gays don’t really get along with others. What are those groups? How does a gay man know which one he belongs to?
On either side of my home in the Norma Triangle are lovely gay couples that my husband and I sometimes invite over for cocktails or a barbecue. One of the things I love about West Hollywood is this sort of neighborhood diversity. I like that gay and straight people are different in some ways, and appreciate how, at core, we are really alike.
But one of the differences that neither my husband, Chuck, nor I understand is why gays always use their full first names. Chuck says that if he were Jefferson or William, or Matthew or Stephen, he’d call himself Jeff or Bill or Matt or Steve. When I’ve tried such nicknames on my neighbors over cocktails, I get a surprised look from them. Once Jefferson even corrected me. That seems so odd. What is it about?
Margaret (my friends call me Maggie)
I just heard that the West Hollywood City Council spent $67,000 to paint a couple of crosswalks at the intersection of Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards in the gay rainbow flag colors. Yuck! If you gay guys are so stylish, what’s with this tacky rainbow flag thing? Don’t you think Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace and Halston are rolling in their graves?