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8:20 a.m. - March 23, 2003
Placebo, Domine, placebo
A few weeks ago I caught most of a lecture delivered by a professor who is either a sociologist or psychologist and does a lot of work studying the gay population. I had seen posters announcing the lecture and was half-interested, neither enough to attend nor dismiss the thought. But walking past the door I heard a voice asking, "Fact or myth: Gay men sleep around" and so I went in but sat at the top tier.

The professor threw out several thought questions like that and asked students to respond on paper, and then began his lecture. One part focused on what he called gay norms and how they differ from heterosexual norms, especially in the sexual arena; he neither defended nor criticized these norms, simply presented them as a trait exhibited by this sub-culture. He aired clips from 20/20 about an elderly gay couple who had been together more than 50 years, gay Asian-American stereotpyes from within the sub-culture, and perspectives on monogamy and settling down. He made it a point to emphasize that the news clips aired on TV featuring the go-go boys and club scene, the ones shot in the Castro, West Hollywood, and a few other places, distort and magnify perceptions both within and without the sub-culture and presented statistics and graphs on how the vast majority of gay men are in fact monogamous and do eventually settle down - with the caveat that these concepts are adjusted for these norms. So yes, gay guys settle down but the longer a couple is together, the higher the likelihood they will have "open" relationships, or be monogamous - but serially; the typical gay relationship is either short-lived or long, with not much of a statistical sample falling in the middle. He made comparisons about this middle ground to heterosexual couples and labeled it as D for divorce, said the reasons and motivations behind hetero divorce are the same that cause schisms between a gay couple. The professor didn't proclaim the gay community to be misunderstood or maligned, saying they have to assume responsibility for some of the exaggerations and stereotypes perpetuated from within, such as this obsession on youth, for example - but added the most dangerous aspect of these misunderstandings is the effect they have on those uncertain about their sexuality.

Made me think about a lot of things and I'm glad I caught the lecture, but it doesn't help me figure things out. It doesn't lessen myopism, this fatalist anger I have, or shame and disgust. But these are my own issues and like the rest, I have to figure them out on my own.

Been reviewing the lecture throughout the night, trying to glean a better understanding of myself and Spec and I reach no conclusions, find no insight. Last night we fought over going to a gay bar; I refused, he insisted. How someone as concerned as he about being straight-acting (that's the term I always forget) and avowedly anti-gay-sub-culture would either (a) want to go to one of those places and (b) knows where these places are, angered me; I felt like he's been pulling the wool over my eyes all this time and I realized with that terrible feeling that I've been a fool.

He wanted to go to check it out, said he felt comfortable doing so, said heís feeling more secure about things; and maybe thatís good for him, but Iím not at that point. And he couldnít see where we may have divergent views but to him, it was a fait accompli: He decided, ergo we go. I refused. I said something along the lines of snakepit and degenerates, and he tried to cajole but Iíd have none of it. He said gay bars arenít as bad as I think Ė and surprise, he admitted heís been to a few on Capital Hill in Seattle. I called him a faggot and he lost his temper, we began a shouting match and he was right in my face yelling Youíre a faggot, too over and over. Iíve been thinking about this all night and now, I feel empty. He said if I refused, he would still go and I could stay home and mope and be the fat ass I am and I admit, I cried. I donít know why, because everything he said is true, but it hurt.

He took my car and went to a gay bar, and hasnít returned yet. I feel like a chump, a fool, a dip-shit all in one; this guy has my car and Iím stranded and furious. Seething, and itís been hours. I donít have to guess what heís done because even adjusted for norms, heís a guy and arenít all guys after one thing?

Iíve had enough of him, of gay sex and denial, of gay fantasies and getting head from Brad, had enough of this whole thing. I packed his stuff and itís in the duffel bag outside. I want my car and thatís it. The gay shit, Iíve packed away as well. Maybe I canít excise it physically, but I can refuse to act on it and Iím done.

It feels good, I feel clean.

Placebo Domino in regione vivorum.

 

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