Dude, Sweet!

Today is a holiday unique to Boston. Marathon Monday and Patriots day collide to form a weird type of holiday that shutters businesses and schools within the Boston city limits. Sort of like Saint Patrick’s Day, because anyone can claim to be Irish or a Patriot and the only proof you need to display is consuming more alcohol than your body can process. Because I work in Cambridge, technically I do not get this as a holiday, but because I live in Boston, I decided that “working from home” for half of the day was due to me.

My husband Paul and I walked down the sidewalk to catch a glimpse of the race at mile 22 and it was clear that this was a par-TAY atmosphere. The normal Boston College student backpacks had all been replaced with twelve-packs and despite it being just 51 degrees; they were optimistically dressed in shorts and tank tops.

“Oh look, the frat house is open!” Paul exclaimed. It’s not really a frat house, but we affectionately call it that because at the hint of any warm weather, the decks and front lawn are filled with intoxicated college age men. And when you have a group of young intoxicated men, stupid shit follows. Today was no exception.

“Dudes, do you want a brew?” A young guy in plaid shorts and BC T-shirt asked us. “All-set, thanks.” Paul waved. On the front steps were two guys leaning over another young man, his right knee bleeding profusely. “Dab, don’t wipe dude, dab!” One of them was heatedly telling the makeshift medic with a bloody rag. And then we passed by another frat boy holding a plastic bag, with contents that looked alarmingly like urine, getting ready to take a sip, but in a neighborly way held it out to us for a sample. We declined. And this was 11:30 AM, mind you.

I can’t tell you how many times Paul and I have re-enacted the frat boy’s mannerisms and language, leading up to what Paul calls in his Borat accent, “Sexy-time”. “Dude, the coach really kicked my ass in practice today! Can you rub the kink out of my back, bro’?” You get it: Straight-acting. I hate that term. When I posted a profile on match.com before I met Paul, every other Gay man listed himself as “straight-acting”. To say that is to imply that being Gay is undesirable.

I have asked my friends, Sam and Cary what is so appealing about hooking up with someone that is straight-acting. Cary says it is making up for all of those years in high school when the college jocks made fun of us homos and now we get the upper hand by sticking it to them, so to speak. Sam really doesn’t give a shit what his hook-ups act like as long they keep their grimy hands off his fabric headboard, so he really was of no help.

I think that society wants unrealistic definitions and boundaries. Boys play with trucks and guns while girls play with Barbies and dress up. When an advertisement surfaced this week about a mother painting her five year old son's toenails pink, you would have thought that she might as well have been signing him up for sex re-assignment surgery. There were so many critics that thought this was “improper”. The mother and son were clearly playing and loved this; Kudos to the mother for not condemning the son to a life of “This is what boys are supposed to act like”.

If more parents allow their children to be who they are then one day, maybe we can get rid of the term “straight acting” in the Gay community. Who knows, maybe the straight community will advertise themselves as “gay-acting”. And Dude, that would be sweet!

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