Well, this is an interesting time: it’s the first time that the majority of the people I see most days know that I deal with SSA. I told roommate #2 last night (roomate #1 has known for several weeks), when we were discussing the imminent move and he wondered out loud if there was some way they could get me to stay.
“Well, here’s the thing about that,” I say to C., turning towards the sink.1 “I’m gay. So. Sorry to drop that on you out of the blue. But” — whoa, that’s weird, all the wind went out of my lungs. I’m more nervous than I thought — “that sort of makes things difficult. Sometimes.”
C.’s eyes are downcast. He pauses and then says, “Well…do you mean you’re gay, or that you have homosexual tendencies?” I almost laugh at him, because I know C. and his almost preternatural sense of integrity: he is torn between the desire to offer compassion and the need to speak the truth as he knows it.2
I also know he doesn’t mean “tendencies” as in “Awww, you’re probably basically straight except sometimes you want to have sex with men for no reason.” I know he’s aware of what this means for somebody, because we’ve talked about it before, when I brought up Henri Nouwen on the ride to work once and he said solemnly, “What a cross that must be!”
So I’m not offended, except maybe a teensy bit — does he really think I don’t know this stuff? — but I assure him I’m not about to jump on the gay pride bandwagon, that I usually use “same-sex attracted” but I wanted him to know immediately what I was talking about, etc., etc.
C. and I are not in the habit of having DMC’s, so it doesn’t go much further than this. We chat a little bit more and then say Compline,3 and that’s it. He says “God bless you, Steve!” about a thousand times and tells me he’ll be praying for me about a thousand more. Like I said, solid guy.
I’m getting the sense that this whole thing is a much smaller deal than I used to think it was.