A New Perspective from Two Twinks
A New Perspective from Two Twinks: I want to share one of those "aha" moments I received from two Twinks who were merely seated next to me in the food court of one of our major Central Jersey shopping malls.
I spotted these guys who were frankly great eye candy, and from the moment I laid eyes on them, I did not need my gaydar to go off. Instantly, I knew they were family. This may be politically incorrect, but they looked, acted, spoke and camped it up like only a gay dude can do, but usually it's not while eating lunch at the mall. I wasn't eavesdropping, but I heard everything they said, and it was apparent to me that they were performing for anyone who was within listening distance.
The performance started like this: Twink 1 says to Twink 2: "Girlfriend ,you are one flaming queer boy today." Twink 2 makes a remark about his friend's oral abilities with sex. His reply was "What kind of faggot would I be if I didn't master that skill?" Things got more graphic and the "f" bomb was dropped numerous times and out of any logical meaning to the word. Then they started feeding each other bite size pieces of their lunch selections. Predictably, they exclaimed "fabulous" with each shared morsel.
I was fascinated by the Two Twinks and I admit that I stared at them for a long while. Suddenly, Twink 1 looks at me and says "Why don't you take a picture, Grandpa, it will last longer." Twink 2 inferred I was a chicken hawk. They both asked me if I had a problem with out gay men. I know I surprised them when I said I had no problem because I am one! I also informed them that I have underwear older than they are. They asked me to sit at their table, so I moved my Happy Meal over and we introduced ourselves. Twink 2 told me that he thought I was a heterosexual man disapporving of their right to be out and loud and proud. Twink 1 agreed. I explained to them that I was taken aback by their use of words that my generation most often tried to stop people from using. We didn't find being called a "queer" to be a friendly greeting. "Faggot" and "Co342ucker" also did not rank high on the list of friendly things we wanted to be called. They said that as with any vulgar word, it loses its impact over time and we hear it used less and less. To make their point,they used the "N" word which seems to have lost power in the African-American culture. They both said that I had succeeded in doing what they want to accomplish-- defusing the hurtful impact of these names. It is true that even the most caustic appelation loses a great deal of power once the word is removed from the list of words that are able to fully hurt and shock us. Speaking to them (and listening to them) in quiet and measured sentences, I understood that they were using the staging at the food court to defuse words that hurt them when they were much younger. They were now showing the world that the LGBT community is getting over feeling oppressed by these barbs.
They sprung for a latte, and we talked for almost an hour. I was impressed by the change in demeanor and the sudden respect I was given for involvement in PFLAG , the NAMES Project,and any number of gay support and advocacy groups over the years. These two young gentlemen suddenly came across to me as a hopeful sign for the future. It was a very teachable moment in their lives and in mine. [Yes, we did exchange phone numbers and I would like to connect with them on various levels in the coming months. Don't get any wrong ideas here-- one of those levels could possibly cause heart problems and a serious hospitalization --so it's only wishful thinking.
I did ask if there is still any word used by others in society which truly angers them. They both said that being called "homosexuals" still makes them feel like some animal species not yet analyzed but given a sick and unacceptable view by society. Personally, this is one term I myself detest. It might have had its place before 1972 when the American Psychological Society & the American Psychiatric Association stated that we are not ever to have ourselves classified with a mental condition in such unfounded clinical terms.
These days, I'm beginning to see that just about everything happens for a reason. This chance encounter with the two very attractive young gay gentlemen certainly broadened my horizons.
When I looked at the card on which the Twinks wrote their phone numbers, they listed them as "Your new friends, the Fruitcakes."
And the world wonders why I need medications! I'm living experiences I find hard to believe are happening-- but I also KNOW that one cannot make up some of the things we experience today.
As a final note to this incident, as we hugged goodbye, Twink 2 asked if the pope ever uses the word "gay." I need to try to research that, but I frankly don't give a damn. Somebody up there in the papal offices must have let on that "homosexual" is the word which would rattle the most cages of most gay people and make them feel more alienated and unwelcome. Thus, it is probably used most often.
Any replies or reactions to this blog are appreciated. I'm not too concerned whether you love me or hate me, but I wish you would let me know that I'm not typing out words that reach no one.