Dear Gay Guru,
Some male friends of mine are straight and in an effort to try and support their lifestyle choices I go out with them. Usually we go to the bar, but sometimes when I feel like I want to be extra inclusive I’ll attend a sporting event of some kind, or perhaps go for target practice at the local firing range. The problem is as follows: sometimes when we’re out, heterosexuals hit on me. Even though I’m a gay male I don’t think there is anything wrong with their lifestyle choice, as long as they don’t make me feel uncomfortable. How can I tell them this without sounding like a total heterophobe? ‘Cause I’m not. I swear.
Tolerant in Trumbull
My Sweet Tolerant in Trumbull:
It would be just like a breeder to overlook the inherent danger in the combination of firearms and unwanted sexual advances, huh? One can only imagine how scary, yet utterly titillating that scenario must have been for you!
First off I would like to dispel a common myth that your email touches upon. It’s my belief that heterosexuality is not a “choice.” I don’t think anyone “chooses” to be a 90% majority of the population that, no matter what race, creed, or color, is generally better tolerated based on the gender of their sexual partner. Honestly though, who –aside from maybe a priest– would choose a life of such boredom and monotony?
As I mull over your issue and draw on my own past, the phrase “if I had a nickel” keeps repeating through my head. I have been the victim of uncomfortable, unwanted advances made by self-described “straight” men on the internet and occasionally a suggestive flirtation made in a bar or social setting. Typically, I refer to advances made by persons of the same sex as “what he said before we hooked up.” However, I find nothing is more heinous or uncomfortable than an advance made by a person of the opposite sex when he or she knows, without a doubt, that you are gay, or lesbian, and not interested.
The most responsible advice I could possibly offer you, Tolerant, is in the interest of preserving your friendships. When you come upon these uncomfortable situations (or rather when they come upon you) the best thing you can do is clearly and calmly state to whomever is making the advance that they’re making you uncomfortable. Don’t ever be afraid to share your feelings, especially if they’re not being shy about sharing theirs.
Now if you know your Gay Guru, you know that “responsible” isn’t really my bag. Never have I personally explained to someone that they were doing or saying something that was making me uncomfortable. Instead, on many occasions, I have loudly extolled “You’re in my personal bubble” which, coupled with physically pushing the offending party off as far as my arm will reach, has generally been successful when needed. As for my other successful, albeit passive, methods, they follow the same general theme: “Accidents happen.”
After being warned once, a straight guy or girl in my company who is making unwanted advances at me may find themselves with a drink “accidentally” spilled upon them. If their behavior continues, they may “accidentally” become burned with a cigarette. Now if this is the approach you would like to take, the “whoopsies” are only as limited as your creativity!
You come across as a sort of compassionate guy, Tolerant, so if attempting any of the above has you feeling a little bad, be sure to go into battle prepared! With a Tide pen, a couple handiwipes, and some burn cream in your man-purse, there’s no reason you can’t be ready to atone for a little “accident” in the interest of your own self-defense.
Now it should be said, these methods are for you to pursue at your own risk, but I believe I’ve covered all the bases for you Tolerant. Wishing you all the best of luck!
The Gay Guru
Remember no issue is too big, too small, too straight, or too gay for the Gay Guru, so keep those e-mails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org