Sunday, 14 November 2010

Excuses excuses

So, the boiler has broken down. And sometimes gay people get beaten up (or worse) or being who they are.

The connection? Why that perennial favourite, the boiler breaking down. What else?

Let me start at what suits as the beginning, gentle reader:

Fella and I have had our ups and downs walking through the streets of Strumpetville. We’ve been quite lucky I think – some of the things that get reported in the news feed my imagination and paranoia (except... maybe they are out to get us). But there has been some hassle. I really get worried that Fella in particular will get hurt one day if he isn’t careful. I fancy I can handle myself and have a more forbidding demeanour you see... so I don’t like it when Fella displays affection publicly, especially when we’re out late at night. I feel it is risky. In a nutshell: I don’t want either of us to get killed.

So far so hoopy, right?

But the boiler has broken down. And what do we do when the boiler breaks down? We use our shiny Strumpetville Dabloons to purchase the services of a plumber.

Fella organises everything, and the plumber turns out to be a really nice guy. He can’t solve the problem, but gives us lots of advice. Well, he got £70 for his trouble; so fair enough.

Because this is the first time I’ve lived with someone, it’s the first time we’ve had someone in ‘our’ home who isn’t a friend or relative. So it’s the first time I’ve had to manage other reactions to my/our sexuality at home.

Fella was fine, and totally open – calling me “darling” and “sweetheart” in front of the plumber. And the plumber clearly didn’t care. So I’m writing this trying to get some insight into why I was even remotely anxious about it. Why was it necessary to be on my guard?

I wonder if I’m still a little afraid of how people will react to my sexuality; still carrying a little bit of the baggage that stopped me coming out for so long? It’s given me pause for thought... am I projecting my fears onto Fella? Why is it I worry about this? I think there must be something deeper than a reaction to homophobia. I mean there’s plenty of it about but not to the extent I should think about how I behave in my own home. To be fair there are plenty of unprecedented events in my life and it’s easier to deal with anything that life throws at me when I have some measure of control.


Antony said...

My view is that in the 21st century we should be able to display affection in public. But I don't think you should worry about fella too much, surely he is cleaver enough to judge when it needs to be toned down for safety reasons?

And as for the plumber, your home should be your sanctuary. Where you can do and act and say what you please, regardless of who is there. Remember that anyone who enters your home is a guest and can be ejected if they mistreat you.


A x

Paul Brownsey said...

Could the source of your uneasiness be something rather different, namely, that you are a polite person who can enter into the embarrassment or irk of guests or visitors who may dislike having domestic lovey-doveyness wiped over them, irrespective of whether that lovey-doveyness is straight or gay?

I remember a cringing evening when my boy-friend and I were invited to dinner by a straight male friend and his new girl-friend. They kept nipping into corners for quick fondles and snogs, e.g. interrupting the hunt for napkins with a cuddle. We gays didn't know where to look and I wanted to say, but didn't, "Look - we're not here to be an audience: save the performance till later." PDAs of whatever sexual mix can be an exercise in rudeness, a sort of conscripting of others as compulsory witnesses of your amatory bliss.

Mike said...

I have been more comfortable displaying afffection publicly with others in my past than with Fella. International for example. Fella doesn't really see the risks the way I do. Perhaps I'm being paranoid, but I don't think e.g. a commuter train is a good place to have a kiss!

Regardless of sexuality people cna take PDAs too far of course...