While my French friend (whom I shall heretofore call “Pierre” though that is not his real name) came to visit me this past weekend, his boyfriend (also French whom I shall call “Jean-Paul” though that is not his real name) joined him. I had not previously met Jean-Paul. While it was tough accommodating guests in my small apartment, it was great having them here, not only for their company, but, well, when you have guests in LA, you do things that you keep promising yourself to do, but keep putting off because since you live in LA, it’s a hassle to get to Disneyland and it’ll still be there next week and the beach isn’t going away.
This weekend, I finally made it to Disneyland. While at this fun theme park, Jean-Paul and Pierre often walked (and conducted themselves) as lovers do, holding hands, walking with their arms around each other and even kissing in line.
It didn’t occur to me until we were in line at the Alice-in-Wonderland ride where most of the other people waiting were families with young children that, well, some people might not “approve” of such public displays of affection. But, no one said anything. One woman did roll her eyes and look away.
This one woman notwithstanding, most park-goers seemed to take my friends’ sexuality in stride. It seemed a sign that gay couples have become an accepted part of the American “social landscape.” When I recounted this story to a friend, he remarked that it took “courage” for these guys to hold hands at such a public place. I disagree. Courage doesn’t seem to be the right word.
I don’t think Jean-Paul and Pierre even thought about what they were doing. They just acted on their feelings, their longing to be close to one another and conducted themselves as many straight lovers do in public places.
A more circumspect individual would have thought about how others might judge such a public display of his tender emotions. I just think they were comfortable enough with themselves and with their affection for one other that it didn’t even occur to them that others might disapprove.
We should all strive to have such an attitude–and not merely in terms of whether or not we are willing to hold hands in places, but to realize that it is more important to be true to ourselves than to be bothered by what others think.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com