In honor of Gay Pride Weekend in Los Angeles, Patrick Range McDonald of the LA Weekly asked me to write an essay answering the question, “What does it mean to be gay?” This is my response:
I can’t remember the last time I was asked — or even considered — the question, “What does it mean to be gay?” I don’t really think much about being gay any more. I just am gay. My sexuality is an essential part of who I am, but it doesn’t define my existence.
I take it for granted that others know. As a result, I am occasionally surprised when women interpret my friendly interest as a romantic (or sexual) advance. Ever hopeful that men I find attractive will find me attractive, I often forget that woman too can be drawn to me.
After all, most people in our society seek romantic/sexual attachments with members of the opposite sex. It’s only natural that then a woman would take an interest in a single man. And when one does, her interest serves to remind me of the difference created by my emotional/sexual orientation and the journey required to find myself where I now stand — taking that difference for granted.
Unlike our straight peers, gay individuals must distinguish ourselves from the social norm in order to be true to — and live out — some of our deepest feelings.
You can read the rest here.