So last week I went to a gay support group for men over 40. I get all excited about going. Finally a chance to open up with brothers, ask good questions, find out the real shit about gay life from mature men who have been in it awhile.
Matter of fact, a buddy of mine who suggested I go to the group said one of the men it is 75 years old and just coming out of the closet. His wife had died and he felt the time to come out was now or never.
The support building has a lot of metal doors but few windows. It’s like Fort Knox. I think, “Shit, do these gay motherfuckers think they are about to get attacked!”
I ring the buzzer. They let me in. And my hopes of having some heartfelt dialogue go right out the window because…they are HAVING A CHRISTMAS PARTY!!
“Come in Immanuel, get a plate man. Make yourself at home.”
There are about eight guys there that run the gamut of gay. They look like your brothers, uncles, your high school English teacher. One is very effeminate with arched eyebrows but most just look average.
We do talk about some issues — gay marriage and gay bookstores and cross dressing. But this meeting is all about digging into fried chicken, potato salad and banana pudding and sharing the Christmas spirit.
After about an hour I’m ready to go. The host walks me to the door. I noticed he is limping. Being my usual nosey self I ask why.
“It’s a side effect of my HIV treatment,” he explains. “It’s alright. I’ll be okay. Are you HIV positive?”
“No,” I answer. “I just took the test a few weeks ago. I want to stay negative. I always wear a condom. Always.”
“Cool. Well if you need any health services you can get them here. And come back to another group meeting. We’ll be back to our normal schedule soon.”
“Cool, I will.” And I mean that.