The man I date is so attentive all I have to do is mention I ran out of laundry detergent and he will run out the door to Costco and get me the super-sized bottle of Arm and Hammer.
The man I date is so caring that when I came down with a nasty case of strep throat in February he visited every night after work, made me a hot cup of cold and flu medicine, and cuddled next to me in bed despite the fact I could have been contagious.
The man I date is so freaky that I can go on Adam4Adam, get a third guy to come over, and surprise him by having the hookup walk in the bedroom stark naked. The man I date won’t miss a beat. A hot threesome immediately jumps off.
“The thing I love about you Immanuel is that you are so adventuresome,” he will say.
So what’s the problem? Well, “Van” is a little on the feminine side.
It’s in the way he talks with his hands sometimes. The way his voice can get a little too high and soft.
Really, he can’t help it. He was raised mostly in the Pacific Northwest around white people and although he has solid black roots he still kinda talks like a teenage white boy. He just doesn’t have that East Coast edge. That swagger.
When we go out in public folks know we are a gay couple. You can’t finesse it with him. Van tells me all the time about “straight” men who approach him on the Metro, on the street, in the grocery store. That rarely happens to me, probably because I don’t have a rainbow-hued gay aura floating around me like Van does.
I know I have written in blog posts in the past (read the Masculine Mystique from 2010) that black gay men need to accept of our more feminine brothers. We need to drop all this preoccupation with masculinity, which is really just another way to be down-low.
Because really Van is very confident and comfortable with himself.He is successful, owns his own home, and has a business on the side.
Its ME that has the problem. This is something I need to work on.
One day I screwed up my courage and talked to Van about it. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings but I had to let him know that some of his actions in public made me flinch.
“You know ‘Van’ you are a really nice man,” I said. “But you are softer than I usually prefer.”
“Yeah, I know I’m kinda soft,” he answered.
I paused and really thought before I spoke, something I rarely do. “Hey Van, just keep being yourself. I can’t change you. You have to be yourself.”
And honestly, no man you date will ever live up to all your unrealistic expectations. I’m far from perfect myself. So I guess Van will be hanging around for awhile while we continue to discover each other.