For a lot of my life, people have said that I’m “sorta gay.”
And, I get it. I’m pretty effeminate for a dude. Which is funny, because I used the word “pretty” to qualify that statement.
But, no, I get it. I just don’t think “gay” is the right word.
There’s a huge difference. I feel bad for gay guys who get pigeonholed into the thought process that being “girly” makes them gay. No, being gay makes them gay. I can imagine this bothers gay dudes. They just aren’t that into girls, so I’m sure they don’t want to be told that they are one.
What I am is an entirely different thing.
See, in my formative years, I was raised by a single mom. A single mom who had wanted a girl since she was about -22 years old. Imagine the feeling, then, of not getting a girl. The feeling of getting a household full of burping, farting boys instead. Boys that would never appreciate her love of shoes or bags. Boys that would not appreciate the haircut she got, did you notice? Boys that, put simply, would never be her daughter.
And then I happened.
Sure, I have plenty of total “dude” qualities. Left to my own devices, I’d watch Sportscenter on loop all day. I love movies where shit blows up for no reason. I like whiskey and scotch. I don’t understand why it takes so long for girls to get ready. Fill in the next man cliche here. That’s the thing: I’m just “dude” enough that most guys don’t notice that I’m a girl in man’s clothing.
Because then there’s the “raised by a woman” part of me.
I love shoes.
Let me say that again.
I fucking love shoes. If buying pairs of them were a sport, I’m Tiger Woods pre-ambien meltdown.
I buy product. Not shampoo, or soap. I buy “product.” My shower houses two salon pumps of Bumble and Bumble, Kiehl’s and Bliss face wash, and something called “minty scrub soap.” I own eye creams. Notice the “s” there? That’s because I own multiple eye creams.
I just want to talk. All the time. About nothing but feelings. I have feelings bulimia.
I talk about celebrities using only their first names.
I say an uncomfortable amount of the phrases featured in the Shit Girls Say video.
I do like to dance like no one is watching.
I enjoy a good romantic comedy. So much so that I am ordered to take my best friend (a girl, obviously) to movies by her husband who doesn’t want to see them.
I own Ani Difranco albums (this one arguably makes me a lesbian, but they are still girls the last time I checked).
I’ve been the only male invited to not one but two baby showers.
I cry when I get too drunk.
I am the closest thing a male can get to having a period.
And you know what? Screw it, man. It’s who I am.
I’m not a gay guy.
I’m a f%*king girl.
The other day, I was sitting in a cubicle at an office of about 100 people I don’t know. I was blaring music in headphones when a song came on that I really liked. It was catchy as all hell, the hook was great. And this is what it sounded like.
Around the fifteenth listen, I wrote my friend Julie this exact statment:
“I’m sitting in a corporate office writing serious ideas about a large brand…with this playing in my headphones. No one around me has any idea. Is this what it feels like to be in the closet?”
To answer my own question:
Yes. This is what it feels like to be in the closet. But not the gay closet.
The “girly dude” closet.
You’re all invited to join. I’ve got at least one pair of shoes for everyone.