Sunday, March 6, 2011

I am a Man

Yes, I will beat my chest and jump up and down. I will revel in my manliness, I will scratch my privates and fart in public and not apologize for it. I will grab my remote control and not let go unless death or cable interruptions force me to put it down. I race cars at the stop light and revel in my ability to pick up something heavy.

Yes I am a man, not a boy, not a girl. I am a man and I enjoy manly things like meat, pizza and sex. I like to burp. I like to look at a beautiful body. I am a man. I am 43: I am a GROWN man. I don't aspire to be 20 or 32 or 38. I don't want to be pretty, or young. I don't regret my youth nor do I pine for it. I stay in shape because it's good for me, not because I'm competing with, or for, a 20 something. I enjoy being a man. I love my penis.

I have worked for continually for 25 years, I have earned a degree. I have raised a son. I have loved. I have been married. I have watched friends die. I have fought for my right to exist as a whole person. I am a man. I have been a coward. I have been scared. I have laid down and prayed for death. I have been amazed at my own survival. I have been surprised by my ability to thrive despite all the odds.

I am a gay man. I am not less or more than any of my brothers. I may like "womanly" things but I've paid a price for that, and come out happier because of it. We are not "boys". We are not pets. We are not part of a "collection". You might think it's cute or shallow that we take care of ourselves, worship beautiful things like art and fashion. We're still men. We still scratch our balls.

Our relationships don't always look the same as straight men, but that doesn't mean they're not as deep or as loving or as serious. They work for us because we're men. They may not last as long, because we're men. It doesn't mean that gay relationships are any less serious, or intense as straight ones.

So don't call us boys, girlie-men, or add diminutives to our names. It's not cute, it's patronizing. I've earned my manhood, just like any other 40 year old male. We Gays are men, just like your father, brothers and sons. You might not like it, but respect it. I am a man plain and simple.