Gaydar

I have the worst gaydar in the world. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “[So-and-so] is gay? Huh. Who knew?”

The answer to that is always “Um. Everyone but you, apparently.”

I’m OK with that. I also can’t tell who is left-handed without seeing them write or throw a ball. I don’t know why I’d want to be able to know someone was left-handed. Just like I don’t know why I need to be able to tell someone is gay.

Here is the comprehensive list of things that change once I learn someone is gay:

There is no #2 unless you happen to be holding a pencil. That’s why my lousy gaydar doesn’t bother me. I care if you’re happy. I care if you’re doing things that fulfill you. I care that you’re comfortable in your own head. I don’t care if you’re gay.

Hai Nguyen (left) and Mark Streeter are married by Deputy Marriage Commissioner John Pleskach at City Hall in San Francisco, California, shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage on Friday, June 26, 2015. The Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. Mark’s mother, Linda Streeter, is seen in the background.

Photo and caption courtesy of Loren Elliot.

I didn’t know it until just a few days ago, but I hit the grand slam of obliviousness last June 26. You remember last June 26, right? When the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal in all 50 states?1 I thought it was a great thing. I remember being happy about it. I wasn’t nearly happy enough.

That’s my nephew Mark there in that picture. I remember the day he was born. I had no idea this happened. Families are complicated and that’s all that needs to be said about why I didn’t know at the time. I didn’t, and that’s cool. The plan was for them to have a nice quiet wedding that day and then have a big reception and party later on. They picked June 26. I don’t know all the ins and outs of how that day was picked, but having the Supreme Court of the United States make a landmark decision definitely wasn’t on the schedule. Having news media descend on San Fransisco City Hall wasn’t the plan. Click on the picture and you’ll go to the web page of the talented photographer who covered the story for the San Francisco Chronicle. Where pictures of his wedding ran. Apparently footage of the his wedding ran on the CBS Evening News. How awesome is that? Sure, it was making a very personal and private moment an international spectacle, but no one had to hire photographers. I think it all evens out.

To be honest, there are a couple of things about this whole situation that bothers me. First, it’
s been six months! We haven’t sent a gift! And apparently the whole you-have-a-year thing is a myth! I’ve got to get this figured out.

Then there’s the fact that I was hoping to participate in my family’s first same-sex wedding. “Er … How? What?” you ask, remembering my incredibly happy marriage with my clearly opposite-sex wife Carla? Easy! And not at all what you were just thinking! My cousin Lisa asked me to be her best man when she marries her partner Jen in October. Lisa is family and I’d get to participate. I thought we had it sewed up! And now I find out we weren’t even in the running. Sorry Lisa. I’m sure we’ll all still have fun at your wedding. We just can’t keep up with that darn younger generation.

I’ve not had the honor of meeting Hai yet. I have to admit to being a little nervous. Mark’s an aerospace engineer. Hai has a Ph.D. in Robotics. Newlyweds living in San Francisco and working in Silicon Valley. Carla and I are these older, married … liberal arts majors. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO TALK ABOUT?2

All kidding aside, I’m so very happy for them. My big brother Jim, rest his soul, never got to see the day. My sister-in-law Linda is in the background of that picture. I just saw her the other night and the smile on her face is every bit as big now talking about that day as it is there.

My smile that day wasn’t nearly big enough. I’m making up for it now.


1I know Roy Moore doesn’t think it applies to Alabama, but he’s wrong. It applies to all states, even the one that involves having your own head up your own ass. Which is the state Roy Moore is in perpetually, but I digress.
2Completely a joke. We’re going to completely nerd out. And there will be beer.

2 Replies to “Gaydar”

  1. So happy for your family. I met many gays while we were at SFA, and I’m thankful. People need to find more useful things to get outraged about.

    “I have no objection to anyone’s sex life as long as they don’t practice it in the street and frighten the horses.”

    ― Oscar Wilde

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