Not since my youth have I had anyone resembling a sassy gay friend. In fact, I doubt I knew that the sharply-dressed-neatly-manicured-makeup-wearing-best-dancer-in-our-group guy was a sassy gay friend.
Sure, he was sassy. I liked the way he purred the word sass-ay. He was a friend. But did I realize he was gay? Probably not.
There was so much gender bender stuff going on in the ’80s, how was a girl supposed to keep straight who was gay, straight or on both sides of the coin? So many guys were wearing makeup, spraying their hair and wearing puffy shirts and tight pants. Some of the best dance clubs in town were inside gay bars. You’d think standing next to two guys locking lips would give me some insight. But how could I be sure they really were two guys? Sometimes it was two women who looked like men. Sometimes one was a man, the other a woman, and each looked like the opposite.
I’m fairly certain I was born without gaydar. It’s hereditary. My parents inadvertently subjected me to a weekend vacation at a gay resort. Not that there’s anything wrong with a vacation at a gay resort. It’s just that the other guests at the darling bed and breakfast on Cape Cod seemed a bit — puckered and clenched — by the idea that Clark Griswold and clan were sleeping on those 2,000 thread count sheets. I’m sure we threw the whole aesthetic out of whack.
I have one gay not-so-sassy acquaintance who has given me an earful about all sorts of things I’d never have the nerve to ask someone who is gay. So, that’s been helpful. But would he advise me on the right jeans to purchase? Would he declare my landscaping trailer park? Would he slap the knife out of my hand?
Where are you, Sassy Gay Friend?