Tuesday, May 2, 2017
May 1979: One of My Little Brother's Friends is Gay
Rock Island, May 1979
One day in May 1979, near the end of my freshman year in college, my younger brother Kenny said "You've been a homo for almost a year now."
I glared at him. He was the only one I told, and we had an unspoken rule to never mention it. "The word is gay, and longer than that. I just figured it out last year."
"So, why don't you have...you know...a friend yet? You're pretty ugly, and you smell pretty bad, but there must be some homo out there willing to give you a break. "
"I'm sure they'd be falling all over each other to get my phone number, if I could actually meet someone. But I'm too young to get into the bars, there aren't any gay groups in town, and I can't just walk up and ask. So far I've met just two gay guys in town, and neither of them want to date me."
Kenny grinned triumphantly. "Well, I've got good news for you. You've known a fairy all this time without knowing it."
"One of my friends is that way. He just told me -- I'm so cool, everybody is ok with telling me their deepest, darkest secrets. So, want me to set you up on a date?"
"I don't know...a high school boy? That's a little young." Kenny would be sixteen in June, so his friends were mostly fifteen and sixteen-year olds --- an insurmountable age gap. Not for hooking up, maybe -- I slept with Mary's sixteen-year old brother last March, during spring break -- but dating? What would my friends think?
Oh, right...they would never know.
"Hey, it's not like you have a whole lot of choices. And..." He leaned in conspiratorily. "I'll tell you his darkest secret -- he thinks you're hot. I know -- it sounded crazy to me, too, but that's what he said. So..."
"Well, who is it? What does he look like?" I had met most of Kenny's friends over the years.
"That would be telling," Kenny said with a smirk.
"Well, how do I know if he's my type or not?"
"Oh, you have a type? Well...I should tell you, he's not very fruity."
"That's ok, I don't like femme guys."
"Yeah, I figured you like to be the girl."
"We're both guys, dummy! So...what else can you tell me about him? Is he cute?"
He shrugged. "How should I know what turns a gay dude on? But the girls kind of like him, I guess. But here's the thing -- he doesn't know you're gay, so you can't know he is, either. I'll invite five guys over, and you'll have to take it from there, dig?"
"Ok....." I said doubtfully.
The next Friday night, Kenny invited five guys and two girls over for a pizza party. We took over the basement rec room, which had a foosball game, a pingpong table, a tv set, and two couches.
Which was gay? My mind raced.
(All nude models are over 18)
1. Denny the drama club boy (top photo)? No -- he spent all his time with one of the girls.
2. Todd, Kenny's best friend, a sports nut with sandy blond hair and green eyes. No -- he was flirting with the other girl.
3. Marshall (second photo), a baseball player with a stunning physique and bulge to match. No -- he never gave m a second glance.
4. Handy (left), a black guy who was playing foosball with Kenny while I was sitting on the couch, so I spent a half an hour staring at his butt. No -- I had never met him before, and Kenny said I knew the gay guy.
5. Carl from church (below), a very shy, reserved boy who I had never seen out of a Sunday suit. No -- Johnny Nazarene, ultra-devout, would be horrified if he found out that he was in the same room with a gay person. Two gay people.
Maybe none of them were gay, or it was one of the girls, and Kenny was pranking me.
I tried two more tactics:
1. "Anybody want to watch The Dukes of Hazzard? Bo and Luke Duke?"
John Schneider was well known for his blatant bulge.
2. "Whoa, it's hot in here." I took off my shirt. If the gay guy thought I was hot, he'd look.
I had enough. Kenny was pranking me! "I'm going to go out to the back yard to play with the dog and cool off," I announced. I tromped up the stairs and called for Katie, the golden retriever, who was in the living room with my parents.
It was just past 8:00 pm, twilight, with the sky dimming and a few lightning bugs out. I led Katie out and tossed a frisbee for her to catch.
Suddenly the side door opened. It was Denny!
"Can I help?" he asked. "Sometimes I don't like a lot of noise and crowds."
"Yeah, I'm the same way." I handed him the frisbee, making sure that our hands touched. He smiled shyly.
Could Denny be the gay guy? But...he spent most of the night with a girl!
"So...is Angela your girlfriend?"
"I wish! Have you seen her? Way out of my league, man!"
So I played frisbee with Katie the dog and a straight boy. When it got too dark to see well, we brought Katie back into the house and returned to the party.
Now Marshall was chatting up one of the girls, and Handy the other.
"Your attention, please. I have, up in my office, at this moment, a fine collection of rare and exotic Golden Age comic books, which I will open for the perusing of any of you gentlemen...and ladies, too, of course. But the office is rather cramped, so I can accommodate only one person at a time. Th line forms this way...." I motioned toward the staircase.
Not the best pick up line in the world. The guys mostly ignored me. But Carl the Nazarene boy stepped up.
"I'd love to see them. I love comic books."
As we walked up the stairs to the kitchen and then to my attic room, and then to the room I called my office, I wondered if Carl could be the gay guy. He hadn't spoken to any girls...but he was Nazarene! No dancing, no movies, no eating out on Sunday. With a preacher who fomented against homa-sekshuls in every single sermon!
I was a Johnny Nazarene, too, when I was in eleventh grade.
Not a very big penis, but he made up for it with his enthusiasm.
See also: Is Mary's Brother Gay?; The Juvenile Delinquent's Bare Butt; and My Boyfriend Goes to Bed with the Baseball Player.