From Fox Deatry. Email him at fox[AT]borderstan.com.
DC — the Emerald City, somewhere over the rainbow. Its streets lined with gentrified row houses, its stoops a hangout for rodents as big as Toto and its lounges frequented by Glinda the Good Witch or whomever drag queen performs. Time and time again, a new Dorothy walks into its borders from distant lands (usually Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania) to start anew.
Like a Munchkin, they have rarely ventured out of their small towns prior to the move to DC. But make no mistake: they do not lack the aspirations to be as great and powerful as the Wizard of Oz. What they do lack, however, is the heart of the Tin Man. This brings me to the ultimate question: Why do gay Washingtonians in their mid-twenties prefer love bites to real love?
Let’s take a ‘fictional’ example. Stephen: Age 27, living in pheromone central Scott Circle, owns a house, is an executive at a tech-social media company and is a chicken nugget (hunky white guy). Stephen, as it seems, is the dream boyfriend, a trophy hubby. But underneath that Vida Fitness body are reasons why this stud muffin isn’t ready for love. Here are a few theories:
Stephen is gay, but he just doesn’t know it yet. To him, it’s late puberty kicking in when experimentation is a rite of passage and folks dining at Annie’s are just ‘preppy.’
I Want Candy
Why settle with one when the city provides as much eye candy as a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. Thanks to Grindr and Scruff, ‘meeting up’ is a lot less work nowadays. DC is also a hot bed for tourists and interns during the summer. The only problem is that after a few love bites, hormones develop and things turn into a high school musical drama sans Zac Efron.
Working long, dreadful hours are accepted — except if lovers are involved. DC ‘Homo’ Sapiens can be homey, especially since many of them have strong family relationships or aspire for one. Some get clingy and if you have a wandering eye then that can put a damper on happy hour.
But Thanksgiving is Not Until…
November should be called National Coming Out Month as Thanksgiving dinners have seen more ‘Homo’ Sapiens coming out to their families than any other holiday. This American tradition is also the time when potential boyfriends are introduced to potential in-laws. Since we are still in the middle of summer, having a serious relationship is inconceivable. For Stephen, it shouldn’t be until after September 22, the beginning of fall.
So what if you dated a jerk, a cheater or a Republican. It was ten years ago, and it’s quite unfair for the populace to suffer. Future dates shouldn’t be judged on the past. Plus, you’ve already donated to the Obama Campaign in penance.
It’s All In Your Head
You’re not exactly Lonesome George — that giant Galápagos Tortoise that recently passed. He was literally the only one of his kind. In our case, we are not meant to be alone. If you can’t wrap your head around that then maybe you need the Wizard of Oz. Or perhaps you should close your eyes and tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself, this is home.
This column first ran July 12, 2012.