Help! There’s a a Gay in my class
By Tal Eitan
In ninth grade I was not sure who or what I was, but I was sure about one thing: Out of everyone, there was one single and special guy who made something inside me move, and not in the sordid sense.
In those days I could not name this weird, pleasant pestering feeling I had whenever I thought of that beautiful tenth grader. I could not understand why I stutter near him, and why on earth I thought he was so beautiful.
Today I laugh when thinking back to those sensations, and know exactly how to call them. Maybe it was a crush, maybe love, maybe plain old sexual attraction.
When one of the girls told everyone I was after her, I did not bother denying it. It was much easier for me. I was not really interested, but it was a useful distraction, and I entered an unending and pretty idiotic relationship.
She is happily married today, and privately I hope for her sake that she is a little luckier with him than she was with me.
Eleventh grade was very different. I already had a boyfriend, and a pretty steady one at that, but still I felt a need to protect him and me from the watchful eyes and wagging tongues surrounding me.
In a moshav where everyone knows everyone else, sleeps with everyone else, and gossips about everyone else, I preferred to keep my distance. Except for one completely lesbian friend, no one knew officially that I prefer men.
It was not easy being the only gay person in my grade. I know today that other gay people went to school with me, as well as some lesbians. Back then I was sure I was the only homosexual for miles.
I laughed when, a few years later, I learned that my best friend was gay as well, another best friend is a lesbian, and the biggest homophobe at school, who always made fun of our completely self oblivious queer group, is one of the queeniest men in Tel Aviv.
There are some “normal” gays
Back then I was lonely. I had to look for shards of information by myself.
I went all the way to Tel Aviv to browse the GLBT magazine, the horrendous “Zman Varod”, which scared me even more with the reality it presented: A bubbling cauldron of sex, deviancy, politics, hatred and colorful feathers and leg warmers on parade floats. Stop the float, I want to get off!
And then, completely by accident, I met this gay guy online. He was completely regular, like me. And then I met another one, and another.
I realized there were some “normal” gay people too, the kind who do not go from one night stand to the other, who do not have vast make up cases at home, and who do not buy wigs by the pound.
Like many gay people, I thought being gay was fine as long as you kept a certain level of “modesty”, and did not flaunt your gayness. I was angry with the feminine men, who referred to themselves in the feminine and wore stomach revealing tops.
They scared and threatened me, because in my limited view of the world something about them kept me away from the consensus.
A few more years went by, and I understood how wonderful and how liberating it is to be part of a society that makes room for a man’s man kind of guy, alongside a flaming fairy.
I realized how delightful drag can be, and how much fun it is to yell “my pussy’s burning!” in moments of crisis or frustration.
I have built around me a group of every sex, gender and orientation, each one a more unique, more beautiful, more genuine individual than the other. One is from the north, another from the south, that girl is from another country, and that guy is from across the street.
I am not impressed with “straight gays”, “straight acting” makes me nauseous, and I think that anyone who does not know at least a little of his pink history is missing out on a whole world of people, artists, and important events.