From: Nelson Minar 
Newsgroups: soc.motss
Subject: "faggot!"
Date: 12 Nov 1997 17:29:09 -0500

It's been awhile since someone has shouted "faggot!" at me. It's nice
that it doesn't upset me so much anymore.

I just had a really nice weekend with a friend. During his visit, I
felt very good about how the whole time we were as affectionate in
public as we felt like. Walking arm in arm down the street, stealing a
quick kiss. No big deal, no Public Display, just affection.

The best part about all this wasn't that I felt like I could touch
another man in public. I've felt that way before, in an aggressive
Queer Nation sense. The best part was that I could express intimacy
without it being a big thing. 

These brief moments were not entirely unremarkable. They did feel a
bit illicit, a bit outrageous. But not hugely remarkable either. Not a
big production, no staring around wildly to make sure no one could
notice. I'm proud that I don't care so much now who notices.

The environment helps. Most of the time we were Boston's South End,
the closest thing we have to a gay neighbourhood. "Safe", in the
ghetto sense, albeit "safe" with the usual Boston reserve about doing
anything at all in public.

I saw my friend to his cab on Tuesday afternoon, on Tremont in front
of my apartment. And put his luggage in the trunk, and hugged him, and
kissed him goodbye.

And kissed him goodbye as three kids, about 15 years old, were walking
up behind us. And the act of two men kissing got them to making
noises, to shout, to say "eww, gross" and "look at that". And when we
didn't look embarassed, for one to say "faggot".

They didn't slow down, they kept walking. I was done saying goodbye,
and I went back up on the sidewalk where the boys were still hooting
and looking at us. And I just looked them in the eye while they walked
away. I am proud to say I did not feel ashamed.

I'd like to write this as some sort of victory. It wasn't - three
punks got away with harassing me and I didn't have a snappy rejoinder.
But I also didn't get hurt, which is a victory in itself. And I didn't
lose my cool, it barely even ruffled my satisfaction in having just
spent a few days with someone I care for. In a curious way it even
made it more real.
Return to Gay:Stories:Gay Life
The Bibble Pages, Christian Molick,