A couple months ago I went to dinner with a friend and two others (which my friend new). This was not too long after coming to terms with my own sexuality. I am discrete and if I wasn't holding a boy's hand (which I wasn't at the time) very few would wonder about my sexuality.
For those of you who don't get the pleasure of experiencing what it is like to be gay (the sarcasm probably doesn't come through the screen), let me tell you that being in public where people might guess about you isn't fun, especially when you are just starting to meet and talk to other gay people.
Well not all of these guys were as discrete as I was. A person would have to be completely oblivious not to guess that at least two of us were gay. Well, we were just talking, enjoying conversation and food. I was completely rigid and conscious of everything going on around us. Here are the things I saw (and the others noticed also).
The couple sitting behind us simply got up and moved to a table at the other end of the restaurant. People at other tables would stare. The waiters and waitresses gathered at one point at the end of the row of tables and whispered to each other, looked at us, and laughed, for a good 2 minutes. To top it all off, our waiter was gay. It wasn't long before he realized we were too, so he acted just like his normal self (instead of the facade that he initially wore, which I'm sure was a survival technique when income depends on tips). It was just one big gay dinner party and everyone knew it. I was SO uncomfortable and hurt. Especially by the couple who couldn't stand the idea of eating next to a table of gay guys and moved.
I thought, "no wonder so many gay guys end up meeting in dark parking lots, empty houses, and otherwise remote places. Society won't let them enjoy a night out on the town like any heterosexual can without subjecting them to criticism, teasing, and rejection."
Since then, I have come to a place where I am completely comfortable with who I am and hold the hand of my significant other in public if I feel like holding his hand. I flirt with him on a date just like heterosexuals flirt on their dates. And though people stare and point and laugh and make rude remarks, and sometimes I wonder about my safety, if I want to enjoy our date and hold hands, thats what I do. I'm not obnoxious about it. I try to keep it as discrete as possible. It isn't like I hold our hands in the air and point to them with my other hand while shouting "Look! We are holding hands! And we are both boys!"And though in some cultures there is nothing wrong with two men holding hands, that small, discrete act creates havoc in the public places of my country. I refuse to hide and meet up only in dark, deserted places. I am not ashamed, and Christ's judgement is the only kind I care about.