By Robbie Dion Poteet
Cardi B was bumping as I entered the club. The lights were dim, the cologne was strong, and sex was in the air. My companions for the evening grabbed me by the hand and led me through a sea of elbows and attention seekers to get to the bar. As I stood there waiting for my vodka soda, I couldn’t help but examine the people around me. I pondered about how much time and effort everyone put into getting ready for a Saturday night on the town. Did some of them spend hours on their hair? Did anyone buy a new shirt for the occasion? Who didn’t eat today so they would feel skinny? This was West Hollywood after all and the competition is fierce.
The familiar crisp chill of a drink being passed into my hand was my signal that it was time to go to the dance floor. Immediately upon turning around, I was in the presence of a hard bodied adonis straight from my Abercrombie & Fitch wet dreams. He was 6’2 and clearly had never eaten bread.. Next to him I felt like porky pig and from disinterested eye roll after a quick up and down glance, that was all folks. He probably had a small dick and a bad credit score.
After a few drinks go by, I’m feelin’ myself. As Beyonce makes me feel like I’ve suddenly sprouted an ass to shake, I notice 3 older men watching me. Their stares were intense and they didn’t look away after I caught them eyeing me. My stomach tightened a little and I scuttled off to my circle of friends pretending I wasn’t creeped out. No thanks, Grandpa, I’m not shopping for geriatric genitals tonight.
My pack was mean girled up by a table just off the dance floor. They were watching a twink, who clearly had too much booze, perform the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man version of Dua Lipa- New Rules. After analyzing and demeaning this poor kid from hair-to-heels I had a revelation…we are a bunch of fucking bitches.
Now, let me clarify, I’m not always a connoisseur of criticism but when it comes to dealing with those that share my sexual preferences, my guards go up and the resting bitch face comes out. I know I’m not alone in this either. I see your side-eyed glances and I hear your snide remarks, but I can only speak for myself. Over time, I have built up walls to protect myself from from all of the harsh judgmental garbage that comes hand in hand with being a gay male.
I have been the arrogant young guy that thinks he’s too cute to pay attention to anyone, but that cocky cutie could just be coming into his own. That may be the first time that he has ever experienced real confidence in his life, which is a lot to handle and it takes some time to mellow out and realize you’re being an asshole. In a few years (hopefully) that hot 21 y/o that ignored me is going to get his heart smashed to pieces and realize he’s not God's gift to men, and he will adjust his demeanor accordingly.
I have been the drunk kid messin’ the dance floor while the people around him laugh at his expense and I can still hear the “he’s not as cute as he thinks he is” comments. That kid could have just survived the most stressful week of his life and he is just trying to find some relief.
Leave him alone…he’s not hurting anyone.
I will probably be the older guy looking at the beautiful 20-somethings. Our older generations have pushed and fought for us to have the freedom to have gayborhoods with dozens of gay bars in them. Beauty is fleeting and eventually we all end up aging- regardless of how much filler and botox I pump into my face. Let’s stop the agist bullshit; it stems from an incredibly superficial place.
I guess my point is that is no rulebook for this shit. Life is stressful and the gay world is confusing; we’re all making it up as we go along and we’re all in this together. Words have a long lasting effect on us and we can overanalyze one comment long after the person who said it even remembers making it.
One of the best ways to grow is to have positive people and influences in your life, so instead of taking someone down a notch with a few petty words, spread some kindness and hope that it will affect them positively in the long run. Is it a lot more work? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. With the shape our country is in we need to stand united now more than ever.
My objective this year is to put out more love and positivity. If that proves too difficult, I’ll just keep my damn mouth shut.
Besides, if you see someone making a fool out of themselves it’s not necessary to talk about it, trust me… we’re all thinking the same thing.
Long story short: try to not be a bitch.