A “funny” story

Kim was the first person that I was aware of being homosexual. Her father owned the convenience store across the street from where we lived, and she would often work there as a clerk.

I don’t remember how I knew that she was gay, but it might have been from something I overheard from my parents. Mom had probably referred to her as “funny,” which she apparently thought was a more polite term to use than “gay.” She had a certain way of phrasing the word so that the listener would have no doubt that being “funny” was an undesirable thing to be.

Anyway, Kim was in her twenties and very athletic-looking. She had what we would now refer to as a mullet, but it wasn’t an entirely uncommon hairstyle for the time period, which would have been somewhere around 1985. She usually wore a t-shirt that advertised some tobacoo product, manly jeans, and tennis shoes. She was butch in every sense of the word, and I adored her.

I don’t know what it was that drew me to her since I had practically no understanding of my own sexuality at the time, but perhaps I was already feeling different and needed someone that I could somehow identify with. I don’t remember ever having a real conversation with her aside from small talk when my parents would send me across the road to pick up a gallon of milk, but I do remember listening and observing when my dad would take me along to hang out with the regulars. We’d all pile in behind the counter and feast on deep-fried potato wedges, chicken strips, and sodas, and I’d listen wide-eyed at the gossip and profanity.

Kim soon met Sarah, a tall, slender blond with an outgoing and flirtatious personality. They quickly moved in together and even adopted a tiny dog. Sarah would walk into the store with the puppy cradled in her arms and declare, “This is our baby!” Looking back, I think they were both pretty brave.

Kim had a Pontiac Fiero, a small vehicle with two seats, and it wasn’t long before I decided that I would have one when I was old enough. I cut an advertisement out of one of Dad’s auto magazines and dreamed of the day that I would have my own Fiero, just like Kim. That is one of my childhood dreams that actually came true, although it was several years later when I was seventeen.

We moved out of town and away from the little convenience store, and I don’t think I’ve seen Kim since. I would occasionally hear things about Kim and Sarah (like when they broke up), but what really surprised me was the news that both had went on to marry men and have children. I just couldn’t understand how two women could move on with their lives as if they had never been attracted to the same sex. But then, I’ve never been able to understand why gay people suppress their sexuality and marry the opposite sex.

In a way, I guess Mom was right… people are funny.

Author: Brian

Blogger. Bookworm. Michael Jackson fanatic. Lives in Kentucky with partner of 11 years and three fabulous felines.

4 thoughts on “A “funny” story”

  1. Well, for some of us, it’s because of the habits we developed over years of hiding/withdrawing. To me, still, it’s incredibly difficult to just interject “I’m gay” at some point in a conversation.

    There was a time when I foolishly, naively convinced myself that I should get married because of how much my future ex-wife needed me, how much she was hurting, and how much my presence seemed to help (when I met her, I was convinced she was a screaming dyke — she’d just fought her way out of an abusive marriage, and it showed). I did figure it couldn’t last, but then in our current culture of the throwaway marriage, I figured that was OK.

    I’m really ashamed of those though processes, now with almost 20 years of hindsight.

    One further comment I do have to make is that I really don’t respect infidelity, or at least not secret infidelity. Guys that get married and then go get some behind their wife’s back really annoy me; that’s one thing I never did.

    Why is it so hard for me to come out to my friends? I think it’s because society is, today, making it a huge deal, and I’m just not the kind of guy who likes to rock the boat. There’s almost no harm in everyone assuming I’m straight, and so why need I disabuse them? To me, at least, it always feels like I’m dropping an atom bomb when I’m about to mention it. I’m sure it would come up much more naturally if I were actually dating someone, but, for the next couple years, anyway, my focus really is on raising my kids … and booting them out!

  2. What a great story!!! I love picturing you as a little boy, idolizing that outspoken convenience store clerk. You described her so well. It is so weird how people’s lives turn out, isn’t it?

  3. Wonderful story. Blogs are great in that, even though I’ve known you forever, I’m learning new things.

    I think I know/knew Sarah………

  4. Hello Brian,
    I found your blog a few weeks ago and i really enjoy reading it. Your stories/posts are truly touching and it’s amazing to see how some straightforward words can deliver such powerful emotions. And all the things you’ve been through haven’t hardened you, nor softened you… they’ve just shaped you into the beautiful person you are today.

    As about this post.. i couldn’t help thinking about myself a few years ago, before meeting the man I am with today. In my second year at an university I met a girl and we quickly became very close. We used to live together, share the same bed, clothes, shower together, etc. And then we got even closer and took the relationship further. But we eventually re-started dating guys. I would have loved to be able to say that I am gay or bisexual or straight as in the either “black or white” figure of speach but .. I don’t think I fit in just one these categories. I just think some people’s sexuality can shift. Or some people have to experiment for a while before figuring out who they really are and what they really want. And maybe this is the case with them two.
    On the other hand it would be sad if Kim and Sarah gave up on eachother and on their relationship because of the difficulties same sex couples have to face sometimes, sadly.
    Society is equally good and bad in one’s developement as it can put unnecessary and harmful strains on an individual’s choices and preferences. And not all of us have the strength and means of getting to know ourselves and standing up for what we really are.

    Best wishes,

    E.

Join the conversation!