Today’s National Coming Out Day. I’m so my proud of my mom and everyone willing to be honest with love. If anyone tells you being gay will keep you out of Heaven, be thankful you won’t have to spend eternity with that judgmental douchebag.
A few years ago, my wife found “Brad Pitt Nude” on my browser history. She refuses to let it go. She’s relentless. She’ll just blurt, “B.P.N!” out of nowhere and fall over laughing.
She’s whispered it during sex.
Before we go to dinner parties, she threatens to tell our friends. She never would, but she mouths, “B.P.N,” every time I get up to grab a beer.
I break out in sweats. My heartbeat gets all wonky.
My wife thinks it’s hysterical.
She taped this in our bathroom.
She likes seeing how flustered I get. She owns me and she knows it.
I can’t take it anymore. That’s why I’m typing this, why I’m telling the world, “I LOOKED UP ‘BRAD PITT NUDE!’”
And it wasn’t just once. It was TWICE. Go ahead and judge. I don’t care. I’m taking back the power. My wife can’t hold this over me anymore.
Thing is, it has nothing to do with me looking at a naked man. If my wife came home and I was beating off to two dudes on my computer, she’d say, “Oh, sorry, I’ll let you finish.”
It’s the fact that it’s so specific, that it’s Brad Pitt Nude.
She knows I’m a fan. We see all his movies. I own most of them.
And not that it matters, but I wasn’t jacking off to BPN when I Googled him.
I just wanted to see the picture.
In high school, Brad Pitt was arguably the coolest man on the planet, at least for me. Fight Club changed my life, and after seeing Se7en I actually outran a cop.
In the same way boys idolized Steve McQueen and James Dean, that’s how I felt about Brad Pitt. I didn’t want to kidnap or rape him; I wanted to meet him. I was a fan.
And in 1997 there was an issue of Playgirl. There were pictures of him naked. People were talking about it. It made the news. I was curious. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. But it was 1997, and the Internet wasn’t like today. You couldn’t just Google “B.P.N.” and scroll through a million images.
You had to get a hard copy.
I was too scared to buy it, so I got my girlfriend, H., to do it. She was grossed out at first. She thought I was gay. I told her that wasn’t it. There was a lawsuit. They were going to pull the magazine off the shelves. This thing would be worth money. I convinced her it was a business investment. She wasn’t very bright.
The next day she brought it over. I tried not to look too enthusiastic as she pulled it from her backpack. And there it was, B.P.N. Problem was, it was sealed in plastic. I couldn’t see the pictures.
The front door unlocked. It was my dad. I hid the magazine under the couch. Later, I hid it in my closet. It stayed there for months. I couldn’t open it. It was one thing to “accidentally” flip to an image, but to break the seal somehow made it perverse.
And to be honest, I was afraid of what would happen if I saw the pictures. What if I really liked them? What if they turned me on?
So B.P.N remained in plastic. It protected us both.
Over the years, I moved a lot, even across the country. BPN stayed in boxes, until eventually, he was lost.
I’d actually forgotten about it until a few years ago. My wife had bought us tickets to a double-feature of Se7en and Fight Club. Se7en actually held up better than I remembered. But Fight Club really jogged my memory.
And so later that night, after my wife fell asleep, I typed twelve letters into Google and finally saw what I’d denied myself all those years ago. I wasn’t giddy or aroused.
I was sad.
I thought about that kid in high school who just wanted to see a picture. He was curious, but he was scared. He was ashamed. He worried people would think he was gay, or that he really was, and he’d lose his girlfriend and maybe even his father.
But he had nothing to be ashamed about.
He was just curious.
And gay or straight, who doesn’t want to see a little B.P.N?
Have you ever been busted for something in your browser history?
I didn’t realize how many people I grew up with don’t know my mom is gay. These aren’t people I hang out with regularly or talk to on the phone, but it amazes me. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not bigots, that’s not where I’m going with this. If anything they’re overly supportive.
What bothers me is that living in Los Angeles has me equating Kansas City with Mayberry, even though I know firsthand they’re nothing alike. The KC metro area has over two million people.
Still, I’m assuming they’re going to get on a moral soapbox, say something derogatory. But the people I’ve spoken to only gush about my mom’s courage. They respect her. They’re proud of her. If anything, I’m the bigot for expecting anything less from my hometown, which I suppose, isn’t really a town.
I’m standing in my parents’ garage and my mom tells me she’s gay. Her face is red and she’s laughing, which is what happens when she’s nervous or drunk. It’s obvious she’s both. She’s talking a mile a minute, but I don’t hear a word. “I’m gay!” just keeps repeating in my head.
This can’t be how she planned to tell me. When it’s cold outside, sometimes the garage is where we take the dog to poop. It’s Kansas City, the day after Thanksgiving, so it stinks.
Other words start filtering in, words like, “I wanted to tell you,” and “I’m still your mother,” and “One time I tried cocaine.” It’s a floodgate and she’s rattling off every secret she’s had since grade school.
She says she’s been attracted to girls since she was thirteen, that she fantasizes about women at work.
I feel woozy.
My mom starts crying. “I just can’t keep sleeping in the same bed with him.”
She says she told him the truth years ago, that they’ve been staying together until my sister finishes high school. My parents have been married for a quarter-century and they’re still sleeping in the same bed
I hear my buddies outside the garage yelling for me to get my ass out there. It’s my last night in town. I head back to L.A. in the morning. I’m twenty-two years old, but right now, I feel like a child. Someone starts banging on the garage door.
“So what do you think?” my mom asks.
“About what I just told you?”
“I don’t know… Are you really gay?”
My mom covers her face. “You hate me!”
My father comes in and wants to know what the hell all this racket is. He hits the button and the garage door crungles up. My buddies stop punching each other in the arms at the sight of my father.
“Mr. Szpak,” one of them says.
My mom pulls me to the side and says, “We should keep talking.” She’s trying to whisper, but the booze has removed that particular skill.
My father can tell my mom’s been sharing.
“What did you say to him?” he asks.
“I thought we discussed that you wouldn’t say—“
“You can’t tell me what to say!”
My buddies pull me towards the car. It’s like an undertow, but I don’t fight. I just let them drag me away. My father’s leading my mom towards the house.
“Get your hands off me,” my mom says. She runs over. “Where are you going, Anthony?”
“Strip club,” one of my buddies slurs.
My mom’s eyes widen.
Another friend starts to say it was just a joke, but my mom cuts him off—
“Can I come?”
My father forces a laugh. “All right, let’s go back inside, Kathy.”
“Come on, Anthony, it’ll be fun,” my mom says.
There are moments in every child’s life, which cause parts of the brain to fizzle and burn.
My buddies give my mom a hug and say that’s why they love her. She’s so cool, they tell her.
My father finally corrals my mom. She knows not to push it, because she’s staring into my eyes.
I’m crammed in between two guys who played on our high school football team. Someone hands me a beer as we drive off. I watch my father finally get my mom back inside. The garage door closes.
I started writing this blog a few weeks ago, but the actual spark happened August 1, 2012 when it felt like the entire country was lining up to buy chicken sandwiches in a united front against gay marriage.
Look, lately I’ve been writing a lot about butts and buttholes and I’m tired of it, so tonight I’m just going to share what I wrote on Facebook that day.
“My mom came out of the closet a little over ten years ago, and it shook the foundation of me. I had, and have, no problem with homosexuality, but I wasn’t ready to hear the woman who’d been married to my dad for 25 years had been lying about who she really was. Then we talked and hugged and she explained being a lesbian wasn’t really an option in Kansas City during the 70s. Until that moment I didn’t realize how impossible it was for so many people to tell the truth. Not everyone was tied to a fence like Matthew Shepard, but I’m pretty sure that’s what some feared would happen if they did.
But times changed. People evolved. Heck, a few months ago, the President of the United States said he supported gay marriage. Most thought he was a little late to the party, but then the CEO of Chick-fil-A openly admits he spends our money to stop same-sex marriages. Obviously, he has the right to express his opinions. This is America and everyone deserves free speech. But I also have the right to never purchase a sandwich during Chick-fil-A’s six days of operation. I feel bad for the franchise owners who don’t share Dan Cathy’s bigotry, but I cannot, in good conscience, fund a company that wants to dictate who my mother can marry.
Feel free to defriend me. You will not be missed.”
Since then, the company has changed their policy to openly fund anti-gay organizations. It gives me hope that bigotry won’t win this fight, and reminds me that maybe I should spend a little less time writing about buttholes.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/perspective/7707996416/”>Elvert Barnes</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>
Yesterday I attempted a humorous post about the media’s coverage of Manti Te’o’s sexuality. I was trying to find something funny in a situation that made me sick. Even in this enlightened time when our President calls for equality for every human being, I realized that an NFL-hopeful, even a finalist for the Heisman, could never come out before the draft. He’d probably get scooped up by a team eventually, but he’d lose millions, because to take on a gay player would mean more scrutiny, more vitriol, more interviews, and possibly fights in the locker room. With dickfaces like Chris Culliver, the CB for the 49ers, saying, “I don’t do the gay guys man. I don’t do that. No, we don’t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff. Nah…can’t be…in the locker room man. Nah.”
I like how he said, “I don’t do the gay guys, man,” leaving the possibility that he only does straight dudes.
I also like how other players are getting asked if they’d have a problem with a gay player. Terrell Suggs, linebacker for the Ravens, responded, “Absolutely not. We don’t care.” He said, “On this team, with so many different personalities, we just accept people for who they are and we don’t really care too much about a player’s sexuality. You know who you are, and we accept you for it.”
His teammate, Brendon Ayanbadejo, has also been an outspoken advocate for same-sex marriage. He’s using the Super Bowl as a platform to speak about equality for the LGBT community. Ayanbadejo has even said Chris Culliver’s anti-gay remarks have inspired him to reach out to Chris Culliver, who apologized yesterday.
The Baltimore Sun reported his words:
“[I was] really just not thinking. [It was] something that I thought. Definitely nothing that I felt in my heart,” Culliver said. “I support gay people, gay communities, and different racial [backgrounds]. It was just something I feel apologetic to, and I’m sorry that I made a comment and that hurt anyone — that I made a comment that might affect anyone in the organization, NFL, or anything like that.”
The apology doesn’t erase what he said, but it shows that progress is being made. Minds are opening. One day a player will have the courage to come out, and an owner will have the resolve to give him a contract. A lot of fans and players will scream and rage, but the bigots of the world need to realize their ignorance and hate will not prevail.
Answering a question as complex and historically important as Is Manti Te’o Gay? requires such advanced journalism skills that few would dare venture into this sexual labyrinth.
Luckily for us, Katie Couric pulled out her big balls and asked the stud from Notre Dame, “Are you gay?”
Te’o responded, “No, far from it. Faaaar from it.” He laughed. The audience laughed.
Case closed. Nothing to see here.
But Dr. Phil wasn’t satisfied, and Dr. Phil’s balls are almost as big as Katie’s. So he sat down with the man behind the girlfriend hoax, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a man so devious he’s taken a name so delightful to say you forget he’s an evil mastermind. Speaking to NBC’s Mike Taibbi on TODAY, Dr. Phil recounted how he whipped out his hairy testicles for Tuiasosopo. “I asked him straight up, ‘Was this a romantic relationship with you?’ And he says yes. I said, ‘Are you then therefore gay?’ And he said, ‘When you put it that way, yes.’ And then he caught himself and said, ‘I am confused.’’’
The earth rumbled as these two investigative Titans clacked their giant balls over the heads of us mere mortals, and we opened our mouths as the droplets of truth spilled over our tongues and down our throats. We savored and swallowed the seeds of knowledge.
The conclusion to Manti Te’o’s sexuality, we would discover, actually consists of two completely different answers:
#1: Who cares?
# 2: Who gives a shit?
I’m seven years old and this kid from the neighborhood is telling me to blow him. He’s older than me. He’s saying all the girls in his seventh grade class love to suck his ding dong. He says one girl claims it’s the most super awesome penis she’s ever seen. He says the girl’s gobbled everyone, so she knows what she’s talking about.
We’re in the woods behind my house. There’s no one around for about a mile. The boy brought me here to show me where he camps. He’s got a little metal pot and a can of beans. Now he’s unzipping himself and fishing out his wiener. I haven’t seen many, but I’m pretty sure no one calls this “super awesome.” It’s purple and veiny, like when you wrap dental floss around your finger and it cuts off the circulation. It looks like it’s going to fall off.
“Just lick it,” he says.
“No,” I say.
“Come on, just tell me what you think. Just–”
“Get away from me!”
“Stop being a baby and just lick it.”
“I’m not licking anything!”
I back up and he’s shuffling towards me. He’s still choking his wiener with his fist. His pants are falling down. They’re around his knees. I turn, take off running. I hear him screaming. Then I hear a thud. I’m pretty sure he tripped, but I don’t look back. I just keeping running and crunching over the dead leaves until I make it to my house. My dad is out front cutting the grass. He sees me crying and asks what happened. I tell him about the boy, how he wanted me to put his ding dong in his mouth.
The boy is now across the street. He’s out of breath. His pants are back on. My father charges over and grabs him by the throat. I think he’s going to kill the kid, and I realize it’s my fault. My father’s going to murder a child and he’s going to go to jail and I’m going to be an orphan.
I run over, beg him to stop.
My father pulls the boy up to his face. My father says, “You don’t ever come around here again. I mean ever. You hear me?”
The boy nods. His face is almost as purple as his pecker was. My father lets him go. The boy tears off down the street.
I see him a few more times that summer, but he always heads in the other direction.
When friends find out my wife and I have threesomes with girls, a lot of them ask if that means I have to do stuff with guys. It doesn’t. My wife is the one into girls. It’s not the other way around. If we brought a dude into the bed, I’d just be sitting there hanging out.
My friend asked, “Would you ever do anything, you know, if that’s what your wife really wanted? Like that’s what she needed to see?”
“I don’t know…”
I said I guess, but I’d need to be positive that’s what she really wanted. It couldn’t be a prank. Like “Ha ha, you blew a dude!”
But if that’s what she really wanted, sure. I wouldn’t be excited, but I wouldn’t be freaked out either. I’d probably suck a dick the way I’d eat a Subway sandwich. Meaning I’d do it, but I’m not gonna brag about it to everyone. Like “Holy shit, people! I just ate a motherfucking Cold Cut Combo!”
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/4864191604/”>Tambako the Jaguar</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/bk/243930/”>★keaggy.com</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>