We’ve finished another early Sunday morning lifting session in my fully equipped home gym. Most of the regular crew have made a hasty goodbye to head back to their families but Jack and Ben have stayed behind to fix my new $150 Aldi Automatic Lock to the gym door.
I’ve made them both coffees and handed over the lock and as they start sweating and slaving over what looks to be a surprisingly difficult task I find a nice comfy spot on a nearby incline bench to watch their handyman dance.
Jack and Ben start conversing loudly, passing their tools back and forth, picking screws and drill-bits up and putting them down again, drilling holes and shifting their positions around the door like a pair of homosexual mallard ducks. There really seems to be an intensity building between them as they unify around the task – I’d even go so far as to call it beautiful – and I have to wonder if this is why so many men are keen to learn a trade.
Get Used To It!
But then Jack and Ben laugh huskily at some tradesman-type joke (that I get the gist of but don’t quite understand) and Ben slaps Jack on the back and I chastise myself for allowing my thought process to go in that direction.
I’m just witnessing the bonding of two men around their tools and I’m angry with myself for wondering about the sexuality of a whole section of the Australian workforce. As if it matters.
I have been on the receiving end of those kinds of assumptions many times over my life and I’ll be dammed if I’m going to stand back and let myself assume that Jack and Ben have sought out my gym and my coaching just so they can explore their latent homosexual tendencies whenever I ask them to stay after class and complete some task I lack the skills for.
Because homosexual tendancies are allowed in my gym. They can be latent or they can be expressed with a slogan on a t-shirt tied at the midriff. I don’t care. Sex is such a wonderful thing. It can realised in so many different ways.
It’s true that I am not in the ‘traditional’ basket when it comes to ‘men as handymen’. I don’t like tools, I hate making stuff with wood, and I have epileptic-type blackouts whenever someone tries to talk to me about cars that are too big to race down the hall with my kids. I prefer to write stories, buff my quads and pecs, and fold product-softened towels fresh from the drier. I enjoy romantic comedies. Sometimes when I laugh really hard I end up crying and even though I don’t know why, it feels good.
I like talking about my emotions and once I said to someone I hardly knew (as I was waving my hands at my face to fan away the emerging tears): ‘Oh, don’t cry… or you’ll make me cry’.
I think that dancing is more of a lifestyle than an activity. If I was going to be reincarnated, I would choose to come back as Billy Eliot or Beyonce’s baby daughter, Blue Ivy. Sometimes, when I do a spontaneous 180 degree turn to collect a product I need in a supermarket I feel compelled to hold my position on the floor so that I can do another 180, and then another 180 and then… as many 180s as needed until I can consider the movement a full and magical twirl.
I would love the ability to lactate, mostly to free up some time for RM, but also because I have boob envy. Having boobs would bring me much more attention at the same time that they’d allow me to be a more integral part in nourishing my own human babies. (And I would breastfeed all over the place in public totally nude, David Koch!)
My non-traditional nature has led some people to question my sexuality over the years but apart from a few instances of this in my insecure early days – the late teenage years – I’ve never really cared.
I’m not gay, but I think that gayness and being gay is perfectly natural, and I’m not at all concerned with correcting the people who incorrectly think I’m gay because I display some gay-like behaviours. That would be gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
In fact, I hate that I’ve grown up in a time when the fear of being labelled gay has restricted the behaviours of many men. There have been times in the past when I’ve been at a club having a beer with a mate and one of my favourite songs has come on and I’ve had to quell my initial impulse to jump from my chair with a squeal, grab my mate’s hand and run/dance my way to the dance floor, just because some people – including my mate – would have considered my behaviours a little gay. And the fucking dancing I have missed because of it!
Woah! Listen to the noise those boys are making? When I look towards the door I see Jack is holding the drill so that Ben can thread a drill-bit into the end of it. For a moment in time they are joined – Ben’s drill bit inside Jack’s drill. When Jack tightens his end, Ben releases the drill-bit. The connection is broken with an audible sigh.
For some reason I think of Salt n Pepper’s What A Man, find the film clip on my iPhone, and place it on the ground next to me.
‘Salt and Pepper!’ Jack says, as the music meets his ears. He levels the drill against the door and jigs his hips back and forth to the beat.
It strikes me that there would be many people who would look on Jack’s behavior with their eyebrows raised, in a disapproving way, just because he’s holding a drill and dancing in my home gym to a song about wanting to have sex with sexy men. But stuff them and their insecurities! This is fun!
I resolve within myself to write a post for the Reservoir Dad website that makes it pretty clear that acting gay is as OKAY as actually being gay because it’s sad that there are still men who restrict their behaviours for fear of being called something as cool as gay and it’s my opinion that it needs to change.
Jack and Ben look like they’ve just about nailed this job and soon they’ll be gone and for a few hours – with Reservoir Mum and the kids out of the house for the morning – I’ll have access to some rare me-time. I’m going to use it wisely.
I’ll be getting out the iPod, putting the headphones in, and picking the fluff from my favourite pillows as I listen to my Queen/Abba/Olivia Newton John playlist. Then, once I’ve reached the right mindset I’m going to admit to that behaviour in a blog post.
It’s the first step in my campaign to make it okay to act gay, whether you’re gay or not.
We Act Gay
We May Or May Not Be Gay
Get Used To It!