July 20, 2005

Damn Faustus for cursing his guest hosts with a daily obligation! Having a theme, though, does make it easier to follow his draconian orders. In fact, I should consider subjecting myself to similar rules on either of my other blogs — I could be much more prolific that way. Anyway…

See the eight-year-old
Knitting mittens on the bus.
Does his mother know?

I don’t really like kids that much, but there are a lot of things I like about kids. Enough, at least, that I find them entertaining in small doses. One of the things that I always love is seeing kids who haven’t had gender roles bludgeoned into them yet. Future-gay, future-straight, or future-whatever, there’s a time when a lot of kids just gleefully go about their business doing what they like before they realize they’re not supposed to act that way. I have a soft spot, of course, for little boys who haven’t been called sissies yet for the way they run around with arms flailing, or the way they like to play with dolls, or the way they like to dance, or the way they like to kiss mommy and daddy just because they love them so much.

Sadly, the messages come from all sides that it’s not so good for boys to be too girly, and the older kids get the more likely they are to toe the line. Better gender theorists than I can probably be more erudite about this. After all, I’m just another gay boy who had a harder time learning to be butch than most boys, but who still managed to develop a deep fear of being too much of a sissy. But patterns seem to emerge, and no matter how often we felt Free to be You and Me, we notice those kids who keep doing their thing longer than the other kids and we’re sure we know their story.

Now, I don’t think there was a direct correlation between my faggotry and my insistence that I pretend to be Jamie Summers as a kid, but I think that maybe I didn’t realize the other kids wouldn’t think that was cool for some of the same reasons I couldn’t quite figure out why I felt a little set off from the other boys with whom I played tag and whiffle ball and whatnot. The signs often all add up, even if they don’t add up too directly.

My friends and I would often eat at this diner down the street from where we worked, and we became very friendly with one of the waitresses who handled the lunch rush. (As a side benefit, we often got free cake.) She was single with an 8-year-old son who was her pride and joy. One day, she was so excited to show us his pictures from dancing school. There he was, captured forever in that moment when he was totally excited about working the jazz hands in his purple sequined tights, top hat, and fringed sleeves. The four of us — two gays, a dyke, and gay-friendliest single woman on Earth — shot glances at one another. We knew, and it probably wouldn’t be long before the kid figured it out, but it was at once so sweet and so sad that his mother would probably be the last to know. Well, maybe not the last to know but possibly the last to acknowledge it. God bless him, I hope he’s still tapping as fast as his light loafers will let him.

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8 Responses to Damn Faustus for cursing his

  1. David says:

    Jamie Summers AND Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. Come to think of it, almost every super herione I can recall. They always had the better outfits. Although Green Lantern had the bling.

    Am I one of the few gay men out there who loves kids?

  2. Sparky says:

    Oh, lots of gay men love kids. I just function much better around babies and adults.

  3. Joel says:

    This gay man loves kids …hence my chosen profession; kindergarten teacher. I love dogs too …Actually, I love humanity …most of it. I love eccentricity.

    Wonderful post. I had a kid in my class last year; loved to dress up, when the kids played sleeping beauty, he wanted to be the Princess, and when he brought me flowers after spring break arranged them on my desk on a piece of construction paper he took from the art cupboard. I knew … and I think his Mum does too … 🙂

  4. Sahara says:

    Go to my site and check my post on “Hidden History–G.W. Carver Crochets.

  5. JR says:

    Your post reminds of how I got my “My Little Pony” stolen and my baton broken in half when I went to school. I also performed dance shows for my mother, complete with spandex pants and a scarf. She was the last to know, despite all the signs 🙁

  6. Giovanna says:

    I’ve been seeing signs in my 7 year old nephew for a couple of years now and my gay friends have confirmed my suspicsions. The fact that he prefers to play with girls because boys are too rough said it all for me. I only hope that kids become less mean as he grows up. We could all stand to see more tolerance.

  7. sangroncito says:

    Lovely post. Reminds me of when I used to twirl around the living room with a towel around my waist pretending it was a skirt when I was a kid. And a hand towel made a fabulous wig.

  8. Joline says:

    Heehee. You are funny… =)


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