Friday, July 21, 2006
I went with Hayley to see The Devil Wears Prada tonight. I didn't have super high expectations (we mainly went for the AC), but actually it was completely fantastic -- snappy dialogue, great script, excellent casting, and a brilliant performance by Meryl Streep. She plays a great turbo bitch. See it even if you're not into fashion, because you may learn a thing or two about how that crazily influential and bizarre business works.
Anyway, afterwards we had a coffee in the air conditioned paradise that is Starbucks (it was 33 degrees scorching today), and we talked about our fears (Hayley: "aliens," Me: "being completely alone"), why we hate porn films (Hayley: "They're boring," Me: "They rarely show anything I actually like").
I walked her into the Skytrain station so she could go to work and as we were going down the escalator these very drunk teenage boys were riding in the opposite direction on the escalator beside us. They were yelling and carrying on like drunken teenage boys are wont to do, when one of them leaned over the railing and leered at us: "Hey, are you guys gonna kiss?" he slurred, "cause that would be great. That would be really fucking awesome."
Hayley, stark as those rainbow eyes of hers, looked right at the kid and gave him the finger. It was not a casual gesture either, not a backwards, nose-scratching, oops-was-that-my-middle-finger? kind of sign language, but an actual, honest-to-hell, silent FUCK OFF.
He of course, replied "hey, that'd be good too!"
Readers, I just laughed. I laughed. And not a giggle or a chuckle or a gee-I-really-shouldn't-be-laughing-at-this snicker, but an actual, I-couldn't-give-a-fuck, joyous, near-hysterical laugh.
Why, you may ask, when a year ago this kind of thing could and did send me into a mortifying two week spiral in which I'd be lying in bed thinking "why oh why I am like this?" and "what is wrong with me?" and "why can't I just be like everyone else??!"??
For a moment I considered that this had been a bad pride moment, a moment of weakness, one of those moments which would haunt me afterwards because, while I like to think that homophobia is something I can touch and taste and smell, it's actually much more subtle than that. It's something lurking in the corners of this allegedly tolerant city of mine, something that hides where I least expect it and then comes hurtling out of someone like my dear little brother or the boy next door. It's something that hides even in the most self-loathing parts of me, when I'm feeling self-loathing, which is pretty rare these days.
But actually, I don't think that's it at all.
One explanation is simply that I get it. I think two girls making out is hot, and as such I actually have a lot in common with said drunken teenage boy, and indeed with most straight guys. I got it, I empathized, I laughed.
Another explanation is that I'm happy. Happy with Hayley, damn proud of Hayley, and damn proud to be with her. I love her and I don't give a flying fuck who knows or cares or wants us to make out on the Skytrain. I just don't care.
Yet another explanation is that I'm finally happy being me. There it is. I accept this. I am different, I am not mainstream, I am queer, and I'm not ashamed of it. No drunken teenage boy can change that. No moron 15-year-old sauced on Granville Street from cheap beer and bad whiskey can make me feel even remotely bad about myself.
No identity crises here.
But I do hope that Hayley isn't having one. She stormed away muttering "that shit makes me so fucking angry." She's tired, and sick, and she's under a lot of stress, but I really, really hope that she's not questioning herself, because I don't particularly want to deal with that on top of everything else. I think she's fine.
But more importantly, I'm fine. For once, I'm FINE.
And I just wanted to share that with all of you.
Thanks for listening.
p.s. The photo above is of me and Freddie Mercury in Montreux, Switzerland. I just thought it was apropos.