I am a man and you are a woman.
You and I are friends.
I treasure our friendship; the nights we chat till way too late, the days we hang out doing nothing, the laughs we share, the tears we shed. Our friendship is a wonderful, important part of our lives.
Sometimes I wonder how we can get along so famously and just remain friends. As I was discussing this topic with a mutual friend of ours, she told me, “She considers you her safe, gay friend.”
I am not your safe, gay friend if by “safe” you mean there is no need to worry about romance.
I kindly remind you that I am human, first and foremost. I have thoughts, some of which wonder about what it would be like to hold your hand. As a human, I have feelings, some of which have felt like butterflies in my stomach when you walk into a room.
As a human, I have emotions, some of which have squeezed my heart, making it skip a beat when you lean over to whisper in my ear.
You label me as “gay” because I like men—their rough, chiseled face, hard body, strong arms, masculine scent, penis, testicles and just the way they are in the world.
What you forget is that I also like women—their smooth, kind face, soft, curved body, gentle arms, feminine scent, vagina, breasts and just the way they are in the world.
I am not gay or straight or even bi, really. I’m just a human, first and foremost. I have thoughts, some of which wonder if you feel the same attraction to me, as I have towards you.
As a human, I have feelings, some of which cause what feels like love to embrace me like soaking in a bath of warm butterscotch. As a human, I have emotions, some of which make me want to lean over to you and kiss you gently and passionately.
What if there was a chance for romance? Would that make you worry? Would that make you feel unsafe?
I am not your safe, gay friend, if by “safe” you mean there is no need to worry about romance.
I’m sure we can continue to get along famously and just remain friends. And, although I know it’s easier for you to relate to me with the label of “gay,” I’m asking you to strip the label off and recognize my essential humanity.
I treasure our friendship; the weeks where we called each other every single night just to chat; that one night we went out and we stood by my car, toe to toe, face to face—I swear we were going to kiss; the times we look at each other across the room and it feels like you can read the very transcription of my soul, simply by your stare.
You and I are friends.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Emily Bartran