Thursday, February 21, 2008

In Praise of the Gay-Straight Alliance

While it's no secret that I'm addicted to reality show "dramas" ("The Hills"? can't get enough!), I've never been a fan of the competition genre. I tried to give 'em a chance with last year's "Top Design" but that went nowhere fast. This time though, Michael got hooked on Bravo's latest contest offering, "Make Me a Supermodel," and I've kinda gotten into it too. I still hate the challenges and I still have the competition of it all. But what I'm completely into is the relationship between gay cutie Ronnie and straight "tough" guy Ben. (Are you guys watching this?)

Their flirtatious friendship is just so adorable to watch and completely reminds me of my college friend Landon I wrote about a few weeks ago. ("Napoleon Complex") I'll forgive you if you didn't read that whole post (Michael told me it was way too long for even him to indulge me and he LOVES me). But if you like Ronnie and Ben as much as I do, then you might want to revisit it before reading further.

After thinking about my old pal at length that week I decided to send him an e-mail. Part of me was scared that he wouldn't even remember who I was and he'd be thinking, Who is this stalker weirdo who had ONE CLASS with me 20 years ago? But just as I remembered him then, Landon quickly wrote me back and blew me away with his similar fond memories of that moment in time, and revealed that I was his "first of many."

His first e-mail was a "great to hear from you" and filling me in on his life now type of e-mail (he's got a new book coming out and he just got married in November). Then he went and read what I'd written on my blog to which he replied with the message below. (I think you'll see what the crush was all about -- and it reminds me of something Ben might write Ronnie when they're 40 years old ...)

OK, I went to your blog expecting to read something well-written and entertaining (which it is on both counts), but I did not expect to be the story's main subject. Wow, I have to say I am humbled and moved by your piece.

You are right; I really had no idea of the subtext to our friendship. I don't know if we openly talked about you being gay, but I do remember suspecting as much and making sure it didn't matter. Thank you for being so open and sharing that all these years later.

You know, it's odd but starting with you I've become something of a gay man's best friend. We always joke that I'm more gay than they (metro, or is that already dated?) except the sex part. I do love women. That's where it all falls apart. I love the way you described me: ".... calming, outdoorsy Colorado free spirit way about him. He was a lot of fun but knew when to take things seriously."

It really makes me feel good to know I am perceived to be that to which I've always aspired: accepting and loving. I have a couple gay friends to whom I immediately sent your blog. Knowing me, they'll love it on all sorts of different levels. And one final note: the events of the fateful Warehouse outing were as you described, but devolved to an even lower nadir. Janice and I were actually making out in broad daylight, across the street on the grass, because my friend happened by and saw us. But it was quite a celebration!

All my best,


southernfriedjordan said...

Give me Perry on that show, and I'll be happy. Or Tyson Beckford.

Anonymous said...

Uhhh, you sorta knock the brilliant '30 Rock', while actually admitting your love of pure garbage ('The Hills'? REALLY?' And 'Supermodel', more proof of the decline of Western civilization?!?!?!?)?

And, plagirized or not, 'Never Been Kissed' was an awful film, while 'Mean Girls' was kinda fun.

You are an enigma, that's for sure.

Steve Schalchlin said...

I totally agree with you about the two guys on "Supermodel." The show is absolutely ridiculous, especially the amazingly stupid stuff they paint on them for the runway competitions.

Given the fact that Ben is a prison guard -- and that all of the guys around the prison are watching him cavort so intimately with a gay man who admits his obvious crush. It's how the world should be. Every straight man should have a gay intimate and every gay man should have a straight boy intimate -- especially during their formative years.