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Hot Guys and Our First Party

Well, another "first" for us as a couple.

I have a buddy who is in college and he and his boyfriend invited Brad and I to an After Gay Pride Party. This past Saturday was Gay Pride Day in Boston. We both wanted to go to see what it was all about, and it would have been another "first" for us. Neither of us has ever been to a Pride Day celebration but I had to work and Brad didn't want to go by himself.

So, my buddy invited us to this party he was going to that evening. We've not yet been to a gay bar or anything where there are just gay guys or even to a party where everybody is gay. I have to admit that my mind started spinning all out of control, like it does sometimes.

It's weird, but I hope it's not some kind of homophobia I've got going somewhere inside me that I didn't know about. But, I started imagining the party being this great big orgy thing or guys starting to hit all over Brad or something.

It was almost like I imagined it being this big free-for-all with these sex-craved guys going all psychotic. Do I really think this is what being gay is all about? Is this what I thought gay guys do when they get together for a party or dinner? Like, do they just leave all their morals at home and it's all about sex, sex, sex?

I talked to Brad about whether we should go or not. He just looked at me like he didn't know what I was saying. But, like he always does, he listens really well. He didn't make me feel like I was bad or wrong or mental. After I told him what I was thinking and feeling, he just said six words that started bringing me back to sanity: "Matt, I think it's just a party."

Why did this whole thing shake me up like this? I started thinking about what we were going to wear. Brad just said, "Well, Troy said it was just low-key casual. He said everybody was going to be back from all the Pride stuff downtown, so why don't we just wear jeans and a shirt?" Just like that. That simple!

So, to make a long story short (which is a real challenge for me!), we went to the party. Just jeans and a shirt. Just me and Brad. No big deal. So, what did it turn out to be?

There were about 20 people there altogether. The couple hosting it have this really cool house in this really cool neighborhood. Tricycles in some of the yards. Family mini-vans in some of the driveways. Reminded me of the neighborhood where I live. What had I been thinking? Did I think it was going to be in this "red-light" sleazy district with street-walkers or something? What is wrong with my mind? What is wrong with me?

We get inside, and instead of slings all over the place or some kind of sex dungeon and used condoms thrown all over the floor (!), it's a really nice, normal, middle-class house. No loud booming bass music blaring all over the place.

There's this buffet table set up in the dining room... Guys chatting each other up, laughing, joking around... Five or six guys seemed like they were in their forties, one couple said they had been married for 30 years, the rest looked like they were in their twenties and thirties. Everybody was wearing slacks, jeans or t-shirts. Everybody just having normal conversations, sitting around enjoying each other's company.

No sooner had we arrived and people were coming over to introduce themselves and meet us. Just a typical party. They seemed glad we had come and everybody made an effort to include us in everything. Nobody was stuck-up or arrogant or trying to "outshine" anybody else. And, (to my utter shame for even thinking it), nobody seemed the least bit focused on hitting on anybody else. Everybody was just enjoying being together for this After Pride party. Just a typical party.

It ended up being so much fun! My buddy and his boyfriend, and Brad and I were the youngest ones there. For some reason, everybody seemed interested in talking to us. And it was just normal questions and answers: How did we meet? How long have we been together? What kind of work did we do? And total acknowledgement and respect for our relationship.

So, we ended up having a blast! I'm so glad we went. But I have to keep going back to my original reaction to being invited to an "all gay" party. Brad thinks it was just my nervousness about doing something we'd never done before and not having anything to compare it to. That's probably it. All my insecurities were coming out.

But, to be as honest as I can be here, I really think it had something to do with being influenced by what society has been pounding in my head for years. That all gay guys do is have sex with each other all the time. That gay guys aren't capable of having just normal dinner parties. That gay guys are less mature than everybody else and are not capable of having normal (and sometimes boring) lives like everybody else. That insight into some of my internalized homophobia gives me something to work with now. Sure, I'm ashamed of it. But I think it's mature to recognize it and challenge it and come out being a better person for it.

So, will we go to another so-called "all gay party?" We're waiting for the next invitation. Several of the guys at this party asked for our phone number and told us they were having friends over to their place at different times during the summer.

So, all we gotta do now is make sure we have clean jeans and shirts, ready to go! Brad said he has to include his pumps and pearls also! Always the jokester! Or is he serious? You know what? It doesn't matter. It's all good!
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