Having grown up in the theatre, gay people have always been the norm to me. It took me a really, really long time to even figure out why people think it’s such a big deal. Honestly, I still don’t get it, but I’ve sat through several explanations.
When I was sixteen I had been performing with a theatre company for a while and had made several good friends. One of the boys who I was close to invited me over to his house for his birthday party. It was all the kids I had been performing with, so I was super excited to go. When I got to his house I was greeted outside by the birthday boy. He pulled me quickly aside to ask for a favor.
He needed me to be his girlfriend for the night. See, I knew birthday boy was gay. All our friends knew he was gay, but his parents had made it abundantly clear that if he was gay, he would no longer be allowed to participate in a homosexual activity like theatre. His mother had been pushing him to find a girlfriend, and since he had lots of pictures of us together, and she had never actually met me, birthday boy had lied to his mother and told her we were dating. All he wanted for his birthday was for me to keep up the pretense. And perhaps get his mother to ban him from ever seeing me again so he could refuse to date anyone else in protest until he got to leave for college.
I mean…who can say no to a request like that? So I sat draped on his lap, waiting for his mother to come down to the basement.She saw me on her son, and shook my hand smiling, not even asking me to get up.
So we locked ourselves in a closet and waited for her to find us alone…nothing.
Then we went to the extreme. We went to his bedroom, I left my bra on the floor and we waited for her to come in. His other friends said something or other to make his mother come to his room where we had barely closed the door.
She caught her son on a bed with a girl whose bra was on the floor, and she said she was sorry for interrupting us. Really, lady? Teen sex is better than gay?
Since I wasn’t willing to actually have sex with the birthday boy, we were running out of options. We did the only thing we could and staged a nasty breakup.
I ripped his heart out so badly he couldn’t even think of dating another girl after what I had done to him.
And once he got out of his parents’ house and headed to college, he never thought of having a girlfriend, real or fake, ever again.