Befriending is not the same as flirting

Andrew Paisley, Columnist

Being a homosexual man, there is one thing that has always bothered me when it comes to heterosexual men. For some reason, heterosexual men truly believe that if a homosexual man talks to them or tries to befriend them, they automatically think that it is flirting.

I am here to tell you right now that it is not.

Just like all of you heterosexual men out there, we too are just as normal. The only difference you may ask? We are attracted to the same sex as us, where you guys are obviously attracted to the opposite sex of you. We do not bite, we are not going to “convert” you and we are not going to overstep our boundaries.

I have been out of the closet for 6 and a half years, and during this time I have experienced this negative energy way too much. I am friendly to everyone and try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But for some reason when it comes to heterosexual men, they automatically walk away or they delete you off their Facebook account or better yet, they have to announce that they are not gay.

I could not care in the least if you are gay or not. Just because I am sexually attracted to men does not mean if I talk to you that I want to have a sexual relationship with you. I am just like anyone else. I am here to make friends with people and it really irks me when guys believe I have a hidden agenda.

Think of it this way. Let’s say that a straight man walks up and says hi to a straight woman who is in a relationship. The polite thing to do, which not all guys would do this, is to respect that the woman is in a relationship with someone else and not overstep his boundaries.

When I speak to a straight man, I obviously know they are not gay and I am not about to just automatically flirt with them because I know not to overstep my boundaries.

This is something that we as society really need to work on getting rid of. I really do believe that homophobia is still a big issue today because of this. Guys get these thoughts in their head that we gay guys are going to somehow convert them or flirt with them, and it just is not the truth.

For once, I would like to meet a straight guy who I can be friends with (yes, I said friends not anymore than that) and actually be able to have a decent friendship instead of them getting so scared because of who I am.

I am sure that straight men would not appreciate it if we did not speak to them or if we acted afraid of them because of their sexuality.

For now on, think about how you make others feel before you automatically make an opinion of what they are planning to do. We just want to fit in and be accepted by society.

Andrew Paisley is a junior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]