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Pretty, Witty and Gay

By Scott Simpson

January 12, 2010

Don't you just hate the type? I know, I know, its really just jealousy because they're more attractive, or at least less unattractive, then myself. And cleverer -- and not just book smarts either, but interpersonal and street smarts too.

But, I can hold my own in the gay department. I'm told that kittens know I'm gay. I'm so gay that I assume it's self-evident to one and all. So I'm always shocked when anyone who has known me for a while says they didn't know I was gay (ed. Ha, as if). My knee jerk response is "What? Did you just meet me?" I'm mean, like really, even Helen Keller knows I'm gay. Haven't you heard my 'accent', the way I talk? The way I walk? Hell, for that matter, the way I run?

I'm not making that up -- a friend and I went to a chi running clinic and after introduction to the concept and some indoor technique work the group went outside where we were videotaped while we ran about 50 meters so that we could then later analyze our running technique.

My friend, who shall remain nameless to protect his queer rep, is also gay but not 'visible minority' gay if you know what I mean. He's -- dare I say it -- very stereotypically straight acting and looking. Since he would score so low on the gaydar some might even say he was gay challenged. Poor thing.

Anyhoo, as each participant ran down the path, the chi running instructor / coach would provide live commentary and analysis to the rest of the group on running styles, form and technique. She would say stuff like, 'he carries his hands too high' or ' she has low knee lift' or 'he should keep his elbows in'. When it was my turn her comment was 'oh, he's gay'. My friend said that she did not say in a homophobic or derogatory manner, but was just continuing her running style analysis. Just a knee jerk reaction I guess.

I remember the first time I heard my voice on tape. I was about 12 or 13 years old. My first brief thought was 'who's the gay guy' followed immediately by 'that's me' followed by 'I'm the gay guy'. Didn't spend much time in the self-denial phase. Didn't have to, the pump was already primed. When my family moved when I was about 10, I had to convince many of my new classmates, strongly argue my case, that I was indeed a boy and not a girl. I can still hear one kid saying -- totally sincerely -- "are you sure?" 'Only that your IQ is a double digit' was my retort. He didn't get it.

That is just one example of many times I have been mistaken for a girl. The most recent was during a race this past summer. It was a very small field near the cottage, 60 odd people, and we all started in the water at the same time -- I think I was ninth out of the water, passed a couple of people in transition and was soon 4th on the bike and slowly gaining on 3rd who seemed to be looking back at me quite often, almost as if he couldn't believe I was gaining on him. When I finally caught him he said, "Oh, I thought you were a girl". Hmmm -- does this mean I bike gay too? Didn't hang around to ask him though, just pushed on harder so he could see the girly guy out bike and out run him. Take that.

Tangent -- don't know if you saw it in the media, but there was some kerfuffle again about gays in sport. The "hard-nosed" president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs (they're a hockey team) publicly supported his gay son. A father supports and provides unconditional love to gay son is news. Harrumph, he says cynically. Progress, he says hopefully whilst looking askant at Uganda.

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HIV+ Triathlete: Til I Drop

 

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HIV+ Triathlete: Til I Drop


Scott Simpson

Scott Simpson

Scott Simpson is an HIV+ triathlete, student and inspirational speaker avoiding real work so he can find more time to train and learn. A former party boy, Scott has gone from the fictional national drinking team to the real Canadian national triathlon team and is current provincial long course champion in his age group. Scott is also founder of, and inspiration for, the Race for Dignity, which is both an annual spinathon in Toronto and annual school campus events coordinated by Dignitas Youth chapters. Cumulatively, they have raised almost a million dollars for the medical humanitarian NGO Dignitas International, contributing to over 11,000 people living with HIV/AIDS gaining access to ARVs in Malawi. Scott is currently training for Ironman Louisville 2010.


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