Tuesday, February 14


My friend Sally and I have a favorite lunchtime restaurant. It's called The Bronx, and it's located squarely in the gay section/hangout (Cedar Springs) of downtown Dallas. I've also introduced it to a number of my coworkers, and they find it as congenial as I do.

One of the primary reasons we like it, besides the terrific food and reasonable prices, is our long-time regular waiter -- he's an intelligent, really cool guy (incidentally gay) who shares our politics and after more than a decade of regular patronage, we feel a certain bond with him.

One day during this past 10 days' vigil with my daughter Skye at Parkland Hospital my youngest daughter and I ventured down to the hospital's resident 24-hour McDonald's for hot chocolate when I saw my waiter friend approaching down the hall. I ran to him and threw my arms around him as with an old friend and poured out my story, knowing I would receive comfort and encouragement. When we parted and Shiloh asked for particulars I speculated that he was probably visiting a friend with AIDS (the gaunt figures of men I'd repeatedly encountered at the hospital led me to believe that Parkland has a vigorous AIDS treatment unit among its other notable facilities). She asked how I knew he was gay, and I stated that I just knew. That led me to reflecting on why it seems that the gay guys I know seem to have more compassion and sensitivity than the general male populace. Perhaps it's because they've experienced more unkindness than most men I've encountered in my life. I don't think it's because they're more "feminine" -- I know all too many women who are just as mean-spirited, harshly competitive or otherwise unlikable as many straight men I know.

I don't know why I knew that this mere acquaintance would offer me something I needed -- caring and compassion. I just KNEW it. And I was right. And that's been my experience with every gay person I've ever had real contact with. I suppose that's why I champion gay rights. There are so few truly kind people in the world. I have no inclination whatsoever to deny those few the opportunity to seek and find their own happiness. What can it avail a man (or woman) to do so?


Post a Comment

<< Home