A single bead of sweat dropped from my forehead as she walked by me. This perspiration wasn't from nerves, I was just working out. When she looked over, I went back to lifting and averted my eyes to ensure we never made contact. She stopped at a machine and started her reps and this would be the 5th or 6th time I was too scared to introduce myself.
In the past, I've spoken about how difficult it can be to make friends as you get older. Many of my strongest bonds are with people I have known for years. Outside of work, it seems tough to go out of your way to connect with people but goddamn it I need to. I was sharing this with my girl and her response made me question all of my intentions.
"Do all of your friends have to be gay?", she said in a flat text message.
My mouth got dry and I scrambled to spit out an answer to a question I had never really thought about. Several of my friends have been hetero in the past, but I do tend to lean more towards the gay scene. Then I started to wonder why that is...
Have I been prejudice all this time?
Being a lesbian isn't just who I sleep with, it is also part of my identity. I'm aware that in social situations, my sexuality can affect my outlook on certain issues. Also, sometimes explaining that you ARE in a relationship and NO it's not a man can be unnecessarily awkward.
Do I prefer to hang out with other gays? Yes. Am I anti-Hetero? Absolutely not!
Friendships are based on connections. However, how those connections are formed will play a role in the strength of the relationship. Preference is part of every single one of the decisions we make in life. Some people prefer sugar in their coffee and others don't. It's just preference.
So the next time you're asked about your "gay friends" tell 'em you like your friends with a little more sugar.