To be fair, I have blue painted fingernails, I wear a rainbow support ribbon, and a button that reads, “Gay Rights Equals Human Rights.” It isn’t a stretch for someone to assume I’m gay. If they want to assume, I don’t care. It would only matter if they wanted to date me, and I’m already taken so that’s not going to be an issue anyway. And if anyone does ask, I say no, I’m not gay, but I’m very supportive of gay rights, and that usually is all that needs to be said.
But now and then, someone is particularly boorish to the point I just have to mess with them.
One day on the bus some guy is being a knucklehead about my nails, laughing and making sure everyone else is looking at them, etc. To be honest, I like people commenting about my nails if they are nice about it. If I didn’t want people looking, I wouldn’t paint them. It’s like a girl with a low cut blouse, not wanting you to look at her boobs. Of course she wants you to look, she just doesn’t want you to climb up in her cleavage and drool all over them.
But this guy is trying to be clever and falling way short of the mark, and then he feels the need to get even more information for his routine, so he says to me, “So you paint your nails cuz you’re gay, huh? Huh?” And I’m trying to figure how painting your nails makes you gay, and waiting for the third ‘huh’ in a row, but I just look forlorn and say, “No, they keep rejecting my application.”
Knucklehead: What? Huh? Wait… you want to be gay? Application? You apply to be gay?
Me: Well, sure, with all the benefits and the membership campaign, who wouldn’t? You’ve seen all the TV ads I’m sure.
KH: What? Huh? Wait… Where do you apply?
Me: Well Gay headquarters of course. The address is on the application. Or you can apply online at the main Gay website. [I wonder how you Google that?] You don’t think they let just anyone be gay do you?!
KH: What? Huh? Wait… [‘What? Huh? Wait’ seems to be his mantra] TV ads? They rejected you? How come?
Me: It seems that they have criteria that goes well past painting your nails. And they just don’t seem interested in waiving the requirements. They are quite strict about it in fact.
KH: What? Huh? Wait…
Me: You know, I’m sure you’d have a good chance, you should apply.
KH: What? Huh? Wait… I’m not gay.
Me: Well, maybe not now, but there’s always hope!
KH: What? Huh? Wait….
At this point, my bus got to my stop, and I got off, leaving him more confused than ever.
Some days I love my job.