This isn't a new thing for me. In the final years of school I established a lot of friendships with females. I never tried to make a move on any of my friends despite casually flirting with many of them. For that reason several, I found out, thought I was gay. The heterosexual male friends that I had weren't too worried about people questioning their sexualities, as I wasn't, and consequently we were very affectionate towards one another which did nothing to alter the assumptions.
Over these past few weeks I've been doing less than ever to ensure people are aware of which sex I am attracted to.
First of all there was the make-up thing. This happened nearly two weeks ago. I was at a friend's house. I was in her bathroom and I happened to notice what looked like a pencil on the sink. Further inspection revealed that it was an eyeliner pencil. I held it and glanced upwards at my reflection. I thought about that part with the fig tree in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. Where she talks about how her indecision is preventing her from choosing a fig and by taking longer to do so she is limiting her options as some of them die. Figs representing opportunities in her life. Before my life ends I would like to pick as many figs as possible. So I started tracing along the roots of my lashes. Clumsily stabbing my cornea every so often. Then I showed my friends. They laughed much less than I would have. That wasn't enough for me. Right beside the eyeliner fig is the lipstick fig. I went from goth to transvestite in approximately twenty seconds. I looked great.
Then of course there was the gay bar. Where I met Rodriguez who made intrusive physical contact despite my obvious disinterest. Everybody who I'm friends with on Facebook knows I went to a gay bar because I joined the event page in an effort to get free admission which ended up not working out. The fact that we happened to go on my birthday means that people probably think that it was my idea. And that I'm gay because it was my idea.
Both of my older siblings are aware of how I spent my birthday. And at least one of them knows about my plans to frequent the Gay Pride parade in Dublin at the end of the month. I'm only going because my lesbian friend needs a wingman. I am always the wingman. Which means I get the less attractive lesbian. Who won't want me, so my attractive lesbian friend will probably get them both.
One of my older siblings, my brother, called me the other day. Which never happens. It's a prison type situation. One call. On my birthday. And any other contact is face-to-face and always brief.
'Hey, Fredulous. Where are you right now?'
'Ehhh... I'm currently at home. Why do you ask?'
'You doing anything important?'
'No. Why, what's up?'
'Oh, nothing. I just need to ask you something. Don't take this the wrong way or anything but, are you gay?'
'No. I am not.'
I asked for an explanation. He mentioned a collection of things that he was concerned with: I don't drink (like gay people obviously don't), I want to be a doctor (like gay people want to be), I am known to be surrounded by women in clubs without trying anything on with any of them (which is only true most of the time) and he alluded to his knowledge of what I did for my birthday.
The conversation ended shortly after.
At present I do not see this sexual ambiguity as a bad thing. While being able to avoid the unjustified mistreatment and inequality associated with being homosexual by not being homosexual, I also get to seem attractive to that weird collection of women that exist who enjoy taking on the challenge of seducing gay men.