It’s official: Congratulations are in order for the great state of Washington, its fair-minded and non-pea-brained legislators, and for those among its gay residents who went ahead and registered at Target and drew up seating charts with an optimistic eye on just such an occasion. I am nothing like a gay marriage activist, you understand, but it is always exciting and life-affirming to see a gang of people take a stand against discrimination in any of its perfidious forms. Happy Valentine’s Day, Gay Washingtonians!
I celebrate the marriages of my queer friends and family, and my boyfriend and I have been planning our wedding almost since our first date, coming up on eight years ago, and if either one of us ever gets his hands on any money, such a happy occasion may actually occur. But I don’t, as a rule, get worked up over the politics of gay marriage. It should absolutely be legal, the arguments against it are flimsy, off-topic, and homophobic, and frankly I don’t care who “approves” of my relationship and who doesn’t. Still, sometimes a fella wants an honest declaration of amour from another fella, state-sanctioned or not, and it is this kind of spiritual marriage that inspired my first-ever short story, “The Wedding Night.” I was ever-so-proud to have it published, especially among the Best Gay Love Stories of 2009, and a brief excerpt follows:
It’s not like I was the only gay guy in the Greek system at our state university in rural Colorado. But in a school where most closet doors were six inches thick and made of lead, I was the closest thing to an openly gay guy. I played baseball and drained my share of kegs and more or less “passed” as hetero, but I never had a girlfriend and it was well known on Frat Row that if your girlfriend was away for the weekend, I was generally available for a beer, a bong, or a burger, and anything else that might help make a solo guy’s Saturday night a little less lonely. Since my taste in those days ran decidedly towards the type of thick-waisted mouth breather with which Frat Row was crawling (it wasn’t known as Fat Row for nothing), I did little to discourage this reputation, and with my flat belly, round butt, and airtight mouth (I kept plenty of secrets a lot more shocking than “I’m gay.”), I was soon popular.
And if ever there was a thick-waisted mouth breather, it was Jasper. We pledged different houses, but during the same semester, and the first night he flew across my radar at a Chi Sig party will forever be remembered as the night I turned gay for good. I had been having sex with guys since high school, sure, but I was still partly convinced it was a phase, that the right girl might still come along and make straight sex seem fun. But the first time I ever saw Jasper squat in those hard-working Wrangler jeans and take a 40 through a beer bong, I knew I would never love another. He was thick in all the right places (and even thicker in the others), with reddish blonde hair, skin, and boots, and walking behind him, as quickly became my favorite pastime, was like watching two bowling balls in a tight denim rock tumbler. He laughed loud and easily, drank much and lustily, and had a quicker wit than a Simpsons writer. And, I couldn’t help but notice, he kept one eye on me for the whole party. I had many propositions that night – I had many propositions most nights in those days – and I did blow Trig Christiansen on the fire escape because he asked so nicely, but there was something about the gleam in Jasper’s eye that told me if I bided my time and hung around, he’d invite me back to his room and it would be worth waiting for. So I did. And he did. And boy, was it.
Hooked? The book’s available on Amazon (for like $3) and maybe, if the one in your town hasn’t closed yet, at your fave gay bookstore!