Well, the insides contained mostly text with just a few photographs and some simple line drawings. The photos were mainly of handsome young men (some were more than handsome—they were downright beautiful). But none of the graphics could be described as even remotely "pornographic." I quickly browsed the text and found no hint of profanity or other objectionable language. It was mainly a simple collection of love stories—only all the lovers happened to be the same sex.
As I handed the magazine back, I said, "Does this mean that you're—uh—you know..."
"Gay? Why my dear boy, didn't you know?" Then he added with a slightly limp-wristed gesture, "Oh, I see—you're probably wondering why I never made a pass at you. Well, I do have a friend, you see. You've just never met him. But you're in luck—Teddy's coming to visit tomorrow."
I was pretty sure I didn't want to meet Teddy. And what exactly did he mean by "gay?" When I asked him, he said, "Oh my dear child, you really are provincial, aren't you? You honestly don't know what it means?"
"Well, I thought I did. You know, as in 'Our Hearts Were Young and Gay' or 'The Gay Divorcee.'"
"Oh, you are sweet—and you have so much to learn."
"Well, what about this 'Teddy'—I suppose he's 'gay' too?"
Bruce just looked at me.
"When did you say he's coming?" I asked, silently assuring myself that I'd be somewhere else when he arrived.
"Oh, I don't know—sometime tomorrow afternoon. You must meet him. He is such a doll."
I was starting to feel sick to the stomach. I knew there was no reason in the world why I would want to meet Teddy—but, in a way, I felt overcome with curiosity. Then I found myself wondering why Bruce and Teddy weren't rooming together. And if Teddy was anything like I was starting to visualize (and he was!) what if he started visiting regularly?
Maybe it was time for Carl and me to start looking for that apartment we had always said we wanted.How Do You Explain Having a Gay Roommate?
When Carl got home that evening I couldn't wait to tell him about Bruce. He didn't seem surprised.
"What do I do now?" I asked rhetorically. "Do you suppose everybody else knows?"
"Well," Carl replied, "I think everybody's been wondering—I mean, he does have a certain way about him."
"Great," I said. "So what are they thinking about me since I'm his roommate?"
"Well, I don't think anybody has any doubts about you. But it does make for kind of a weird situation. Anyway, did you say he has a boyfriend?"
"Yes—and he's supposed to be here tomorrow afternoon."
1952 - Cornet Stores
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