chickens, cruising and cock

[Title] fabulous disposition: queer life, love and drama in this prairie town
[Deck] chickens, cruising and cock
[Byline] sean manson

If I could turn back time, I can tell you exactly what I would’ve wanted to receive at my coming-out party. If I could reach the stars, I would make the obvious Cher joke, but I digress. Besides general acceptance, I would’ve asked for a dictionary, a queer dictionary. And not just because I like words so much, because I do. But rather because I can’t even recall how many times such a book could’ve eased my dramatic exit from the closet. Navigating one’s way into the queer world is tricky enough without having to learn an entirely new vocabulary.

There are few times in this life that I have sympathized with Jessica Simpson, but the night I learned what “chicken” meant was one of them. Fresh out of failed heterosexuality I ventured into my first gay bar. As if the words “naïve” and “oblivious” were stamped on my forehead, I was perplexed at why I was being called chicken; at least in grade school they gave me time to run away first. However once I realized the not-obvious metaphor, I knew it would be a while before I made it off the farm. Had I chance to speak to Jessica then, I would’ve informed her that chickens did not come from the sea but rather from the suburbs.

It was that same evening that I also discovered another important ‘C’ word … cruising. Found right under creepy and just above crystal, I was unaware of the popular mating habit of my forefathers. Nervously nursing a beer with my best friend and fellow hen, I was shocked when she told me I already had a stalker. Apparently for the last two extended-remix songs, he had been staring at me from the bar entrance. As I confirmed that yes, it was true and no, I did not have lipstick on my teeth we both made a b-line for the back exit. Knowing now that he was not insane but just interested, I think the night could’ve ended on a much less terrifying note.

Found right under creepy and just above crystal, I was unaware of the popular mating habit of my forefathers.

But those words were minor compared to my ignorance about any kind of sexual terminology. Thanks to Queer as Folk I had learned what a rim-job was, but I was still baffled when it came to the words top and bottom. My Catholic high-school sex-ed class taught me everything I needed to know about saving myself for marriage but nothing about man-on-man intercourse. Of course the true definitions of some words are better left to learn on your own.

Queer life wouldn’t be nearly as exciting if it weren’t for all the double-meanings, euphemisms, and abbreviations that characterize its language. Conducting a little internet search I discovered, that at the touch of my fingertips there are more than 1,400 different words to describe ‘penis.’ With that in mind, it’s ironic I had so much trouble articulating my sexual preference. With over a thousand words to choose from, you’d think I’d easily have figured out I liked the one-eyed throbbing python of love.

Published: Outwords Inc. #149 February 2008