“Everybody here thinks I’m gay,” my son says incredulously. I’m shocked by this statement even though there was a time I thought he was gay, too. But, that was eleven years ago. He was five years old and all he wanted to do was play waiter. He didn’t want to play cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers. There were no Match Box cars strewn across my floor—just him walking up to me with a dish towel hanging over his slim arm demanding I “order”. Regardless of what I requested, there was always a look of disdain on his face. To me, this was a sure indication he was gay, but this phase only lasted about six months.
If there is a family to be gay in, ours is it. His Father is gay (that’s another story), I’m a bleeding heart liberal, his Grandmother is a writer and his Grandfather is a painter. We are virtually a gay incubator. Since his waiter gig, he has displayed nothing but heterosexual tendencies, such is life.
“Why do they think you are gay?” I ask. I wonder if he has demanded his fellow inmates order their food from the jail’s cafeteria through him.
“I watch the Golden Girls on Sunday mornings while I sweep the day room,” he replies.
“And that makes you gay?” I ask.
“Well, I sing the song,” he confesses.
“Oh,” I say and look down. Maybe I was wrong. I have mixed emotions. On the one hand I might have a lifetime shopping buddy, but I’m not sure jail is the best place to be thrown out of the closet.
“I like the song, it’s a good song,” he is getting upset. I don’t like to upset him during visits.
“Of course it is, Trey,” I reassure him. “It’s catchy.” I snap my fingers to prove it and start singing, “Come and knock on our door, we’ve been waiting for you…”
“Jesus, stop it,” he says, looking around the visitation room to make sure no one has seen my performance. “That’s the Three’s Company song, Mom. That one sucks,” he is getting that disdained look again.
“So, what did you say? Did you tell them you aren’t gay?” I ask.
“I told them my sexuality is none of their business,” he says in his ‘duh mom’ voice.
That’s my boy, he’s his own man.