Gay Sex & DF
Brooklyn, Mexico City
By Alex Orue
Last weekend, a cousin of mine invited me out for drinks. He’s Saudi Arabian (a Muslim, that shops like a Jew and swears like a Catholic) and got married with a blood-related cousin almost two years ago, and like most Arabs (and like myself) he’s quite a loud mouth, so we got along just fine. This time, however, was the first we ever went out together, just the two of us. And Arab and a fag, what could possibly go wrong?
Fortunately, nothing went wrong. We went out to Brooklyn, a nice bar & restaurant in the south of Mexico City. As its name suggests, it is very New York. Great food, cool music, fabulous drinks and always crowded, it is almost certain you’ll end up hooking up with beautiful people. As for me, I was quite nervous to make some conversation up with this new relative of mine with whom I seemed to have not much in common.
The truth is, I don’t get nervous very often, specially when meeting new people or when I’m the new guy at the office. I am very easy-going and I always seem to have a conversation opener. Sometimes I talk way too much, but with my new Arab cousin, it seemed that we had to avoid many topics, like religion, politics and sex. We started talking about funny experiences and about his new baby (he and my cousin just had a baby little over a month ago. He’s the cutest thing ever!). We had several beers before he went to the point he’d been trying to ask me about: “What’s it like to be gay?”.
The bar started to get really crowded, thanks in part to a couple of girls that we’re celebrating their birthday and seemed to have invited half the city. As I started to answered, I had to almost scream my lungs out so he could hear, and of course right when I said “… guys know how to please other guys better” the music was turned down a bit and half of the joint hear me loud and clear. I knew this was a hot topic to talk about with him (that, and politics and religion, too, which we eventually ended up talking about, of course) given that he is an Arab and a Muslim. I’ve never pretended to be anything else that I am not in front of him, and he’s always known who I was right from the get-go, but we never really talked about it, why would we? We became real close but he’s never asked me about my dates or if I have a boyfriend… Until now.
I tried my best to explain to him the Born This Way narrative, and the whole Even If I Tried I Can’t Change nature of my attraction to men, but instead of trying to refute any of my arguments, he kept asking questions. The pivotal point of the conversation was when he asked me if I ever wanted to have a family, kids. As of now, I feel like I wouldn’t do it, I’d rather have a partner with whom I can travel the world, but I wouldn’t say never to the idea of having kids, either. But then he went off. He didn’t like my answer.
With the gay thing, we didn’t say much. But when I said I wasn’t so sure that ever want to have kids, he couldn’t accept it. The discussion turned into a must-have-a-family thing, arguing that if you don’t, life as an elder man will be a lonely one, "who’s gonna take care of you once you reach 80?"
He had a point. Usually, that’s the natural order, right?
At first, it seemed to me a very selfish approach to the “having kids” thing, but isn’t it how it always turns at the end? Kids looking after their parents once they’re old? He was just being honest by exposing the natural order of having a family. But I wasn’t so sure if I wanted to have kids, and being a gay man, my options are limited. I do have options, but just a few.
As a new dad, he was glowing with happiness whenever he mentioned his kid. It got me thinking about the wonders of having a child that reflects the very best of you and your partner. And as the night started to fade into the dawn, and as we left Brooklyn, it all moved me to think about the possibilities. Would I ever be any good at being a father?
Often we come across many cases where couples (usually straight ones) seem to be anything but prepared and good at parenthood. Aren’t most kids at orphanages the by-product of messy relationships? Criminals, politicians and drug addicts have kids. Could I possibly suck at it more than any of them? (That’s putting the bar a little low, right?)
My doubts about becoming a father aren’t really much about fears of being any good at it, although is part of it, but to me since I was kids it seemed that it could be an inconvenient for my plans: traveling. I’ve always wanted to travel around the world, and maybe settle down in some exotic place in my 40’s (go and try to figure out what exotic means considering I am Latino). But I guess it all comes down to see if the person I choose to be with is worthy enough to start a family, whatever the option we choose to get one. If something Dan Savage has taught me (and he has taught me a lot of things) is that being gay ain’t a limitation to your plans, whether it includes having kids or not, if anything it helps you shape your plans in a very organised way, a luxury that most straight people don’t get to experience.
This whole week I’ve been spending more time with my father at his place in the northern suburbs of Mexico City, where I grew up, in a little area called Ojo de Agua. I haven’t spent this much time with him since my parents got divorced almost ten years ago. I think we are both trying to get along and have fun together, and it’s really working. When I came out back when I was 19, he didn’t took it very well but he didn’t disowned me, either. He’s really come around and now we even talk about my dates. And as I thought my relationship with him couldn’t get any better, a few days ago he said to me “you’d be a great dad. I truly hope you don’t miss out on that experience cause you’d be a better dad than I am”.
I guess the validation from him really struck me into being open minded about my future. I’ve always been the cool uncle to all my little nephews and they all respect me a lot, sometimes even more than their own parents, but to be the responsible for the welfare of a human being it’s a whole other story. But just maybe…
Right before we left Brooklyn, my Arab cousin wanted to be convinced he had talked to me into be a father but he approached it with the idea of me having kids with a woman, to do it as Allah intended. That’s when I knew that he also wanted to talked to me into behave as straight. And as I argued that I could never act against my nature, that I wanted to be happy, he kept on saying that happiness can’t be a priority over doing what we ought to do in life. He didn’t sound so happy about his life after all.
Sacrifice? To be miserable and lie to yourself and others so you can be taken care of as you get old? Bullshit.
That’s the problem with religious people, they think this life is for suffering and making sacrifices so you could earn a piece of heaven. I don’t know if God and heaven exists, I’m glad there’s no proof about it cause it’d be a hell of life to please such a selfish and bipolar God. All I know is that what I have now is all I got, so why not be true to yourself and be happy by being good to one another, right?
I guess his background and religion won’t allow him to fully understand where I come from, who I am and what I’ve gone through to be an openly gay man (let lone what that means in this society). When I came out, I never really felt any rejection from anyone, not from friends nor from my family. I was at the hospital when his son was born and I’ve kept our relationship close because I wanna be there for my nephew, but I can’t help but wonder: will the family bond be strong enough to get pass over our differences? Or will I eventually lose loved ones along my journey, whether it includes me having kids or not?
It seems like the coming out process never ends.