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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SL Letter of the Day: Outside the Gay Bar

Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM

My boyfriend and I are having a discussion as we sit outside the local gay bar (we live in a tragic bastion of conservative heterosexuality). We're both straight, but a good friend of ours is part of a show and invited us to come. He is uncomfortable and not sure he wants to go in. He says it makes him feel like a bad person. I told him it's fine; in any other context it's a non issue. We hang with our

Sent From The Savage Love App For iPhone

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What's he afraid of? He's not going to get ass-raped in there.—Dan

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Haha, that was sent before we finished writing it (not sure what else I would have added, though!). Thanks for the prompt answer! He's not sure what he's afraid of, and I think that's the problem. He wants to know if that makes him a homophobic asshole, because, and I quote, "Dan won't pull any punches."—SFTSLAFi

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No, not a homophobic asshole. Just a pansy-assed coward.

He's afraid that, if he goes in that gay bar, someone might see him and think he's gay, or that the men in the bar will see him as a sex object and look at him the way he looks at women. The fear of being perceived to be gay is so strong, and being perceived to be gay is so stigmatizing, that he can't bring himself to walk into that bar. It's homophobia crossed with cowardice, not homophobia crossed with aggression/assholery.

Tell him to go in and have a drink. And promise to hang on him so folks will know 1. he's with you and 2. that he isn't gay. He probably won't be the only straight guy in there. And tell him that gay bars aren't fuckriots. The only way to conquer this fear is to confront it directly. March his straight ass into that bar. When he leaves in an hour or two and his straight ass hasn't been brutally raped, then he'll know his fears were unfounded.—Dan

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We went, he wasn't ass-raped, it wasn't a fuckriot, and we both had a really fucking good time and are going back next week. I think the requests for him to wear less clothing stroked his ego (they definitely stroked mine). As you can see in the one where he was wearing only a tie, he obliged. Here's some pictures, just cause.—SFTSLAFi

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