So by now most of the country is familiar with the first explicit statement of approval of same-sex marriage by President Obama, an exciting precedent for the nation and for the LGBT community at large. It also seems as though the states are slowly (ok, very slowly) making progress on this issue, and that at least on a personal humanistic level, tolerance for the gay community is growing.
Bearing all of this in mind, I've never been one to wear my sexual orientation on my sleeve. I've always kind of felt that who I sleep with is my own personal business, and besides, I've never been keen on labels (labels are for clothing!) or boxes. I've concededly passed judgment on those "loud gays", the outspoken ones who find the need to carry the gay banner everywhere they go and turn every cause into a "Pride" agenda. I almost mimicked that popular sentiment of homophobes—"If straights don't feel the need to proclaim their orientation or hold a rambunctious sparkly parade, why do gays?"
A few days ago, I had a bout with homophobia—not the kind you hear about on the news where men boasting Leviticus quotes tattooed on their arms pummel a poor unsuspecting gay man to a pulp, but the more insipid kind of homophobia -- the kind of under-the-radar discomfort with gays that happens every day, and may even pass for "tolerance". Interestingly, the source of this homophobia came from two twenty-something girls living in Williamsburg who posted a roommate ad on Craigslist.
The ad was great—the apartment seemed beautiful, both in description and the glossy, high-quality photos that were attached. Skylights! Working fireplace! Spacious! Sun-drenched! I imagined myself lounging on the beautiful mahogany king-sized bed pictured while taking in the view of the majestic city skyline. The price was right too. As for the potential roommates, the ad described them as "two professional females in their mid-20s, friendly, outgoing, responsible, and considerate." Worked for me.
I promptly responded to this ad, knowing that the end of my lease in the West Village was looming. A girl by the name of "Kaitlyn" (names have been changed to preserve privacy) wrote back within minutes. She seemed very sweet, and eager to have me check out the apartment. What followed was a back-and-forth exchange of emails, giddy in tone and cordial in nature.
The last email I wrote to Kaitlyn was my obligatory"I'm queer" email. While I