The ever elusive inner circle of the “all boys club” always seemed quite inaccessible to me. However, in recent weeks, I have become privy to this enigmatic phenomenon. What I found was that being one of the boys, aka “the testosterone club”, is not all it’s cracked up to be, and I much rather prefer the company of my fag hags and fellow queers.
From a young age I never quite fitted into what is referred to as ‘gender appropriate behaviour’ for a boy. My first kindergarten report card, which my nostalgic mother kept, was proof of this. It said that I was developing as normal and my speech, vocabulary and eye-hand-coordination were above average. However, the teachers noticed my refusal to play with gender appropriate toys and the absence of same-gender friends. The fact that I kept the company of the opposite sex when it came to play time was of concern and my parents were advised to encourage me to befriend other boys. Little did they know what the consequences of that would be!
The last straw was an incident in which we were made to play dress up. I had three choices of costumes: A Cowboy, a Clown or a Witch. Naturally, I choose the Witch, to the great disillusionment of my teachers. The resulting photo that I proudly presented to my mom left her unimpressed and a little worried and the next day I had a “play date” with the neighbour’s rambunctious boy; a friendship that was uneasy and brief.
When it came to high school, my parents had the brilliant idea of sending me to a very prestigious all-boys school in an effort to butch me up. It didn’t have the desired effect. In fact, it was quite the opposite. In high school I did make male friends but never found myself a member of any “all boys club” but rather stayed on the periphery of popularity and complete social acceptance. I opted to associate myself with the outcasts and rebels as they were my kind of people; the minority group of non-conformists with a strong sense of individuality.
Instead of the school reinforcing any heterosexual male values and behavioural patterns, I instead burst out of the proverbial closet at age 16 proclaiming my sexual orientation to the great dismay of my school and family. I started my own elitist “all-boys club”. The club was so elitist it only had one member – me!
So when I was recently finally accepted into another “all boys club” at work I thought this would be my chance at redemption and finally being able to decipher the mystery that is heterosexual male bonding. At first it was moderately exciting but I soon grew bored as I realised I had very little in common with this group of men: I don’t like sports; I have no desire to understand sports and I have no yearning to talk about women’s boobs and asses, cars, golf or hunting. I found myself in conversations watching their lips move but only hearing white noise as I zoned out thinking about what I was going to cook for supper or my next Botox treatment.
“I was to put in the same physical effort as all the other men – oh the horror!”
The only thing we had in common was a penis and even that commonality faded into obscurity as our choice of usage conflicted. I found their bonding ritual queer and their topical conversations tedious. Not even the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol could blur the dichotomy that is our lifestyles and interests.
When I had to participate in a fairly large scale move along with the boys last week, I had an epiphany. The move was well organised, timed and executed with military precision. The only flaw in their well laid plan would be my role. As the “gay guy” in the group I presumed I would have a supervisory task. (God forbid they would expect me to do any heavy lifting!)
As fate would have it, they didn’t make any distinctions between members and therefore I would not receive any “special treatment”. I was to put in the same physical effort as all the other men – oh the horror! As I hauled my first four boxes up three flights of stairs, being a member of the boys club seemed less and less appealing. This fairy wasn’t having fun anymore. I kept thinking to myself; gays would pay people to do the heavy lifting. We would hire staff – it’s called job creation!
Not wanting to disturb the peace, I kept my mouth shut. After three hours of physical torture my ordeal was finally over. The move was finished and so was my membership of this club. Gay men and straight men can get along just fine, but personally I felt I over stayed my welcome in their testosterone filled world and desperately wanted to submerge myself back into my natural gay habitat, doing gay things with gay people and talking about gay stuff. My final and appropriate salute to this “all boys club” was with the downing of a few beers as I left their world. A little while later, this was chased with a margarita back in my natural gay biosphere.
The “all boys club” is a phenomenon that has been with us for centuries, if not since the dawn of time. Having infiltrated one such group and having been part of their bonding, activities and private discourse, I found it less exciting than I anticipated. Straight guys’ interests, at times, seemed odd, boring and taxing. Being a member of the “testosterone club” definitely wasn’t one of the highlights of my social calendar.
I wonder how straight men would fare spending a couple of weeks with their gay counterparts. Would our activities bore them as much as theirs did me? Would they actually enjoy the frivolous gay banter and our reckless rejection of stereotypical male activities? Now that’s an experience I’d like to be part of…