C. & I went to see a local band and watch the fireworks last night--a lovely spot on the river in a small town near here. It was a gorgeous night--spectacular sunset, good music, and, of course, lots of people-watching. There was the usual assortment--young teens working very hard at their coolness, older folks hanging on to their youth a bit too hard, women who clearly haven't changed their hairstyle since they were 28 (wall o' bangs, anyone?). Oh, and the guy not only wearing a hat made out of the cardboard box that used to hold a 12-pack of Labatts, but also wearing a shirt advertising where you can get one for yourself!*
And then there was Annoying Drunk Guy. Oh, not falling down drunk--that might have been more manageable. No, this is the Guy Who Wants to Believe He's Hip. He decides he wants to befriend the attractive lesbian couple standing near him and his date/girlfriend/wife/whatever. So, he asks us if we're enjoying the evening (or something to that effect) and then tells us pointedly that he's a big supporter of being free. In fact, he continues, he had a brother who was "free." (This last point gets confusing, as he insists later his brother is dead and was not, in fact, gay. Whatever.)
You know this guy, right? The kind with no respect for personal space. Who can't take a hint. Who clearly is too drunk to notice the evil mind rays I'm emitting...well, starting emitting at him and his friends as soon as I saw them flick cigarette butts into the river. The sort of guy who's watched way too much straight porn and honestly believes lesbians are just waiting for the right guy to come along and join them.
But I like this word "free." We never did sort out if he meant free was a euphemism for gay. And, of course, he didn't take the hint that maybe if he can't bring himself to use words like "gay" or "civil rights" then maybe he ain't so hip after all. But think of all the ways we can use "free" as a queer code word! Here's a few of my suggestions--maybe you can come up with your own!
"Tom Cruise is so free!"
"That outfit is just fabulous--really free!"
"Tila, stick to the free girls. Really."
*I don't remember the website on his T-shirt, but here's a YouTube video that demonstrates how to make a hat for yourself!