Thursday, October 22, 2009


I have a greater chance of spotting a bear than a gay man where I live. And I haven’t seen a bear since early August. Actually, it wasn’t dissimilar from seeing a gay man. I was on my bike, cycling back from an evening ride to the local mill and I braked as I spotted a bear crossing the road ahead of me. He heard me, stopped briefly to check me out and then ambled away, completely disinterested.

I’m sure the gays pass through from time to time. I just don’t seem to be in the right place at the right time. Of course, I can’t really explain why a gay sighting matters. It just does. As weeks go by without seeing another gay man, I begin to feel like that lone hippo that was at the Vancouver Zoo. (Note to self: comparisons to hippos are probably a sign of low self-esteem. Check into it.) When I go about doing errands in the small town near home, I vaguely recall a childhood jingle, “One of These Things Is Not Like the Others.”

When I do spy a gay guy, it’s not like I have any intention of attempting to pick up the guy. Ha, just writing that amuses me. It could be raining gays and I’d have no such luck. I’d be the guy standing under an eaves, hooded raincoat zipped up, revealing only my eyes with the dark rings under them, too oblivious to notice the queer change in precipitation. Rain, rain, go away…

I did spot what I believe was a young gay man at the local Tim Horton’s this morning. (I must make the disclaimer that my gaydar may be faulty from lack of use.) I was reading by myself at a booth and when I looked up he seemed to be coming from the washroom area. He quickly made his way to the exit, never looking my way. He left without even buying a donut. (No donut?! Maybe the gaydar still worked. It’s a stereotype, but the gays do like to watch their figure. Heck, I’d ordered the coffee and skipped the carbs myself. They looked at me funny when I asked for a single Timbit.) From my vantage point I couldn’t see the parking lot, but I’m sure he got in his car, got back on the highway and headed to Ottawa, Montreal or Toronto. Places where gays aren’t an endangered species.

I guess all I would have wanted was a brief moment of eye contact wherein we each conveyed that knowing look: Hey! You’re gay! That’s all, a little public acknowledgment of our gayness. I am not alone. It just seems that way.

Maybe next time.

As it’s autumn, the bears are out more often, presumably to fatten up before hibernation. Maybe this is the onset of a few more gay sightings. Of course, I don’t want to carry the bear comparison too far. Not with hibernation season to follow!

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