I’m sitting on the tender going to Toronto Island Marina. A tender is a private boat that takes marina boaters and their guests back and forth from landslide to the marina.
In the corner of my eye, I notice this rather cute young guy smiling at me as my gay brain begins to assume he’s cruising me.
Could it be that he’s just friendly to a fellow boater? Is he just looking for a random neighbourly connection?
After all, casual chatting among strangers is a common occurrence at our marina. Everyone wants to be best of friends until the fall haul-outs then we hibernate or snowbird it November through to April — losing contact five months of the year (but that’s another story for another time)
Still, my “gaydar’ was in overdrive, and I typically hate missing an opportunity to befriend a fellow teammate (that’s code for someone that plays you the same sexual orientation team as you)
Having teammates within close, shagging proximity to each other’s vessels can be a dangerous thing — especially on those long chilly nights.
It’s particularly challenging as a gay man to ‘befriend’ another gay man because one must always be careful not to offend, get punched in the face. Or to or freak the straight guy out when he discovers your hitting on him — ewwwwww….
Of course, straight guys have been hitting on women since the beginning of time and seem to think that this kind of behaviour is appropriate — and routinely desired. It’s even more offensive when a guy hits on a non-gay.
A part of me wants to say to these guys — oh hell, get over yourself. I’m not into hitting on straight guys that I now am straight. Of course, if your gay, that’s a whole different ball game. — but get over yourself, and yes, you can bend over and pick up that bar of soap off the shower floor and live to tell about it — eh!
So anyway, this fellow boater was defiantly into hyper flirt drive. He is also a tad effeminate (yea don’t crucify me for stereotyping.) I now being effeminate is not a prerequisite for sexual orientation.
Wouldn’t you know it — this guy has a boat right across from mine. I’m surprised because I’ve never seen him before and this is his second year at the marina.
So I wave and walk over to his boat to start chatting him up — all boating small talk. Then out of the blue, he brings up his ‘girlfriend’ in the conversation.
Oh hell, now I’m confused — straight guys are not typically this overly friendly and flirty with other guys. Could he be a big closet case, or bisexual?
After about 15 min of small talk at the dock, I thank him for the chat and move on totally confused and not sure what to make of the situation.
Perhaps I am reading just way to much into it.
At 56 years of age, I tread lightly in these situations and always weigh on the side of respect and caution.
What about you, have you ever been in a similar situation, and how do you deal?
Dan is a Canadian LGBTQ Mentor — Helping CREATIVES find; Significance, Connection, Belonging, Personal Growth. Toronto Sailor, Personal Wellness Trainer, Collaborator, Social Worker. Check out DanTrep.com and explore more ways to connect.
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