This post was actually supposed to go up some time during the previous weekend, but the mission to keep myself occupied has been going too well since the semester started. I am now in 2 music ensembles (choir and steel drums), I am taking 2 music lessons (piano and voice) and I am picking up French again (parce que c’est la langue d’amour, and I love classy European stuff). And one of the things I’m trying to find my way into is theatre. Yes, I want to be an opera/musical theatre composer, so I should know more or less about how things work on stage and off stage in a theatre. Fortunately enough, I have grabbed myself the rare opportunity of assistant stage-managing for the school’s fall production of a Shakespeare play.
We have a handful of freshmen/incoming students in the casting and one of the main characters is played by a freshman and this is still the first month into the semester, so we’ve got great new talent. And there are also upperclassmen I had never personally met and those I had not gotten the chance to get close to. It’s a lot of work and it’s exhausting – not that my job is as intense as the stage-manager’s – but I’m learning a lot and I love the job.
So here’s what happened the first day I was at rehearsals. You know theatre people are really fit beautiful people, right? They got style, they got elegance, they got drama – both in speech and action. I found myself gawking at the boys more than half of the time. Yes, honey, I was checking them all out. I was supposed to be learning what I am to do on my job, since it was the first day of work for me. The actors were working on a fight scene with a fight choreographer. There was pushing and shoving, punching, hitting, bitch-slapping and (best of all) crotch-kicking. Basically, it was a class with the choreographer teaching them stuff – how to move and not actually hurt each other, how to make soundtracks, and how to react to the hit, etc. And, although I didn’t get to be part of the class as stage-managing crew, I found myself enjoying more than the technicalities of the choreography. Ok, the school has 2 theatres – one’s a big ass theatre, the main stage with several hundred seats and all the biggest shows at school happens there, the other is a much smaller one. The rehearsals (for now) are going on in the latter, although we’ll be taking the production to the big stage when it premiers. So this little theatre doesn’t have a stage; performers do stuff on one half of the theatre and the spectators watch on the others. No fixed seats – actually, the chairs aren’t even out when there’s no show going on. So the cast, the director and the choreographer were all over the theatre floor (which is flat) and I was on the floor, sitting up against the wall and taking notes.
Somewhere during the rehearsals, I realized I was enjoying things a little too much, and what I was enjoying was not that much the job but my male co-workers. A lot of the boys at school have chicken legs – no calves, like at all. But these guys, most of them have the physique I admire. Various things turn me on: like I could be more interested in rubbing somebody’s flat or slightly swelling stomach rather than going further down into their pants, or in staring at somebody’s eyebrows or hairline rather than staring into their eyes or even kissing them on the lips. I am not into ripped hunks. They’re fun to look at, yes, but only in magazines and stuff. I don’t like skinny people physically. And big bear-like dudes intimidate me. Anyways, the actors at the rehearsal (most of them), the lower part of their bodies are well defined from their crotch and butt to their ankles, and they’re not muscular people although they seem very fit. So, um, back to the story, I calmed myself down and tried to focus on my work.
Later that night, I thought about the whole thing again plus other instances when I had gazed at boys and openly expressed what I like about them and what I don’t like about them regardless of time and place. It became clear to me that as an individual I have the right to check people out, but overdoing it and over-expressing it is inappropriate. In this rehearsal scenario I just recounted, it was ok for me to check out the actors. It can even legitimately be the reason I love my job. But the actors physique being a distraction for me from my work or me doing more admiring than work is NOT ok. It’s unproductive.
I do whatever I want, whenever I want and however I want. I flaunt my sexuality. With my girl friends (straight girl friends), whatever I do or talk about doesn’t matter. They chase boys, so do I. They like penises, so do I. They love being fabulous, so do I. And even if I start conversation on gay/girl things in a public setting, they know when to hush things and how. However, my few close guy friends, on the other hand, despite being very supportive allies, don’t help. They cringe and cower and groan and complain when I start talking about boys or penises – or whatever is gay/girly. They always react to the topic and they tend to overreact. They don’t know how to cut off the conversation or how to keep it down. And I like talking to them because it kicks them out of their comfort zone, and it’s funny to see how awkward the conversation gets. I’m also out of my comfort zone talking to straight guys about personal (gay) business but I’d be on the edge of the zone while they’d be all the way out there in space of their comfort zone.
I used to tell my old roommate – and I still do – about all the guys that I check out or dislike, what about them attracts me or agitates me and I would even go sometimes as far as telling him of my fantasies. Although he admires my active imagination, he still overreacts and objects to my story-telling. We once had this conversation (paraphrased) ~
Roommate :: Dude, you don’t have to tell me everything. It’s weird hearing all your stuff.
me :: But I have to talk about all this. And I want to tell you. Plus, guys talk about girls like I do also.
Roommate :: Well, I don’t.
me :: Yeah, that’s because you have a girlfriend and you’re pretty reserved.
I could never accuse him of being homophobic though, because he really is not – has never been and will never be. I cut off his argument by equating my boy-craziness to straight guys talking obsessing over girls’ booties.
But come to think of it (I’m a Women’s Studies major, FYI.), me talking about boys’ bodies objectifies people as much as straight guys talking about girls’ bodies objectifies people. It’s simply inappropriate. Well, I shouldn’t accuse anyone of objectifying a human being just because of they’re talking about that human being’s body. I should say instead that if I am talking about an individual’s body out of carnal interest and disrespecting that individual’s identity, sense of being and such I am being inconsiderate and perverted. Expressing so brazenly about this crush-business, I had presumed, was all a part of the flaunting process for an LGBTQ-identified person to stay visible. But this crosses the line.
And I should really mind also whom I talk about these things to or where and how I do it. Even if a conversation can be hushed in a public setting, somebody could still overhear and exploit the information. And talking to my close straight guy friends about these things, I should mind where I am having the conversation. Also I should focus more on amicably extending comfort zones rather than provoking discomfort. That would make for some queer-ally bonding time rather than close friends talking nonsensically.