A Slap on the Wrist

2 months after meeting Broadway, he finally asked me to come out with his friends. One of his cast mates was closing on his apartment, and he invited me to come along as his guest for the closing party. This was a big development. Before this, I had never met any of his friends.

I heard a lot about this friend. He was one of Broadway’s closest friends at work and his dance captain. It was really nice finally putting a face to the stories. He is one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met; just very genuine and good-hearted.  He showed us around the apartment, and when the majority of everyone else arrived, we headed up to the roof.

Throughout the night, I spoke with everyone who was there. They had a fair amount of questions for me, especially since I was one of the few there not in “the industry.” I felt they accepted me with open arms.

Broadway was talking to friends about an upcoming bachelorette party he was planning for a close friend. The bride was really interested in pole-dancing, so they agreed to take a class before heading to a bar to round out the night for the party. I interjected that an old friend of mine taught pole-dancing classes at Crunch gym professionally. I volunteered to reach out to her to set something up.

Following that night, I sent her an e-mail. She was actually someone I had hit on while riding the LIRR out to the beach in Long Island one summer day. We kept in touch since. I started explaining that I was gay, before getting into the real reason why I was e-mailing her. I said, “My boyfriend is planning a bachelorette party and wants to take a pole-dancing class.”

When she gave me her response, I forwarded the email to him. At the end, I added, “I referred to you as my boyfriend when asking for her help. I hope that’s ok?”

This is when I got a real punch in the gut. He responded back to the email with the following:

Thanks for the number. Once I get going today I will look at their rates and see what I can do for this silly party

I really enjoy hanging out together and being in your life and you in mine. However, I don’t want to mislead you into thinking I’m ready to enter into a relationship, which is what in my eyes calling someone a boyfriend entails. I’m a complicated soul when it comes to entering into relationships, I hope we can have a proper discussion about this but thought I would at least share where I am at.

Thinking of you,

I took a step back and thought about it. When gay men can’t truly marry, “boyfriend” can take on a meaning much closer to husband at times.  I was a little disappointed I had no easy way to refer to him. I was really enjoying spending time with, but I understood where he was coming from.

I took what he said as a learning experience. I didn’t need to put a label on what we had. Nor will I in future relationships. All I had to do was enjoy it. And that’s what I did.

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