Monday, January 7, 2008

I think maybe my gaydar needs a tune up.


This afternoon I was driving a car full of teens to the mall. Thing 1 slips a CD into the player and her new favorite boy band starts to sing:
"This is gonna be a hard break up.
You just found me dancing in your make up.
Tell me just one thing before you leave,
Does this dress look good on me?"
No one says "ew" or "gross" or "that's so gay" (see, if you like, my earlier posting, Voices from the back seat, on "gay" as the new all-purpose put down.) and I'm surprised and pleased. I think about how the (straight) lead singer of Greenday, Billie joe Armstrong, wears far more makeup than I ever have.

Later, I meet the twins and one of their guy friends at Ulta, a cosmetics superstore. The guy says, "Oh my God! This store is great. I'm going to have to come back here with some money and buy some hair products." He shops happily with us and points out all the good sales. He tells me how the twins straightened his hair and it looked fantastic. We have a nice time and, when we're leaving, he tells the girls, "I love your mom!" and allows me to give him a big hug. He's had tons of girlfriends (which I know means not a whole lot). But the thing is, I'm truly confused. Is he, as my 70s fag-hag spidey senses are whispering to me, "gay, gay, gay," because he uses hair products and is adorable and openly emotive? Or is he just a new-millenium emo boy, at ease with products? No way of telling yet, but the fact that I'm confused is probably a good thing.

13 comments:

Willym said...

Well over here men's cosmetics and "beauty" products are ahead of women's in sales. I did know what the figures were once but...

And believe me my gaydar is so screwed up here - you can't tell even tell if older guys are gay, str8 bi or whatever. They all flirt... they all check each other out... its very confusing to someone like me who grew up with sterotypes....

Elizabeth said...

Willym: I felt the same way in France! And how funny is it that people like us, who have spent our lives trying to make the world a more open accepting place, would feel disconcerted by our own inability to categorize people?

sageweb said...

I love the fact that the kid is comfortable enough with himself to share his thoughts on hair products. The world is getting better. Or he is just super comfy around you.
My gaydar needs re-calibrating. I have inadvertently given my sexy look to too many straight women lately. hee hee

Elizabeth said...

And I bet they were flattered!

Willym said...

Damn right Elizabeth they should be flattered with eyes like Sage's ... damn lady you got sexy orbs....

Elizabeth said...

I know! Look at that piercing blue....

joe*to*hell said...

that boy is gay.

he is too young to be that confident in his heterosexuality

i was a big teen with a TON of hair products and a soft spot for moms. now look at me!

love the blog - thanks for coming by - you hooked me on yours

yellowdog granny said...

ahh, what difference does it make..ha...he's a good kid...I just know..make up or not..that kid on the post is hot..hot hot..

Elizabeth said...

Joe: That's what my gaydar tells me too. Which means my daughters are following in my footsteps, hanging with the gay boys. Makes a mama proud. (Maybe soon we'll start watching Kathy Griffin together!)

YD: yeah, I'm just happy they're hanging out with a good kid.

Doralong said...

It's a brave new world darlin'..

I had to go in for a pretty major tune up myself with the advent of best guy friends of Miss thing's digging on going to the mall with us.. "Your Mom has a great eye for color- shut up and let her help me already!!" We had a ball!

Elizabeth said...

Doralong: I'm liking it a lot, too, and I'm trying to not categorize, just wait and enjoy. And the "Dancing in your makeup song is my favorite song they've played since "American Idiot."

more cowbell said...

At my kids' school, there's kind of a gay-as-cool or gay-as-a-fad thing going on, which has both negative and positive connotations. But it has made it really acceptable, even cool, for guys to be out, and for flaming boys to be considered kind of edgy. I think it's a big part of the reason so many kids at the school are out. But also, this is the Seattle area ... that could have a wee bit to do with it.

Elizabeth said...

Cowbell: More than a wee bit!