There are moments when I’m made aware of how gentle my circle is. Since I left home as a teenager, I’ve been pretty much surrounded by gay people, and while I don’t want to stereotype that all gay guys are soft, my experience is that they tend to be softer. Certainly I don’t know the world of pub brawls (“are you looking at my bird?!”), cat call harassment (“did you see the jugs on her?!”) or football shenanigans (“you fat bastard, you fat bastard, you ate all the pies”). So when I’m confronted with someone who overflows with machismo, I can feel a bit intimidated.
When I met and shot Alejandro Arias, in an apartment on the east side of San José, Costa Rica, I felt a bit out of my depth. He was super macho in character and looks (tats, piercings, muscles…) and I felt a tinge of fright like being back in high school, alone in the gym class showers with the jocks (which reminds me of a story I’ll save til next time).
Did Alejandro actually do anything to frighten me? Of course not – he was quite sweet really – but it’s just that innate anxiety I’ve had since childhood whenever I’m alone with a straight. I scramble my brain for football facts usually, though I haven’t followed Arsenal since David Seaman was in front of the net. I just need to chill out, right? ‘Cos I’m not in high school anymore, and I haven’t been for a long time.
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