It’s odd how my mind works at times. I’ve longed for ages for another gay guy to start working with me. I’m thinking, hey this is retail. There should be loads of gay bois breaking down the doors to work here. But apparently in this part of Knoxville (which is the higher end side), all the gay bois want to work the higher end stores.
But here in the last week or so, I’ve had two other gay folk join the troops. One an older gentleman who reminds me of the queens who make a living out of being at their respective bar. I don’t know if this actually true about him though. I really haven’t exchanged words with him and he probably thinks I’m stuck up or something. All I know is that he’s a friend of our CS supervisor, and they go to the same church. Imagine that. He seems kinda nice, although he just FEELS like drama and tis why I really haven’t said anything to him.
The second guy is a transfer in from the Cookeville store. He apparently just wanted a change, and up and moved here to Eastern Tennessee. I, of course, didn’t find this out from him but from some co-workers who had discussed this him seconds before. The glory of gossip helped me in this time of need.
He’s incredibly handsome, mid-twenty-ish, always smells fricken’ good. He’s the type of gay boi I would believe to be way out of my league. He seems well-grounded, self-assured, and assertive in that necessity kind of way…not the drama-tastic kinda way many of the gay folk revolve around.
So, like I said, my mind works in funny ways. Now that I have the option out there of talking to another gay guy at work, it’s surprisingly harder for me to strike up conversation. It suddenly becomes this game (in my head) of, “do they like me?, do they hate me?”
In the case of the transfer-gay, I’m just purely intimidated and that’s usual me. I also don’t want to come off like I’m hitting on anyone (in the case of transfer guy) and ruin a possible friendship from the get-go. Or that I’m inviting someone to hit on me (cue older guy). I just tend to worry about things too much.
Transfer-boy and I shared a break together the other day and really we didn’t speak the whole time. It was kind of tense.
Another co-worker was there, Chelsea, and she’s this little red-head with a big southern personality and she broke the silence quite a bit as usual. I wanted to talk, to say hi or whatever, but I felt obligated to say something fun, witty, or …. important, y’know. If I couldn’t come up with any of that, it was worthless. It’s almost like playing the dating game. Or it feels like it.
So I really didn’t say much of anything…at least to T-B. So sad.
With my straight co-workers I’m just myself and say what I want to say and am very personable. With my gay brethren, I feel like there’s some kind of standard or responsibility I need to live up to. I guess, even at 29 years of age I still don’t know how to converse with a member of my own sexuality without a bar, party or my home backdropped behind me.
I’ve alluded to my problems with social anxiety in the blog, but in this situation it’s ever so prevelant. It’s crazy, among my straight workers it’s all business type relations to me and I can openly converse but once some other gay folk join me it suddenly becomes personal and hard for me work within that same scenario…when I really want to.
It’ll get better. They’re both only two weeks old in the job so I’m sure I’ll warm up and find my comfort zone. It’s just strange how things work like that.
I do know that I made a step with Transfer-boy though.
At the end of my last shift with him, I had clocked out and went to use the restroom before leaving. The restroom is in the fitting room area and that just so happens to be where T-B and another co-worker is. I do my business, and come back out to leave.
I give my usual comment of “See ya later kids!” to them.
He turns and says “Fine, just leave.” in that playful kinda manner, smile on his face and all. I was kinda awestruck because I wasn’t expecting it. I tried to formulate some kind of response but I couldn’t make out any words. I really just mumbled something incoherent and went on.
I do feel like I can finally carry on a social conversation now that the “ice” has be broken…but it’ll still be tough for me.
In the very least I’ve been trying to give non-verbal cues to them both to suggest a “hi,” or a “how ya doing?” to help baby-step my way through this situation. It really is this tense for me. So crazy, and it shouldn’t be.
Does anyone else have issues like this when dealing with other gay guys in a work setting? Here I was wishing for a kindred spirit to share with at my workspace and when I finally get a couple it becomes a bigger ordeal than if it were just my straight workers.