June 23, 2010


I recently took a trip for work to Phoenix, AZ. In an attempt to save my company some money I opted to fly Southwest. As many of you know, you are not assigned a seat on Southwest. Seats are first come first serve. So, everybody has their own strategy to get the seats they want.
My strategy is to act disgusting and obnoxious before boarding the flight – altering everybody else’s strategy to “I don’t care where I sit as long as it’s not by that guy”.
As I was walking around blowing snot rockets, smelling my armpit while wincing, and generally trying to be as disgusting as possible – I notice a group of five homosexual men. Yes, I judged them and assumed they were gay. Was it right of me? Probably not. But sometimes tight fitting clothes, makeup, and talking with lots of body and hand movements sends a certain signal. Anyway, I didn’t think much of it except every time I looked in their direction they would be staring at me. When we’d make eye contact they wouldn’t look away, they just kept staring. This quickly made me lose focus on being disgusting. I found myself trying to casually hide outside of their line of vision. When I would peek my head around the object obstructing their line of vision I’d find them still staring at me!
I figured they somehow knew that I was LDS and had a personal vendetta against me thanks to what happened in California. I was outnumbered and didn’t know what to do. I began praying that we would quickly board the flight and I wouldn’t have to sit by them. Then I thought, maybe they don’t think I’m LDS because I’m flying on Sunday – and a good Mormon wouldn’t fly on Sunday, right? Maybe, I thought, they don’t know I’m LDS….maybe they just find my outfit atrocious. Or, maybe when I glanced at them initially they thought I was staring at them! Maybe they’re thinking the same thing I am – why is he staring at us?!?
Well, this changed my strategy from trying to be the guy nobody wants to sit by to “I don’t care where I sit as long as it’s not by those guys” (I should note that personally I would have no problem sitting next to a gay person on a plane, my feelings would have been the same if they were a group of terrorists………wait, bad analogy – I would have felt the same if they were a group of Boy Scouts).
When I booked my ticket I thought I booked it with Southwest’s “Business Select” feature that allows you priority boarding. I soon realized I neglected to do so and would be one of the last passengers to board. Once on the plane I began walking towards the back where the open seats were. There were two seats together that were open. With a sigh of relief I sat down knowing I wouldn't be sitting by "those guys". Soon enough I noticed a couple with a look of disappointment that they weren’t going to be able to sit together – only single seats were left. So I grudgingly offered them my seat so they could sit together (they happened to be an LDS couple from Cali). By that point every seat on the plane had been taken…..except for one. The one seat open was on the very back row next to the guys I was trying to avoid.
I took my seat and was immediately entrenched in conversation with the guys sitting next to me. They were very nice - and odd enough, 4 of the 5 were LDS. They were in Chicago for the weekend bar hopping in Boystown. I knew it! So, the whole LDS thing wasn’t practiced – but they spoke highly of the church.
Luckily these guys were quite flamboyant, because anybody who knows me knows that I like my drinks cold, my TV loud, and my homosexuals flaming! It made for a more entertaining flight. I soon learned that a lot of that hand talking I noticed them doing in the airport was real life hand talking...they all knew sign language and kept signing to each other while we were talking. I have a hard time carrying on one conversation, let alone two.
The gentleman sitting next to me was very touchy-feely. He was constantly brushing the back of my arm. I didn’t think too much of it, although it kept happening in more frequent intervals. Halfway through our flight I mentioned that I had a beautiful wife and baby at home. The two guys to my left both gasped, one bringing his hand to his mouth in a very non-yawning way. They went silent, signed to each other, and then informed me that they thought I was gay. I smiled and nodded…..then I realized what he just said – what the what?!? I had a brief awkward moment not knowing how to respond. I didn’t want to offend them by responding in a WTF way, but I didn’t want to lead them on that I was an “in-the-closet” gay.
So, I faked a seizure.
Okay, maybe I didn’t…..I just chuckled a fake chuckle and our conversation died. I opened my book and pretended to read while they put in their ear phones. There was no more touchy-feely gay guy next to me. I spent the remainder of my flight alone.
Once we landed we had some light conversation and bid adieu. Several weeks have passed and I still don’t know what to think about that experience. I’ve never had a gay man flirt with me. Had an attractive women flirted with me I could have bragged to my wife about it – making sure she realizes how lucky she is *sarcasm*! But I’m not sure bragging about a gay man hitting on me has the same effect.
What about me made them think I was gay? Is it the way I dress? The way I talk? Do I talk with my hands too much? If you know please tell me!
Now I want to say that people thinking I’m gay doesn’t bother me, because it shouldn’t. The way I live my life shouldn’t be influenced by what others might think of me. And even if somebody does think I’m gay, so what? What’s the difference if they think I’m straight? We’re all humans, we’re all God’s children, and we’re all different in our own ways.
But this experience has left me with a slight homo-complex. I went shopping with Megan last weekend (I know what you’re thinking – Brady spent his weekend shopping, yep he’s gay…..I promise you that’s not the case, I just…..eeehhhh….needed some work clothes, you know – the non gay kind). While browsing, If I saw a clothing item I liked I’d step back and think, wait….will this make me look gay? I couldn’t bring myself to step into Banana Republic or J. Crew. I felt everything I looked at would just make me look gay. Suffice to say I will never be able to buy new clothes again; I will just go on looking gay with my current wardrobe.


  1. classic story Brady! And I'll give you my honest opinion on how "gay" you dress when I get there!

  2. um...probably the funniest thing I've ever read...seriously that's just too good to be true.