I really only have two gay friends of note in Indianapolis, Blake and Danny (Blake’s boyfriend). I first met Blake by chance many years ago when I was living in San Francisco. I was out at one of the bars and this guy approached me and struck up a conversation. I was just about to leave when he mentioned he was visiting from Indianapolis. My interest was piqued and we had a conversation about Indianapolis that inevitably involved my mother’s renown in the gay community. Blake was explaining to me that he had just recently come out (some 6 months earlier), although at that point he still wasn’t out to everyone, and not out at work. It was about that point that I noticed his hairline looked a little funny. I tried not to stare, but it was fairly obvious at that point that he was wearing a toupee. He actually copped to it later with a little embarrassment. It occurred to me at the time that his self esteem and desire to “fit in” with what he thought the standards of beauty were in the gay community led him to this awful hair decision.
When we are first coming out, there are so many things we worry about and acceptance within this new community is of paramount importance. It takes a while before we discover our niche and the process can be quite bruising. Gay male enclaves can be notoriously superficial and unforgiving, especially in the larger cities. It can make it really hard just to be yourself.
Since that time, I have watched with tender affection the path of Blake’s coming out process. In a couple years’ time, he had lost the wig, and come out at work. Not much later he bagged a great bf (Danny) and shares more of his life with his friends and family. He is one of the sweetest people I know, and it is always a treat for me coming back to Indy to spend time with him and Danny.
Blake puts on the rug for old times’ sake.