Tensions between my hall-mates and I in Minton Hall have grown over the past week. I was in the shower earlier, and it was a “peak shower hour,” so there were others in the showers, too. Now, Minton’s showers are in stalls along one wall of the shower room, with mirrors and sinks along the opposite wall, arranged so that, if other showering people are tall, in the right part of the stall, and you really try, you can see their eyes or forehead from your stall.
I stepped out of the shower (not out of the stall, out of the actual area where hot water falls on my head) for a second to grab my shampoo, coincidentally when another guy got out to dry off. We happened to look at the mirrors at the same time and made awkward eye contact. I thought that was the end of that.
Until I finished my shower and was drying off, that is. That’s when I heard from the hall, “…caught that one queer kid tryin’ to look at me in there.”
Of course. He and his friends were hanging out around the shower room talking about what he felt had happened. I was so devastated that I spent thirty minutes drying, dressing, and brushing my teeth so that the guys weren’t still hanging around when I left.
What I should have done instead was head out there right away and tell them that:
He isn’t attractive.
Aside from my lack of glasses in-shower (making it impossible for me to get a worthwhile look at him), he isn’t attractive enough to warrant it. That he just assumes he’s hot enough to be worth creeping on shows that he’s just a little proud of himself.
Not everyone is attractive; in fact, last semester I spent a day mentally playing “Would I Tap That?” and at the end, my proportion of “yes” responses was about 1 in 20. That means that, based on looks alone, there’s a 5% chance of my being attracted to a guy. Once you add in that I know the guy and know that I don’t like him (he’s a bit of a jerk), the percentage drops to almost zero. Seriously, homophobic guys have this habit of assuming that gay guys have this uncontrollable urge to have sex with every single penis in sight; that they are the object of every gay affection in the region. Both of these assumptions are bogus, unfounded, and offensive.
Gay men are just as in control of their hormones as everyone else.
Think critically. If showers were co-ed and the object of your sexual attraction were in a stall next to you, would you look? Or would you respect that person’s privacy?
Yes, some would look, but vast majority would avoid looking out of basic control and dignity. My being gay doesn’t make me a mono-dimensional person, and there are other things in life for me than lusting over male bodies. I’m able to keep that part of my life in check long enough to respect your right to shower privately and to avoid the personal ramifications that being caught would lead for me.
In fact, gay men, if anything, are less likely to look, because:
“1-Gender Zones” are minefields for gay people.
Think back to high school gym. If yours had a changing/locker room like mine did, then try and remember how different people changed. Remember the kid you always kind of thought was gay? (I won’t shove the stats down your throat, but your class likely did have a gay kid in it) How did he/she change clothes? If it was anything like my class, that person changed as quickly as possible, in a corner, facing a wall, before leaving as soon as clothed enough to be deemed decent.
Compare that to the testosterone-laden football players who often shot the shit half-naked for ten or more minutes.
The problem for gay people here is that people’s discomfort around them is multiplied exponentially in areas that are single-gendered. These areas are often segregated this way because of some form of indecency or undress is involved, and provide a hotbed for “Is he going to look at my junk? I know that he likes guys, so there’s no reason for him not to, right?” Gay people are aware of those thought processes and, as stated above, respect your privacy, oftentimes for their safety, by getting out of areas like this as soon as possible.
So no, dumbass, I wasn’t looking at you. I couldn’t because my eyesight is shitty (you know that I wear glasses); no matter how much you think it, you aren’t hot enough to merit it; I’m a decent enough person to respect your wish to shower privately, because I know how uncomfortable I’d be if the tables were turned; and, to be blunt, it’d be safer and more satisfying to just look at guys on the internet in my room.
I just happen to like having clean hair.
So what about you? Are there any unfair judgments that have been made of you or someone you know? Share them in the comments below.