Pick Me... But Not Last


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That summer I tried tennis, and, surprise, I couldn’t master that either. I even sucked at bowling, which seemed a lot easier than it turned out to be…once I got stoned.
This whole lack of athletic ability hit me hard because one, I had once been good at physical activities, and two, some part of me knew that I was gay and therefore I would always be expected to be athletically inclined.

I panicked for a while and then found other things to amuse my teenage self: namely, drugs, sex and Debbie Harry. I traded in my dreams of being a jock for being the class clown. Like I said, at least I didn’t get picked last, and nobody said anything to me for fear of getting publicly insulted.

During my senior year, a friend suggested that running might improve my figure in time for the prom. She was right, it did, and I’m happy to report that it did not lead to a lifelong habit. Like any good queen, I eventually discovered the gym to be my temple of physical redemption. The ciggies and booze were beginning to take their toll, as were the alphabet drugs and 2-in-the-morning barbecued pork omelettes. I had to do something fast—risk having to date less attractive women or give up one of my vices. Neither of these options appealed to me. Thus, I did develop a lifetime habit of fitness. I had finally found something I could do: lift weights.

It did not, however, turn me into a better softball player. Whenever I would start a new job or find a new social circle, the softball team recruiter (there is always one) would offer me a spot on the team without a tryout. Luckily for them, I never took them up on it. I would politely decline and assure them that I only looked athletic, and thereby save the coach the trouble of picking me second to last down the road.

And what is the point of all of this? Gay Pride is here again. It’s the time of year when I worry about how I look and wonder if all those years at the gym are still paying off. For one week, every June, I’m a sophomore once more and cannot get that stupid ball in that goal or basket to save my life. Even though I look like I’m having fun and I couldn’t care less, I just want that stinkin’ ball to hit the mark one gall-darned time!

But this year, I’ll try to remember that I’ve already made the team and that Gay Pride is an event, not a competition.

And finally a word to you single gals who doubt your ability to score at this year’s Gay Pride festivities: Get out there and play, because getting picked last still beats the heck out of going home alone. 

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