Lawrence Kansas, August 5, 2003: Steve Butcher, a 25-year-old cable installer, expressed confusion and dismay over not being hit on during either of his two visits to the local gay bar, friends reported yesterday. The single, heterosexual man, who’s attended The Left Hand’s “Retro Friday” dance party with several friends two times in the past five weeks, is apparently honestly troubled by his lack of gay sex appeal.
Butcher’s long-time friend, Sara Weller, who did not accompany him to the club, heard about the experiences after the second visit. “He told me he went with a couple people from work, and they had a lot of fun dancing. I wasn’t surprised, because I’ve been to The Left Hand before, and it is fun,” Weller said from her cubicle at Wellstone’s Bank yesterday.
“But then he started talking about how a couple gay guys hit on [Butcher’s coworker, Kenneth] Gibson, and I noticed something strange about his expression,” she recalled. “Then, as he went on and on, I realized, he was, like, jealous.”
“Yeah, he was all, like, ‘I’m more attractive than Gibson, don’t you think?’” added Jerry Hejduk, who also heard about the outing second-hand. “I said, ‘what are you talking about, dude?’ And he was, like, ‘I mean, I’m more sensitive and that kind of thing.’”
Weller recounted how Butcher had shaken his head and asked, “I’m a better guy than Gibson, right?” She responded by asking him in return, “Steve…what do you care. You’re not gay…right?
“And he said, ‘no, of course not. It’s not like I’m jealous. I just don’t get it, because…well, Gibson’s kind of a thug. He’s big and sexist and, just not the kind of guy I’d think a gay guy would like. I think he’s really a homophobe.’ He said, ‘I’m the one who some people thought was gay in high school. You know, cause I sit with my legs crossed like this and I’m not athletic.’”
“It really didn’t make sense,” Hejduk added.
But Dr. Phil Gerwin, an area psychiatrist and open homosexual, says Butcher’s reactions aren’t uncommon. “There are two things at work here,” he explained from his office this morning. “First of all, there’s disappointment, because in Steve’s liberal circle, being unthreatened by homosexuality is admirable, and Steve is thinking, ‘what better validation of my gay-friendliness than to be hit on by a gay man’. This is not necessarily an illogical train of thought, and being hurt when people don’t find you attractive is a normal reaction.
“However,” the doctor continued, “the other thing at play here is a deep misconception about homosexuality. Steve has fallen prey to the very stereotypes he purports to reject as ‘homophobic’, when he assumes that gay men will be attracted to him for being effeminate. This is actually rather offensive to many homosexuals. As a gay man, I’m attracted to MEN, that’s the whole point.
“And finally,” Dr. Gerwin added, “Butcher’s assumption that gay men can’t be attracted to someone who’s a bastard or homophobe is just silly. It’s just a natural part of human nature that many of us are attracted to people who are ultimately bad for us. I see it all the time in patients, straight and gay. Just as a women will repeatedly seek out cruel, manipulative men who abuse and neglect her…well, gay people do that kind of thing too.”
But Butcher isn’t letting his disappointment keep him from enjoying another night of dancing at The Left Hand, Weller reported. “He’s organizing another outing this weekend. Apparently he bought this shirt that he said was ‘totally gay-looking’, and he’s sure he’ll get hit on this time. I’m going to go with him, cause I like to dance.”
“Yeah, and I think I’ll go just to see him make an ass out of himself,” added Hejduk.