I walk into the room.
Comedian onstage.
The crowd engrossed in the performance.
Atmosphere perfect before my invasion.

Perfect
with the gay
jokes that weren’t really
jokes but they can
pretend because there was no one to receive the
stares, to leave everyone on the edge of their seats,
but
now they are all willing me to
smile or
laugh or
give a cue that it was
okay to call a friend
gay
because he couldn’t shoot a
3-pointer or climb that rope in gym class.

That it’s okay to say that
lesbians are great
only when they let you watch,
bisexuals are awesome
only when they let you join,
trans people are tolerable
as long as they explain themselves,
their genitals,
their sex life,
and where they go to the bathroom,
but those gay males…
well,
they’re okay too, right?
You don’t want to sound
homophobic.
They’re fine as long as they stay far away from you.

I don’t smile.
I feel those stares getting less patient.
They were no longer
willing me to smile but
willing me to
leave.
Because I was the
only one in the way of their laughter.
This was supposed to be a fun night,
but
now they have to watch out for my feelings.
My over sensitivity.

The comedian continues his act.
I get up and head to the bathroom.
The room lets out a synchronized sigh of
great relief before
erupting in laughter.
This time the comedian explained
how his wife never wants to have
sex anymore because she’s been spending
too much time with her
best friend doing
“girly shit,”
but
at least it gets him out of
suffering through chick flicks.

I smiled,
knowing that my first
relationship
started by spending
too
much
time
with
my
best
friend.

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