2 min

In the dark

I'm still butch

Credit: Xtra West files

Even on a bad night, the park has more action than the bars. I’ve picked up only a piffle of men in clubs. (That’s less than a handful.) I think it’s my clothes. If I’m indoors, I want to wear something pretty. By contrast, in the park where butch is de rigeur, I enjoy masking myself in a ball cap, jeans, and a baggy jacket to add bulk on my torso. In the dark, I’m manly.

This particular night, I walk slowly, hands in pockets, hips not swinging, carrying my pelvis like a divining rod. I wander off the path, into the bush, and find a guy leaning against a tree. He has longish hair, either hippy or trailer park, I can’t quite tell. I step closer to him. He smiles, cute. He’s wearing Surrey-style denim.

At this point, men-men sometimes squeeze the arms of my jacket to feel for muscle. I can see the whites of their eyes glow brighter as their fingers sink deeper into material until they hit bone. Thankfully, this guy doesn’t.

We don’t speak. I’m still butch.

He slides a palm under my shirt. His hands are as soft as lips, his lips like marshmallows. When I bite them, he grabs my groin. We make out for a long time, masturbating, which I love. We nibble and paw each other, dropping our pants, lifting our shirts, giving just that much less than what we want (a perfect panty-wetting technique). I grab his ass. It’s smooth, round, very firm and moving in ever-widening circles. It’s the best ass I’ve ever held in my two hot little hands. He turns around and I fuck him bareback.

Bareback, because I don’t have condoms, because he’s way hot, because opportunities to do men this macho don’t come around for me every day which, in turn, makes me feel masculine, because we haven’t yet said a word to each other and because I feel, I don’t know, like keeping silent is easier.

We fuck until we finish. I consider asking if he’s positive. Sounds rude, so I say nothing, pull up my pants, and leave.

Walking home, I unravel with worry. In the ’80s, I came out with Queer Nation, chanting, “Silence equals death.” My friends work for YouthCO and PARC, they write an AIDS column in the paper and organize the vigil each year. How could I do this? I’m negative, or was negative. I may still be negative, and I know better.

The next morning when I wake up, my face burns with shame. And fear. I want to cry, curl up and hide. I call my friend and tell him what happened. He says it’s horrible, he’s done the same thing, and we resign to try and never make that mistake again.

As a safeguard, I talk to a number of friends about that night, and others like it, where I failed myself. I will the silence away.