I remember when I first moved to New York City, it was July 2001. Living life pre-9/11 in NYC was beautiful, adventurous but short-lived for me. I had just left Cedar Rapids, Iowa and a year prior to that, I lived in Odessa, Texas for over 20 years. His name was Clark and he found my online dating profile on yahoo. He was funny, confident and charming--so I accepted his offer to go out. We met up; he took me somewhere in the East Village to an exotic little restaurant--I was fresh off the corn wagon, so everything was exotic to me then. And after dinner we strolled through a park when "it" happened. The horror, the shame, the audacity of this stranger doing this to me haunted me for years to come--yes, he tried to hold my hand in public.
Nando: What are you doing? People will see us? (batting his hand away from mine)
Clark: Are you kidding? We're in New York, it's okay.
Nando: Well, not for this Texan. You just don't go around grabbing a Mexican's hand in public.
Clark: Wow, so you're one of those?
Nando: What? How dare you. First, you touch me without permission, then you insult me. I'm leaving.
Clark: One day you will feel different about this and when you do--you will see how you overreacted!
I ran away from him as fast as my chubby Mexican body could go. What was he thinking? I'm from the south, we don't parade around town holding hands. And what did he mean, "One day I'd feel different about public display of affection?" I could swear on a stack of straight-thinking, written bibles that day would never come.
Nando: Eew, I just found a hair in my fruit salad. It's curly, do you think it's a pube?
Jason: I hope so!
Jason is fun, adventurous, creative, talented and has a sense of humor that competes with Kathy Griffin herself. As we met up for a long over-due brunch, we dished about celebrities, relationships and the rules every gay man should know.
Nando: Don't mind me if I look around, I'm just admiring all the men. It's like gay mecca in here.
Jason: Yeah, and I'm facing the mirror so I see all the action happening all around.
Nando: Wow, look at that guy!
Jason: Oh, he's here on a first date with the Asian boy that's following him. Very sweet, I bet they hook-up.
Nando: Let's drink to that. (clicking our alcoholic beverages together)
Personally, I never would have imagined going to one of the gayest parts in New York sitting at one of the gayest restaurants with a celebrity hair colorist still learning the gay rules. Part of us meeting was business, since I've crossed over to the beauty vlogging world, but it was also to be around Jason's fun energy and get to know him a little better. That's when the more I revealed about myself, like living in NYC since 2001 and have never attended a Gay Pride, that he became shocked and wanted to study me like a rare gay amoeba under a rainbow-colored microscope. Don't get me wrong, I've come a long way since my traumatic "hand-holding" episode, in fact, me publishing blogs and videos on my gay dating experiences proves that I'm no longer the same little naive and prudish Mexican I once was, but according to Jason, I still had a lot to learn. And after brunch, I surmised the following.
The top 5 Rules for Single Gay Men:
1. If you have hair, there's no excuse to have gray in it, NEVER. A good gay must always keep up appearances.
2. You must be observant at all times, know your surroundings and the people around you. You never know when sex is just around the corner.
3. Party and party hard. Have fun, cut loose, and let go. If you're single and can't have a random make-out session with a total stranger, what's the point in living?
4. You must have a carb cheat day--no gay man in the world could survive without one.
5. Find your passion. No matter what it is and follow it!
Yes, being gay can mean a lot of sex, but it's not everything. It took me a long time to "discover hair" but when I did, I finally felt at home.