All and all I think working in the video store was an incredible experience. While I don't think I was homophobic before I worked there (I wouldn't have taken the job) but now I could put a friendly face to the 'love that dare not speak its name'.
I don't really consider myself tolerant because that suggests I tolerate homosexuals and that would misrepresent my feelings. I can honestly say that I trully do not care who is sexually attracted to whom. It means nothing to me at all- it isn't enlightenment or tolerance, its apathy.
There is one final story that I can remember from the store.
As I mentioned, I was relatively young and naive about the ways of the world when I moved to Chicago. The first time I saw a string of hookers lining the street on Broadway I couldn't believe it- I felt that, finally, I was seeing life.
A fellow came into the store and wanted to ask me for particular gay porn advice. Instead of explaining that I never watched it and would therefore have no opinion I tried my best at costumer service.
Customer: Yes, I'm looking for gay movie (read: porn) that involves water sports.
Misplaced: Hmmmm. Well all our gay porn is in that corner... water sports you say?
I have no idea what this means but I want to be helpful.
Misplaced: There is a video with a guy sitting in a swimming pool, that may be what your looking for.
Cusomer looks confused and goes to the porn corner
Reid: after I explained the exchange So you think water sports might be about playing Marco Polo or Volleyball in a pool?
Misplaced: "Perhaps- it might be a frolick of some sort in a pool"
Reid: Yea, no it means one person urinating on another"
Misplaced: Oh my
Now you may say:Midwest, quit living in the past, what does this little story have to do with today? Well, I'll tell you.
A few nights ago I was looking up stuff for our move and I came across a site that that was for people who have moved to Paris. From what I could gather it sounds as though these English speakers get togther a few times a month for dinner or picnics- basically its a chance to meet other expats. Since I am not a big fan of making friends I thought that I better extend myself and build a support network for those days that K- isn't talking to me. I signed up on-line, sent a picture and a brief introduction. After I became the newest member I began to realize that this group might actually be a singles club. This, in itself, is not bad but I thought my wife might take issue with it- she's funny that way. K- got a kick out of it and checked out the site. She informed me that it wasn't only a single place it looked as though it might be a a gay single site. That's what I get for trying to extend myself. But the point of this long, drawn out, sordid story is that if one of my new buddies emails me asking if I'd like ot join in their water sport activities in Paris I can say, with confidence, that... "No sir, I do not"