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Chris Graham: Out of the closet, and back in

“Yeah, sure, why not?”

This was the typically noncommital response of my friend Eli to the question of questions at a family and friends gathering over the weekend.

Namely, Are you guys, you know …

“We get that all the time,” said his longtime roommate, Mordecai, confirming … what, exactly?

“What does it matter one way or the damned other?” our mutual friend, Ralphus, threw in, angrily, whilst pouring himself another mojito.

He had a point there. What does it matter one way or the damned other?

I’ve been trying to figure that out since my first year at college. I get to UVa. for some book-learnin’ and culturin’ and the like, and my roommate had beaten me there with posters of Broadway shows and Liza Minelli plastered all over the walls.

This will go nicely with my posters of chicks wearing barely-there bikinis, I figure, but otherwise think nothing of it.

Until some of the other guys in the suite we were sharing decided that it would be funny to use our dry-erase board to post obscene messages about what Stefan could do to his drama buddies, among other things.

I made a point of angrily taking the dry-erase board down, and despite Stefan’s incessant snoring generally stood up for him and his right to be able to live free of the bullying that he was being subjected to.

(I did take offense at his whining about Americans being boorish to him as a “citizen of the world.” But the argument that ensued, I felt, was a good sign, being able to debate across the sexual-orientation line on another matter of faux importance.)

“Hey, over here,” said Eli, trying to get the attention of the column back to the matter at hand.

Which I still don’t know what it is.

“Yes, we’re gay, whatever,” he said, putting his hand on Mordy’s knee.

“Cut that out,” Mordecai shooed his hand away.

“OK, so we’re not gay,” Eli finally conceded. “Not that we might as well not be, you know.”

“Yeah,” Mordecai observed. “I mean, we’ve been roommates for, like, 15 years.”

“And the last time,” Eli said, “either of us had sex with a woman was …”


More silence.

Crickets chirping.

“The dating scene around here for late-thirtysomethings very much leaves a lot to be desired. Let’s just leave it at that,” Mordecai said.

And here I thought I was writing a civil-rights column.

What a waste …

“You still can, you know,” Eli said.

Um, er, how’s that again?

“We’ve been looking into one of those civil-union thingies. You know, for tax purposes,” Mordy said.

“Any idea when this gay-marriage thing will get resolved? Because we’ve got to have that one down before we can move into civil unions for whatever you’d call us,” Eli said.

It does, indeed, take all kinds.

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