“Do You Know Your A, B and Cs?”
Guest Writer: R. L. Norman
On a sunny day in June, I was among what seemed to be hundreds of guests at this outdoor wedding. It took place in the backyard of a mansion in Bowie, Maryland. Rumor had it that a Washington Redskins football player owned it. But who knows if that were true.
When I arrived, a valet parked my car and a well-dressed usher led me to the backyard, which was decorated in purple and white lilacs. There was a large pool, with smaller pools here and there. That, along with several gazebos all around the yard, were quite impressive.
As I made my way through the crowd meeting and greeting, I was thinking how I never thought I would see the day when one of my good friends, Percy, would be getting married.
I have known Percy since our college days at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Back in the day, we used to be very popular on campus. And once we pledged to a fraternity, our popularity increased–especially among the male student population.
Oh yes, those were the days! We were invited to all the underground gay parties. You see, in those days back in the early 1980’s, to be gay was basically an “undercover” thing. This was especially true on college campuses, where you had to be a part of the “in-crowd” to know where the parties were. So, it was a privilege to be on the so called “C” List.
And that was one thing I didn’t understand about Percy and this wedding. You see, Percy also was on the “C” List. But he was marrying someone on the “A” List!
What do these Lists mean? Well, I’ll get to that shortly.
As the announcement was made that the wedding was about to commence, everyone took their seats around the designated areas in the yard.
The wedding parties came in and took their places in front of the makeshift altar. Percy looked wonderful in his black-tailored tuxedo and purple vest. And, there was a purple flower in the lapel. Actually, everyone looked great.
As the wedding song began to play, we all stood up and turned toward the mansion doors. We waited with anticipation for the appearance of Percy’s future mate. And as those doors opened into the backyard, you could hear a pin drop.
And suddenly, she appeared! Yes, I said “she.” A woman. A panty wearer. A makeup wearer. A high-heel wearer. A dress wearer.
Even though these days, that could also describe a man; but this was a real woman! My good friend, with whom I use to go “man-hunting,” was marrying a real woman. And, someone on the “A” List.
Now, this is the appropriate time to explain the Lists to you–or should I say, your A, B, and Cs.
You see, when you print the letters A, B and C, they have different meanings. For example, to print the letter “A”, you use all straight lines. To print the letter “B”, you use a line and curves. And the letter “C” is just a curve.
Therefore, let’s interpret: A = straight people, B = bisexual people and C = Gay people—the A, B and C Lists. And basically, everyone belongs to one of the three.
And this woman was “strictly di**ly”–just like Percy! She wanted d**k all the way; just like Percy.
She wanted to be with a man.
Just like Percy.
She belonged on the “A” List while Percy belonged on the “C” List. That is why we could not understand why she wanted Percy.
Or for that matter, why Percy wanted her.
As she made her way toward the altar, I was remembering the bachelor party the night before. It was held at this fancy ballroom in downtown D.C.
At the door, we were given Mardi Gras-type masks that all the guests were wearing. The object was that you wouldn’t really be able to see anyone’s face.
Once inside the hall, we were greeted by waiters offering champagne and hors d’oeuvres. All of them shirtless, they wore purple bow ties—and were poured into little tight black shorts. It was hard to look at anyone except these “phyne” waiters–who were everywhere!
As I filtered through the crowd, meeting and greeting the men at the party, it was obvious from several conversations that there were A, B and C List people there. So, I guess no one was bothered by the fact that the entertainment included half-naked men and women dancing, singing and flirting with the crowd.
And Percy was in his glory! He had men all over him and he was loving it. It reminded me of our college days–when we both had men all over us.
During the night, I had a chance to speak to Percy about his impending nuptials. I asked him why he was getting married. His response really surprised me.
He said, “I’m lonely.”
I was confused for a moment–until he “broke it down” for me. Percy explained that through the years, he dated many men but could never find that one true love. He was tired of just settling for different men so that he would have someone to wake up to in the morning, and someone to fill that temporary void in his heart.
The bottom line: he didn’t want to grow old alone! So he decided to settle for a woman.
I thought about this as I stood at the wedding, daydreaming about our conversation. I was thinking about the fact that I, myself, get lonely sometimes; however, I would never settle for just anyone in order to have companionship. That would not be fair to me, or to the other person. I would rather wake up each morning with my six pillows in my lonely bed, instead of with someone to whom I was not attracted.
Percy’s problem was that he was not honest with himself.
And definitely not with her!
In life, we should try our best to be who we truly are–regardless of what society dictates. You cannot just put your name on the “A” List if you truly do not belong there. I, myself, belong on the“C” List and am happy with that. I would not try to be on another list because that would make me unhappy and dishonest.
Jumping over to the “A” List and not being straight not only affects you, but the person you date or are married to. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule; but that all depends on the honesty, openness and communication of the individuals involved in the relationship.
Suddenly, I was roused from my daydream when I heard the preacher say, “If anyone objects to this marriage, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.”
Everyone got so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. But I was thinking that most people there knew that Percy very much wanted to object.
After the passing of a few moments of silence, some people coughed and cleared their throats. Those few minutes felt like a lifetime.
And then, it happened. Someone said, “I OBJECT.”
The crowd rumbled a little as everyone tried to figure out the identity of the brave soul who would perhaps save Percy and his bride from a potential life of heartaches and pain when the truth came out about who was on what List.
I was relieved–as I am sure most people were–when Percy made that statement. Yes, Percy did the right thing and objected.
By stopping his own wedding, he was honest with himself and the bride about which List he was on. Of course not everyone was happy about this—particularly the bride.
And as it turned out, she did not have a clue that Percy was gay. While he secretly lusted after men, Percy used the excuse of “waiting until marriage to have sex.”
But today, years later, they are both married to different people. The bride actually married the owner of the mansion, a football player.
And Percy? In the wake of the legalization of gay marriage, he married a wonderful man. They have even adopted two children.
Therefore, in life, if you “keep it real and stay in your lane,” happiness will follow. Don’t try to be someone you are not: it makes life that much more difficult and it hurts other people.
So here’s the question: “Do you know your A, B and Cs? Or, just what List do you belong to?”
Express yourself and be yourself! It will make you and the world a happier place.
R. L. Norman is a writer, performer and author of the popular series of novels entitled, “Honey Let Me Tell You.” The fourth and latest installment is “Love Is Complicated.” The sequel will be available soon. As well, he performs“Norman’s One Night Stand,” a one-man show he conceived and wrote, showcasing the main character of his series. R. L. also is writing a play based on “Honey Let Me Tell You.” All of these endeavors are part of the production company he’s forming. You may reach R. L. at his on line home, www.rlnorman1.wix.com/honeyletmetellyou; by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org; on Facebook at RL NORMAN; on Twitter, @rl_norman; and on Instagram:rlnorman1.
Well, I am on the A list. I think it is kind of cool to have this list. I agree you must be honest with yourself about your life. Decisions just don’t affect you but those that are close to you. Love yourself first.
I recently had a conversation regarding the need for some members of the LGBTQ community to belong to a “list” or have a label and fit others into those boxes. It seems that members of the Baby Boomer Generation and maybe some Generation X members feel the need to either belong to a “List” or have a label. While over 10 years ago, members of Generation Y started to move away from labels, as cited in Eileen Spillane’s article in The Advocate, August 16, 2005 “Same-sex but not gay”. Spillane mentions this cultural movement of “no labels” is not sitting well with older members of the LGBTQ community, as I witnessed with the nearly 60-year-old man I was conversing with, who identifies as being gay.
In his Huffington Post blog Jonathan D. Lovitz says…“We’re a generation so over labels we could spit. It seems like everyone is experimenting with everything and the last thing we want is to be put into neat little boxes for the purpose of someone else’s statistics.” (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-d-lovitz/from-no-homo-to-yeah-bro-_b_3843892.html)
There are two clinical articles I suggest that provide prospects about same sex attraction (SSA) and sexual identity: 1) Savin-Williams, R.C. (2006). Who’s gay? Does it matter?, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15, 40-44, which can be found at https://www.smellslikecollege.com/PSY210doc/WhosGay.pdf , and 2) “Understanding the causes of same-sex Attraction” , Eleanor Whiteway and Denis R. Alexander, S & CB (2015), 27, 17–40 0954–4194. (https://www.scienceandchristianbelief.org/serve_pdf_free.php?filename=SCB+27-1+Whiteway+Alexander.pdf). In their article Whiteway & Alexander state: “Our primary conclusion is that no one causal mechanism is both necessary and sufficient to explain the whole gamut of human sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is a highly complex trait, and it seems likely that across the variety of human sexes and cultures, different influences are more important at different times.”
A, B, C, neither matters nor fits for the Generation X’s and Z’s. While some may make choices we personally do not agree with, equally harmful and hurtful is the need to force individuals to be on either a “List” or a label. The best thing we can do is be true to ourselves and allow others to navigate their lives and make choices without feeling the pressure to conform to a “List” or label. Sexual/romantic attraction, sexual behavior, sexual identity… “One size does not fit all.”
The truth has been spoken. I have a friend who has been married twice to women and each time he did it because he was lonely and refused to live in his truth.
I love the way you broke it down and you have spoken a truth that for so many remains unspoken. Too many of our brothers (and sisters) are trying to fit into roles that don’t fit them. Be brave and be true to yourself. It is better to be alone and true to yourself than being lonely and being responsible for someone else’s misery