...so recently, I put an ad in a gay paper in New York City saying I was looking for a few gay men willing to discuss all aspects of their lives. I thought maybe I’d write a book or something…I wasn’t exactly sure where I was headed but I knew it was research I wanted to do formally so I placed the ad and I waited for the phone to ring. And it rang.
(The interviewees start to enter)
And it rang and it rang. I got over 100 phone-calls the first week. People wanted to talk.
All speak at the same time.
I had sex with a girl when I was very young.
I’ve had crabs like three times.
The first time I had sex I was 17.
I grew up very, very, close to my father.
First time I ever had sex with a man was on my eighteenth birthday.
We would play hide and seek and she asked me if I knew anything about sex, and I said, "Yeah, I know everything." So we started to...you know...do it...And this is really stupid but it hit me all of a sudden that Charro was gonna be on The Love Boat so right then and there I stopped and ran downstairs to watch it. And I remember she started crying.
Actually I probably had it four times cause there’s been one time where I didn’t know where they came from. The first time I got them I probably had them for like three weeks because I didn’t know what they were, I just started noticing little red dots in my underwear. I thought maybe it was fuzz from the dryer, then I started itching and then the blood. And one day I saw one on my arm and I was like, "Oh my God, what is this?" So then I started looking for more. And I said, "Oh my God. I see them here, I them there." I thought it was lice, well it was lice, but it wasn’t in my hair. Anyway, I went to the doctor and he told me it was crab lice. I was so freaked out.
She was my first girlfriend. But the whole time I was thinking, "Why am I not more excited? Why am I not like other guys who were just like ‘pussy, pussy, pussy, pussy, pussy’...was I meant to be a priest?
I grew up very, very, close to my father, I’ve been hunting and fishing since I can remember. And going to baseball games and football games and drinking beer together. And that’s very hard for me, that the relationship has altered because of my sexuality. My father, his friend and I. We went hunting. And his friend said, "So have you been down to that place in the Village where they got all them there queers?" And my dad just turned his back on me he like turned his back on me because he was afraid of what I was gonna say. He’s so afraid how other ignorant people are gonna feel and think.
First time I ever had sex with a man was on my eighteenth birthday. He fucked me. It was very scary, but magical, like strange magical. And my hairdresser kept saying, "Oh, you’ll fall in love with my best friend." But I would not have any of that. I just said, "No, I’m moving to New York. And at the end of the week I jumped on a Grey Hound bus.
Each interview lasted about two and a half hours. And one of the things I found most fascinating was that I always had to end the interview. They never wanted to quit. When I’d say, "okay I think were done," they seemed disappointed. I taped all the interviews on this little unreliable tape-recorder...
(He presses play on his tape recorder)
...afterwards I paid my sister, Kathy, to transcribe them. She’s straight and lives in a mobile home in Bakersfield, California with her Star-trek obsessed boyfriend. When she was all done I called her up and said, "So Kathy...what did you think of the people?" And she said, "Honestly...I don’t know what to think!"