Originally posted on September 18, 2013.
Straight male here. I took a writing course, and some of us students created a writing group. We meet and workshop the things we've been working on. One of the guys in the group is gay, and a while ago, he confessed that he had very strong feelings for me. I didn't have a problem with this, but I told him that I wasn't into guys. The other day, he sent me an e-mail telling me there was something he wanted to discuss. We met for dinner, and he told me that despite the fact that I claimed to be straight, he felt like I had been sending him messages to indicate my interest in him. He said that this was cruel and that he felt like I was teasing him. When I asked him for examples, he told me that when we had originally been in class together, he noticed that I had started to dress like him, and that this was sometimes a way closeted men showed interest in other men. He mentioned that one week he had worn a red sweater, and the following week I had worn a red T-shirt. He also said that he felt like the stories I had been workshopping in our group were secretly about him. I admit I'm not the stereotypical straight guy—I have good taste in shoes and I like art—but I know what I'm into and who I want to get naked with. I never showed any interest in this guy, I never led him on, this entire thing has taken place purely in his head. I told him all this, and now he says he is hurt and doesn't want to see me at the group. He suggested that we share the group, alternating meetings, but I refused. We're both adults who should have the emotional maturity to handle this. Am I being too harsh?
Pulled Into Drama
My response after the jump...
Closeted gay men don't use colored T-shirts to send messages to out gay men. They use Craigslist.
Look, PID, Jeffrey Dahmer—aka the Milwaukee Cannibal—ate a friend of mine. By which I mean to say: Some gay people are insane. I'm not saying you're in danger of being drugged, raped, butchered, and eaten by this guy from your writing group. But the guy is—if your account is accurate—more than a little unpleasant and a whole lot batshit. Confide in some friends in your writing group about what's going on and be prepared to leave the group and/or form a breakaway group if Mr. Red Sweater continues to detect clues in your wardrobe. Also: Do not spend any more time alone with this guy. Someone who would accuse you of making super-secret passes at him via red T-shirts is capable of making baseless accusations about much worse.
And finally, PID, a bonus pro tip: Writers don't need a writers' group to write. They just need to write.