hair is gay? And why is that bad?
I recently received a comment from a young friend of mine that my hair
looked “gay”. I got the feeling that while it was not necessarily an insult,
neither was it a compliment. First of all, when did “gay” become an
adjective describing things like hair and clothes and secondly, why is it a
bad thing? Whilst I am not gay, this being Chiang Mai, I have several gay
friends and they all dress impeccably. Unlike some of the other older
foreign men I see around Chiang Mai wearing singlets, shorts and black socks
that look like they forgot they are not on the beach, my gay friends look
Appearance does matter very much in Thailand I know and so I try to make
sure that I maintain a stylish but not overly dressed up appearance and I am
treated with respect and kindness most places I go. I recently went to my
barber and had a different young man cut and style my hair and whilst it
wasn’t necessarily a style I would normally choose I did not think it looked
too bad until my young friend’s comment.
How can I tell the next person who makes this kind of comment that I find it
offensive they choose this particular word to describe something? I don’t
want to be rude but honestly, the term is rude.
Emma agrees with you, it is rude. If the person is a foreigner and are
simply following a foolish fashion you could try a simple comment along the
lines of “I find the use of that term as a derogatory reference offensive.
If you must insult my hair, please choose a different word.” If they are
Thai then most likely they are also simply following fashion but unaware of
the connotations that go with use the term “gay” as if it were derogatory.
Gently explain to them the how and why of it all. Most of my Thai friends
prefer it to understand what they are saying and avoid things that cause
offense. Usually it is done solely out of ignorance. Be sure you are tactful
in your explanation and do not make the person feel bad, after all it was
probably some television show they picked it up from.
Sadly, Emma finds this trend disturbing. In light of the increased
acceptance of homosexuality and the growing understanding that gays and
lesbians are due equal rights the notion that it is somehow acceptable to
use the term “gay” as a derogatory descriptive is quite upsetting.
Met a woman and yet my friends think I can “do better”
I came to Thailand a few years ago and did the usual rounds of dating girls
half my age until I realized that frankly, I need someone I can have a
conversation with, I need someone to talk with that I have something in
common with. I realized I need a woman closer to my age.
I met a lovely woman who is 5 years my junior, she is from just outside
Chiang Mai and has a good job as she is an educated professional woman. Her
parents, while elderly, are not in constant need of money, and her one
daughter is grown and has a good job at a local bank.
We get along great, have a lot to talk about, enjoy going to dinners and
concerts and I am thinking of asking her to marry me, if she will have me.
My friends here in Chiang Mai, also foreigners, however, think I can “do
better” and wonder why I am dating a woman who is older. Honestly, I am a
bit stunned. Who cares if she is older? Is having arm candy really the be
all and end all of a relationship here? I certainly hope not but given the
regular jibes and jokes, I am seriously thinking of dumping these guys as
Happy in love
Perhaps you should dump your “friends” as they do not sound to Emma much
like they are true friends at all. It seems as though you have very little
in common with them and that perhaps they are more acquaintances of
convenience rather than real friends. This happens quite a bit when living
overseas, one makes friends with people that would never be friends back in
one’s home country, mainly because the pool seems so very small.
It is better to have a few quality friends that one shares common interests
and values than many friends that one can barely tolerate.
As for the notion that your lady is “too old” and you can “do better”, to
Emma it sounds as though you have done very well and are a very lucky man.
If you love her and wish to be with her then Emma suggest you don’t dawdle
too long. You may find that she slips away.
I feel as though I am out of touch, I am American and all my American
friends are excited for Thanksgiving, having it at some hotel or restaurant.
Christmas as well. For me, I just can’t get excited about it, these are
family holidays that are spent in the close company of loved ones and it
just doesn’t feel the same here. I can’t get excited. My friends call me
Scrooge and tell me I need to get in the spirit of things but since
Thanksgiving is American and Christmas is certainly not Thai it all just
feels so commercial here. I realize in the U.S. it has gotten very
commercial too but at least when I spent the day with my family I could
avoid that commercial aspect. Here it’s everywhere. I just have no interest
in taking part.
Bah Humbug! Never mind what your friends say, do what makes you feel happy.
Perhaps you would be better off staying at home and Skyping your loved ones
instead? This way you can have the chance to see and talk to each other and
in fact, if they are all together, you can see them all at once.
This may put you in the holiday mood or it may just satisfy your need to see
your family, either way, it is worth a try!