Fine weather friends: Good riddance to bad rubbish
I consider myself to be something of an expert on “fine weather friends”. My mum used to talk about them from the time I was a kid and they have passed through my life. I just did not reckon that Andre would turn out to be one of them. Growing up in High town, was something of an experience for anyone. It was an idyllic childhood and I had a friend to enjoy it with me. We told each other everything. I can honestly say that until that fateful week, we had never betrayed each other. We never even fought…very unusual for friends. I think if we had fought a bit, I might have known what Andre was really like. At least I would have stayed away.
I never kept anything away from Andre, even the fact that I was interested in boys. He lusted after the girls and I lusted after the boys. It was our secret because we all knew what they could do to a queer in our school. At no point did Andre ever say anything that was remotely homophobic or judged me. I knew he was in my corner all the way. Because I had very strict parents and a rather reserved family, he was my only confident about this. I would tell him about every relationship and even encounters. He would tell me about his, although I always had a lot more shocking stuff to tell. For a start, I was going out with guys that were older than us. All of them without exception were in the closet and had warned me never to expose them.
Fine Weather Friends: The Code of Silence
All the guys I went out with knew the score and I knew the score too…this was always a dirty secret between us and perhaps Andre (although they did not know that I told him everything). The fact that Andre was so obviously straight meant that I always had a great cover by hanging out with him. Everyone assumed that we were equally enthusiastic about chasing girls and doing stuff with them. What they did not know was that I had a side interest in which I was indulging with the enthusiasm of an over-sexed teenager. The fact that I had landed the captain of the soccer team made me secretly proud. I knew that all the girls were dying for him and all the boys wanted to be him…but he was mine in a way they could never get or understand.
When I started going out with Nash, I gave up on all my other love interests. He was the one…but closeted to an amazing extent. I could not imagine someone who could publicly give an incredible impression of having the girls in his sights…but then get so passionate with me in private. He told me that he loved me and that we would run away together the moment we granted. I told him I had no intention of running away. We should just come out and let the cards fall where they may. By that time, we would be going away to college anyway and it would not matter what the locals through. The only problem was maybe our families. Mine did not know what was going on but I felt that I could handle them if they got too difficult. His were friendly liberals anyways so I figured that they would accept their son. Nash told me that he was in the closet because of his career…not so much because of the hangers-on at school.
Sadly, Nash was absolutely right in his reading of the situation…sports is a dead end for gay people if you really want to make it big. There is always an expectation of many girlfriends, marriage, kids and maybe stories of cheating. I told him that we would work something out as long as we had each other. I was falling in love and I knew that I had to have an exit strategy in case we were found out. That is exactly what happened when some nosy girl found us kissing outside the gym locker. Trust her to tell everybody she knew about our escapades. Smartphones were not yet the thing then so I knew she did not have proof but again…I just did not have the fight to go on pretending so I told her to stick it.
A School Scandal Erupts
That week was amazing in so many unexpected ways. I realized the kind of losers I had been to school with for years. Everybody was talking about it as if it were the scandal of the century. The principal actually advised my parents to change schools so that I would not be bullied. I said no. I thought Nash might deny everything for his career (I would actually understand if he did that). Instead Nash gave me the shock of my life. He told everybody that I was his boyfriend. There were giggles and sniggers but I was over the moon. I did not think he could ever do that.
The thing that bugs me to this end is how Andre started distancing himself from us. He would find excuses not to come to events. I confronted him and he told me that he was in a difficult spot. Everybody knew what we were doing and he did not want to be caught in the crossfire. I became disgusted and told him what I thought of his friend. He could just bite his lip and mumble something about how sorry he was. That was the end of our so-called friendship. If he was going to be a coward, I wanted nothing to do with him. I might even have had more respect for him if he was a genuine homophobe that did not want to associate with gay people. This was just a coward who was found wanting because when the real hard stuff came.
Andre must have had a change of heart. He kept trying to have some kind of reconciliation but I was having none of it. He had chosen his side and I was holding his feet to the fire over it. The fact that Nash and I were getting on with our lives must have given him the courage to try and get back into my good books. We had become something of a celebrity couple. When the kids realized that we were not backing down, they decided to continue hero worshiping Nash. He was and is a great player. I think one of the reasons for not making more of his talent is to do with his sexuality. We do not make any bones about the fact that we are a couple.
I Don’t Want Negativity in My Life
The last I heard about Andre was when he was getting married. He asked me to come but I did not. Someone told me that he wanted to make me his best man as a way of forgiving and forgetting. I just did not want anything to do with him. Nash says I should let go and I have let go but I am not going to trust someone like Andre again. It is best he and his kind stay away with their “straight” lives of only doing the least risky thing. He refused to stand by me and as far as I was concerned that was the poison that killed our relationship forever. A bit harsh?…probably, but I am not in the habit of collecting cowards or traitors. My life as a gay man is hard enough without putting up with fine weather friends. I have to be able to deal with prejudice and false assumptions about me all the time. When I have fine weather friends, I want them to be genuine and loyal to me…not only be there when things appear to be going well. Andrew pulled the rug underneath me and I can’t reconcile with that.
The good thing to come out of this was that I found Nash…the love of my life and my companion through everything. He works as an architect and I am a lawyer. We have a great life…although I always feel that Nash’s ideal job would have been playing soccer. I think that the system is still stacked against gay athletes. It starts right at the school where they tend to select those that are living up to the stereotype of the straight meathead that creates havoc within the female population before scoring goals on the pitch. Of course, they would never tell it to him straight to his face that they did not want gay people on the team. However, we got the message when he was passed over for scholarships that he was evidently the best qualified for. I can live with that…we are not yet a fully civilized and accepting community in America. Nash is just a victim of that system. We have still been able to make the best of our lives and contribute to American society in a positive way despite everything.