Last year I took a BBC sex quiz and found out that the sex ID profile of my brain is completely down the middle. Now, I have no idea if that means my brain is asexual, or if it’s some kind of hermaphrodite—not that I can visualize my gray matter having both a penis and breasts, probably hiding behind the hypothalamus—but I guess at the heart of it, I simply don’t think like a man or like a woman.
There are advantages to this. I can be just as happy at an explosive action film as at a tearjerking chick flick. I can be both athlete and cheerleader. I could gossip with the girls or grunt with the guys, and I can be both artsy fartsy and science geek.
I suppose this is why I get along so well with H.E., who is probably straight down the middle as well. He did all that manly man stuff in the Navy with the flying planes and navigating ships, and he’s quite comfy doing the shopping, the cooking, and the picking out of my girly clothes.
That said, I have to wonder why his gaydar is so much more well tuned than mine. His is fairly sharp and accurate. Mine is practically nonexistent. A gay man would have to be a complete flamer for me to even consider that he might be gay, and then like the moron that I am, I’d ask H.E., “Is he gay?”
H.E. would normally exhale something between a scoff and a bark of laughter and say, “Just a little.” With a tone that actually means, “Duh, April. That should have been obvious.”
I guess it’s because he’s had so many close gay friends—both male and female. And he has been hit on by both sexes.
Me? Goodness. I’m hopeless. I remember trying to fix my best friend Mary up with Allen, the most popular boy in school. I’d call Allen’s house and end up speaking with Allen’s older brother, who for some reason really enjoyed talking dirty to me as I tried to get him to pass the phone on. Later I’d somehow find myself confiding in the older brother, telling him that my friend had a crush on his younger brother Allen, and the older brother would laugh.
“Allen?” he’d say. “You don’t want him. He’s a fag.”
Sour grapes, I thought. He’s being a jerk because the girls prefer his brother Allen over him, and now he’s calling his own brother names.
Weeks later, a guy named Joe, who had a serious crush on Mary, tried to get me to help his cause. I told him no, that I couldn’t. I was helping her get together with Allen because she liked him, and Joe laughed.
“But Allen’s a fag!”
I snapped at him. “Don’t be mean!”
Yeah. I really had no concept. None at all. My mom had a friend who would come over every now and then—a guy who acted more girly than a girl, with that dainty hand on a broken wrist thing and the nasally voice. I don’t think I realized then that he was gay. Among the singers I used to hang out with when I was active in Vocal Ensemble and Concert Choir was a young man everyone called The Empress, and he’d tell the best and funniest sex jokes. I don’t think I had any idea then that he was gay either.
I just don’t have a gaydar, and I feel that is so unfair because my brain’s sex is right down the middle—I’m guessing just like H.E.’s brain. But he has a gaydar, and I don’t.
I guess that means being in the middle for me means my brain is asexual. And H.E.’s brain? Definitely hermaphrodite.
I’m only speculating, though.Share this post: