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leigh.bess.toad
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My partner and I were checking into our hotel last night for our anniversary. Right ahead of us in line was an older gentleman and a younger lady. She was guiding him through the process of how to check into the hotel. It was screaming "female escort and client" to me. What surprised me was when we got to our hotel room was my partner asked me if I thought she was a working girl. Of course he laughed when I told him I though it certainly was.

 

So I was wondering: have you ever been in a hotel and noticed an escort/client situation (either male or female escort) that you weren't a part of? It made it think if it was obvious it must have been to others when I have checked into hotels with some of my guys.

 

There were two other small incidents at the hotel I almost went off on as well. When checking in, the lady at the front desk asked "you wanted a king bed?". Two men checking in together. I simply said yes and she moved on, but one more word from her and I would have had to go off. Yes, this is my partner and yes we share a bed because we are in love. So have you ever had the "how could you want a king bed for two men?" question asked at a hotel?

 

Then at the pool/jacuzzi last night, there were several adults there with their kids. One or two of the guys, who I perceived to be slightly one or two steps up from white trash, were certainly looking at my partner and I, and not in an approving manner. As we were getting ready to leave, I asked my partner if he wanted to hold hands as we left, cause I knew it would really get to those guys. Being the wiser and less confrontational of the two of us, he said no. But as we walked out the door, I did put my hands on his shoulders as they looked at us. Have you ever gotten those looks? Would you have done something as a quiet protest like simply holding hands? Am I too sensitive to it as a newly out man?

 

But all in all, a great anniversary weekend. Thanks to all for your warm thoughts and wishes. They meant the world to both of us.

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Well, Lee, welcome to the real world of what it is to be a gay male couple. My partner and I get that question about the king-size bed all the time from hotel clerks. It used to kinda bother me - I have had issues with people knowing my story since I first figured out where it was at for me, but I'm doing much better on this count. At this point, I have come to believe that it really doesn't matter to most hotel desk clerks - they may just be verifying the information that may be on your reservation and asking the question totally non-judgementally. Of course it also helps if you're traveling in more liberal parts of the world and in more progressive cities especially. It also helps if you're staying at more upscale hotels - they just field things more smoothly, I think. When we have traveled in the past, however, that could be a bit of a crap-shoot. We had incidents in Bermuda (nothing serious, but it made me uncomfortable) as well as parts of Africa where they are pretty unprogressive as far as two guys sharing a bed or even a room - of course in certain countries in Africa, they execute gay people so it's best not to be too flamboyant (we aren't anyway). My partner and I were on a safari in Tanzania several years ago and in our trip party there were also two lesbian couples who were decidedly more out about things than we were. At first you could tell that the game drivers and tour guides were a little weird with my partner and I (they seemed oblivious to the obvious lesbian couples in their midst). By the end of the trip the guys had totally warmed up to us and accepted us as regular folks. I know - we are just regular folks, but these guys had to find that out for themselves. We parted company as friends.

 

The situation you described at the jacuzzi - not exactly uncommon. It sounds like your guy has a fair amount of horse sense and discretion. But I understand your position - you might have patted him on the shoulder as you left, but what for? You're probably not going to change somebody's bigoted mind in a situation as you described.

 

Congratulations on your anniversary!

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My partner and I were checking into our hotel last night for our anniversary. Right ahead of us in line was an older gentleman and a younger lady. She was guiding him through the process of how to check into the hotel. It was screaming "female escort and client" to me. What surprised me was when we got to our hotel room was my partner asked me if I thought she was a working girl. Of course he laughed when I told him I though it certainly was.

 

So I was wondering: have you ever been in a hotel and noticed an escort/client situation (either male or female escort) that you weren't a part of? It made it think if it was obvious it must have been to others when I have checked into hotels with some of my guys.

 

Yes, it's happened in restaurants I've worked in—that, and two people who were obviously having an affair of some sort.

 

There were two other small incidents at the hotel I almost went off on as well. When checking in, the lady at the front desk asked "you wanted a king bed?". Two men checking in together. I simply said yes and she moved on, but one more word from her and I would have had to go off. Yes, this is my partner and yes we share a bed because we are in love. So have you ever had the "how could you want a king bed for two men?" question asked at a hotel?

 

I actually prefer two queen beds—because 1) I'm a queen, and 2) if one of us is tossing and turning, the other has a option for moving. I tend to sleep close to or touching my partner anyway, so there's plenty of space in a queen bed. I also like having the fresh sheets as an option instead of having to wait for housekeeping. And to her defense, she actually might have thought the two of you were not together and didn't realize what you were in line for with the king size bed—that it was merely a mistake instead of being an abomination, as it were.

 

Then at the pool/jacuzzi last night, there were several adults there with their kids. One or two of the guys, who I perceived to be slightly one or two steps up from white trash, were certainly looking at my partner and I, and not in an approving manner. As we were getting ready to leave, I asked my partner if he wanted to hold hands as we left, cause I knew it would really get to those guys. Being the wiser and less confrontational of the two of us, he said no. But as we walked out the door, I did put my hands on his shoulders as they looked at us. Have you ever gotten those looks? Would you have done something as a quiet protest like simply holding hands? Am I too sensitive to it as a newly out man?

 

Oh now, you're prejudging people as being one thing—and assuming they're prejudging you. And here's the thing: you're on vacation to have fun, not to put on a show for anyone else. If someone has the balls to come up to you and say something, that's one thing. I couldn't give a shit about a glare or two across the way—if anything they're going to get my brightest: "Well, HI!!! Honey, would you come here and look this gorgeous hat this woman has on!" thrown at them.

 

But all in all, a great anniversary weekend. Thanks to all for your warm thoughts and wishes. They meant the world to both of us.

 

Glad you had a good time. And regarding what Phil said—the real world is often what you make of it. If you think people are going to be staring at you for being gay, you're going to assume people are staring at you for being gay.

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In a way, what those two guys were doing to you was really no different than you and your bf checking out the older man and younger girl and passing judgment on their perceived situation, or your describing these two guys as "white trash" (a phrase I've always disliked; does the modifier "white" imply that white people are, by nature, not trash, but other minorities are?). Were you aware of how you were looking at the "white trash" people? Was it with an approving smile? I guess my point is that people judge other people. It's human nature. And we don't always realize that we may be judging someone else at the same time we're concerned that they're judging us.

 

Derek and I travel often and at almost every hotel, they always ask what kind of bed(s) we wanted, to make sure we're getting what we want or reserved. Also, you refer to him as your "partner," which could mean business partner (which is why I also dislike that word when used for boyfriends or husbands). Her question doesn't seem to have been judgmental to me, unless she asked "You wanted a king bed?" in a very obviously condescending tone, or rolled her eyes, etc. The "Two men checking in together" were your thoughts, not her words. Have you really never had this question asked when you've checked into a hotel with one of your escorts? Or perhaps you've always checked in alone and they've joined you later? I think you're reading too much into it or maybe projecting something onto her. Just relax and don't assume everyone's a homophobe. Unless you're checking into a hotel in Tennessee. :p

 

And as far as holding hands, I think it's something that you should just do without asking or ulterior motive. I don't think I've ever asked Derek if we should hold hands to make a statement. It's just something we either do or don't if we feel it. And that, in itself, makes a statement. :)

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And as far as holding hands, I think it's something that you should just do without asking or ulterior motive. I don't think I've ever asked Derek if we should hold hands to make a statement. It's just something we either do or don't if we feel it. And that, in itself, makes a statement. :)

 

Exactly. You held hands and I seriously doubt the outcome (if indeed they are bigots) was: "Look, they are showing affection to each other in spite of our disapproval! Their love for one another is stronger than our hate and ignorance! Perhaps... we... were... wrong."

 

Nah, it was probably more like: "So the fags think they're so smart huh? Let's key their car (in the name of Our Lord & Saviour, Jesus Christ, of course)."

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One or two of the guys, who I perceived to be slightly one or two steps up from white trash, were certainly looking at my partner and I, and not in an approving manner.

 

Lee - I think you had your defenses up and, like me, there are times you are still not confident (or comfortable) in this gay life you are now enjoying.

 

While I'm still very nervous in public when out with an escort at dinner or a show, I'm always perceiving that others are judging me. While there is never any public displays of affection or other behavior that would indicate that we are gay, I jump to conclusions. A friend pointed out something to me the other day - when I'm out in public with my brother or nephews, I never once worry that someone is judging me. So when I'm with my gay friends, it is usually me that is judging others rather than them judging me.

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I'll agree with the others, it's commonplace for hotels to ask what kind of bed you want. I get the question even when checking in alone. Sometimes I think it is more of a confirmation that you understand what you are getting, so that you don't go to the room and come back saying you want something different. They don't know your relationship and have probably been trained not to assume anything. You could be a couple, you could be buddies traveling together, brothers, business partners, or just want separate beds. Two of my best friends are a married M/F couple and they have separate twin beds, because they like to have their own space when they sleep.

 

When I'm at hotels though I assume the staff have seen pretty much everything, and there are times where I'm sure they've figured out what I'm doing there or what my relationship is to my companion. But I don't care (unless they're going to call cops), and it's not their business to figure it out. And though I might be thinking they are making assumptions, it could be any of the scenarios others have described such as traveling with a relative. In the end, who cares - I'm probably not going to see them again anyway.

 

As Rick says, we all make some kind of assumptions. It's human nature. Yesterday I was downtown shopping and on two different occasions saw an older woman walking closely with a much younger guy. In both cases the guy was young enough to be the woman's son, and could have been. In one case, the woman had her arm on the guy's back - not holding hands, but an intimate gesture that could have meant any number of things. I did catch myself wondering what the nature of the relationships were, but that was it.

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Happy Anniversary, again, Lee. I have to agree with what most of the guys have posted thus far. Yes, I have been asked about bed choices, but in my long experience in meeting planning, most front desk clerks want to make sure, so they don't have to have you change rooms later. I always book a king bed when I make a reservation, and on a couple of occasions the clerk has apologized and said that it was not available, and would two beds (usually queen size these days) be acceptable? I have had that by myself as well as with other guys, sometimes it is with a business partner so we are sharing a room and saving money and other times it is with a companion. I stopped wondering about these things a long time ago.

 

While I also wonder sometimes about other "couples" that I see checking into a hotel, eating in a restaurant or just walking down the street or shopping in a store, I stop myself and think.. what a wonderful world this is becoming where there is so much variety and most people under 30 are not even aware of the differences. In the past few years there have been a lot of studies about how we perceive differences in other people, and in most cases, that attitude has been fully ingrained in us by 6 or 8, and it takes a long time to overcome.

 

So just enjoy your new relationship. Do what comes naturally, without thinking too much about what others who see you might think. I have never been much into holding hands, kissing in public or many other such actions. I think it was influenced in large part by observation of my parents and other relatives, where demonstrations of affection were much more private.

 

Glad you had a great time... and think about the good comments you have received here from your dear friends.

DD

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It sounds like you are still a little sensitive to all of this. I think when all of us come out we hold onto a little bit of the "Oh God people are going to find out!" and flip it around to "They are all judging me." Holding hands to make a statement in the face of a homophobe is not confrontational, it is passive aggressive. Don't use your love to make a political statement.

 

Honestly if these are the worst things that happen to you as an out gay man, count your blessings. When I was 16 I had stones thrown at me while defending my boyfriend because we were holding hands. Just this past Christmas I was stopped in Reno by the TSA because the name on my ticket was my married name and the name on my ID/Passport was my birth name. I had anticipated trouble so I was not only travelling with my id and passport but also my marriage and birth certificates. It took me escalating the issue and putting them on the phone with an attorney friend back here in Boston. And yes I really am married to a man, no we are no longer together. Would I do it again? Not likely.

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Guest Wetnwildbear

Being Out Today and Being Out Yesterday

 

My partner and I were checking into our hotel last night for our anniversary. Right ahead of us in line was an older gentleman and a younger lady. She was guiding him through the process of how to check into the hotel. It was screaming "female escort and client" to me. What surprised me was when we got to our hotel room was my partner asked me if I thought she was a working girl. Of course he laughed when I told him I though it certainly was.

 

So I was wondering: have you ever been in a hotel and noticed an escort/client situation (either male or female escort) that you weren't a part of? It made it think if it was obvious it must have been to others when I have checked into hotels with some of my guys.

 

There were two other small incidents at the hotel I almost went off on as well. When checking in, the lady at the front desk asked "you wanted a king bed?". Two men checking in together. I simply said yes and she moved on, but one more word from her and I would have had to go off. Yes, this is my partner and yes we share a bed because we are in love. So have you ever had the "how could you want a king bed for two men?" question asked at a hotel?

 

Then at the pool/jacuzzi last night, there were several adults there with their kids. One or two of the guys, who I perceived to be slightly one or two steps up from white trash, were certainly looking at my partner and I, and not in an approving manner. As we were getting ready to leave, I asked my partner if he wanted to hold hands as we left, cause I knew it would really get to those guys. Being the wiser and less confrontational of the two of us, he said no. But as we walked out the door, I did put my hands on his shoulders as they looked at us. Have you ever gotten those looks? Would you have done something as a quiet protest like simply holding hands? Am I too sensitive to it as a newly out man?

 

But all in all, a great anniversary weekend. Thanks to all for your warm thoughts and wishes. They meant the world to both of us.

 

 

Lee - Congrats on your anniversary. For those of us who have been out for decade(s) we have all experienced this on one level or another at one time or another. I recall an incident where I was taking a boyfriend to one of those Pocono Mountain (Pa.) resorts

with heart-shaped beds and in room jacuzzi's - that are wonderfully tacky and designed for Heteros.

 

A desk clerk refused to give a room with one bed to two men. I demanded to see the manager - got a reporter friend on the phone and let the manager know that a news crew and several drag queens would be dispatched to picket his property if an apology and a room was not forthcoming. Free Champagne always tastes best!

 

But I have also been spit on in Asbury Park, NJ by protestors of one of the first gay pride celebrations in that town, all of whom claimed to be Xtians. Who were protected by the police and hit with a night-stick because I refused to disperse.

 

I have faced bashers in Ft. Lauderdale - late night in a Diner who didn't like "Fags" eating in the same restaurant as "real people" - and sent them scurrying after having their assed kicked by "Fags" covered in the leavings of a buspan - only to get a round of applause from the wait staff - because they knew who tipped and who didnt. Outside of a bar - 2 miles west of Ft. Lauderdale - where the Mayor and police Chief of the town promised to burn the club and all of those in it to the ground.

 

I have along with my friends -faced ignorant haters who were doctors and nurses in hospitals who out of fear and ignorance refused to touch - feed -clean or care for our friends dying of "Gay Cancer." We have made tremendous progress from those days - but homophobia is not dead.

 

For those of us who live in major cities and take holding hands or kissing in public for granted - remember you are on and island.

Go 60-100 miles outside off your gay friendly city and try that -- Homophobia is alive - Well - Vigorous and Thriving in places

which we are fortunate not to have to inhabit. But we have gay brothers and lesbian sisters who deal with this serious life threatening (and life ending) homphobia, that neither you or I can imagine on a daily basis.

 

So if you wanna be OUT and PROUD with your boyfriend/partner/lovemuffin - Try doing so at a Truckstop outside of Kokamo, Indiana, or Monroe, Alabama - - And then tell us how that worked out. . . And try doing it on a blue collar minimum wage salary. . .

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Thanks for the input guys. Yes, I was being judgmental of the guys at the pool. I guess one thing is you have to realize is the difference in culture. I'm in Richmond, Virginia. NASCAR country. Where Tracy Thorne-Begland, one of the most amazing and qualified men was denied a judgeship just this week simply because he is gay. I'm not in NYC or SF. I KNOW that look cause I've lived here for many years. And it is getting better, but I am a bit defensive at times, and yes, I am also prone to be a lot more of a activist than my partner and wanting to make simple statements that we exist. We just naturally hold hands when out in public, as we did at dinner earlier in the evening. Nothing excessive by any stretch of the imagination. And not to make a statement, but because it is who we are.

 

As far as the room, one small bit of info: it was after I was told our room was ready, with my partner standing next to me. It was the tone in which the clerk asked "you wanted a KING?". No, I'd never had it asked with the tone that was in that question. The question was fine. It was the tone that struck me.

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So if you wanna be OUT and PROUD with your boyfriend/partner/lovemuffin - Try doing so at a Truckstop outside of Kokamo, Indiana, or Monroe, Alabama - - And then tell us how that worked out. . . And try doing it on a blue collar minimum wage salary. . .

 

I've done it (not in those 2 specific cities/towns but in rural areas, in the south, in very conservative areas). We need to be proud of who we are, regardless of where we are. You don't make progress by only staying in gay-friendly cities. But what does income have to do with it? I don't get that part.

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Yes Lee, many many times in my travels I have run into situations were I have seen the older guy with the younger guy, and you just knew that the younger one was 'bought and paid for'...

 

I have told this story before on the M-F. I was changing planes in Narita once. We were in the first class lounge waiting for the out bound flight. I was with one of my best friends who was probably 60+ at the time. He always traveled with his twenty something boyfriend. He didn't care where we were or who we were around, he always held hands and showed open affection in public. On this trip I was sitting next to them in the lounge, very well dressed and a bit full of myself, trying to play the part of the straight traveler. I noticed people were looking at us very disapprovingly. Many were even whispering to themselves. I turned to my friend and said "Isn't it too bad that in this day and age that as gay people we just can't be ourselves, he looked at me and said, "maybe in your world Bob, but in mine, I can be exactly the person I am, a proud gay man with my boyfriend." I felt like 2 cents...and in many respects my life changed after that comment.

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My partner and I often have the opposite problem at hotels: they automatically give us a room with one bed. Then I have to protest that we want two beds. Sometimes I wonder if I sound like a nervous queen trying to pretend that we are not a gay couple, but in fact I don't like sleeping with anyone else if I can help it, especially another old man who snores, farts and flails about in his sleep.

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Similar but different story about getting offended by a remark made by a person in the service industry.

 

Today I went to the UPS Store to ship a pair of handcuffs and a leather restraint item to a working guy for IML. I just had them in a grocery store plastic bag. He asked if they were cables. I said no. He then noticed the black handcuffs and asked if my friend was a policeman. In the past I would have gotten quite upset, but, instead, I just told him exactly the reason (probably hoping to shock him). I said, No, my friend and I are into BDSM and he needs these items for IML in Chicago.

 

Not knowing what he was going to say, he blurted out " I'm so jealous, I'd love to go". We both burst into laughter and gave each other a hug and I was on my way. Motto, just be yourself (yourselves) cause you never know what people are thinking, and, most of the time, it doesn't matter

 

Boston Bill

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Thanks for this thread. I am going on a cruise and have been agonizing over the bed situation. I know I shouldn't care, but it intimidates the hell out of me to make the simple phone call and instruct them that we want the queen bed and not the two lower beds. It also saddens me to know that I actually fear what the staff might think of two guys sharing the same bed. Hopefully, reading the insightful posts on this thread will give me the courage to make that phone call.

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My partner and I often have the opposite problem at hotels: they automatically give us a room with one bed. Then I have to protest that we want two beds. Sometimes I wonder if I sound like a nervous queen trying to pretend that we are not a gay couple, but in fact I don't like sleeping with anyone else if I can help it, especially another old man who snores, farts and flails about in his sleep.

 

I could be one of those. :) I prefer two beds for the comfort of both of us. Generally I think hotel clerks are just trying to confirm the room they are about to give to you is the one you contracted for. However, "individuals" are apt to do most anything so there is no accounting for what MIGHT happen.

 

As a life long Southerner, I certainly know what "white trash" means but I also know "trash" comes in every color and does not mean one color or another is "better" than others. However, I certainly agree that "certain words and phrases", although common, have always been disagreeable to me, pie hole being one. Nothing really wrong with those two words but I just don't like to hear them. :)

 

Best regards,

KMEM

 

Almost forgot to say, congratulations, Lee. :)

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Motto, just be yourself (yourselves) cause you never know what people are thinking, and, most of the time, it doesn't matter

 

That's how we live our life, too. Once we were going through security at the airport in Chicago (coming home from IML, as a matter of fact!) and I had a large butt plug in my carry-on. The female TSA agent pulled it out and removed it from its plastic bag. "What is this?" she asked. I replied, loudly, "IT'S AN ANAL SEX TOY!!" She got a horrified look on her face, dropped it and ran off. The remaining TSA agent (also female) just laughed and told us we could go through. :)

 

I certainly agree that "certain words and phrases", although common, have always been disagreeable to me, pie hole being one. Nothing really wrong with those two words but I just don't like to hear them. :)

 

I'm sure people think I'm too sensitive to words when I get upset by "straight-acting" or other phrases, but I think words are powerful (see: bullied gay teens) and should only be used with care.

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The part I like is I book the room with two queen beds most often because the places I tend to stay on business charge less for that room than they charge for a King room. Just about every time I check in the clerk asks me, "Two Queens?" to which I respond, "No, just one!"

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I'm sure people think I'm too sensitive to words when I get upset by "straight-acting" or other phrases, but I think words are powerful (see: bullied gay teens) and should only be used with care.

 

Words are also 'slippery'. They may not mean the same thing to the one who hears them as they did to the one who spoke or wrote them. And unfortunately, we don't always know when words are going to be offensive or hurtful.

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Guest Wetnwildbear

Income Equals . . .

 

I've done it (not in those 2 specific cities/towns but in rural areas, in the south, in very conservative areas). We need to be proud of who we are, regardless of where we are. You don't make progress by only staying in gay-friendly cities. But what does income have to do with it? I don't get that part.

 

Income translates into more choices for location and relocation.

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Words are also 'slippery'. They may not mean the same thing to the one who hears them as they did to the one who spoke or wrote them. And unfortunately, we don't always know when words are going to be offensive or hurtful.

 

True. I think the best thing to do is not to be defensive when that happens. If I ever say something that was unintentionally insensitive, I own up to it and try to choose my words better the next time.

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In a way, what those two guys were doing to you was really no different than you and your bf checking out the older man and younger girl and passing judgment on their perceived situation, or your describing these two guys as "white trash" (a phrase I've always disliked; does the modifier "white" imply that white people are, by nature, not trash, but other minorities are?).

:)

I must admit to thinking that trash only comes in white. I have never heard the phrase yellow trash or brown trash or black trash or purple trash. On the other hand it seems to me that bastards only specificlly come in black, either a bastard or a black bastard.

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