Today, walking east on 20th Street, past First Avenue between Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town, I suddenly found myself within a gaggle of teenager girls and boys all about 14, all talking, all listening to their IPods, with some riding skateboards. I could not seem to extricate myself from this pubescent group, so I overheard bits of their conversations. One exchange struck me in particular. A stylish boy in skinny jeans and colored topsiders related to his girl friend about his certain boy crush. The crush had just texted him and he did not want to appear to eager, he said to his friend.
This exchange made me smile and chuckle a bit. In my suburban dystopia at the age of 14 I was still in the closet. Not that my closet was a bad place; it was full of fantasy, desire, passion, Wonder Woman. Things only became tricky or uncomfortable when my queer self engaged with the very heterosexual world of my growing up like in the boys locker room in junior high. But still that became fodder for the pleasures of the closet in the end.
I thought to myself walking along East 20th Street how lucky this stylish boy was to be so young and so open about his sexuality and how the recent passage of marriage equality in New York State must be for him so life affirming and joyous. And as the teenage group passed me and the stylish boy moved out of my life, I thought, I hope you and your crush love each other till we all turn to dust.