BODY & MIND

Survival of the butchest: A gay man's Alaskan migration

Photo Credit: Clark Harding
A thousand miles down the globe; Californians have this belief in type casting. I once asked my friend Roger Mussenden, Hollywood's hottest casting director (Californians also have a belief in name-dropping), what type of role he'd cast me in. Hoping he'd say the next Superman, all I got was "a twink." His entourage erupted in laughter. Of course, I smiled my new veneers and pretended not to be crushed, then promptly turned around and started drinking. How could this be? I mean, everyone knows the stereotype of Alaska as rugged. And if there is truth in every stereotype, shouldn't I be cast as freakin' Paul Bunyan? Why was I now the effeminate sheep? Had I successfully traded my genes for designer jeans?

No, I can surely perform the seemingly jockish wilderness tasks: I know how to use an axe and I'm perfectly comfortable in outhouses. I've been caught wiping boogers on my Carharts after chasing a black bear away from the compost pile. If there were a contest for the fastest flat-tire changer, I'd win. Unfortunately, though, I left my no-sissies-allowed home for the very purpose of feminine expression. And now, like many gay men, I make flamboyant hand gestures while crossing my legs, I look fabulous in Farragamo and, of course, let my elocution carry a lispy twang. What was supposed to be an evolution into my natural environment had become Death by Social Darwinism. It's a lonely conundrum when you shed your nurture seeking your nature, only to find you're not fit for either. Like the dog-wolf, I found myself standing there in that trendy bar, a tan-o-rexic product of West Hollywood finishing school, staring longingly back into the forest.