National Commentary

Johnny’s World: Who Am I?


Since the end of my innocence, when I became a teenager, I have been fascinated by the character traits that make me up. Some come from my father – my discipline, my fierce determination, and, of course, my hardheadedness – while my free-spirited and high-flying idealism come from my mother.

While that is all well and good, why do I obsess over purses and having perfect skin? Why am I unabashedly addicted to pop culture and music that makes me cry? Why is my voice high, why are my features delicate, and why is my sense of style so bodycon? How did I get so many feminine traits?

I am not a doctor, but I have a theory I don’t mind sharing. I heard once upon a time that when a baby begins to grow in a mother’s womb, the child starts out as a young lady and over time could become a young gentleman. For what other reason could guys have nipples?

I ate this theory up like I was at a half-priced ice cream buffet on binge Friday. Perhaps if I’d started out as a girl, I didn’t cook completely into being a boy and that’s why I like “girly” stuff. There had to be a reason for all this, and I had to wrap my head around it.

I don’t know how well versed you are in gay men’s behavioral patterns, but I am, so let me teach you. There are gay men more masculine than your husband, and more feminine than your favorite aunt. We represent a huge range. We don’t all fit under the terms flamboyant, Jack from “Will and Grace,” or previously worked as an actor/singer/dancer. There are gay men serving our nation proudly in armed combat, there are gay men running police precincts, and there are gay men burping and watching football. There is a curve of gayness.

Sexually, for the most part, gay men all have a preference to act in a certain way. Most fall into the category of either a passive or a dominant role, but I should say not everyone chooses to be labeled. However, most people have a specific role they fit into naturally. I know thinking of your favorite, sparkly, fabulous gay icon can be a bit odd as many people accept gays minus the sex, but I am going somewhere with this. If you have a preference for playing the passive role usually relegated to women, could it have something to do with how long you cooked in your mom’s belly?

I don’t mean to offend anyone by my idea, but it is a theory I’ve created and bashfully tell when I’ve had a glass of wine too many.

Here it is, on full display, the reason I think I am the way I am:

If I started out as a girl in Patti Weir’s belly, and slowly cooked my way into being a boy, but due to all the country air my mom took in or the fall harvest of 1983 when I was conceived, I didn’t quite make it over to being a straight man. Instead of finishing the cycle, I got stuck in a net in the middle of where the sexes overlap and happily floated out the remainder of my time in limbo. While I was being created, perhaps I even stayed a girl until the last possible minute until God stepped in a changed my body to that of a boy with personality traits and some features like a girl. You’d think it would make me some weird, powerful, spirit animal having been caught in the middle, but it has made me more confused throughout my life to not understand why certain things simply are.

When I look at my very masculine husband, is it possible to think that perhaps he was also undercooked on the male side of the limbo net and that’s how he is a masculine gay? If my theory is true, I could be an overcooked girl, while my husband is an undercooked man.

My theory is simply a theory, and there are many theories as to why people are the way they are. Still, I ask, why doesn’t science have an answer yet?

And why do I have nipples?