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This has to be the most annoying question that people ask gay couples. I've been asked this question many times by people who I hardly know, who somehow find out that I'm queer and dating someone. For some reason, many people think that when a gay person comes out to them, they are sharing some sort of deep dark sexual secret. I guess this makes them think that it's OK to ask rude probing questions of this sort.

The first couple of times someone asked me this, I laughed, and patiently explained that the question doesn't really make sense, and that most couples, gay and straight alike, just make up their own rules about what roles each partner plays in their relationship. After a while though, I realized that it's not my job to educate every single ignorant moron about what it's like to be gay. I had a life to live, and being a spokesperson is very emotionally draining. Now when some random person asks me, "Hey, so like, which one of you is like the man and which one the woman?" I let my disdain be known. My usual response is, "Well, last time I checked, we both had penises, so I guess that makes us both the man!" Why does it all bother me so much? Well, the question can be interpreted in two ways.

Firstly, "Which one of you wears the pants?", so to say. This is just dumb, heterosexuals hardly ever live up to the archetypal gender roles in relationships, so why do people expect gays to do so? Yes, many times one person in a relationship will make more decisions than the other partner, but this has nothing to do with gender, but more with each persons' personality.

Secondly, "Who screws whom?" This is just completely rude. It's tantamount to asking a straight couple what their favorite sexual position is right after having met them. Just because someone discloses that they are gay doesn't mean that they talking about their sex-life, and it doesn't give one the right to ask such questions. When someone introduces their husband or wife to somebody, one does not assume they mean, "This is the man/woman I have sex with!" The same goes for gay folks. I think one of the main reasons so many people are uncomfortable with seeing two people of the same gender being affectionate with one another is because they can't separate affection from sex. Seeing two men kissing each other goodbye at the airport leads people to think of them in the bedroom. I've been told not to shove my "gayness" down other peoples' throats and that I should "keep it in the bedroom" for simply walking down the street holding my boyfriend's hand. Imagine if I were to say the same thing to every straight couple I saw doing nothing more than holding hands. It'd be a full-time job.

I know many people are just curious, and that I may be the first person they've had the chance to ask about the "gay thing", but that doesn't mean it's all right to ask personal impolite questions. I am not obligated to sate their morbid curiosity. I'm not gay for their amusement. So, if you ever find someone asking you this, or hear someone asking someone else, let them know it's not OK and that they should know better.

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