Case Study: The Other Asian

>> Friday, April 02, 2010

About a year and a half ago, there's a 20-something Asian guy who moved into my building. He was friendly, around the same build as me. Days in and out, I'd see him hanging around the hall or seating on the stairs talking to various people. Then I'd spot him hanging around the various convenient stores all around my neighborhood, which in itself was intriguing. He said he was a student.

While I was looking to expand my social circles and get to know more people, I thought he could have been my friend, but I also know that these things can't be forced. We say hi in passing but seldom talk, The only time we did was when he was sitting at the stairs right outside my apartment, we talked for about 5 minutes just for me to be cordial and social - a nice neighbor. One night after going to the bar and having a few drinks, I stopped by one of those 24 hours convenient stores to get a hoagie and saw him there, I said hi. I was with the boyfriend and I was a little inebriated and I got his name wrong. He has one of those names that is made out of two different initials and I got one letter wrong. He might have been seriously offended, but he got very rude saying "That's not my name! Go down the alphabet." I have remembered his name since but I detect a slight change of attitude.

Let's say he has a very expressive face. Every time I see him since, he has seemed a bit arrogant or displeased. I usually don't bother with people like that. I remain to be nice and say hi even though it might not be wanted, it's not like I can avoid something living in such close proximity. It's the attitude that kills me. I was going out for groceries and chores yesterday and when I was just about to get out the front door, I saw him and his friends coming in, so I opened the door and held it for them to come through before I go out. Just before I leave, he held the door open and say "Close it gently, my friend." It's not like I was slamming it shut, I just let it go after I crossed, absolutely not unusual for me. And then I hear the sarcastic tone of the "my friend". I was being the absolute gentleman and intentionally held the door open for them, what gives?

The more I thought about, since I tend to be obsessive, the more I think that maybe he changed his attitude after seeing signs that I might be gay. That's the only reason I can think of. I'm not trying hard to hide my sexuality but at the same time I'm shocked that he could be a potential homophobe, just within the building there are at least half a dozen of us gay guys, we ARE living two blocks from the center of the gayborhood. If one really doesn't like the gays, maybe one should not live around this general area.

It does bother me a little knowing someone has ill will against me and to be verbally abused every now and then. I reckon I can talk to him next time I bump into him again but I doubt it will be constructive in any way. Lately, all the anti-gay folks all turns out to be closeted themselves, I don't suppose it's the same situation here and I'm not trying to be a mentor if it is. Maybe I'm all wrong and actually it's my looks that offends him, if that's the case there's nothing I can do. Meh.

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