Single-Minded: When Every Man Seems ‘Suspect’

So what if he asked you out? That canvas tote is a dead giveaway that something ain’t right.


A friend of mine thinks lesbian sex involves the exchanging of blood. Speaking as the daughter of a lesbian and an L-Word fan, I tried to provide expert testimony to the contrary over pepperoni pizza. Then she goes, “Uh-uh, that’s not how” and continued to extrapolate on a homoerotic hemoglobin theory that would have been hilarious if she hadn’t been totally serious.

It was like a slasher movie on skin flick steroids. “Anything but the lesbian vampires!” the red-lipped blonde would scream, right before being surrounded by a coven of Amazons with bloodlust in their eyes. After wiping the tears from mine, I realized that for all my homo-friendlier-than-thou proselytizing I was hardly above indulging in stereotypical scenarios. The only reason we were even on the subject was because I’d had two “suspect” encounters in as many days and was seeking confirmation from her that a deep V-neck Ed-Hardy-inspired T-shirt on a man was indeed a sign of gayness.

Let’s unpack the word “suspect” as it is applied to the down-low boogey man of which so many single ladies in D.C. (Atlanta, Los Angeles, et. al) are so afraid. Calling a potential partner “suspect” is like saying he stole something­—possibly a woman’s dignity— when he decided to pass on her batted eyelashes. I ended up dating a man, who I’d initially dismissed as gay, only after he ignored me for an hour and then dismissed me with the greatest “get lost” line of our time: “I’m working on my personal relationship with Jesus Christ right now.” Jerk, I thought. Actually, make that gay jerk.

When he struck out with Jesus and I was done fabricating his sexual preference to pad my batting average, we got to third base.

Later, I explained my original misdiagnosis to my girls, by way of cultural misdirection.