Being the only one of something can be empowering. Sure, that is an undesirable state for an endangered animal but, for a gay person in the city, it’s the best. It can feel like you are the only gay person in existence and that you are defining and explaining a culture to hordes of straight people. It feels like easy volunteer work, a job that allows you to be fawned over as you groom people in the ways of your people…even if you are the only one of your kind.
This gives you authority. In good or bad ways, you become a commodity. Like The Black Friend or The Little Person, you—The Gay—are the open window breezing information. You are also an open target, the person posing as another when they are clearly the other. This gives you a constant double consciousness—especially when another gay enters the picture.
Then things get challenging because you have been taken on: your truths are in flux. Your cultural scripture can be rewritten. People can see that you are indeed not the only gay and that, like every other group of people, you are a small freckle on the collective body. You don’t define shit.
To be the only gay person is to the singular. You don’t want anyone else. You become this kind of monster man thing that is selfishly the thing of all the things. You are the one man microcosm for the macrocosm. You speak for everyone.
If you like it or not, this is the case. You are the paper doll for the community. You become the person referred to when people you know relay, “…but my gay friend—Kyle—said that’s totally the case!”
This is dangerous too as, clearly, you are not a part of your whole. You are the ugly duckling. You are the one who is walking out of your world to live in the community of others. No, there is nothing wrong with this. You can get out of touch, though. You can accidentally assimilate. You can become the non-other in your mind when you aren’t. You can feel like you are passing until you are in a situation when you are clearly not. After all this, you’ve lost your culture’s history because you weren’t progressing it. You were just a symbol of it.
Maybe try not to be the only gay in the village. Try to meet others of your kind! Get adjusted to a variety of your people, reaching into different gender and sexual identities to fully understand where you are coming from. Don’t let your way define our way.
Most importantly, try not to be like Daffyd, the only gay in the village. He’s funny to laugh at because he thinks he’s the only one. He’s a joke. Keep this in the back of your head when you speak for everyone.