El Futuro

Hola Queeridos!

We are now in the month of April!

My Goddesses! We are four months—cuenten bien—four months into the year 2021 and things seem to be looking better, worse, and better again. I know of people who now have taken not just the first but also the second dose of the virus vaccine, and I’m very happy for them, and of course for me. Less chances to get infected and more chances for this pandemic to end.

As I write this column, restrictions in many of the state counties are being lifted to a certain degree, and just a few days ago, President Joe Biden spoke of the a brighter future to have everyone vaccinated by May 1. One can only hope.

Yes, queeridos, things are looking much brighter, yet we still need to be cautious because letting our guards down could bring us back to where we were in January-February. Or we can just behave like the people in TX and Mississippi, throw everything out the window, and risk being reinfected and in the purple tear again. But enough of that, things are looking better so let’s move on to some chisme.

I asked this question to a few gay friends, “If you were fully vaccinated, how long would you wait to go out and hookup?” Once I asked the question, the conversation with my gay friends (not all together, mind you) took on its own.

One of my friends said that he wouldn’t wait at all. He’s been “celibate” for a whole year now and by gay standards, “I’m a virgin once again. So I would hookup as soon as possible.” Another friend said that he would wait a little longer because “having the vaccine doesn’t necessarily means I’m completely, one hundred percent in the clear.” While a third friend said that he had not really stopped hooking up because, well, he just hasn’t.

“Curiosity killed the cat,” I don’t know where that phrase originated but that is the phrase, so I decided to be the curious cat. I opened the Grindr app to see “what was going on” in that world is simply a world of fiction, fantasy, and disappointments. Sure enough, guys are logged into the app the same way they were before the pandemic. And just like before the virus became a threat, gay guys were trying to hookup. Within minutes my phone had so many Grindr notifications. “What are you looking for?” “Hey, handsome?” “What’s up?” “Want this?” and so forth. I’m not naïve but I honestly was surprised at how many people were in the app, looking for a quick one or thick one in the dark. My Goddesses! Haven’t we learned anything at all?

I decided to engage in conversation—conversation, queeridos, conversation—with many of the anonymous guys that contacted me. I wanted to figure out if the virus was a factor in their efforts to hookup with someone. Soon, I realized that no one was addressing the virus issue, or should I said not everyone was willing to address the issue of the virus. If I mentioned it, they would simply ignore or worse, they would just block me. If anyone addressed it, it was more of a “we can be safe about it” type of conversation. One guy even told me that “we could keep our facemasks on while we fuck.” I immediately thought, “I guess there would be no oral sex leading to the main course.” And I laugh.

There were a couple of guys who have actually put on their headline profile the word “vaccinated,” which was an indication that while the virus is an issue, it wasn’t for them anymore because now they were protected. I did not contact them at all.

I can easily see this trend as the HIV and AIDS trend has been for years: profiles say “safe only” or “negative,” or “tested on 3/1/2021,” or “on PREP.” I guess the word “vaccinated” will be added to the list of coded identifiers when hooking up.

The most eye-opener reality to me is the fact that the gay community hasn’t stopped hooking up because of the virus. In fact, I’ve seen videos where people engaging in sexual activity are wearing facemasks; I’m not sure if it is because it is a new ‘sex trend’ or because it is way to tell people that “we are hooking up but we are being safe in regards to COVID-19.” Whatever the reason, I find this behavior very telling of who we are as a community, because here we are, trying to control a pandemic, yet many members of the gay community continue to live and behave as if there was not a virus killing people all around us.

Queeridos, I don’t know when the pandemic will go away, but I do know we will all be vaccinated soon, so when you start to see “vaccinated sex parties” popping out here and there, make sure to send me an invite. I hope to be ready by then. In the meantime, I’m staying home.