avatarShoaib Shahid


Are You Not a Gay?

A Surprising Question

Photo by Rebecca Diack: https://www.pexels.com/photo/red-blue-and-yellow-round-lights-1154723/

This story took place at my workplace, where one of my colleagues from the Philippines asked me a shocking question. Everyone in the office knew that he was gay, but I had never felt comfortable discussing his sexuality.

I lived in a company residential camp with mostly bachelor staff. On the first floor, there was a gym, and I often went there for some late-night privacy.

One night, around 10 PM, I was sitting on a bench, engrossed in a phone call with my fiancé. Suddenly, a colleague I’ll call Josh appeared at the gym’s entrance. He asked what I was doing at that late hour.

I asked my fiancé to hold for a moment and explained I was on the phone. His response was odd; he walked over and sat beside me. I sensed he wanted to talk, so I asked my fiancé for five minutes and ended the call.

Josh asked whom I had been speaking with, and I told him it was my fiancé. He congratulated me, shook my hand, and held it for a few seconds. I felt it would be impolite to pull my hand away.

He began asking more personal questions, moving closer until he was just an arm’s length away from me. Then, Josh slowly placed his hand on my thigh.

At that point, I should have resisted, but I was unsure of how to handle the situation. He started crying, confessing his loneliness and that he could never marry anyone. I understood what he meant and wanted to leave, but something held me back.

Josh saw my hesitation and moved even closer, close enough for me to smell his perfume. I sensed something was about to happen. I stood up to leave, but he held my hand and kissed me. I was stunned and had no idea how to react.

Not wanting to hurt him, I gently removed his hand, expressing that he had done something wrong. He cried, seeking forgiveness, explaining his loneliness and inability to resist when he saw me alone in the gym. I asked him to leave me alone, as I wasn’t interested.

With tearful eyes, he inquired, “Are you not gay?” I responded in the negative, and he left the room. We crossed paths many times at the office, camp, and other common areas but never spoke about that night.

The experience left me wondering how others perceive our vibes and start assuming our sexual orientation or gender identity. Do you have the answer to that question?

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