While washing my hands the other day, I noticed the walls of the men’s restroom were painted a dark grey color. I never noticed the color of the walls before, and as I was scrubbing my hands, I corrected my initial observation that the color was merely grey. It was charcoal grey.
I instantly stopped my scrubbing and took a long, horrified look at myself in the mirror. I had the sudden realization that I’m one of those gays who knows the specific names of colors!
As I finished rinsing my hands, I asked myself: How could this happen!?
While struggling to make the automatic paper towel dispenser, dispense a couple towels I thought:
I don’t even care about colors. When someone asks me what my favorite color is, I have to think about it for a long time because I don’t have a favorite. I just tell people grey is my favorite because it’s in between black & white.
I finally got a couple paper towels from the stingy machine, and continued thinking about colors while drying my hands.
I guess if I had to pick a normal color, I’d choose dark green. But, that “oxidized avocado” colored shirt I have is hideous. I only keep it because it-
Dammit! I did it again!
Why is this happening? I hate colors!
I used the damp towels to open the restroom door and tossed them in the trash bin as I left the room. I continued my mental tirade as I walked back to my desk.
If I had my way, I’d never paint or repaint the walls of my home because changing the color is the worst investment of time and money. Why bother? I won’t notice the color after the paint has dried, unless someone comments about it.
I was about halfway back to my desk when I remembered I had spent about 30 minutes helping the family look for a list of paint-chips at Home Depot recently. I felt a wave of relief because it makes perfect sense that I’d still have those weird color names rattling around in my head.
Before then, I had no idea different shades and hues of colors actually had names. The isle littered with a collage of colors was an abstract location in the store, and I don’t normally need anything from that section. The last time I noticed the name of a different shade of color was when I had to pick a color to differentiate my comments in a group email. The color I picked was: Dark Blue, Text 2, Darker 25%.
Now, I’m keenly aware stores sell colors named: Charcoal Grey, Thudercloud (greyish blue), Glacier Pearl (dark blue), Beavertail Brown, Shiitake Mushroom, or Dove (off-white) … and the list goes on.
I’d like to preempt any misconceptions, by explaining that I am proud of being a gay man and I enjoy all aspects of gay culture. “I’m not one of ‘those’ gays.” “We’re not ‘those’ kind of gays.” Are phrases which may pop into a conversation in or out of the gay community. It’s said as a description of oneself to inform the other party that the stereotype does not apply to us.
I’ve certainly seen many people who fit the gay stereotype, including a few straight men. I don’t particularly think there’s anything wrong with the stereotype, or anything is wrong about being the embodiment of it. I just tend to see myself as an average guy who happens to like other men, including those who fit into the gay stereotype.
 I think I invented the color “Oxidized Avocado”.