20 years ago, I wasn’t comfortable having gay friends.
It wasn’t dislike.
It sure wasn’t hate.
Gay people just made me uncomfortable.
See, I was a young straight male. (Strike one)
I grew up in West Virginia. (Strike two)
I was Indian. (Strike three)
Like most young boys, my main focus in life was girls.
They were a major topic of conversation with my buddies.
Basically, from age 7 until…well…today…
So, yeah, gay guys made me uncomfortable.
I didn’t understand them.
And I sure wasn’t interested in being their friend.
But a funny thing happens as you get older.
Those “huge” differences stop being such a big deal.
Years ago, my sister graduated college and moved to a different state. She was lonely in that new world, unsure if she was in the right place. Luckily, an outgoing young guy named Clayton became her much-needed friend. They were joined at the hip. They talked…laughed…hung out all the time. Because of him, her lonely experience turned into a fun adventure. He was hilarious and kind…exactly the kind of person she needed in her life. That young man helped my sister get her adult life started the right way. I was so grateful he was there. Oh yeah, Clayton was gay.
Today, I have quite a few close friends who are gay. Some are very, very gay. I don’t think that would have been the case if I hadn’t met Clayton. He was one of the first to make me realize I had a ton to learn. As much as I wanted to be uncomfortable around him, it was hard not to like the dude. I started to respect the differences…he wasn’t limited by small definitions of “being a man” like my doofus buddies and I were, he didn’t need to fit in all the time, and he had a vibrant way of doing things. The rest of us were “too cool for school” but he was out there really living.
Clayton is a loyal reader, and like many of you, he sends me links to mile/point stuff. His American Airlines Executive card is about to hit its annual fee. Like all of us, Clayton is a pretty frugal guy. He likes having American lounge access with the Exec card but doesn’t want to pay another big fee on it. So, yesterday, he excitedly sent me a link to a scumbag blogger. Lounge access plus a signup bonus from the Citi Prestige card! What more could anyone want!? Clayton thought he was sending a deal. But, of course, the blogger was looking for people to click his credit card link. So, I’d like to give you the same reminder I gave Clayton…
If it’s annual fee time on your Exec card and you want the Citi Prestige… yeah, it’s a good option. You will have lounge access and you will collect a bonus. But this is the key…make sure you apply in-branch. The online link is 30,000 points and the offer you get from a Citibank location could be worth 60,000. Sorry sellout bloggers, you won’t get Clayton to click your link this time. See, he’s my friend. And, unlike 20 years ago, I’m very comfortable saying that.