This morning, I left the apartment a little before 7, as I usually do, on my way to work. My MetroCard had expired, so by the time I bought a new one and made my way downstairs to the platform at 7 Ave, I’d barely missed the train. So I waited for the next one.
As I sat waiting, I overheard a man saying, “Excuse me, sir, can you spare some change?” From the subtle Doppler shift in his voice as he spoke, I could tell he was walking in my general direction and I’d probably be next.
Sure enough: “Good morning, sir! Can you spare some change?” I ignored him and let him pass by.
“That’s all right, sir,” he continued. “I still love you. Him, too. There’s nothing wrong for to love another man.”
I processed this as he proceeded down the platform. I heard him approach someone else. “Excuse me, sir, can you spare some change.” The answer was inaudible, but then I heard. “That’s all right, sir. I still love you, and I don’t care who knows it! I’m not queer, but there’s nothing wrong with loving another man.”
I laughed, and as I did, I looked down the platform and saw a young man laughing, and passing the guy a dollar bill.