Wednesday night, the fine gent at With Leather attended a reading by big gay author John Amaechi, and, as it turns out, they all ended up out drinking afterwards. (Inevitable!) They ended up at prominent New York City media snob hangout Soho House — of course — and the question you're all wondering about was raised.
Is Amaechi a top or a bottom? Seems a bit of a personal question to ask of a celebrity I don't really know, and I struggled with a way to pose the question. Well, Billy and John and I had a nightcap at Soho House, a ritzy Meatpacking District club where you have to be a member or be with a member in order to get in (I fall into the latter category). While Billy spoke with an acquaintance, I asked John, "How'd you come up with 'Man in the Middle'? Shouldn't it be 'Man on Top' or 'Man on Bottom'?" Alas, he didn't take the bait, and I was left with a mundane explanation of the position of center, and not intimate details of his sex life. Sorry. I said I was bad at journalism.
You know, we admire Amaechi, sure, we guess, but he really needs a better sense of humor about this stuff. In an interview with NPR, the questioner asked him, tongue-in-cheek, about a Deadspin comment that said, "you had to know Amaechi was gay; he showed up at a press conference wearing a beret." Amaechi got all offended, saying that — FOR THE LAST TIME, PEOPLE! — you can't tell if a guy is gay or not by whether he's wearing a beret. John, seriously: We like you, we do, but you wrote a whole book about being gay. You can probably handle a line about berets, or take a question about "Man On Top" without a lengthy and condescending discussion of the center position, right? Lighten up, man: We're on your side.