The Real, Heartbreaking Reason I Shy Away From PDA As A Gay Millennial

by Donny Meacham

When it comes to public displays of affection, we've all seen those couples who are all over each other, at all times.

They're kissing, hugging and holding hands while walking down the street.

That’s cute and all, but I have no desire to do it.

Guys have literally gotten so upset with me because I refused to hold their hands in public.

Gosh, I have horrible flashbacks of this huge fight I got into with this guy on 47th Street at 1 am because I wouldn’t hold his hand as we walked back to the train.

He thought I really didn't like him, and that I was ashamed of being seen with him because I wouldn’t hold his hand.

Love can be shown in many ways that aren’t physical, and those are the ones I am most interested in.

I’m not judging you if you want to show the world (at all times) you’re in love with someone, but PDA just isn’t for me.

There are lots of reasons why I don’t want to show PDA.

One of them is I enjoy my own personal space.

If I’m out in public somewhere having a good time and socializing, I don’t want to be closed off because someone is all over me.

Another reason is I personally don’t feel I have to constantly show everyone I'm coupled up.

I don't have to prove my relationship is “strong” through excessive PDA.

I feel like there is a time and a place for PDA, and for me, that is in the privacy of my own home.

My biggest reason, though, is very personal, and it's one that some would view as controversial.

I don’t like to show PDA simply due to the fact I don’t want any trouble when I'm walking down the street.

The sad fact is, the world we live in is still a hostile place for LGBTQ+ individuals.

People are still homophobic and uncomfortable with seeing two men or two women walking down the street while holding hands or kissing.

Call me a coward or anything you want, but for me, it’s my decision to not put myself out there in a way that could spark an issue.

I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count all the times I’ve had someone scream, "Fag!" out his or her car window as I walked by.

Do I wish I could be myself in public and not be afraid of any type of negative responses or name-calling?

I absolutely do, but the real truth is, that’s not the country we live in.

I have it easier than a lot of other LGBTQ+ individuals because I live in NYC, where I could go down the street walking a tarantula on a leash, and no one would care.

That is not the reality in other parts of the country.

Two men could walk down the street holding hands in predominantly gay areas such as Hell’s Kitchen or Chelsea, and the only stares they would get would be looks of jealousy from other gays walking by.

The same cannot be said if two men walked down the street holding hands in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Times are changing, though, and slowly but surely, LGBTQ+ tolerance is spreading across the country.

One day, we will live in a world where being yourself is always accepted.

Until then, this is my reasoning for not wanting to show PDA.

Whether you agree or disagree with me, it’s my choice.

Just like your reasoning to show PDA, I’m allowed not to.