PENSACOLA, FL—Calling his flamboyant air and effeminate mannerisms "a bit forced," friends of recently out-of-the-closet homosexual Mark Glynn, 23, say he's overdoing it.
"When Mark first told us he was gay, everybody was totally cool with it," longtime friend Rich Eddy said. "We figured he'd basically be the same old Mark, except he'd be dating guys. Boy, were we wrong."
Though Glynn's friends expected him to become comfortable and open with his sexuality, they did not expect him to go to such great lengths to proclaim his preference for men at every conceivable turn.
"We just figured he'd start saying stuff to us at bars like, 'Check out that cute guy's butt,'" Eddy said. "But he takes pains to telegraph his gayness 24 hours a day. Last night, a bunch of us were talking about what's going on with Bush and Iraq, when, out of nowhere, he says, 'You know what Bush needs? A good ass-fucking. That'd relax him.' It's like, 'Okay, Mark, we get it already—you're gay.'"
Continued Eddy: "It's like he's scared that if he doesn't wear hot pants and say 'You go, girl!' a lot, somebody might think he's straight."
Lydia Richter, another longtime friend of Glynn's, has also noticed the change.
"We can't have a conversation without him mentioning some aspect of gay culture," Richter said. "No matter what it is—art, comedy, movies, restaurants, philosophy—he goes off on how it affects him as a gay man. Mark, we've accepted that you like the dick, so just shut up and be gay already."
Even Andrew Storch, a gay coworker of Glynn's who recently went on several dates with him, said Glynn is "laying on the gay a little heavy."
"After Mark came out, he said he'd been attracted to me for a long time," Storch said. "We went out a few times, but he constantly acted like he had something to prove. Everywhere he went, he was mincing around like RuPaul at Wigstock. And, Lord, you should have seen the shoes he was wearing on our second date. I realize he's excited about being out of the closet, but you don't have to make up for those lost years of gayness all at once."
Added Storch: "I hope I wasn't like that when I came out."
Of all the aspects of Glynn's life, friends say his wardrobe has undergone the most drastic change. Instead of wearing khakis and understated dress shirts, Glynn now opts for brightly patterned sleeveless T-shirts and tight short-shorts.
"Two weeks after he came out, he showed up at a party in little pink biker shorts and an open button-down shirt with nothing on underneath," Eddy said. "This is a guy who once said wearing blue jeans made him feel 'weird.' Now, he says he's saving up to buy a whole leather get-up with harnesses and metal studs. I don't know where he got the idea that real gay people actually wear that stuff in their daily lives."
Glynn has adopted a number of other stereotypically gay affectations, including finger-snapping, a "swishy" walk, and calling everyone "sweetie" or "girlfriend."
"I guess he's picking it up from some of the gay guys he meets when he goes out, but it's just not him," Storch said. "A few times, I've actually caught him doing the limp-wrist thing. All that's missing is the lisp."
Even Glynn's drinking habits have taken on a gay tone.
"Mark used to be a single-malt scotch drinker," Eddy said. "Now it's Cosmos or Mai Tais. I didn't realize that liking men altered your taste buds."
According to Dirk Yunger, author of You're Here, You're Queer, Get Used To It: The New Millennium Guide To Coming Out Of The Closet, it is common for "late bloomers" like Glynn to over-embrace homosexuality.
"Mark has been hiding his true sexuality for so long, he can't help but want to shout it out to the world," Yunger said. "His friends should give him time to figure out how his newfound sexual openness will fit into his larger persona. Eventually, he will level out and become more like the Mark they used to know. In the meantime, his friends will have to endure a lot of annoying conversations about 14-inch dildos and what he'd like to do to Rupert Everett. Christ, I don't envy them."