Brawnie growled. “I hate that word.”
He and his husband, Sean, sat on a picnic table under a large ash tree. His ire had been aroused by a rainbow banner outside a nearby church. It proclaimed Queer We Stand as an affirming and welcoming gesture.
“It’s fairly common usage now,” Sean replied. “Even by straight people.” He looked at Brawnie, trying to discern the depth of his feelings.
“You mean the straight kids who screamed that word while gay-bashing my high school friends? The kids who taunted us with Thursday’s Queers Day?”
Sean chose his words carefully. “Tender scars, yes?”
Brawnie put his arm around Sean’s shoulders. “People want us to be sensitive to pronoun choices,” he said, a little calmer now. “Why not to hateful slurs?”
The two men sat quietly in the shade, listening to the chirpy birds and the leaves in the breeze.
“Of the two of us,” Sean mused, “I thought I was meant to be the hotspur.”
He felt a warm hand on the small of his back. Brawnie turned and whispered in his husband’s ear.
“You’re just hot.”
Copyright 2021 by Brian Dean Powers
Photo by the author