Hong Kong is great, much better than Tokyo. But more about that later.

As a gay expat and trailing partner living in Asia, I understand that the rights we’re fighting for back in the U.S. won’t come to this part of the world for a long time. It’s just not an issue here. But the right to marry bares significantly on my present situation. My relationship is often not viewed as significant as a marriage in the eyes of many, and that pisses off.

First, I’m grateful that the company my partner works for is progressive enough to provide me with insurance coverage, yearly home leave and language lessons. In their eyes at least, I am (mostly) seen as my partner’s spouse. But it’s not their eyes that judge or make stupid comments.

When the company hosted its sayonara party for my partner, I had a Japanese colleague of his ask, “So you’re going to Hong Kong too?”

I said, “Of course. Why wouldn’t I?” grabbed my shochu and added, “Jesus, I need more to drink.”

What I really wanted to say was, “What the fuck, Bitch? I didn’t move to Tokyo for the sushi, and I ain’t movin’ to Hong Kong for the dumplings. Get it through that narrow little head of yours, we are a couple.”

That reminds me, I accidentally accepted that bitch as a Facebook Friend because I thought she was someone else. And no, it’s not because they all look the same. It’s because she shares the same name with another woman AND they actually do look the same. Need to delete that bitch.

The next day my partner and I checked into the Okura Hotel for our last three nights in Tokyo. Incidentally, what a way to say goodbye to Japan. The Okura does it right! Too bad the martinis at the Orchid Bar are sub par–they stir, not shake and they ad the olive anyway when you ask for a twist. Hello! Anyway, when we got to the check-in counter, we discovered that the outside company assigned to handle our move had only booked a single. And this after they knew that we were a couple. I know that this company is based in Singapore, and that in that Capitalist Police State “sodomy” is punishable by up to ten years in prison, but give me a fucking break. The bitch who is handling our move should be more worldly if she’s going to handle expat moves.

Three days later in Hong Kong, that bitch put us in the worst serviced apartment imaginable. Think bed bugs, hard mattress, dirty carpet, stinky furniture, and a kitchen not big enough for Tattoo from Fantasy Island. After two nights in that hellhole, I announced that I wasn’t staying another night in Chez Shithole, jumped in a cab and headed for the nearest Starwood hotel. That hotel group has always taken care of me–except for that tacky, flea-bag joint called the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel at Disney. The “Happiest Place on Earth” indeed! It took me putting my foot down here in Hong Kong for us to get a real serviced apartment, The Fraser Suites.

But even here at Fraser we’re met with THAT eye. One of the managers just loves us, especially me, because believe it or not, I’m very polite and exceedingly friendly in person. She says things like, “You must come to the grand opening of the hotel, you and your friend.” Yeah, my “friend” because I exchange bodily fluids with all my “friends.”

Last night, I saw her in the lobby with a colleague. She nudged the colleague and said to me, “I heard you and your friend are leaving soon! Did you find an apartment already? I will miss you so much!”

I know this nudge. This is the, “That’s the guy I was telling you about” nudge, the gay nudge. In fact, the entire hotel knows about us. The front desk people treat us with these big knowing smiles and raised eyebrows. They practically wink when they see me. I hate being treated differently because I’m gay, even when that treatment is “preferred” because in the end, it’s not “preferred” it’s “special.” And that means different.

This might all sound petty. Rereading it, I think it sounds petty. But it’s the petty bullshit I could do without. It’s there as a reminder that we aren’t seen as normal. And that bothers me.

I never encountered that back in New York. There, you were only treated special (the real special) if you had dough to blow. My beloved New York doesn’t care who you sleep with, as long as you tip often and well. And I can respect that.