They say the heart wants what the heart wants, but what are we to do when our own hearts betray us? I always thought I was a clear-thinking person, who knew right from wrong, and trusted my instincts and desires. But that changed when the unthinkable occurred: I fell for a rat queer.
If you’re straight or have a real job, you may not know what a rat queer is. A rat queer is basically a gay person who owns pet rats, and that’s, like, their whole thing. You might be thinking, “Wait, I thought gay people owned cats?” Well, grow up; there’s more than one kind of gay person.
Some have pet rats, and I’m in love with one of them.
Before I met C, which sounds like I’m using an initial to protect their anonymity, but actually that’s their whole name, I thought rat queers were like people who run marathons, or get MFAs: Doing too much, and for what? You’re already marginalized, why add owning multiple rats to the mix? Flash forward four months, and I still feel that way, but I fell for C and increasingly feel pressured to nurture a positive relationship with their rats: Erasmus and Boob.
Most rat queers will jump at the chance to explain to you how rats are highly intelligent, social, and caring animals that make wonderful “pets” or “life experience mates” because they don’t believe in an ownership dynamic. On this front, C is no different. In fact, they’re the one who explained the life experience mate thing to me, and it’s like, I honor that, but also how am I supposed to reach orgasm with the knowledge that two rats are roaming free in the same room as me?
I mean, I do because we have amazing sex, but still.
Falling for a rat queer has taken an immense toll on my mental health. Now when a street rat darts out in front of me on the sidewalk, I feel terrified, but also a little aroused because of the association. Also, C has been talking about getting tattoos of Erasmus and Boob, and I have to live with the knowledge that I will still love them if they do.
I’m not sure who I am anymore. I’m in one of the happiest relationships of my life, but I’m also starting to get comfortable with the sounds of rats scurrying about and nibbling on broccoli (rats eat fruits, veggies, and meat; they’re little keto freaks). It’s destabilizing.
For now, I’ll take it day-by-day, simply trusting that my love for C is a net positive, and that at least their rats mean they’re significantly less likely to get a snake.