Magic Pills

I just read a blog post that has really got me thinking.  It started with a tweet on Twitter.  Anita1956 said, “Would I take the straight pill? Here’s my answer.” with a link to her blog http://tinyurl.com/aa78mp.  Here’s what she said:


The Straight Pill

Date March 13, 2009

If there was a pill that could make me straight

…..Straight in body

…..Straight in mind

…..Straight in heart

…....I would not take it.

If taking such a pill would restore all my lost friendships

…..And regain my parents pride

…..And give back my families respect

…..…..I would not take it.

If taking such a pill would return me to my former ministry

…..And the admiration of the congregation

…..And the loving welcome of the church

…..…..I would not take it.

If taking such a pill would replace the love I have for my wife with an equal love for a man

…..And we could legally marry

…..And we would be granted full rights under the law without fighting for them

…..…..I would not take it.

If taking such a pill would mean no one would reject me for being who I am

…..And for saying what I believe

…..And for standing boldly as one who follows Christ

…..…..I would not take it.

If taking such a pill could take the world back in time,

…..Before I came out of the closet,

…..Before I said I was gay

…..Before I knew I was gay

…..Before inequality touched me

…..Before hate revealed its ugliness to me

…..Before anyone rejected me

…..Before anything was lost to me

…..Before I ever questioned God’s love for me

…..…..I would not take it.

If taking that pill would make me straight

…..And famous

…..And wealthy

…..And talented

…..And adored

…..And beautiful

…..And thin

…....I would not take it.

…....I would not take it.

…....I. Would. Not. Take. It.

I would never take a pill that would make me straight because

…....I love being who I am

…....I love being whole and free

…….I love seeing the world from where I stand

…....I love knowing God from this place

…....I love feeling passion burning in me for equality

…....I love being part of a people who are courageous and relentless

…....I love being one in Spirit with every queer youth

…………..With every gay man and woman

……………With every bisexual man and woman

…………..With every transman and transwoman

……………With every ally and friend

……………With everyone who questions, doubts and searches

…….And I love being one in Spirit with you

……………Bound in hope, and faith, and love

……………Bound in God

If there was a pill I could take that would make you straight

………..And taking that pill would end all your confusion and anxiety

……….And remove your fear that God has rejected you

……………I would not take that pill even for you.

You are gay.

…..You are not wrong.

…..…..You are not sinful.

…..…..…..You are not evil or perverted.

…..…....…..You are not unworthy.

…..…..…..…..…..You are not a mistake.

…..…..…..…..…..…..You are not to be ashamed.

You are gay.

…..God loves you.

…..…..God holds you.

…..…..…..God stands with you.

…..…..…..…..God delights in you.

…..…..…..…..…..God calls you “My own.”

If there was a pill that could make me straight

…..And make you straight

…..And you

…..And you

…..And you

…....I would not take it.

…....I would not take it.

…....I. Would. Not. Take. It.

Before I even clicked the link to her blog I answered that question for myself.  “Yes!  I’d take that pill in a heartbeat!” Being gay is one of the biggest struggles I’ve ever dealt with in my life and most of the time I feel like if I could chose not to be gay, I would.

Growing up in a “Christian” home as a gay boy is an incredible challenge.  It is made abundantly clear to you from the beginning that homosexuality is wrong, that homosexuality is a perversion, and that homosexuals are damned for all eternity.  There is an incredible amount of fear that is driven into Christian children about hell and sin and damnation and we learn from a very young age that we want to do everything in our power to make sure we don’t go there.  This results in tremendous amounts of guilt and shame.

For me, the shame was too much to bear and I denied who I was for most of my life.  I chose to believe that I was not gay, that there were other, perfectly legitimate reasons why I was aroused by the images of the male models in the International Male and Undergear catalogues I subscribed to when I was a teenager.  I convinced myself that one day, when I met the woman God had in store for me, I would be physically attracted to her and I would feel normal and complete.

I finally began to admit to myself that I was gay and accept who I was about four years ago and I said it out loud for the first time when I told my therapist two years ago.  By this time, I had read the bible, The King James version, from cover to cover and learned that what I had been told my entire life was cut and dried, well, it really wasn’t.  I learned that there were a lot of discrepancies between the things I had been taught to believe and what I determined for myself in those pages.  I learned that while the Bible is an important resource that there is more research to be done and so I did.

I researched on-line the question of whether homosexuality is an immorality, whether it’s a sin and what it means to be gay and a Christian.  When it all started, I went in search of something definitive that would tell me what I was already sure must be true:  That Homosexuality is, in fact, an irrefutable sin.  What I found instead, was a whole lot of the same rhetoric, the same answers and explanations about why homosexuality is wrong, with all of the same holes that I had yet to explain away.  The same holes that made me question the accuracy, the validity of what I’d been taught.  These holes left me with questions and doubts.  The explanations didn’t sit well with me.  They didn’t feel… They didn’t feel true.  I believe that we all, each of us, possess a spirit that is to some extent or other, in tune with the Holy Spirit.  I started to realize that the reason these explanations didn’t feel or seem right to me is because my spirit knew they weren’t.  My spirit was hungry for the truth.

So I dug deeper and I found several resources with more information.  I found resources that did a better job of explaining what the various Biblical references which are used against us might have really meant.  I found scholarly authors who had a deeper understanding of what the times and the languages were like, and how the Bible might have been translated incorrectly over the generations and centuries that have passed.  And I found a reminder that the God I love and serve is a loving God who wants the best for me, who wants me to be happy.  I finally came to accept that the thoughts and feelings and urges that I was stifling for so many years, close to 30 of them, were normal and natural and a part of me, who I am, the way God made me.

I didn’t take this information lightly, and I didn’t set out to find justification for me to behave in a way that was not morally right.  Honestly, I set out to prove, once and for all, that what I was taught my whole life was absolute fact and that I had to continue to suffer until God saw fit change me and make me “normal”.  I resisted the things that I read that told me that I was OK as a gay man.  I resisted the urge to rejoice at the affirmations that I found because surely, as my mother would have told me were she involved, I was “possessed of the Devil”, I was “being deceived.”  Surely it wasn’t possible that I could, in fact, be gay and be acceptable in God’s sight.  But the evidence mounted, the case was made over and over again… and my spirit?  My spirit was at peace.  I stopped hurting.  I started healing.  I told my four closest friends.

I still struggle with the internalized homophobia that I was raised in.  I still struggle with accepting myself, but now, it’s because I’m programmed this way, not because I really believe that there’s anything wrong with whom I am.  I have to believe that as time moves on, I’ll struggle less and less and be more and more content in my life.

What I really struggle with, though, is the shame.  Not shame because I think there’s something wrong, but shame because I’m so sure everyone else will.  I get anxious when I write something like this because I’m sure that someone will read this and tell me that I can’t be both gay and a Christian.  (Of course I can.)  I’m afraid someone will read this and begin to scrutinize me and my behavior in a different way now that they know I call myself a Christian.  (I’m not living my life for those people, but no one likes to be judged.)  The truth is I hold myself up to the measure my mother has set out for me and I know I fail miserably.  Most days I’m OK with that.  I know I will never measure up to her expectations and I know that most of her expectations are unreasonably high anyway, but part of my internal programming is to see her expectations as those of all Christians and I assume I’ll be judged and condemned by all of them for one reason or another once they learn that I call myself one of them.  (I don’t really call myself one of them and I suspect that will make for another lengthy blog post in the future, but the terminology is the same even if the intent is different.)

The shame that I struggle with has crippled me with regard to coming out to my family.  Not a single member of my family knows that I’m gay while I have to believe some of them may suspect.  It is with this knowledge that as I bring this post nearer to its conclusion and prepare to press that “publish” button I am shaking and feeling genuine anxiety about putting this information out there for the world to see.  You see, my Twitter account updates my Facebook status.  My brother is my only immediate family member who is on Facebook.  I post links to my new blog posts on Twitter which means they’ll show up on Facebook as well.  It is not a stretch to think that my brother will actually see this post and because I am such a coward, this is how he’s going to learn the truth.  Will he say anything to me?  I don’t know.  Will he tell other members of my family?  He might.  Am I disappointed in myself that I can’t just say it to them?  Of course I am.

So if such a pill existed that could make me straight, would I take it?  I’m afraid that is not as simple a question as I first thought it was.  I’d be inclined to take it.  I’d never have to worry about telling my family the truth.  I’d never have to worry about facing the internalized doubts and fears that persist.  I’d never have to worry about having to tell people in my daily life.  And I’d never have to worry about trying to learn how to date as a gay man, or find someone that I could happily spend the rest of my life with.  Life would certainly be easier if I were straight.

On the other hand, maybe taking that pill would be like turning my back on everything that I learned in this process; that God did not make a mistake when he made me; that I am gay because that is how God intended it; that there is nothing wrong with me just because I’m gay; and that God loves me every bit as much today as he did the day I invited him into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior and the only thing that has really changed is, now, I know the truth.

If there was a pill that I could take that would make me straight, would I take it?  I’m sad to say that it would be a tough decision to make, but in the end, No, I would not take it.


———————————————————————————————

My special thanks to Anita, author of the blog that started this, first for writing the post to begin with and second, for granting me her blessing to re-post it here for all to see.

Miscellaneus, Meandering Introspections (With A Song And Dance To Boot – OK Maybe Not A Dance.)

I’m stuck. I feel completely bogged down. My mind is cloudy. There are so many things that I want to be doing. So many things that I need to be doing, but I can’t seem to make any progress. Part of it is that the things I need to be doing I do not want to do.

I’m at work, of course. That’s where I should be in the middle of a Monday afternoon, but work is the farthest thing from my mind. I really need to get out of this job. I get absolutely no satisfaction from it whatsoever. There’s a lot of busy work that I could, of course do, but I’m just not interested in it. I have tasks that Douche Bag has given me to do, but I know he hasn’t thought of them again, and honestly, if they’re not any kind of priority to him, why should they be to me? Some of what he’s asked me to do, shouldn’t have been put on me in the first place, but as usual, he’s completely out of touch and doesn’t think about what he’s doing.

My mind is just full of random thoughts about what I want, where I want to be, how I want to change, what I’d like to be doing.

Last night I lay in bed, wide awake until about a quarter two, just staring at the ceiling and wishing. Wishing I wasn’t alone was a big part of it. Not just not lonely, but really not alone. For the first time that I can recall, I had this longing to be held. To be wrapped up in a pair of big, strong arms. Leaning back into a smooth, hard chest and listening to a deep, soothing voice whisper into my ear, that things were going to be OK. It wasn’t a sexual thing, although, I’m sure it would have lead to that. It was just a need to be taken care of and to know that I was not alone in life. Not alone in my world. That I was not going to spend my life that way. I felt so small and weak in those moments. So alone and unwanted and powerless to change it.

I spent some time this week-end, trying to think of ways to change my life. Things that I could do to try and find some fulfillment. All the things that I thought of, lead to feelings of fear and anxiety. Sickness even. I feel so overwhelmed. So desperate.

It’s not the depression, Per Se. I’m not in the same place I was in February when I had to take time off of work and attend an Intensive Outpatient Program to try and get my feet back under me. It’s hard to explain how it’s different, just that it is. I feel more like I’m on the verge of something and if I could just figure out what the next step is…

I’ve really enjoyed keeping this blog. I’ll admit that some entries have been better than others and I’m sure this one will end up at the bottom of the heap, but maybe if I can write out my thoughts I can begin to pull back the veil a little. The blog has been fun. I’m finding that I really enjoy writing and it’s something I would like to be able to do more of with more talent. I’ve often longed for a form of employment that doesn’t require a 9 to 5 scenario and that doesn’t require me to go to an office for a specified period or on a specified schedule. Something that allows me to work at my own pace (more or less) and is fulfilling to me. Oh, and something that pays well. I feel like writing could be that thing. But I don’t know what to do with that thought.

I’ve done some (read: not a lot of) research on the subject of writing classes but everything costs a lot of money. I’ve thought maybe I could just try submitting some random pieces to some newspapers and/or magazines but really I don’t know what that process entails, or whether they’re interested in such things. I don’t know the legalities of it all. Does my work belong to them if I sent it to them for consideration without prior arrangement of compensation or conditions? Do they want only things that are topical? And if so, how do I know what to write about and send them when I don’t know how publishing works, and, at least in the case of magazines, a few weeks will pass before current events are written about I could be perpetually behind the times.

I’m tired of working for a manager and an employer who doesn’t appreciate me. I realize this is a common affliction but I’ve never had it this bad before. My job is not important. It’s not important to me, certainly, but it’s not important to anyone else either. Douche Bag rarely pays attention to what I’m doing. He asks me to perform tasks that should be handed off to Unsvelt Girl Who Runs or most recently Fantastical Engineer and then the only time he pays any attention is when he’s complaining or “yelling” about something. It’s not that he’s abusive or hateful. It’s that he’s oblivious and ignorant.

There is absolutely no appreciation shown for my work. And I suppose, you might say my paycheck is appreciation enough, but you’d be wrong. It’s not appreciation enough. Don’t get me wrong. Appreciation without the pay check wouldn’t be enough either, but both are really needed in order to be gratified.

I don’t want my job to be my life. Unless it’s something really great and exciting like, writing best selling novels, or being a big movie star. And even if it were, I’d still want time away from the work. I’d still want friends who really want to see me, spend time with me. I’d still want to be somebody to somebody.

Somebody to somebody… I wonder if that’s really what this is all about. Just one real connection to make all the other shit in my life more tolerable… I’m thinking now of the song by Christina Aguilera:

“Somebody’s Somebody”

Watchin lovers walkin’
Hand in hand they pass me by
Wish I was one of them
Wish I had somebody
Wakin’ up beside me
Looking into my eyes at night
I want a love to call my own
I want someone that I can hold
Want someone wanting me
Wanna feel how it feels to be

Somebody’s somebody
Someone’s someone
Some sweet lover’s lover
I wanna be that one
Someone faithful to someone faithful
Someone kind to someone kind to me
Somebody to somebody who loves me
Who loves me

Spending all of my time
Spending all my time with me
Where is that someone who
I can give my time to
Searching for that lover
With the love that will change my life
I want two arms to hold me close
I want the thing I need the most
Somebody needing me
So I can feel how it feels to be

Somebody’s somebody
Someone’s someone
Some sweet lover’s lover
I wanna be that one
Someone faithful to someone faithful
Someone kind to someone kind to me
Somebody to somebody who loves me
Who loves me

What I’m looking for
Is someone to love me more
Than I’ve been loved before
With love so right
What I need to find
Is someone to hold me tight
What I mean is I want to be

Somebody’s somebody
Someone’s someone
Some sweet lover’s lover
I wanna be that one
Someone faithful to someone faithful
Someone kind to someone kind to me
Somebody to somebody who loves me
Who loves me

Somebody’s somebody
Somebody’s somebody
Somebody’s somebody
Somebody’s somebody
I wish I was
Somebody’s baby

God, I hate the way I’m sounding right now. I’m not a needy person, or at least I never thought I was. Come to think of it, Green M&Ms mother once told me she thought I was needy, right before she physically assaulted me (there’s a story for another time). But that’s the only time I can remember anyone ever defining me that way and I don’t think it’s true. I’m also not a clinger. I don’t need to hang all over my significant other at every free moment of the day. ‘Course that may stem from the fact that the public displays of affection I’ve been a part of previously never did feel quite right, and any consideration I may have had to public displays of affection with someone who would feel right (a man) were verboten to say the least and more likely to be dangerous. Before now anyway.

No, I’m not needy and I’m not clingy and I’m not desperate, at least not in the way it’s usually stated. I’m not the type to latch on to any man who’ll look my direction, just for the sake of having a little physical contact. I want a real, lasting love with a man who will wake up beside me. Who will look into my eyes at night. Someone who will be faithful, who will want me. Someone who will change my life. I do want two arms to hold me close and I’m beginning to think the thing I need the most really is someone who needs me, because it’s not just a one sided proposition. I need to be held and loved and taken care of. But I need to do those things for someone else, too.

I’ve always heard people say that you have to be happy by yourself before you can be happy with anyone else. I’ve always chosen to believe that because it’s easier than facing the feeling that no one wants me. But I don’t believe that. In fact, I kind of feel like, you need to have an emptiness, albeit just a little bit. You need to be lacking in some way. You need to have a whole in your life, in your heart, that can only be filled by a significant other. Not by any random other. Not by a just-for-tonight other, but by a significant other who will be those things you need him to be and for whom you can fill the empty places as well. To quote a movie (and up the cheese factor a bit) you need someone who will “complete” you.

Maybe a lot of my emptiness is about being without one special person in my life who will mean everything and to whom I will mean everything. Maybe if I had that special someone to share my life with, all the trials of the day would seem like less of a burden because I’d know there was someone waiting for me at home. Maybe I’d be stronger and more able to face the rest of my fears if I had someone who was in my corner, rooting for me all the way. I don’t know.

So I lie in bed and I think about this conundrum. I need a man in my life. I need someone who will be all these things for me and for whom I can do the same… But how do I meet someone to share my life with when I don’t meet people at all? When I’m afraid of meeting people. When I’m literally scared sick of even the thought of exposing myself to situations where I might.

Insightful Therapist (I talk about her often enough, I decided it was time she had a kitschy nom de plume) has suggested a few things that all amount to social gatherings. I made the mistake a year or so ago of telling her that I thought my drinking was “a bit out of hand”, and she’s been on an AA kick ever sense. She thinks that going to a meeting such as that would be a good opportunity for me to learn that there are other people in the world who have had similar experiences as I. And that I can find other coping mechanisms besides drinking (I thought that was what I paid her for.) She’s also suggested a coming out support group. Something I have considered, and honestly since November 4, I’m more willing to do, but I’ve come up with exactly nothing as far as information and resources on the subject. I’m sure I could probably ask her for something but if I ask her, that kind of puts me on the spot to follow through.

But even in looking for the resources to consider the possibility… Sick to my stomach… Every time. I don’t really understand why it is that I have such a physical reaction to the fears that come up around this. If I’m rational about it, I know nothing physically harmful will happen and I might gain something from it. But there is a lot of emotional damage that could be done. A lot of harm to my self esteem that could come from it. And then you add the bonus fear and shame of having to publicly confess to something that I’ve kept locked away inside me for so many years (“I’m an alcoholic” or “I’m gay”) and it becomes too much for me.

So to those of you who’ve made it this far into this post, I apologize for the self-pittying, mopy, drivel. I didn’t really set out to do that… Then again, I didn’t really know what I did set out to do. For those of you who’ve gotten this far, and have an opinion, I’d honestly like to hear it. Please leave your feed-back in the comments, and if you have any resourses you’d like to share, I’d be grateful for those as well.

It’s Time!

Well, I took my week.  I took my week to pout and rant and stew.  And then I talked about it.  With my therapist.  She helped put things into perspective.  A perspective I guess I really already had but sometimes it’s nice for someone else to help see it.

This week has been a struggle for me to accept the outcome of the vote on Proposition 8, because it was personal to me.  For the first time in my life, it was personal to me.  It’s the first time that such a bill has been on the ballot, in the state where I lived, while I was not in UTTER AND COMPLETE DENIAL!!

I realized while discussing this with her that it had hit me so hard because it made things “real” for me.  In the same sense as “if I don’t actually tell anyone that I’m gay, it’s not real.  But as soon as I tell someone I am, it becomes real.”  You see, I’ve been around for others of these types of measures.  I’ve watched from the side lines and hoped for the best outcome while not being too worried about it because, “It doesn’t affect me anyway.”  I’ve watched as once again the hope for equality was snatched away like snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and I’ve been disappointed at the narrow-minded hate that seems to abound.  But I’ve known that it wasn’t about me and it wouldn’t change my life and so I could distance myself and be unmoved.

I’m used to that feeling so when Proposition 8 came about and I watched the process taking place, I was caught unprepared for the outcome.  I watched from the side lines.  I hoped for the best outcome.  I didn’t worry about it.  And I watched as defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory…  And I was affected.  I was hurt.  I was offended.  Dare I say it, I was devastated.  Because this time, personal, it was!  This time I’m not in denial.  I’m not hiding who I am from myself.  I know that I’m a part of the community that was under attack.  Of course I took it personally!  Of course I felt like it was a slap in the face.  Of course I wanted to see something done about it.

So I did something about it.  Last night I became a member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).  I bought an equality car magnet which I will proudly place on my bumper so that every one will know that I’m here.  That I’m a part of their community and that I can’t be held back.  I bought an equality pendant on a leather cord which I will proudly display around my neck so that everyone will know that I’m in the room.  I’m in their space.  And that I’m not giving them the gay bug, or cooties.  I’m just here.  I bought an equality key chain which will bare my house and car keys and will be visible for all to see (I don’t put my keys in my pocket.)  And I bought an equality watch so that every time I look at the time, every time I’m asked for the time I’ll be reminded of just what time it is!  It’s time for Equality!  It’s time for fairness.  It’s time to be treated like a full citizen of this almost great nation of ours.  It’s time!

Soon, I’ll register to volunteer with the HRC.  I’ll help plan the annual dinner.  I’ll help plan community events.  I’ll help spread the word and get to our legislators.  And someday, maybe, if I’m brave enough, I’ll help plan Pride events as well.

No longer am I going to hide my true self.  No longer am I going worry about being noticed looking at an attractive man.  No longer am I going to lower my voice when I talk about my sexuality with the few people who do know, for fear of being over heard.  Let them over hear!  Let hem know that we are among the masses!

I know I still have a long way to go.  I know I still need to be more social.  I know I need to find a way to meet more gay people, and make some gay friends, and, dare to dream, a boyfriend!  I know I still need to fully embrace who I am and what I want and no longer be afraid of discovery and shame.  I am working on that.  I will do that.  I will be proud of myself.  I will live openly and with courage.  I will do my part to further our cause and I will not be side lined by hateful, fearful, ignorant people who can’t see my value in the world.

This is my time.  OUR time! And from today, I will make something of it!  It’s time!

My First Gay Date… Sort Of.

I’ve had my job, in the Facility Management office of my building, for just over six years.  In that time, I’ve had interactions with many types of individuals, vendors, repairmen, engineers, etc.  When I started I was, among other things, responsible for approving and coordinating building wide events in our building lobby.

There is an individual with whom we have dealt on a number of occasions, who coordinates education fairs.  He works for the University of Phoenix here in Oakland, CA.  I will call him UOP Guy.

UOP Guy and I communicated on multiple occasions about education fairs in the lobby.  One day when I was sill an Administrative Assistant UOP Guy invited me to lunch as a show of appreciation for my efforts to help him coordinate his education fairs.

I spent the next few days after the invite, experiencing anxiety over the possibility that this might every well be a date, I just wasn’t sure.  I was still very closeted, and still in denial to myself.  And yet, I was willing, at least at that moment, to take the chance that this was in fact a date.  How would I handle it if it were?  I had no idea.  Part of me hoped that it was just that.

UOP Guy and I met up for lunch that day and I was very nervous about the whole thing.  I imagined it was a date.  I tried to make sure I said the right things.  I complimented UOP Guy on his choice of restaurant and the type of food/environment it provided.  I smiled politely, I laughed at all the right moments.  I commented on what a great time I’d had and how we should do it again.

When the lunch was over, UOP Guy walked me to the door and bid me farewell…

I walked back to work befuddled as to what had happened, and what might come next.  While we had a few interactions in the interim, UOP Guy and I didn’t communicate much for a good year or two.  By that time my title had changed and UOP Guy and I didn’t have much interaction at all, yet he invited me to lunch again.

It was at this lunch that UOP Guy began to talk to me about his girlfriend and their living arrangement as a couple living together in San Francisco, apartment life, parking problems, et. al.

I was even more befuddled.  My instincts told me that UOP Guy is gay, and I’ve fantasized about a lovely life as a same-sex couple living in San Francisco with a great social life, healthy bank account and a great apartment in which we’d live.  If only that damn bitch (he said playfully) weren’t in the way…  Assuming she even exists.

To this day, I have very little interaction with UOP Guy.  I wish I had the courage, strength and knowledge of our culture to know what is welcomed and whether/how to make an advance, but I don’t.  I just get to wonder…

I would sure like to find a guy with whom I have things in common, and I can be myself.  But from where I stand now I don’t know how to tell who’s who and what they represent.  I sure wish we wore signs or something.

Unexpected Outing

I hadn’t actualy planned on doing so any time soon, but I ended up coming out to Unsvelt Girl Who Runs today.  She was in my office and we were having one of our MANY random conversations when the subject of gays came up.

“I wish I had a gay friend,” said UGWR, “They’re usually just as catty as I am.”

“Actually, you do.” I said.

“I do?” she asked, confused.  “Am I aware of this?”

I smiled, “Well, you weren’t.”

She quickly changed the subject and brought up her former co-worker, Margalo, the one I previously heard her talk about and had the reaction that made me quetion whether coming out to Unsvelt Girl was the right thing to do.

After a few minutes of Margalo conversation, I said, “See, I can’t tell if you’re glossing over what I just said, or if you’re not understanding what I just said.” 

“I’m not sure I understand.” she said as she continuted to converse/monopolize the conversation.  I became a bit anxious about what that meant and if I was going to have to decide whether to explain it or not, when she said, “Why did we decide to share today?”

“It was time?” I replied.  Unsvelt Girl has no gaydar and in her earlier days, dated a number of guys who turned out later to be gay.  She equates it with her lack of an internal compass….

I asked her, “Given your…  lack of sense of direction…  does this come as a surprise to you?”

“Not really.” she said.  “You’re very… fastideous.  I can’t really put my finger on it.  I’m just not surprised.” 

Later, afer this conversation had come to a natural conclusion, I asked her, via Instant message, “It’s because I added Clay Aiken as my very first albun to my first iPod isn’t it?” 

She laughed and said, “That’s it.  Becuase, you know, every one who…  Is…  does that…!”

I think that means she’s ok with things and acepts them as the are…

Perhaps, the Hardest Step

On Sunday, M&M, who, at 33 years old (me not her),  is the one and only woman I have ever been physically intimate with, took me out to dinner and a movie as a belated birthday celebration.  I had already made up my mind at that point that I was determined to come out to her.  

 

Strangely, I didn’t really think it would be that difficult.  Man was I mistaken!  I was very nervous and visibly shaking.  “So,” I started, “If someone had something to tell you that you may or may not want to hear, how would and when would you want them to do it?”

“Um.  I don’t know,”  she said.  “In a joke maybe?  I don’t know.  Just come out and say it I guess.  Why?  Do you have something to tell me?  Are you sick?  Are you dieing?”

“Yes” I said, “I’m sick.  I have an inoperable brain tumor.  I have six months to live.”  She laughed but she did not get the joke.  

 

With a mouthful of California Pizza Kitchen, Hawaiian pizza, eyes averted and my hand in front of my mouth I murmured, “Would it come as a surprise to you, if I told you I was gay?”

She didn’t hear me. 

I moved my hand, swallowed and said more clearly, but not much more loudly, “Would it come as a surprise to you, if I told you I was gay?”

 

There was what seemed like an eternity before she said, “No.  Not really.”  The rest is a blur actually.  I was still anxious and shaking, I was less interested in discussing it further than I thought I would be.  We talked about something else, she asked another question.  I answered as best I could.  She stared at me like there was supposed to be something more.  We discussed other topics.  She asked me if I was ok.

“No, I’m not.” 

And so it went for nearly another hour before we called it a night and parted ways.  I feel better today.  It’s out there, and I can’t take it back.  That’s something.  I feel that I have a lot farther to go.  I do believe, though, that telling M&M was one of the biggest hurdles I had to face.  Now that she knows I don’t have to worry about things getting back to her.  I would think, though I can’t be sure, that telling the next person should be easier.  

I’m having second thoughts about telling Unsvelt Girl Who Runs.  We’re friends and I’d like to feel like I can share this with her, but we work in the same small office with three other people, and she tends to be loud even when she thinks she’s not being.  She also can get very upset with people, myself included, and I’m not entirely sure I can count on her not to use this as ammunition the next time she thinks I’ve done something wrong against her.  I’m not in a huge hurry to tell my coworkers and I‘m not sure I can count on her to keep my confidence.  That one will require some further thought.

 

For now, I’m just glad to not have to hide it all the time…and I’m glad that M&M handled it well.  In a way, she’d have had every right to be hurt and angry, but she’s not…  Well not really.  She seemed to be genuinely disappointed that I told my friend Center o’ the Universe (Don’t believe me, just ask her), who lives 1800 miles away, has believed I was gay from the day we met, is the only person I knew who I knew exacly how would respnd, and oh yeah, I’m head over heals in love with (pussy and all)  a year or so ago but couldn’t tell her (M&M) till now.  She’ll get over that.

(Sigh, a long heavy breath of relief.)

Other Reasons for Anxiety Today

In addition to the anxiety of facing this social even tonight, I’m experiencing anxiety for other reasons as well.  Last night I was thinking about where I stand with this whole being gay thing and I sort of thought that I should start telling people.  Just a few right now.  It’s my 33rd birthday today and I thought what a great gift for myself to come out to my friends and stop living in fear and hiding…  One of the friends I want to tell is Unsvelt Girl Who Runs, my co-worker/friend that suggested I go to this thing tonight.  I want to tell her the truth and be done with it.  This all seemed like a good idea last night while drinking a glass of wine.  Now by the light of day, I’m terrified.

 

I have serious reservations about how she’ll react.  Not that I wouldn’t anyway, but a while back she told me a story about having gone to lunch with a co-worker she’d befriended named Margalo.  They were strolling down the street when Margalo turned to UGWR randomly and said, “You know I’m gay, right?”  UGWR tells this story as if it was a lightning bolt from on high.  She apparently played it off and told Margalo, “Yeah.  Sure.  I knew that.”  But inside she was reeling.  UGWR has said to me, “I don’t think I wanted to know that.”  So maybe she doesn’t want to know it about me either.  And maybe she will feel differently about me, and around me if she knows.  Maybe she already suspects and won’t think anything of it.  Maybe she’s disturbed by it because she has some lesbian tendencies herself and doesn’t want to face it.  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m over thinking this and worried for no reason.

 

I guess what I’m wrestling with here is, would it be selfish for me to tell her if she really doesn’t want to know, or is it selfish for her not to want to know and make me feel like I can’t tell her.  And does it really matter?  I sure wish this was an easier process. 

 

I guess, truthfully, I’m putting too much pressure on myself all at once, dealing with this social event and wanting to come out to my friend.  Perhaps it’s better to wait for some other day.