Why would I think that I have something new to add to the whole discussion of homosexuality? I mean, what hasn’t been said already? What could I tell that would help someone or some family? I have read the comment that Coming-Out stories are so common as to not even raise an eyebrow anymore. But living in the midst of this whole Coming-Out thing, I guess I do feel that there is something to share.
I know that I deal with things now that I never had to deal with before. Some may say that I am being paranoid; maybe so. But these are things that would have never entered my mind a mere year ago. My reality is different in a way that I would have never expected. And if I can help people to understand just a little part of this change, then I feel like I would have been of some success.
I was trying to think of a day or event that I could point to and say, “It all started here.” But there really isn’t any. Just throughout my whole life, I never felt like I belonged. Throughout my life, I never felt that really fit in. I just seemed “different” than most other people. It always felt as if I would do something but that “something” was never right.
I always seemed to have trouble being a boy. I didn’t like sports, either to play them or to watch them. I didn’t like the usual boy things. I preferred to do other things. I enjoyed exploring and thinking. Now don’t get me wrong, I never wanted to be a girl, I just thought I was “wrong“ as a boy. I know the fundamentalist Christians out there would have a field day with this. They would want to point to my parents and say that the reason I was gay would be my parents’ fault. The fundamentalists would say that my mother was overbearing and my father was distant. And, you know, they would be right. But what this doesn’t explain is why I am gay and the rest of my immediate family is not. If my parents made me gay, why didn’t it “take” with the rest of my siblings? But as far as I can remember, I have always been this way. So, trying to find a “starting point” is a bit daunting.
However, if I look back at my life and try to find the first “homosexual” inkling, it would probably have to be back when I was about five or six. I remember getting out of the pool with my brother, my uncle, and my cousin. My cousin would have to have been in his early teens by this time. I remember changing from swim trunks to regular clothes. I remember my cousin wearing a swim supporter. I didn’t know what this was or why he would wear one. I did figure it had something to do with his “pee-pee,” though because that was the part that it covered.
I also remember the bulges in the front of the jumpsuits of the men in the original Star Trek series. These bulges intrigued my even though I didn’t know why. When these bulges would appear on TV, I would have to look.
I know people would want me to believe that if my father played football with me or if I was made to sit down and watch Monday Night Football, I would not be writing this to you now. But that is just way too easy. My brother likes football. My brother played football. I just never found it anything worth getting excited about.
But, I am sure you can find, out there, gay men who enjoy football and played football. I am sure you can find gay men who had fathers who were properly attentive and mothers who were properly unattached. I guess what I am trying to say is that, yes, my family had a large impact on who I am as a person, but , no, they did not make me gay.
I guess that I even need to go through all of this stuff shows that we still need people to tell their stories.
Is my experience extra-special? I don’t know, it is all I have. But these are the experiences that I can share in the hopes that someone might find them enlightening and helpful.
So when did I “know” I was gay?
In all honesty, I would have to say that I knew back in high school. I tried not to acknowledge it, but it was there. I saw my first Playgirl at my “girlfriends” house and found myself getting aroused by the pictures of the naked men. My brother had some porn pictures in his underwear drawer (My brother was always so original) and I always found myself returning to the picture of the man and the woman having sex. I found myself not getting turned on by the naked woman, but the naked man…
Naked women never really did anything for me. I would try to make myself believe that I found women attractive and that they got me sexually aroused, but the truth is, they didn’t. Actually, when I would masturbate, I would think about men and then quickly change to women as I neared climax just to “prove” that I could climax to women and therefore I was not gay. But still, it was the men that attracted me.
During high school I also had my first crush. He was kind and smart and also a swimmer and a weight lifter. And, oh yeah, he also had a beautiful body. Just to be in his presence made me feel special. Just to have him talk to me made me feel wanted. At the time I would not have considered what I was feeling a crush, but it was. What I thought is that I have a really great, talented, friend. And, yes, I really, really, thought he was cute: Muscular in a swimmer sort of way.
What I find amazing is how we can lie to ourselves. I guess Freud would say that we could justify just about anything. If I were to look at my behavior, I would have seen my attraction written all over it. Once, while the swimmer and I were in high school, he was over at my parents’ house and we were watching movies. The swimmer was falling asleep so I just turned off the TV, pulled up a blanket, and fell asleep next to him. I knew what I was doing would not be considered “normal” but of course, I would not let myself believe I was gay.
I ended up going to the same college the swimmer did. “Ended up!” Who am I trying to kid? I would have gone anywhere the swimmer went. Luckily, the swimmer went to a good school. I came up with a reason to apply to the school and got accepted. So off to college I went.
The story continues here.