Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stop Before you Begin

I'm sitting here in the library, at the beginning of the end of the semester, and I realize that I am at a new point in my life. I came out to myself, just last year, a few days after my birthday, and I can say that I am in very different place personally, socially and emotionally than I was at the same time last year. I am trying to understand what it means for me to be gay – everything from sex, to dating, to friendship, to intimacy, and it is really challenging to figure out how I should make it work. Should I be out and proud, wearing a t-shirt that was sperm dumpster and sport the rainbow on the back of my car. Should I hold back, understanding that many people around and close to me will not appreciate this side of myself? Should I be having a "ho-phase," and get that nightclub, partying, sex experience that I have not taken part, unlike my straight peers? Or should I look to be in a stable relationship, and try to find somebody to build something with, despite all the cynical but often true stereotypes about gay men, particularly black gay men?

There's a lot of things I will eventually have to step back and examine, but I feel good. I'm not great, I'm still going through the same issues with my own shyness, self-absorption and anger/anxiety. I still have very little patience for others. I still let my anger get the best of me at times. Sometimes, I feel a great anxiety within myself, and sometimes I feel nothing. All I know is that I am changing, growing in to the person that I am going to be.

I had a very interesting encounter with SIXTYNINE and of his favorite closet cases (but definitely not one of mine), and I'll call him FANCYSLIM. FANCYSLIM is as the name suggests, a slightly more effeminate, but intensely smart gay man that is clinically in the closet. And when I say this I mean that he has a mental issue with his homosexuality that goes beyond anything I could understand. He is about 6'3'', dresses well, and takes himself very seriously. One thing about him is that he thinks that he is so very deft at being DL, but he is so conspicuously gay, that I find it hard to believe that he thinks others really think he is straight. I'd call it delusion, but who am I to judge? So early this morning, I was talking in my room with SIXTYNINE, and FANCYSLIM just barges in, demanding that "We need to talk." Now, he has a reputation for his large endowment (as SIXTYNINE has told me from experience *eyeroll*, too much information). His saying we need to talk is code for "I want to dominate you in all ways." Personally I never liked him much before, so now, I'm a little insulted that he thinks that I should bow to him that easy. SIXTYNINE picks up on what is going on, and tries to leave the room, then our other, straight friend enters the room, and the conversation gets real weird. FANCYSLIM gets kind of sassy, and then starts sending me texts about "getting these other dudes out the room so we can talk." And I'm texting SIXTYNINE saying, "get this nigga out of my room!" So, apart from surface conversation the four of us where having, SIXTYNINE, FANCYSLIM and myself were texting each other back and forth in some weird sexual mediation. I felt so uncomfortable, like FANCYSLIM might try something bold if the other guys left, and I would not be about to handle that at this point. And the funny thing about all of this is that the straight guy didn't pick up on any of this. He just RELAXING. Oh, what ignorant bliss. I finally managed to get him out the room, and he tells me "We're done." I'm like, uhh we never got started, and never will, not in this lifetime.

I understand that it is hard to be gay, but I am so tired of the level of immaturity among the people of my age bracket. I'm not the most mature person to be sure; I can be as shallow and callous as the worst of them. But what I do not want to be is messy. Getting involved with FANCYSLIM would be messy, considering his own personal record, and my lack of one. I definitely can't have my first be with somebody like him. First, there's no physical attraction, and second, I really don't like his personality. He only calls when he is drunk and horny, and only uses you to his own advantage. The more I have come to learn from him and others that I have been talking to, the more I realize that there are a lot more gay men than I assumed, and that they, or we all have issues. Life is complicated, people have problems with themselves that they grapple with. I don't want my sexuality to be something that is so hidden and repressed that I only allow to surface when I drunk call people in my dorm to get off. If that makes me lame or less of a man for my low sexual appetite, then fine. I'll take the title. Are their times when I get that feeling of wanting a man so bad that I can't even sleep at night or focus in class, YES. But, I simply try to err on the side of caution, especially in not wanting to make my life complicated for the wrong reasons. I would just like to share my first time with somebody with confidence, compassion, and a mutual sense of physical and emotion attraction. I'm honestly really afraid of being bad or not getting the other person's approval. A sexual teacher? Mmmm … well, that sounds crazy, but, yeah might be nice …


  1. I really appreciate the self-reflection that you do, instead of just going through the motions of life and then finding yourself at a place where you ask, "Who am I? What am I doing?" Even though that may be some of what you're feeling right now, it's SO much better to confront those questions when you are in college as opposed to when you are 50.

    So when you're caught in your confusion, at least take comfort knowing that you are AWARE that certain things aren't working for you and that certain things need to be resolved. I wish I could offer some type of meaningful words in response to the many stimulating questions you asked in your first paragraph, but the answers are so specific to the individual that you will have to find out what makes you happy. Maybe it's hoing, maybe it's a long-term relationship. You may feel the need to wear a rainbow, or affirm your sexual orientation in more subtle ways like responding honestly when someone asks you if you have a girlfriend. Neither of these answers is right or wrong — it's all about what makes you feel happy, healthy and satisfied.

    You mentioned the gay stereotypes, many of which are true. I think they're true because this concept of "gay" has existed for so long, and once we admit to ourselves that we are gay, we let that concept define us instead of us defining that concept. For thousands of years, gay meant sick, sinful, criminal, mentally ill, perverted, promiscuous, etc. Instead of challenging those norms with the type of self-reflection that you engage in, too many of us just slipped into that "lifestyle" and never felt any obligation to challenge stereotypes, or to try to work with our gay brothers and sisters to create a lifestyle that is not centered on those negative constructs. Too many of us are so scared of the gay parts of ourselves that we will never claim that kind of responsibility — the work is simply too hard and the resistance we encounter is simply too overwhelming to try to change something like that.

    But you seem to be accepting that challenge, and you seem determined to find peace. Peace is most certainly attainable, and I truly hope that when you say you feel differently than you did a year ago, you mean that you feel infinitely closer to peace. I know a lot of the gay dudes you meet may be uninspiring or disappointing; but gay men are beautiful, and there are some absolutely incredible gay men out there. Based on the self-awareness you are cultivating, I think you will be in good shape when such a guy comes along. Happy Thanksgiving, Family.

  2. Coming Out is a amjor stage of life for a gay man. I think one thing that will be helpful would be surrounding yourself with some gay friends, non-romantic, who can assist in the process. I think my friends prevented me from making some major mistakes. Sex will come and go, don't read to more into it then it is. Every person you have sex with won't be in love with you and every person you may have feelings for want be a good sexual match.

    Good luck contact me anytime if you need to, I love being a big brother.

  3. Thank you guys for these comments, especially to you Crazy Diamond.