Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tailspin, Spiral Down

Let me take you back to the holidays for one paragraph. On Christmas eve when I went to mass, I was very aware of all the people I grew up with being married, having kids and knowing I am not a part of that. I also wondered what if these people knew, would I still get the greetings, hugs and kisses from old neighbors that watched me grow up. A family we know well (by generations) sat in front of us, their two sons grown now, tall good looking rouged boys, young men actually in their twenties. Since I went away when they were small they realized who I was because of my parents. Smiling they shook my hand in a friendly greeting and I could not help wondering, if you knew would you still be that friendly. I was going to write about this when I came back, but decided not to start the new year off by whining. I will jump to another topic but this will tie in later.

Saturday evening I was trying to get someone to go out with me, I figured since I told everyone they had to dance I had better do the same, plus Patrick sort of pointed that out so I wanted to be able to say yes to him about the dancing part. I had left it a little too late I guess as everyone was busy, I figured I would go myself anyway as punishment for being a smart ass. I was looking up clubs near me to see which one would have an atmosphere I would like. There were Facebook groups for certain clubs so I went there for more info. I was looking through the profiles of people who support each club to see if I knew any of them. I always want to see if anyone I know is gay as well. I know the chances for someone my age are slim since I think most would be out by now, and no I am not going to tell you I found one of my old school friends on a gay bar support site. However looking through did finally give me my WOW moment! I saw 'him' and started yelling 'WOW I can't believe it, I can't believe it!' There was one of the boys that sat in front of me at church! I could not believe it! You would never guess this guy was gay, in fact if I had to guess I would think the other brother was gay and not him, my gaydar never beeped even once in the few times I met him. So I guess they would not mind if we shook hands after all. I was checking out his profile and he had pictures of himself and his boyfriend! I was thinking this is so cool.

I was checking out his friends and was surprised to see so many people from my parents home town were there. This shocked me a little since they would clearly see he is gay. I had to admire him for coming out and was envious of him compared to when I was his age. Then I began to read comments on his photos, things like "you guys look so sweet together" etc. I am happy for the guy, I heard he is a really nice guy but something began to build inside of me. I felt like I was about to cry, there was such a pressure behind my eyes and in my chest. It was seeing his friends being so supportive and not caring he was gay, it was seeing some of the older people also being supportive. I am happy that he gets to live in a world like this now. The thing that threw me into a total tailspin of anguish is the fact this is the same town from my post about people not wanting to talk about the gay teacher, gay was seen as vile then and I feel like I need to mourn the loss of a life I can never get back. I know I should not think that way but I can't help it. Part of me wants to cry because I am so happy he will get to live his life, but part of me wants to cry at my loss. I can remember as a teen, day dreaming about having a boyfriend and everyone being happy for me. Being able to go to dances and parties with him, like it was something that happened everyday. He is at the beginning of his adult life and has plenty of time to see if this relationship works or if he will have to move on. However I find myself trying to meet someone as a partner in life too late, I fear the fact that most of the good ones are already taken long ago. He has pictures of them taking trips together and I have to deal with creeps on the internet. I can't sleep, a lot of emotions running through my head at the moment so, no sorry guys I did not feel like dancing last night, I will again someday and when I do, maybe I will make my way to that bar and say hello to him.


Anonymous said...

You should make your way to the bar now and say hello to him. He may know just the person you've wanted to meet or better yet, contact him thru his website. You've been talking about all the wasted time, start acting on your thoughts. You go to the same church, grew up in the same town and know the same people. You have something in common. Further more, no matter how long you've been out of the closet you always get excited when you find out someone else from your home town is gay. The real topper is when other family members start to come out. You would not believe what some to my brothers and sisters started telling me when I came out and I intend on writing about that. As far as his coming out goes, I can guarantee you he wasn't met with open arms by everyone. When those people realize you aren't going to change you life to suit them and disassociating from you only deprives them and not you. They come around eventually. They may not accept it but they tolerate it because they love you.

Anonymous said...

FYI, I was your age when I met my partner. We’ve been together almost five years; he’s sixteen years younger than me, hot as hell and everything I’ve ever dreamed of having in a man down to the finest detail. He loves me with all his heart. Everything happens when it’s supposed to.

psyther said...

My heart really goes out to you, dude. You're still in process of coming out and it is a emotional roller coaster, but you'll be coming out your entire life. It's not a bad thing though...every time you meet someone who doesn't know you're gay and then later does you've come out yet again. The best advice I can give you is based on how I came out, and how I continue to approach the whole homo sitch. It is only a big deal if you let it be. For example, you are worried about how you will be treated in your community. It's uncertain if you'll be respected and loved as the guy in your congregation seems to be or excommunicated like the teacher. Basically if you are comfortable who you are and recognize that being gay is only a small part of who you are then your life will be just that; however, if you let your sexuality be the basis for where you go, who you talk to, how you dress, and so forth, then you are letting other people's opinions and beliefs (especially the homophobic views) rule your life and ultimately keep you down and partially closeted. I hope this resonates with you on some level. It has taken me a while to adopt this approach to life, but it is well worth it from my personal experience. Sure you can't control other people or change other people and if they are going to beat you up or paint on your car, you can recluse and remain a victim or you can be strong and not let them suppress you.

I also get a sense that you are toiling with some jealousy. Here this guy was living an outwardly happy normal life (never bleeped on your gaydar) and accepted in the community, and that is something you don't feel that you have achieved yet. Don't shy away or ignore your sadness, but recognize them and look at how you can go from here to be happy again. If this seems true, then I encourage you to approach him as a friend and get to know him. The more you know him and you can watch him in public you can model after him. While I don't encourage the "bandwagon" and mimicking other people usually, he could be a mentor/role-model type for you to show you that it's okay to be gay in your community at least for how it works for him. I bet you'd also learn that he too has been the recipient of negativity and homophobia.

Hang in there and keep blogging dude. Keep the hope and know that you'll achieve your goals to be comfortable with yourself and that others will believe in you too. I do.

Patrick said...

I feel you, Steven, it's easy to get caught up in regrets about the past, and envy of others having an apparently easier time of it. I don't say this as a guilt trip, but every day you spend regretting the past is another day you're going to regret later. I can't tell you how much this is me preaching to myself. Sad feelings must be acknowledged, but I'm not sure regret is something we should waste a lot of time on.

I think I'm eleven years older than you, or thereabouts, so I can relate to the 'all the good ones are taken' mindset too. Devon is comforting on that count... but I also want to remind BOTH of us that dating with an attitude of "time is running out, gotta find him quick, I'm not getting any younger" is NOT going to be effective. We won't have any fun, and we'll come across as desperate, which I think we can all agree is not attractive.
This is still your first year of being out, right? Everyone keeps saying this, and I'm sure it's getting annoying, but seriously, be kind to and patient with yourself.

don said...

I certainly would not judge a person's social success by any Facebook measure. Most of it is just a facade. However why not use FB to open the door to communicating with this guy? Being part of his social network might really pay off for you too (in the real world).

A big hug to you Steven

Bill said...

Ditto what everyone else has said.

You're in the driver's seat, so go ahead and release the clutch. Time's a wastin'. Chop, chop. :)

Steve said...

So many good things have been said by the other commenters already, so I shall not repeat that. Some additions I would like to make here:

Do not forget all the things that you do have in life. e.g. all the people that commented on this post, and the previous one, are here to give you good advice, that is obvious. And I am sure you value it.

You should get into contact with this guy. Please do, I am sure that you will benefit from it.

You are really not too late to find a partner in life, I am sure of it. There are many nice gay men out there! Just make sure that you don't look for him too much, because in that case you will never find him.

And do not settle for less than for that man that suits you, you deserve it Steven!

Anonymous said...

"Someday" doesn't exist. Just do it now. You may have grown up in a more repressive time, but you live in the here and now. Don't keep putting off living your life.

Anonymous said...

Moreover, your country has legal same-sex marriage! (More than we can say for my country, the U.S. of A.) If that isn't an indication that things are different now, I don't know what is. I know there's a temptation to mourn for the past and time lost, but you gotta start living your life NOW.

Birdie said...

I should not advise you at all on this, because I am not a gay man. I've got all kinds of ideas but absolutely no point of view; so I will remain silent on how to proceed.

But I want you to know that there are plenty of people who do support you, people like me who believe you should take joy in the person God made you to be. We are there, ready to embrace you at those moments of vulnerability and to applaud those steps into the unknown.

Unfortunately, we often remain silent because we don't understand what the fuss is all about. I have learned to speak up, but I know many who feel as I do who won't step up unless the moment arises to do so. So rather than misconstrue silence as condemnation, understand that it may be reticence, fear (like your own), or even misunderstanding of the consequences. Forgive us for our shortcomings and stand up proudly for who you are. For it is your lead we will follow.


Jess said...

Whoa! Time out. It is not too late to have a full and fun life. You can date, have fun, find great men and live a wonderful life as a gay man. We all have regrets (I know I wish I had been out and lived my life many years before I could deal with such things), but we can't let regrets govern our lives.

We must make the most of the future. There is absolutely nothing that says there aren't great guys out there for you to date. Maybe some won't work out, but they're there. To top that off, you have a better shot at good sex partners with guys who are a little older. If that isn't enticing, then you also should remember that there are guys of all ages you can go out with. So do that and have fun. Stop worrying about the past! Yes, that younger guy is fortunate, but I doubt he really knows the difference. We all see life through the lens of our own experiences. In his mind, he may feel that expectations are more restrictive, since he is expected to live like a straight guy (settle down, etc.). Who knows?

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. Hope you don't mind, but I added you as a link... :-) Syrinx

Unknown said...

Its never too late to meet a partner. I only came out at age 25 (never dated before that or even so much as had a first kiss). I met my partner 6 months later, after my 26th birthday - had my first kiss and now, we are together 2 years. Its also his first relationship, which makes it extra special and we've committed to each other. Have faith dear friend - its never too late. You've got some great friends out there. They all love you and will be a great support for you. I also regretted certain things about my past and also not having been out sooner, but things happen for a reason, I believe that now. My partner re-affirmed that for me. Things happen at the right time, but its a time we don't know. Hang in there. My thoughts are with you. Much love, S.

TWISI said...

Going back to the Christmas paragraph.

If they were to respond to you negatively for being YOU, would you really care how they felt about you?

That was something it took me years to come to terms with and finally the answer had to be NO!

Wayne said...

Like they've all said, you can't live the past, only the now. So do it!

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Thank you so much everyone for you kind support, I really needed the boost it gave me. See my next post for more love from me to you! ;)

I want to welcome Miky as I am not sure which Miky you are and I always welcome new people, so if you return, which blog are you from?

danny/ink2metal said...

hey steven,

wow! i'm joining in late on this, but it's really hard to come up with something new. well, other than you stood me up. i was all for dancing on saturday! LOL

anyway, really, the biggest favor you will ever do for yourself is to make that first move, take that first step.

you've got to just accept that you will meet people who will not think twice about whether you are gay or not and then you'll meet people who have a problem with it. but in this day and age, you will meet more of the former than the latter. so don't let that stop you.

i don't know you personally, steven, but someone like you who is able to open up and wear his heart on his sleeve, is a true gem to be treasured. please remember that, because you are worthy of having a full life as a gay man, of being loved for who you are.

anyway, you owe me a dance! ;-}

Daddy Cool said...

I think everything you're feeling and working through is completely normal. Don't be so hard on yourself!

Doug said...

I sometimes share the regrets about lost time, looking for high school friends to see if anyone is/was gay, coming out to them. I recently came out to a college friend of mine who I was sure would reject me. He didn't. He said he isn't the closed-minded person of his youth. People change.

You aren't alone. It's never too late. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Contact your new gay friend, get together with him. You'll meet his friends, and his friends' friends. One small step can lead to so much down the road.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Danny, DC and Doug, the next post "luv" is also directed towards you guys! ;)