Friday, March 14, 2008

How Did I Get Here?

Last week Dave and I were watching a movie together, during a boring part of the film my mind wandered off and I began to realize the awesome moment I was having. Here we were, lying on his couch together, me leaning back on him, wrapped in his arms. It was a little overwhelming for a few minutes and I actually had to concentrate to not tear up over it. How did I finally get here, what led me to take the steps and follow the path I was so afraid of.

Two years ago I was so lost, I would not even say the words "I am gay" out loud in case they began to travel on their own, getting louder and louder until the entire world would hear them. I did everything I could to play the part, the straight guy part that is. If I screwed up then I knew for sure it would be on the front page of the local paper, after that no one would talk to me, I would lose all my family and friends and life would pretty much be over. I felt sick inside, I was ashamed of being gay but no matter how long I waited, prayed or tried to forget about it, my being gay would not go away. I decided to go the other way, to try and accept it but I just did not know how to go about it. I felt a huge disconnect to the gay community, or as I know now, the louder part of the gay community that the media likes to show so that it can rake in viewers and readers. At the time I was not aware of the many other sides to the gay community, the many places for everyone to fit into. I have passed two mile stones in the last month that I want to share with you, two very important mile stones that really helped me get here.

When I first was trying to find out about gay life, everything seemed to lead me either to safe sex articles or gay porn. I wanted more out of gay life than just sex, I wanted to feel whole, completed in some way, I wanted a relationship. Flipping through gay sites one day I happen to come upon a gay blog, I sort of knew what a blog was and there were video clips of this person's life with his boyfriend. I opened one clip and was blown away by it, there was no porn, the guys seemed very normal, both were actually very handsome but the thing that really got to me was how they interacted with each other. I could see they were in love, they were joking around, doing something so normal as dipping cookies into peanut butter and ending the clip with trying to get it onto each other by kissing. Just two guys playing around and I just sat there soaking it all in. I thought that is what I want in life, to come home to someone who loves me, talk about our day, play around, be a couple, a loving couple and sex would just be an added bonus to this kind of relationship, not the main pillar to it. I began to read and follow this person's blog. I was very interested in his stories about his relationship, about his life. One day feeling very alone I sent him an email, as soon as I hit 'send' I regretted sending it, what if he thought I was pathetic, what if he said I was spineless for being in the closet, what if he thought I was letting other gay people down by hiding.

The reply I received was so welcoming, so understanding, so open and he made me feel at ease right away. He was extremely kind and I finally felt that I had started a connection with some one in the gay world. It was also safe for me, he was miles away and he never asked me for any information, he was very respectful to my situation. He was much younger than me but was wise beyond his years. I found a great sounding board to bounce ideas off of. Last week it had been two years since I first contacted him. I will forever be grateful for his blog friendship and I can't tell you how much this kid helped me get onto my right path. Some days now I feel bad about all the times I wrote to him because of a self caused crisis, when he had his own problems to solve, but he was always ready with a reply to help me work out my thoughts. Things may not be working out for him the way he would like at the moment, but I hope soon they will turn around as I will always have a soft spot him.

The second event was a one year mark of a friendship I made that is very important to me. I met him through his blog as well, we were in the exact same place in life and it was so good to find someone to be confused together with. We emailed and chatted everyday and eventually I began to feel good about being gay, I kept thinking if a good guy like him is gay, then it must be okay for me to be gay as well. It helped a lot to find we had the same fears, doubts and questions. We laughed about things that we both found gross about gay culture/sex and talked about wanting romance in a relationship. This friendship gave me the strength to feel good about who I am, to start to come out, to start a blog of my own, to move on and meet people, to finally find the right guy, to the relationship I am in today. I consider him as close to me as my real world friends like Eric, B or Elly, I will never let this friendship go, I love my blog buddy!

I have made many friends through my blog and you know who you are, you are all important to me, many of you have helped me greatly and often you got panicked emails from me from time to time, I have found each of you has a special gift to offer me from advise to humour so I don't want to make anyone feel left out. I did want to acknowledge these two 'blog friend anniversaries' mostly because through their support they really helped me feel comfortable enough to let me become me, and that started Steven on his path, to finally end up watching a movie in the arms of a great guy.

Okay who are these guys? I feel kind of bad bringing up their names since I did not warn them but I want the blog world to know I am so thankful for their friendships, thank you guys.
1) The BRAT who first had to put up with my ignorance and being afraid of my own gay shadow, but helped me so much!
2) My BUDDY who secretly helped me plot against the straight world and shared in the feeling that we were hovering between the two realities!


Wayne said...

It's so great you found people to help you through your journey!
There are some wonderful people out there in the web.

Steve said...

Good post, I think that people say "thank you" much too little.

But you know, with your honest and open way of writing about your thoughts and feelings, in both good and bad times, you are also helping people. You help them to accept the fact that they are gay, to come out to their friends and family, and to start believing that there is love out there.

While a part of those guys may comment on your blog, I think many don't do that (yet), for obvious reasons. So I want to say thank you to you, on their behalf!

Birdie said...

I have to agree with Steve; as you climb the ladder to becoming wholly yourself, your blog reaches down to others and pulls them up to join right behind. Those who grab the rungs will climb as you are.

You know, this blog is not only for gay men, although they clearly benefit most from your frankness and emotional clarity. Those who love gay men need to know what it's like in the struggle that each of you has (unfairly, but that's another subject). Thank you for your inclusiveness, Steven. It is an honor and a joy to be welcomed here.


Bill said...

Expressing gratitude for the kindnesses you have received is one of the best things you can do for youself. Giving thanks opens you up for even more of life's gifts.
You have helped me by being so honest about your journey, and I thank you for that.
I hope you will always stay in touch! Have a splendid weekend!

danny/ink2metal said...

that was really a sweet gesture steven; one that many easily overlook doing on a daily basis.

keep putting that positive energy out there and it will return to you.

and like bill, i thank you for sharing. your writing has given me perspective and kept me appreciative of what i have in my life.

i'm just happy that your life is now moving in a direction that is beginning to fulfill you completely.

Java said...

I LOVE this post! You have a way of expressing yourself so very clearly.

As usually happens when Birdie comments before me, I say "what Birdie said." Your blog has helped me, as a straight woman, understand some of the struggles and joys and fears of a gay man just coming out.

I discovered blogs, and continue reading them, for some of the same reasons you describe. I met two young gay boys and was trying to help them find their way in the homosexual world. But I had no idea what that meant. I, too, found a bunch of info about sex. Lots of sex. But is that all there is to being gay? I didn't think so. I hoped not! Then I discovered real people, real men who were just like most other people I know, and they happen to be gay. I needed to hear from/about adult gay men, how normal they are. Before I found the blogs the only experience I had with homosexuals was these hot and horny newly "out" teenage boys. I was hoping there were more "normal" gay men out here! And I found them, and they have enriched my life immeasurably.
And you, Steven, are one of my favorites!!!

Topher said...

That's great you've found folks that's helped you with your journey. Ya know, I was gonna ask you how to get ahold of Steven but looks like he has enabled comments on his blog again.