Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gay World vs Straight World

The other day I happened to be talking to another blogger and we were commenting how we both live in two worlds. He like me, are both in the process of coming out and like me, most of his close friends know plus a few family members. The strange thing that has happened for me is when I started to date Dave, I created a whole other life for myself just by association with Dave. In this world everyone knows me as being gay, they met me through Dave as his boyfriend. It is as if stepping into another world where I have always been gay. I spend time with his family who know and accept that I am gay, his neighbors, his friends and his coworkers, all of who know and never think twice about my sexuality. In fact it can be over whelming in a positive way that, not only do they not give a hoot that I am gay, they are actually really happy for Dave that he has met such a great guy (see, great guy that's me, well thought I would slip that in, my bad) and it feels good to have people happy about our relationship, not running for the holy water because of it.

Flash back to the past weekend, there was a huge 50'th celebration for members of my family. I was invited to a very large garden party to help celebrate it. Standing in a large crowd of relatives and old family friends, I never felt so lonely and out of place as I was there. This is the last remnant of my straight world, here I am still straight, here would be the greatest resistance to me being gay. I was very uncomfortable and seeing everyone with their families made me miss Dave greatly. The straight world, my straight world, very country, very catholic and very ignorant towards gay people. This is a part of my life that I no longer want to be in and I work now not to have to put myself into this position. Coming out gay here would just be a huge battle and I don't feel like I have the energy or time to be bothered explaining myself to people.

Most of my friends know I am gay and the result is they are blending into my gay life - my gay world. It just feels so right or comfortable to live like this. The two worlds are beginning to collide however, some of Dave's friends know people from places around my home town, sometimes when I am out with Dave we meet people who know my family. This used to panic me, it still does at first and then I think "well if they tell, then I don't have to" and I just accept it and move on. I want to be honest and say it is still very hard, it is just that now I don't have the energy, or even really care to fight against it any more, and really... what am I fighting against... the truth?


Anonymous said...

Maybe that next step in your journey is to start putting down the number "2" instead of the number "1" should you ever get an invitation to a family celebration and see what happens. ;-)

A Troll At Sea said...


Don't Catholics remember someone who said that "the truth will set you free"?

You could try reminding them, very politely.


Anonymous said...

Wow I know just how you feel and I'm not gay. When I started dating my ex husband I fit right into his world. I was embraced by his family and friends. They liked me for who I was instead of looking down on me for what I hadn't become or just plain messed up. Divorce and single momhood. I went to my ex's grandmother's funeral last week with our daughter. His family, at least his parents, welcomed me with open arms. The week before I completely skipped out on a family gathering of my family because I didn't want to sit with them, alone, and explain what I was up to these days. I can't really tell that I blog about growing up with a gay dad since they aren't happy about him being gay. I've rambled too long but I know just how you feel. Of course we aren't married anymore so I'm not part of that world either but it still holds wonderful memories.

Anonymous said...

I am sitting here trying to think of what to to express this...sometimes I am extremely overwhelmed by the Gay vs Straight World.....I go off with Paul and though its only a 56 mile drive I feel like I am on another planet...the gay version of me and my life.....when I am in the gay world I feel so more like me...I can express myself and say things and no one looks at me like I've lost it. When I am in the straight world I feel very fake, lost at times...and I question everything in it now! and like you mentioned I know sooner or later both of these two worlds are going to crash into each other....I just want to say you know what? this is me or leave me but this is who and what I am....sigh

r. said...

And in time, your two worlds will become one again - yours! Have a good night Steven.

Anonymous said...

You wrote: Coming out gay here would just be a huge battle and I don't feel like I have the energy or time to be bothered explaining myself to people.

Wouldn't it be great if you could just show up with Dave, introduce him around, and let people come to their own conclusions about who he is to you and what that makes you?

Wouldn't it be great if we could just say, "Yes, Mom [or Dad, or Aunt Marge], Dave and I are dating [or in love, or thinking of getting married]." And that's all that would be said on the subject. Next subject: the weather, or the Olympics, or "I've been to your hometown, Dave. It's very nice in the spring."

Instead we feel we have to make a point of who we are and whom we date and with whom we want to spend our lives. And if we meet resistance to that, we have to argue or defend ourselves or tell a sobbing loved one that it's not the end of the world.

Why can't we just say, "What is, is. Next subject, please."?

Why don't we?


Birdie said...

There is a huge amount of misunderstanding and misinformation out there in the straight world. I know, because I believed it until I knew better. I am doing all I can to educate those around me, but the best tool is in your hands: coming out. Did you know that it takes the acquaintance of (on average) three gay individuals for a straight person to act on the behalf of the gay community? That means defending, befriending, and voting.

I know this is incredibly difficult and that there is potentially a huge cost. But every single gay man I've ever heard talk about it has said that he never regretted coming out—and many wondered what took them so long. Find out from those before you how they did it and what they wish they'd done differently. Ask a lot of questions and go at your own pace, but do move. Progress takes action. Good luck, sweetie.

Joe Jubinville said...

Family is as family does. Some we choose, some we don't. They each have their place in our lives.

I think pip is on it. If the "issue" of being gay looms so large, it's perhaps because we have helped inflate it ourselves. Just be. I think the more we feel we have something to defend or explain, the more we'll be expected to do so.

Seems to me we want it both ways - we want homosexuality normalized like any other fact of biology. But we want it celebrated too, whether it deserves to be celebrated or not. If being gay is no more of a choice, and in essence no more remarkable, than being, say, left-handed or blue-eyed, then we need to start taking ourselves at our word. Perhaps the world will begin getting over the fact that some of us are gay when we do.

"Why can't we just say, 'What is, is. Next subject, please."?


Wayne said...

You may be surprised about your family. Although most of my imediate family knew I was gay, the extended family(Aunts, Uncles,nieces, etc.) didn't know. Craig and I showed up at a family reunion. I just introduced him as my friend Craig and no one said a thing about it. (At least not to our faces) I figured they'll just have to deal with it. And everything was fine.