Once upon a time, long long ago, when I was fourteen or fifteen, I remember talking with some of my buddies at school. The conversation was about gay men and homosexuality, like it often was, almost every day, sometimes four or five times a day. My friends were discussing how much they hated gay people, how they would like to beat or kill gay people if they could get away with it and how disgusting gay people were in general. I remember one of my friends, a friend since we were eight years old, saying that he could become friends with a murderer but he could never become friends with someone who is gay.
Later that night, lying in bed I was really hurt by that statement. In his eyes, my buddy's eyes, I was such filth to him that in society, I was below a killer. I kept saying to myself, "if you only knew, if you only really knew me, you would see it's still just me, I'm not bad, I'm just Steve". I didn't cry, I was good by then to hide emotions like all the teen boys did. My friend was more open minded about things than the other guys, that's why I felt if only there was some way to sit him down and explain homosexuality, that he would eventually get it.
The following year my friend transferred to another high school and we pretty much went our separate ways. I did have a lunch date with him ten years ago to catch up on what he was up to. He was in a lot of ways the same guy, it had been years since I last saw him but he was easy to talk to. He talked about how backward we were and how ignorant we were of the world. True but also I think we inherited that country politeness. He apologized for any stupid things he may have said, as did I. Our area was very white, we knew and laughed at a lot of not politically correct jokes; however we finally grew up and moved out into the world. I blogged about this meeting when it happened. Then he did something and I feel I know why. Just as I was about to leave, he kept saying, "I've really changed, I am really opened minded, you can say anything to me Steve, anything at all, I'm nothing like I was before". I am pretty sure he suddenly realized that I am gay and was trying to give me an opportunity to tell him. At the time however I was just starting to come out, I don't think I met Dan yet and most friends didn't know. What if I was wrong, I wasn't sure if he was gay positive, what if he acted shocked or laughed at me.
This past week I decided to check up on him again. He has a business that includes high-end photography. He told me that his bread and butter is weddings. His pictures are gorgeous, they have an artistic flair to them. He tells them up front that he needs creative licence, he doesn't just get them to stand in front of the church and say cheese. His work really shows well, some sets are breathtaking. Many of the clients let him use their weddings as samples online, he wrote some beautiful paragraphs to go along with the photos. I was going through some of the pictures on line and suddenly there it was, he had photographed a gay wedding. It was beautiful, the pictures were great, the couple were very photogenic and the posts he wrote were glowing. He was saying that it was the most fun he ever had because of the sense of humor from the couple. It was so beautiful I was tempted to try and link up, but no, for personal reasons I decided not to.
This time I cried, just a little, they were happy sniffles because I know now he has a positive view of gay people. He finally knows, he finally sees what I had hoped he one day would. I can finally tell him who I fully am, still just Steve but a little gay too. I want a gay wedding! I want a wedding like those guys, I wouldn't mind if my husband looked like either one of those cute men! The pleasant feeling that really overwhelms me, is the thought that if I do ever get married, not only will I have a soul mate, I can have my childhood friend there cheering me on. Something that I never dreamed could be possible one day.