Sunday, February 28, 2010

Being gay: First crushes

This is part 4 of my coming out story; part 1 is here and part 2 is here. Part 3 hasn't been written yet; I don't feel ready for it. It will be a hard post to write.
For the purposes of this post I'm defining "first crushes" to mean the drushes I had on guys after starting the process of ending my denial, if that makes any sense. I had other crushes previously, but knew they would never go beyond that, and the crush would never find out. I'm writing about "crushes" rather than "crush", because it's hard to define what exactly a crush consists of...anyway, it will be come clearer as I write.  Oh, and this post will count for the February Moho Blogger Theme.

First was Raul. I found his email address on some penpal website, and I was lonely and decided to email him. I don't remember if I knew at the time that he was gay, I might have found out later.  Anyway, he was a few years younger and living in Canada at the time, but his family was from Panama.  We emailed and IM'd and got to know each other pretty well.  We might have called each other a few times too, but I don't remember.  He gave me support that I needed and I gave him support too.  I would always look forward to getting home from school and getting on the computer to talk to him.  I was definitely crushing on him...I don't remember if I told him or not though. It took awhile for us to be able to meet in person, since he was in Canada and Panama and I was in Washington and Utah.  One time we both happened to be in Puerto Rico at the same time, but I was too scared to meet him. Our first in-person meeting finally happened when he was in Utah visiting his sister and I was there visiting family.  I remember being very nervous, but ended up glad that I had gone through with it. He and I are still friends and see each other occasionally.

Second was David. I would define him as a crush, but definitely not a relationship.  In fact, we never even talked in person, all our communication was online.  I "met" him through another online friend, and both of us were in similar situations...barely out to ourselves, hiding it from others, etc.  We decided to be "boyfriends", but he never wanted to go beyond talking online.  I don't even want to consider that he very well might have been someone other than who he said he was...I was young and naive.  I definitely had feelings for who I thought he was, but we eventually drifted apart and stopped talking. I have no idea where he is now.

Third was Lino. He was a significant turning point in my process of coming out.  We met on myspace (back when myspace was still cool, of course!) and talked on there, and then started talking by phone almost every day.  I was very attracted to the fact that he was completely out and had no problems with it.  He and I shared very personal information with each other, and it was obvious that I was falling for him hard.  We couldn't meet in person, since he lived several thousand miles away.  But we always talked and I felt very close to him. Unfortunately, I became very emotionally attached to him and was happy only when I talked to him.  This was one of the factors involved in me becoming very depressed and realizing that (to make a long story short) I had to either come out, go crazy, or die.  (I'm still here and mostly sane, so obviously I chose to come out).  Anyway...the stiuation came about that he needed help moving from New Mexico to Dallas, and we decided that I would go down there and help him out and we could meet.  It was definitely an interesting trip, in which I had many adventures and gained some very good memories.  However, the trip also turned out to be a disaster in many ways.  Long story short, I realized that he and I would never work and I was not mature enough for a relationship with a guy anyway. I don't regret the trip because of the experiences it gave me, both good and bad. Shortly afterward, he and I fought and stopped talking. I found out that a short time later he was involved in a drunk driving accident in which he killed another driver.  He and I have talked occasionally since then, just on facebook or IM, but neither of us are really interested in maintaining a friendship and both of us have moved on.

Fourth was Peter. He and I also met on myspace, and our first date was to see a movie.  We both liked each other and started spending more and more time together.  We decided to become boyfriends.  All my memories of Peter are good...and sometimes I regret ending things with him (life took me geographically elsewhere, and we broke up).  He is a very kind and caring person, being with him made me realize that up until that point I didn't really know what it meant to love someone (which sounds very cheesy, and extrememly sad given my life situation).  We still consider ourselves to be friends; I have his number in my phone and we're both friends on facebook. We don't talk all that often as we have both moved on with our lives, but we're still friends.
And that's it for post-coming-out-to-myself, pre-coming-out-to-other-people crushes.  Not sure where my coming out series will go from here, but it will go somewhere.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Being gay: Doing the Right Thing

Part 2 of my coming out story; part 1 is here.

After high school I tried to do all the things a good Mormon boy should do, and figured that if I did them I wouldn't have to worry too much about my gay feelings escaping. I didn't know any other gay people, and didn't really try to seek any out, and didn't really feel too conflicted...I was confident that I could handle my attractions and they weren't a big deal. I went to BYU for a semester (my memories of that semester are of being very lonely), put in my mission papers, and left for the MTC shortly after the semester ended. I was pretty nervous but excited at the same time.  I had a huge crush on my MTC companion (probably because this was my first time being so close to another guy) and on a few other companions, members, and potential investigators.  But I put my heart into the work, and even though I was somewhat anti-authority I loved the people I worked with.  It's trite to say, but my mission had a huge impact on my life and shaped my interests and goals and the direction my life would take.

After the mission, back to BYU. It was an ok experience, but I was still pretty anti-authority and liberal toward the church in general.  Again, I didn't meet any other gay BYU students; I just figured it was my struggle to deal with.  I didn't have any crushes on roommates and didn't do anything that I shouldn't have, other than a bit of porn here and there. I did have a crush on my best friend, though, but never did anything about it.  Thinking back, though, I wonder if he was gay too. I've lost contact with him and wonder about him alot. 

Toward the middle of my senior year I started panicking. I was almost done with BYU and hadn't done the most important "right thing" that BYU students should do. I was going to go off to graduate school and I didn't want to go alone. So I did what normal BYU students do - start dating.  Which led me to get more anxious about my "gay side."  I wish I had been more in tune with my feelings then, and I wish I had had support from others in my situation and known that I wasn't alone. I wish I had had the courage to stand up for myself and realize that what I was doing was wrong. I'm not talking about being gay or acting on it...I'm talking about being so in denial and not realizing that I was setting out on a course that would ultimately nearly destroy two lives and seriously affect three others.  I wish I hadn't given in so quickly to the chorus of voices around me from friends, roommates, family members, parents, and church leaders pressuring me to do the "right thing" and get married.  "We want grandchildren," the voices said; "why haven't you gotten married yet?" asked others. But the leaders I talked to and the church literature I read convinced me that it was the right thing, and that it would cure me of my gay feelings.  I wish I had put more trust in God and asked him instead.


This is a fairly pessimistic, even selfish post...I am ashamed of the hurt I have caused due to not being stronger and standing up for myself. But the next post will be even more so.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Being gay: Background

I've never really written my coming out story down, so I think I will outline my story in a series of posts. I'm probably going to leave out alot of the gory details; I'm not a strong person and I've done a few things that I wish I hadn't.  But anyway, here goes.

When did I first realize I was gay? Honestly, I think I knew I liked other boys before I even knew what gay was.  One time in third or fourth grade a friend brought a Playgirl magazine to school that he borrowed from his mom and I remember being very interested in what was in there. I also remember being in kindergarten or first grade and seeing a same-age girl changing out of her swimming suit and not being interested at all.  I remember looking at my dad's anatomy books and looking for the male figures but skipping the female ones.  In junior high I had a few crushes on girls, but it was mostly due to wanting to fit in.  My hormones never got going with them and I never wanted to do anything physical.  On the other hand, the highlight of the school day was showering after gym class and sneaking peeks at the other boys.  However, I never did any "experimenting" with anyone, boys or kissing girls, no crazy scout camps, etc. My first kiss, if you could call it that, was a goodnight peck on the lips with my junior prom date.  In high school I knew I wasn't really interested in girls, but no other guys were "out" -- probably partly because it was a conservative Mormon area, and partly because being gay in high school was alot less accepted then than it is now. My only gay "experience" was at a cast party after a play, and a boy who everyone suspected was dancing around in his underwear and put his crotch in my face. I acted grossed out and disgusted, but in my mind I wanted to go in the other room alone with him and see what happened.  Once I turned 18, when I was a senior, I would go to the magazine shops downtown and look at the gay porn gave me such a rush but it also made me feel incredibly guilty.  And one time an older guy kept smiling at me and followed me outside. He scared the crap out of me and put an end to the magazine stores.  I never felt particularly conflicted about my gay thoughts...I always just figured I would keep them at the back of my mind and not let them out, and live a normal life.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rules for hanging out with David

If these rules are too demanding or high maintenance, let me know in the comments.  Or suggest additional rules if you want.

1. If I ask you out on a date or something that you might think is a date, and you aren't interested in me that way, just let me know (gently but straightforwardly). It might hurt my feelings at first, but I promise I'll get over it. And it's better than giving me excuses and keeping me wondering what's going on...that's even worse.

2. If we're new friends or I'm just trying to get to know you better, and I invite you to hang out, don't make excuses if you don't want to go. Especially the "I'm busy" excuse. Just be honest with me. If you'd rather text or email or talk more first, tell me. If you think I'm too dorky, tell me. If you really are busy, let me know you're not just blowing me off and suggest another time to hang out.

3.  If we're already friends, don't make me do all the inviting. Text me before I text you sometimes. Let me know what's going on with you, because I'm interested in you. Show me that you're interested in me (most of my friends are good at this, thank goodness).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fun and Being More Positive

I, like most people, enjoy having fun and being around other people. I can be really dumb though, and after I've had a fun few days I tend to miss people and feel down and want more and get needy. So I decided, when I start feeling like that, to think about the good times I've had with them rather than focus on the fact that I'm alone.  So I'm going to just write a bit about the things I did that made this past weekend fun -- it will be more of a personal journal entry rather than a self-analysis or something that will help other people...but hey, it's my blog and I want to write it down so that I'll remember it, and this blog could use a bit more positive stuff anyway. Most of the people I do things with (lately) read my blog, and other readers know the people I hang out with. So I'm not going to write anything scandalous (darn!) and I'll just use initials to make it semi-confidential.

So Thursday night I had a rare free evening without family obligations that I didn't want to waste at home.  I decided to head down to Provo to hang out with S, and we invited B1 to come along with us but he couldn't because he had to study for a midterm. We (unintentionally) celebrated Chinese New Year by eating at a Chinese buffet restaurant and then watched Mulan at S's place. I hadn't seen it before and S has wanted to watch it with me for awhile. And I ended up liking it.  All in all, a good evening. I like hanging out with S!

Friday night was the previously-blogged-about party at B2's parent's house. Good times!

Saturday - boring. Wanted to go to a drag show produced by R and put on by the Weber State GSA, but family obligations took precedence, as they should.

Sunday - another rare occurrence, a free Sunday morning (well, I could have chosen to attend Stake Conference, but deferred the opportunity). My friend M invited me to have brunch with him and his bf, so I went up to Ogden for that. The food was ok, the company was spectacular, and we enjoyed playing Super Mario Wii afterward until M's bf had to go to work. I don't hang out with M nearly enough, so I appreciated the invitation and had a fun time. On the way home I stopped to say hi to R (just briefly, since he was working) and talked for a bit, saw a car accident happen, and planned to meet later in the week to do some school stuff. I love seeing R!

Monday - off work, but semi-boring.

Tuesday - took a few hours off to go up to Weber to hang out with R and help him with some school stuff. Did that, then ate lunch with him and a couple of his fraternity brothers (one of whom is straight but very cute...I should look into dark haired Russian boys lol). Ran some errands with him, including going to a few craft stores looking for rainbow ribbon...haha! Nothing too exciting, but I'm easy to please. I just like being with friends, and specifically R...even if we don't do much besides run errands, I'm happy :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fun night

Last night I went to a party sponsored by a recently-out moho at his parents' house. When i first got the invite I was really excited, because I had only talked with him briefly at a previous party and the invite made me feel wanted. But then yesterday before the party I started feeling really anxious for some reason and briefly considered not going and spending the evening hiding under a rock instead. But I had promised a friend I would go, so I did, and on the way I told myself that after the party I would probably feel really silly for not wanting to go. And indeed, that is what happened. When i got there i kind of hung back talking to friends that i knew, not wanting to really get out of my comfort zone. But every party i have gone to has been a good experience and I always meet new people. So when my friend introduced me to this really cute boy that didnt know anyone else there, i figured what the heck and decided to just practice my social skills and see where things went. He was kind of shy too, so immediately we had something in common. He turned out to be a fascinating person, and I was glad I had taken the risk to get to know him. I didnt really have too much trouble making small talk or coming up with things to say, which was refreshing. I think we clicked, and hopefully it will be the start of a new friendship :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Liking What I Like: Part 2

Wow two posts in one day...I'm thinking way too much (the previous one is here).  Sometimes I think I'm way too picky about what I want in a guy, and I need to expand my horizons.  It's not that I have a set criteria that a guy HAS to match for me to like him, and I don't think I want to have one.  I generally know what I would like in a guy though...likes/wants kids, has a spiritual background, preferably doesn't drink and definitely doesn't smoke, and is a hard worker whether it be in a job or in school.  I also know what I'm generally attracted to...guys younger than me, and guys of a different ethnic/racial background than me. Not sure why that is, but it just is. Age and race aren't deal breakers for me though. And none of it matters when it comes to making friends.

The thing is, it seems like guys that match both my physical attractions and non-physical likes are few and far between.  And when I find one that matches all of them, I tend to fall hard, since I don't find them very often.  And since they are so rare, I idolize them and think they are the perfect guy.  I try not to communicate any of that to them, though, since I don't want to scare them away.  But generally, they don't find their likes and attractions in me...they like and are attracted to something else.  And since I'm a sensitive guy, it hurts for awhile. It's not their fault that their wants don't match mine, theirs "just are" just like mine are.  But it makes me wonder if there are any guys at all out there for me, or any guy that I'M the perfect person for, since this semi-rejection happens again and again and again.  People tell me I'm such a good guy, that I'll find "the one" sometime, but maybe it's time to give up and focus on satisfied with good friends (and the ones that I have are definitely good) and give up hope for someone that likes me as more than a friend.  I don't really see my likes/attractions changing too much, so I shouldn't expect that others should change theirs either.

Birth order and why I like what I like

I was talking to a friend this morning who I joke with that our brains are twins because we tend to think about and react to things in a pretty similar way.  He and I both happen to be the oldest child in our families, and we both tend to like guys younger than us. His therapist suggested to him that the reason he likes younger guys is because of social constructs -- he was raised to fill the role of the man, and generally in male-female relationships the male is older.  I hadn't reallly thought about that before, but I took it a step further -- I wondered how being the oldest child in the family contributes to that.  In my family I was raised to be a role model and example to the younger children, and I didn't have any older siblings to look up to.  I also had the responsibility to look out for them and take care of them.  Maybe this causes me to naturally gravitate toward younger guys and want to be in the role of mentor and caretaker. I've always thought it was more because of low self esteem, though -- I relate more to younger guys because I lack confidence around people my age or older. I think I tend to act younger also.  Anyway, my friend mentioned that that could be true (that as the oldest child we gravitate toward younger guys) and that most of the guys he has liked have also been the youngest in their families.  And it surprised me to realize that that was true for me too.  My first crush was an only child, my first and only and very brief boyfriend was an only child, my second crush is the youngest in his family, and the guys I'm kind of interested in right now are also the youngest in their families.  Many of my gay friends are also the youngest.  Why is that?? Research has shown that there is a higher likelihood for a person to be gay for every older brother that he has.  So is it just that there are alot more gay people that are the youngest in their families? Or do me and my friend go for younger guys because that's what we are socialized to do? And now my sociologist mind is thinking even more...I wonder, since me and my friend both beat the odds and were born gay without having older brothers, would that affect how "gay" we are on the Kinsey scale? Are we "more gay" than a gay man with 7 older brothers? Hehehe...just things to think about. Comment and let me know what you think. Time to go clean the kitchen :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blogs Make Me Sad

Sometimes when I read other people's blogs I come away inspired by their strength and courage. I read blogs to know I'm not alone in my struggles, get to know people who are going through the same things I am, and (now) to keep up with people I've met in person. Lately, though, reading blogs just makes me sad. Maybe it's because I'm just going through a pessimistic week, or maybe it's because I'm all cared out, using my caring with real-life friends that are struggling. Maybe it's just because I'm such an empathetic person -- I feel what other people are feeling and want to help relieve their pain, but when I take on too much I can't deal with it. I hate seeing people struggle with being gay. I hate reading about mixed orientation marriages that are failing. I hate reading about people being rejected my family members. I hate reading about people's struggles to accept themselves, struggles with the church, struggles with maintaining their sanity. Sometimes (yes, I can be a horrible person) I even hate reading about people that are happy, wondering when will it be my turn. I hate thinking that people who read my blog get sad with my struggles. I hate that as mohos we have to struggle so much. I'm tired, and just want everyone to be happy. I realize that struggling helps us become stronger, eventually, but dang....

But I'll keep reading and writing. I love the moho friendships I've made, and I'll keep giving everything I have to help my friends that are struggling. I love meeting new people through their blogs and through real-live moho events such as Scott and Sarah's parties (they are literally a life saver). I think moho blogs, by their nature, are somewhat negative (I know mine is) and it's nice to meet people in person to get a more complete picture of them. Anyway, not sure what brought this on, but such is life.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Things That Must Go

Time for a rant post...I'm not overly down or irritated lately, but I do feel kind of unfocused in general and wish life were moving a little faster toward something good.  So in the spirit of my favorite morning radio show, here's a list of things that must go:

  • Jealousy.  It's my downfall.  I handle it a lot better now than I have in the past, but it eats at me and makes me bitter and gets the negative thoughts going in my head. If I could have God remove from me either being gay or being jealous, I would definitely pick being jealous. I hate it, but don't know how to stop it sometimes. It's likely a side effect of low self esteem.
  • Being jealous when friends make new friends.
  • Being jealous of people that have lots of friends and always have something fun going on.
  • Being jealous of not getting invited to things, or feeling bad about not being able to go to things I do get invited to because of other obligations.
  • Random mood swings.
  • Crushes. I always seem to crush on the wrong guys. Ones that are too busy, ones that don't want a relationship, ones that are newly out and not sure what they want. Ones that don't appreciate me for who I am. And then I get hurt and feel down and question my self worth.
  • PDA between gay guys, and gay guys that get offended when other people don't like their PDA (that could go for straight people too, though.) Just get a room.
  • Friends that don't open up emotionally, reject offers of support, don't let me know I matter, don't text me if I don't text them first, and don't make time for me.
  • Potential friends that are too shy to recognize that I'm extending my hand to them, or too guarded for it to go anywhere. And me feeling hurt by it.
  • Superficial people that don't recognize (or worse, don't care) when people want to be friends with them. So many of these in the gay world.
  • Friends that disappear, and then come back expecting things to be the same as they were before. I don't hold grudges, but wounds can form scars that take time to adjust to.
  • Friends that, when I invite them to do something and they can't, don't suggest another activity at another time.
  • Guys that don't recognize that I'm the perfect guy for them, even though I'm funny looking and slightly (just a tiny bit, we're not talking decades!!) older.
  • Me being too sensitive.
  • The entire Utah state legislature. Or closed-minded people in general.
  • Cold weather.
  • My ghettolicious car.
Ok. Rant over.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Guess what? I'm gay!

I'm copying FLeeS and took the Klein Grid assessment, which is an assessment of sexual attraction, kind of like the Kinsey scale. No surprise!

Clicky Web Analytics