Acceptance and Other Tales

Self-acceptance is something I was mildly blessed with early on. I say it that way because there is still much of myself I dislike or haven’t come around to realizing is just who I am. Yet even with that, I still have come a long way to have confidence. I think that is why I have to remind myself that not everyone has gone through the same or probably ever will.

When I was younger I fought the idea of being gay tooth and nail. I was raised in a deeply religious home, went to Christian school and being gay was never an option open to me. The idea of even telling anyone I had those thoughts was a flat out no. I grappled with my sexuality. I prayed, in tears, that God would take away those feelings. I didn’t want to be a sinner or disowned from my family. I wanted to have the “right” life with a wife and kids. Yet, there was no denying that I was not attracted to girls. The idea of being with them ended when it came to sex. I love women and could have a deeply emotional relationship but that was where it would end. I wouldn’t be in for the deepest part of commitment and whomever I would have been with would deserve better.

I very nearly lived a “straight” life. I had girlfriends, I did the song and dance that came with it and if it hadn’t been for one fateful night I probably would have driven down that hetero-road and dealt with the consequences that came with it.

The first person I ever told I was “bi” was my friend Becky on her birthday, which is only a week away. I had been so entranced with this boy named Sergio at her birthday that I felt compelled to tell her in the hopes maybe he too… As it turned out he was and he ended up being my first boyfriend and first heartbreak. I fell hard and fast for this kid. When he ended it with me, I was devastated. It took months before I was able to move on because I wasn’t ready. I am someone that is so desperate for love that I dive in without even thinking. I envision this life of bliss and when everything turns out to be the opposite I am hard-pressed to understand that the dream I had was only that. It’s probably a sickness.

The first few days after I told Becky I was so furious with myself. “Why did I do that,” I kept thinking. It wasn’t true. I wasn’t gay! But I was still in denial. It wasn’t until I met with that boy, for our first “date,” that something in me turned and I never wanted to go back to pretending. Being with him came easy. Sergio, or “the s” as I called him to hide his gender and identity, was my first kiss. Real kiss. He was my first boyfriend. And my first infatuation.

I thank him for making me who I am. I learned so much from the short experience. For one, don’t get involved with someone young because they (unlike my freak self) haven’t made peace with their sexual preference. After Sergio I only went for older guys because I couldn’t deal with the heartbreak I had felt when he went running. I know now that I came on too strong and he just wasn’t ready. As a result, I learned to shield myself from people. Well, at first. The moment I get a compliment or am shown just the slightest amount of attention all walls come tumbling down. I am just that desperate for love and attention.

I’m almost certain I’ve shared this story on here (or other blogs) countless times. I probably even wrote it in one of my columns for the Renegade Rip. I almost never told Becky my truth. I went to her bowling party and played my role as a straight dude well, and at the end of the night went to leave. However when I got to my car the battery was dead. I called my parents to help me out and while we waited for AAA I went back inside and whispered to her the words I never thought I would say. It’s strange to look at tiny moments as mundane as a dead car battery altering the entire course of one’s life, but it did for me.

My hope is that others can find the same peace I found when I finally just accepted me for me. My natural follow-up is that it is a hard journey, but in all honesty it wasn’t for me. I have lead the most charmed life. The only real moment that was rough was my mother’s acceptance. She was very much not on-board at the start, but since then she is someone else entirely. Sure there is bigotry, but I rather be at peace with myself than fighting a battle I would never win. Denying your truth is a tortured life, full of secrets and lies that only grow as time goes on.

P.S. May I suggest what spurred this blog post, it’s a song by Brandon Stansell “Hometown.”

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I Got Blue Halls and I Need to Deck Them

I cannot wait for Christmas.  It has nothing to do with the usual trappings associated like, presents, candy, holiday pastries, or family.  No.  What I’m looking forward to is decorating.  That has to be one of gayest statements I’ve ever made…  But it’s true.  A few of my favorite parts is throwing up some tinsel, the tree, and all my various Christmassy knick-knacks.  It honestly brings me more joy than it should.

My husband on the other hand… Well, he leans more toward the Grinch than anything else.  He hates every piece of garland strung in our house.  I had originally wanted to decorate at the beginning of November and his response was “You’re trying to kill me. Do you want me to die?”  To this, I say… Yes.  If he gets in the way of my “festive faggottry”, he had better just accept his demise.

In his defense, he told me that the other day he saw a sign advertising for someone that installs Christmas lights and he took the number down.  That’s adorable and completely out of character.  Slowly but surely I’m chipping away at his anti-christmas exterior to reveal the shimmering Christmas bulb beneath.

My husband’s dislike of Christmas stems from the fact that he came from a single parent family.  His dad up and left with his secretary (no joke) and left his mom to fend for herself.  She was in her mid 20’s and stuck with raising and providing for two kids.  That means she was solely responsible for buying gifts and making the season wonderful.  Although there is only so much one woman can do on a bar tenders salary.  So, for him Christmas has always been a stressful event.  He is much too worried about his mother spending way more, in an attempt to make her kids’ Christmas ‘magical.’ The result is his current dislike of the holiday and everything that comes along with this time of year.

I guess I just had a lucky youth.  It probably helped that I am an only child.  Which is probably why I feel the need to give every one of my friends and family a similar styled Christmas.  My husband likes to say that I think I have endless amounts of money. I do, Charlie. Why, why are you trying to burst my bubble of delusion?  (Probably because he’ll be the one paying it off down the road.)

To give you an example of my “money is free” mentality, I went nuts while in London at Mark & Spencer’s.  They had so much nifty Christmas stuff that I ended up buying: an ugly Christmas sweater (I tried to get one for the hubby but he was having none of it), Christmas underwear, socks, and a knitted Santa cap with corresponding knitted beard.  Needless to say, I’m ready for this shit to begin.