A (Not Very Good) Guide To Finding My Own Pride Having Pride seems fun. Some places don't quite have the ability to have that kind of a display. A place that queer people are still treated as "other" and shunned. But, that's really what Pride is all about, isn't it? So, I present to you my own personal journey finding "Pride."
How does a gay man in north Georgia end up with a string of long-term girlfriends? I honestly, don’t know. I was trapped in the closet with no visible path out.
It should have been obvious. A theater kid who would meet up with the “out” guys t hang out in Athens and then fool around in their cars somewhere in the woods between there and home. I was mostly an open book. Notoriously blunt and dry, I was honest to a fault… except thane thing.
First was P. She was and is amazing. It was a cut school-age romance. The most memorable part was probably sitting in the Target parking lot watching clips from How I Met Your Mother in my old MacBook.
We broke up, probably due to lack of progression in the relationship, on Valentine’s day—I think. She gave me a toy Darth Vader that’s still on my shelf and I gave her pretty much nothing.
M played my daughter in a play. I was told she had a crush on me. I there’s one easy way to get me to be interested in someone romantically, it’s to let me know that they view me as a sexual being in a positive light.
We broke up over the phone the last summer of high school while I was playing the Lord of the Rings RTS on my Xbox 360.
I had no intention of being in a relationship with her. We fought about everything. The fights were rooted in philosophy that neither of us understood yet. She once told me, after I received a D on a German oral exam, that I kissed about as well as I spoke German.
She was my first.
There are a ton of stories here, but none really relate. Only after we broke up for the 3rd time. She texted me telling me that we couldn’t be together because she thought I was gay. The tone came off as a bit homophobic—though, maybe it was just a reaction in my bones to the truth.
In any other story, she would have been the love of my life. We clicked on all the levels. She might havre been the most difficult to reconcile with because I had a legitimate and deep love for her—and, not in a platonic way.
Our relationship ended as I came out of the closet. We shared a friend group. I hooked up with too many of them to have been kosher—directly after we broke up both times.
Lies and more lies leading to lies
It’s easy to lie to yourself with enough practice. My platonic love for certain women blossomed into terrible romances. I never made the next move and just sort of sat there waiting for progression that my mind wouldn’t urge to progress.
Part of it was a yearning for normalcy. I wanted my family and church and friends to accept me. To move forward like they all were into a place of growth and next-level relationships.
I ignored most of my crushes. “Oh, I just really want to be friends with him… for some reason….”
Even when I gave in, it was all in the name of college experimentation. But, it wasn’t—for me, at least. Most of the male loves in my life were fleeting, doomed, and straight.
So, I would move on to the next woman to fall victim to my attempts to overlap platonic and erotic love. If they ever questioned thing, I would freak out and swear things were not as they seemed.
Lies can identify each other. I once hooked up with someone my friend group viewed as a legendary man’s man. Oh, he was a man’s man alright— just not in the strip-club master sort of way that they had thought.
I never came out to myself until my final semester of college. Until then, it was all a lie. Closer to the truth as time moved on. I was bi. I was pan (still sort-of true). I never told them I was me.
Until I did.
Of all things, I only had access to Mike’s Hard Lemonade to drink as a courage builder when I cam out to my roommate, Jacob. It was after a break from school and I wanted to stop all the lies. I was afraid he would hate me (he would, eventually—-but not for this).
We embraced and worked out how to break up with my girlfriend because she didn’t deserve the deception I was serving her. With his support I ended my line of women in my life and finally admitted to being me.
He draws thing for College Humor now, you should go check it out.
It isn’t were the story of searching for pride ends. Really, it’s where it really begins. Now that I had told others around me sho I was, what was I going to do about it? More on that next time.