21 April 2011

Me vs. Being Gay

Being gay for me has never been an issue of question. As in, "Am I really gay?" or "do some straight guys just like men?" No, because for as long as I knew what a penis was, I knew, that I'd rather have mine in pairs. See, being gay for me was more so a question of, "Okay, I'm gay, now how do I hide this?" For years "hiding" has been my sexuality. For years, I would find myself "in love" in the most quiet-kept corners of my mind - places that I don't even bother to frequent very often.

Growing up a military brat, hiding, was made terribly easy for me. Though originally born in Baltimore, I've lived in various different states during my childhood: Hawaii, Maryland, Colorado, and New York until eventually naming New Jersey as my home. I've always thought of myself as being very fortunate for living the life I have. However, I wasn't able to engross myself in all those different places and broaden my horizon within the country I call home. No, I figure myself fortunate because within my constant moving I was able to continuously change who I was. I didn't have to be gay. I could be the funny guy. I could be the emo kid with a pet rock. I could be the football captain. I could be anything other than "me". And it's funny because now, in retrospect, and twenty years old in age, I always wonder if I ever really truly loved myself growing up.

Like any scared shitless, adolescent, homosexual teen, I would often sit back and wonder what the day would look like when I finally built up enough courage to tell my mother I was gay. I always imagined it to be Spring, my mother's favorite. We would be in some park, somewhere next to a lake so we could watch as our reflection would sway on the waters surface. There would be a light inviting breeze in the air, one that smelled of acorns and hot dogs. We would, of course, begin our conversation with small talk, "Wow, I could hardly remember the last time we came here," to which I would reply, "Yeah, seems like years, smaller than I remember." This would continue on until eventually growing tired of our own forced dialogue, to which we would then substitute for people watching. "What does she have on?" "I don't know, but she obviously got dressed in the dark this morning." All of which on any other day would perfectly suffice as a "successful" evening out. However, something about "this" day would beg for more.

Then it would happen, smack dab in between small talk and food requests, I would say it: "Mom, I'm gay." And whenever that time came in my daydreams, when I finally told her, she would never have any words for me, just tears. And in that moment, next to our quivering reflections in the lake and inside the nostalgic aroma of acorns and hot dogs, she would hold me, and softly whisper in my ear the words I've always yearned to hear: "Son, I knew all along, and I love you." 

Everyday I ask myself, "Why can't life just be the way you picture it?"

Point of the conversation: You'd be surprised the people you can find hiding in the dark.

- T. Wayne

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