Mental Health Portrait of young man

Published on May 4th, 2014 | by Healthy Gay Lifestyles

Being Gay Isn’t Negotiable

by Kage Allan

My brain was essentially fried mush last Sunday night and I asked folks on Facebook what they might like me to write about. It never hurts to ask, right? One cyber-friend suggested discussing being gay not being negotiable. Her son had just come out to a straight friend and his words to the person are the title of this post. It’s a perfect statement and not just because it makes for an awesome title today,though that certainly helps. So much in life is negotiable these days that I’m surprised we don’t just put ourselves on ebay. Um…we don’t, actually, do we? It’s been a long time since I used ebay.

I’ve been thinking back to my college days and there was an evening during my freshman year when a friend of a friend took a bunch of us out to a gay bar in Grand Rapids. She wasn’t gay herself, but she had many gay friends, really enjoyed the bar and wanted to share the experience with us. It didn’t go over with the group of guys I was with. I was very curious about the place, only I never let on. I also hoped I wouldn’t be outed, which is silly. Nobody there knew I was gay except me. One might say I negotiated being gay that night so I wouldn’t have to deal with my friends’ reactions.

My life was very much like that for a good many years prior to and even after the gay bar event, which makes me think back even further. Why? Because another Facebook friend asked me when I discovered I was gay. There are apparently many sugar-coated stories out there regarding this subject-not my discovery, but coming out in general-that put people in diabetic shock. The answer is a bit more complex than you might imagine.

Yup. Pretty much sums up my attitude lately.

The blunt answer is I was 8 years old. The thing is that when you’re 8, you don’t think in terms of gay or straight. We have no idea what those words mean in the larger context of the world because we don’t have the experience to understand it. I no more thought about my liking boys than other boys did who liked girls. You followed your natural instincts. You had crushes based on those instincts. I liked boys. It didn’t seem any less normal to me than breathing. And my guy friends and I explored sexuality at that age. I was active because I liked how it felt. Each experience made me eager for the next. I was the eager beaver who had zero interest in beaver.

I watched as most of these friends came into their own and started liking girls. Their sexuality evolved whereas mine had started and evolved as far as it was going to long before theirs did. This confused me. I was perfectly fine with them liking girls as long as they were still going to bone me. (sigh) Another negotiation. So, yes, 8 is when I discovered I was gay without actually realizing it. The realization dawned on me in junior high school and I internalized it (aka admitted it to myself by finally saying the words) after I graduated from college.

It seems silly to have waited that long to admit what I was to myself. I was watching gay porn in college (only when my roommates were gone and I was alone), had no desire to date women, couldn’t resist the thought of what it would be like to date a guy, couldn’t resist the thought of what it would be like to have sex with one again-hence, why porn became an outlet for me-and wondered when I would no longer have to hide this part of myself. And by that, I mean not hide the part of myself who wanted to date and have sex, not the part of me that watched gay porn. Nobody needed to know about that.

It’s a different story today. Coming out to myself started a chain reaction that took everything that was weighing me down and smashed it. I’m not ashamed of who I am, of who I dated and then married, of what I write, or how I treat people. Well, most people. There are a few of you who…let’s be honest…have it coming.

To my Facebook friend’s son’s friend, I say this. Don’t let something like sexual orientation come between your friendship. He can no longer change how he feels than he can change the color of his eyes. He, like you, has every right to pursue happiness, date, fall in love, and grow old together with someone who makes him feel complete.

And that, dear readers, isn’t negotiable.

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Kage Alan is the Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones watching, Hooters listening author of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation,” “Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins,” “Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell,” short story “Spacehunters: Master Elite and the Maternal Order of Loganites Beyond Uranus” featured in the “Butt Pirates In Space” anthology and upcoming short story “Twink Ninja Tiger, Flaxen Buns of Fury” featured in the “Butt Ninjas From Hell” anthology. www.kagealan.com

 

 

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