Where was this 20 years ago?
I have written about my problems. I have read about many men, who are gay, some in my situation and some not. I have read the happy ending stories about men who have survived the break up of their marriages, found not only themselves, but found partners they love and who love them back. I have read about the men who are, like me, still struggling on their journey. I have read about men who are married, too scared to come out, and hiding their true selves from the people they love the most.
I think about how much worse off I would be if I did not have access to the stories of all these men. In some cases I have learned a lot. In other cases I have fantasized about what it would be like to be a well adjusted gay man who is happy with his life and situation. Sometimes I have read every word of a man who is in so much pain where his blog is his only outlet. I have felt the heartbreak these men feel, knowing that I have walked in their shoes at some point in my life.
Thank you to the bloggers who have told their stories so I could not feel so alone. I do not know most of these men, but because they have put their lives on display, I have come to know them. I like the feeling to closeness, even if it is only online.
I have been talking with "Emerging Identity". He lives far from me, but we have talked on the phone several times over the past month. Before we spoke, he had read my entire blog and I had read his (his is much longer) and even though we had never spoken before, I felt like I knew him. I was very comfortable the first time we spoke. I value his insight and perspective. He helps me see there is light at the end of my tunnel. It might be an illusion created by the internet, but it feels real to me.
While I write this blog for myself, but I have always hoped that my story might help another man, the way others have helped me. Maybe it's what paying forward is all about.