Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Out of the Closet vs. OUT OF THE CLOSET!!!

There have been a few other bloggers (married gay guys) recently debating the merits of coming out of the closet and living honestly, compared to living in the closet and keeping up appearances for the sake of their wife, kids and other family members.


It has been an interesting discussion.  Some are worried about rejection from their families, wives, kids, parents.  Some think if they come out they will open their kids to teasing and ridicule.  Some think that it's OK to cheat on their wives, as long as they only cheat with guys.  (No, I am not going to get into that again here.)


But there are different degrees of being out.    I am gay, but I am "straight acting".  I really hate that term but it does apply to me.  Not because I am "acting" straight, but because I am a very masculine guy.  I am not a big sports fan, but most everything else I am like a straight guy.  I don't like show tunes.  I have trouble matching colors.  I have lousy handwriting and almost no fashion sense.  I hate shopping and have no girl-friends.  And please don't ask me to dance.


But I have fallen in love with a man.  I love the male body.  I am gay, but unless I told you, you wouldn't know it.


This is my real personality.  I am not resisting my urge to dance, I just don't like it.  So when I come out what will it be like?


I am out to everyone in my life who really matters, except for my kids.  Except for the fact that K and I do not sleep together and have a boyfriend I am not that different today than I was 2 or 3 or 4 years ago.


When I am out to everyone, what will that mean?  Probably not much to anyone outside my family.  Most people might not even notice.  I do not see changes to my personality.  I am not the type to wear rainbow tee shirts, but I can see attending a Pride or maybe participating in other gay events.  I doubt that I will wear my sexuality on my sleeve, but I will not hide it either.  I will talk about my partner if I am telling a co-worker about my weekend, but I don't expect to be waving banners.


Despite all the trouble, pain and anguish, I had to deal with, and to some extent still deal with, I am so glad that I am now free to be who I am.  I am now free to love who I love.


Am I selfish?  I used to think so, but not any more.  K was unhappy for years because I was unable to love her the way she wanted me to.  Now she may have found that in AJ.  She will have the chance at happiness with a straight man that she always wanted, but could not have with me.  Is that selfish?  I don't think so.


In fact, an argument could be made that coming out to her, taking the risk, and paying the price for pretending to be someone else, was the most unselfish thing I have ever done.  Especially when you consider that I am still living home with my kids.  I go out of my way to make sure she has what she needs.  I put her needs first as much as I can.  I did not, and will not, run off to my homo nirvana, leaving my family behind.  I know a lot of gay guys do that, but that's not me.


I guess the point is that you can be out of the closet, you can live honestly, you can live with integrity, and not be a flaming fag.  

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Misunderstandings and Vacations



Misunderstanding are funny things.  Sometimes they feed on themselves.  Sometimes one party thinks one thing.  The other party thinks something else and it makes it all worse.


Suffice it to say the misunderstand that T and I had got worse, expanded to other topics, but then got completely resolved.  It was an uncomfortable a couple of days, but now it is over and we are both good.




Friday after work, K and I and the kids will leave for our vacation.  We will back up the mini-van and the kids and drive over night nearly 800 miles overnight. 


This will be one of those visit the family kinds of vacations.  We will be staying with my parents, but I know that we will spend a fair amount of time jackassing all over the state.


I am actually looking forward to the trip.  I want to see my parents and sister.  I want the kids to be able to hang out with their cousins as much as possible.  


I do have one friend from college that I want to see.  I plan to come out to him on this trip.  I have been thinking about that a lot, over the past few days.  I'll talk more about that another day.



Sunday, June 27, 2010

Misunderstandings

T and I had a misunderstand yesterday that ruined a near perfect day.


My daughter's birthday party was yesterday afternoon (see the cake K made?  Cool, huh?).  T came after we was done with work.  I did not need him to bring anything, but not only did he bring a present for my daughter, he brought a small cylinder of helium and balloons.  I mean really, for a bunch of 6 & 7 year old kids (mostly girls) what is more fun than horses and helium filled balloons.  


T has not seen my kids in probably 9 months and I think it was incredibility thoughtful.  The kids were all glad to see him.  Even K gave him a welcoming hug.  We had a good party and when it was over, we when back to my house, another place he has not been in a long time.  (In fairness he did not really feel welcome before.)


We had dinner.  K made burgers.  I steamed some corn on the cob from the local farmer's market.  I was really nice and it felt very comfortable.


Then T and I had our misunderstanding.  I am not going to get into it specifics.  He left to go home shortly after saying things were OK, but I could tell they weren't.


When things go wrong, I have a need to fix it. I have a need to talk it out and, if possible, reach an understanding or solution as soon as possible.  I am a strong believer in not going to bed angry or hurt, if at all possible.


I don't know how T feels about that.  I don't know his preferred method for dealing with conflict.  That is something I will have to ask him one day.  Last night he left.  In fairness, my kids were all over the place, so it was not like we could have talked it out even if we wanted to.


So he left.  I am alone.  He is alone.  We both feel crappy.


If we were together, as in living together, it would have been much easier.  We would have gone up to our room and talked about it.  We would have been able to express our feelings.  Feelings about the event that was causing difficulty.  Feelings about each other. Feelings for each other.  We would be able to talk to each other, see each other's body language and facial expressions.  The best part, once it was all worked out, we could have had some great make up sex. (wink, wink.  nudge, nudge.  say no more...)


Instead we both went to bed feeling bad and alone.


Now this misunderstanding we had was not the end of the world.  I am sure we will have it quickly resolved and any bad feelings will fade away like a puddle evaporating on a hot summer day.  We will learn how to deal with situations like over time.

Disapointed

My day started out ok, then got really good and suddenly it turned into a disaster.


I don't feel like talking about it, but I made someone feel bad and I feel crappy about it.



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Family Dream

Tomorrow is my daughter's 6th birthday.  This is her with K's horse.  


On Saturday we will have a party for her and some of the kids from her class at the horse barn.  We will have a couple of horses giving rides to the kids.  There will be games and other activities for the kids. It should be a really good time, as long as it is not too hot.


I have extra reason to be happy.  T is coming to the party.  I am so excited about it.  It is one of the part of my dream coming true.  I may be exaggerating a little, but one of my dreams is to have family events like Thanksgiving or a birthday, with me, my kids, my partner, K and her husband.  And everyone happy and getting along.


I know that T will be a little uncomfortable.  The last time he was at my house when K was here, she was still angry about me coming out and the approaching end of our marriage.  Now things in my house are different.  K is not longer angry.   Her and I are in a good place.  And she is no longer angry with T.  She has a new man who really cares about her and she about him.  Things are different.


After the party, I have invited him back to the house.  I know that will be difficult for him.  It will be awkward for him.  But I think it will only be awkward until it is not.  We have to push through this and now that K and I are at peace with where we are, it will be much easier for T.





Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ex Closet Case


I have heard it said that the only thing more annoying than a smoker is an ex-smoker.  There are some people who are anti smoking advocates, but the ex-smoker is the most committed.  The most militant.  The one most interested in curing your smoking habit.


Ex smokers are everywhere you are trying to smoke.  Giving you the look.  Wagging their fingers and their tongues.  Tell you about the dangers of smoking.  Tell you how they if they can quit anyone can quit.  They  tell you how much better they feel.  How much money they are saving. 


On and on they go.  They never stop. Even if they do not say it, they make you feel like you are bad person because you still enjoy your smoke.


I do not smoke cigarettes, but I do enjoy a nice cigar out on my back porch in the evening once in a while.


I have been reading over at "If I Do the Right Thing" and he has posted a couple times about gay married men who do not want to come out.   I have written about this in the past and it is clear that I have strong feelings about it.


If a man is having sex with anyone that is not his wife and she does not know about it, he is cheating and that is wrong.  It is not wrong because I say so, it is wrong because the wife will think so when she find out.  It does not matter if the person he is cheating with is a man or a woman.  If the wife thinks it's cheating then it's cheating.


I have written about the plight of the straight spouse before and I am not not going to re-hash that today.  (Here is one)


I left a fairly harsh comment on "Two Lives" post from yesterday.  After I thought about it a little, I was starting to feel like an ex-smoker.  I am not one to tell others how to live their lives, but I have to admit that I am often too free with my opinions.


Now that I am starting to experience some of the up side of being out of the closet, and I see even better days ahead, I think everyone should.  I know what works for me may not work for everyone, but I still have my opinions.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Long Distance Love, But Not Too Long



T and I have a strange relationship.  Well, in fairness, it may not really be all that strange, but it's strange to me.  Keeping in mind that I have been living with K for over 17 years, my relationship with T looks very different. 


It's like a long distance relationship.  By far, the majority of our communication is over the phone or text.  We text A LOT.  I'm not complaining, I like that.  It's cool that we can reach each other almost anytime.  Like times during the day when we are working.  There is no time for a phone conversation, but we often have a long text conversation that last all day.  Occasionally we chat with Yahoo messenger for a few hours at night, while I am watching my kids at the same time.


We each go to bed each night in our own beds in our own houses in our own corner of the world.  When I reach out at night wanting to hold him, he might as well be a million miles away.  I don't like that I have to say good night to the phone at night.  Holding my Blackberry is not nearly as nice as holding him.


On the other hand, he is not long distance.  He lives just over an hour from me.  I like to drive, so that is an easy distance for me.  For the past few months I have seen him at least once a week.  If he was really long distance, I would not have that, but I do.  I get to hold him and feel his skin on my skin.  We get to talk in person. I get to see his facial expressions when we talk.  I get to see the love in his eyes.


Because of his schedule and the demands of my kids it is usually not practical for us to get together during the week.  Once in a while maybe.  He does not work on Thursday, and sometimes he can meet me for lunch.  While nice, I only get a short time for lunch so our time is rushed.


For a long time, I have been used to being with my partner.  Day in and day out.  Part of everything she did.  I know some people might find that suffocating, I found it to be very comforting.  It was not that I couldn't do things I wanted to do, I just chose not to.  Everything I needed was at home.  


Now I don't have that.  Even if T was available for me to move in with him tomorrow I couldn't.  K and I promised the kids even though we were separating nothing was going to change for them.  We would continue to live with them, just like before.  That plan may change later on, but probably not in the next few years.


I believe in my heart eventually T and I will call the same place home.  We will curly up in bed together every night and hold each other as we sleep.  We will be physically together.  I know that day will come.  I know I am not ready today for that day.  He is not ready either.  But one day we will be.


For now I am happy.  I am glad that I have a man who is in love with me.  I am glad I am in love with him.  It is difficult to be separated from him, but I know I will see him again soon.  I know that even when we are apart, he is thinking about me and I am thinking about him ... and us.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Saturday Night Funnies (yes, I know it's Sunday)

I know these posts are going to appear backwards, but I'm OK with that.


A few weeks ago K bought my Father's day present.  She didn't really have to, but she did and I was pretty happy about it.  She bought me tickets to see Ron White.  I think he is one of the funniest comedians I have ever seen.  


The first time K and I saw him was back around 2001 or 2002.  It was during the "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" before the movie came out.  In fact I think Ron White ruined the rest of the show for me.  He was so damn funny I came close to pissing my pants.  The rest of the guys, were just OK compared to him.


The show was over 2 hours away in Columbia, SC.  The plan always was that I would take T to the show with me.  I left my house a little after 2:00 and drove to T's office.  He was done working for the day and his staff was gone home. 


He was waiting for me when I got there.


I walked into the dark office and he quickly locked the door behind me.  I turned to look at him, asking "So are you about re...."  I could not finish my sentence because his lips were pressed against mine and his ... well, let's just say we had a surprise private moment before we left. 


I am not going to get into the details of the physical encounter, but I would like to talk about how the emotional and physicals intersect into something I found interesting.


Early in our private moment (but not too early) I experienced the sexual release that most men are seeking.  Generally men of a certain age (i.e. my age) lose their "male stamina" shortly after this release.  All the times I was with K, that is exactly what happened to me.  I just thought that's how it is for men.  Not last night.  I continued to be "ready to go" for the remainder of our session.  In a lot of ways my body was reacting like it was a teenager again.


Of course there is another explanation.  When I was with K, I was always able to perform and I would delay my release as long as possible.  Once it came though, I was as limp as an over-steamed green bean. If she was not finished, she would have to get her stimulation from another method.  (Of course, I would help her out).


The other explanation could also be that because the physical AND emotional connection for us (T and I) is strong, I was much more turned on than I had ever been with anyone else.


What ever the reason, it was an exciting private moment that lead to a wonderful evening.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Today was Father's day.  It was a pretty typical Sunday by most accounts.


We got up early.  We went to church.  We stopped a Lowe's for a few things and then out to lunch.  Once we finally got home I rested some, but then had to water the vegetable garden that K planted yesterday.  The kids spent a lot of time in the small inflatable pool in the back yard.  


K and I talked, not about anything deep or important, but it was nice to just talk.  I told her about my date last night with T (more on that later) as we watched an old episode of Law & Order.  We talked about our upcoming family trip over 4th of July.  


It was a nice Father's day, but I could not help but feel a little lonely. I had a really good time with last night and I missed him today.



Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Good Argument for Separation of Church & State

I have said before that K works for a Methodist church.  They are not crazy right wing, but they are not exactly open and affirming of the gay people and their families either.  I can't speak for the people in the congregation, I met with the pastor and he is accepting or me and my situation.


When I attend services, I look around and I try to guess what the people there would think about me if they knew who I really was.  I wonder if they would vote no on gay marriage based on their religious beliefs.  Based on their personal interpretation of the Bible.  I have this recurring fantasy about being asked to preach to group on religions people about why it is wrong, and in fact dangerous for the religious people to force their beliefs on others through legislation. 


I would to get them to think about what it would be like to for them if someone forced their morality on them.  I do not know why the pro- gay marriage groups do not use this argument but I think it is a powerful one.  If anyone want to use it, feel free to pass on to anyone who you think could make a difference.


I am not sure how I how kick off the sermon, but my core message would be this:


---------------------------------------------------------------


Church and the government should be separate entities.  The reason is simple.  The government has the power to force people to do certain things, under the threat of punishment.  There any many different religions in the United States and which religious beliefs should the government follow?  The Jewish faith is the basis for Christianity so maybe we should use that.  There are a large number of Baptists, so maybe that is the way to go.  But there are a lot of Catholics too and lets not even think about the fastest growing religion on the planet, Islam


While you are thinking about that, let me set up a scenario and I would you to think about how that makes you feel.  More than half the marriages in the United States end in divorce.  I think most people of faith think that it is better if a couple can stay married for life, after all that is what marriage is for, lifelong partnerships.  As much as we do not like it, we know it happens and we generally offer the people involved in divorce our love and support.


Many of these divorced people eventually find someone else and often get married.  We are usually glad that our friends and family have again found happiness.  We support these new unions so much, that we perform the ceremonies in many churches across the county.  We rent halls and throw parties for the newly re-married couple.


However, this is not the case in all churches.  The Catholic church, for example will not perform a second marriage.  If you are involved in a second marriage, you may not receive communion and may be denied other sacraments.  You might even be denied burial in a Catholic cemetery when you die.  While this may sound cold an unfeeling, this church policy did not come from nowhere.  There is Biblical scripture to back up the churches position.


This passage from the Gospel of Matthew, in the New International Version is pretty clear on second marriages.


31"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'[y] 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.


Jesus seems to give a little wiggle room if there have been affairs on the divorce side, but the re-marriage part is clear.  Don't do it.


Now let's move into hypothetical.  The Catholic church is very active in trying to enact laws that ban gay marriage. What would happen if they decided instead to ban second marriages.  After all second marriages are against their interpretation of the Bible.


There are millions of Catholics in the in Unites States.  They are a powerful voting block. What is they successfully got a law passed, based on Biblical principles that the Federal Government would only recognize one marriage for any one person.  If you are divorced person, you must remain single for the remainder of your life.  If you do fall in love again, no matter how you feel about each other, officially you and your new love are not related.  


How many people in this room are sitting next to someone who is not their first spouse.  If you are still in your first marriage, you probably know someone who is in their second.  Maybe a friend or a family member.  How would these people be effected.


They are not regarded as a family.  Perhaps they could be fired from their jobs.    They would have to pay higher taxes and if one of them dies, they would not be able to receive for their partners social security benefits.  


When they get old and one of them is sick they may or may not be able to visit them in the hospital.  Your partner faces the real possibility of of dying alone.  Because you are married, doctors may not be able to talk to you about your partners condition.  If he or she die, you may not be allowed to claim the body for burial, since are not really family.  


These are some of the stresses that gay and lesbian Americans face every day.


--------------------------------------------------------------


I don't know how I would wrap this all up either, but again this is core message.


I wish those fighting to marriage equality would use this argument sometimes.



Monday, June 14, 2010

Unusual Situation? Yeah, I'll say.

I got an anonymous comment on my "Mulligan??" post from yesterday.  The comment came from a woman says she is in a similar situation that K and I are in.  Early 40's, 4 kids and best friends.  She says her husband is still coming to terms with his sexuality.  


I would very much like to talk with her, privately, about her situation.  I am not suggesting I have all (or any) answers for her, but just talking to someone who knows what you are going through, is helpful for anyone.  Also, I believe I would get something out of the exchange. Every time I talk to (or even hear about) someone who might have first hand experience with how my life has turned out, I feel a little less alone. 


K and I were just talking about something like this earlier today.  We were in the car going to pick up the kids from a day camp they are in for a couple of weeks.  We talked about last night when AJ came into the house for the first time, while I was there.


K bought herself ticket to a musical she really wanted to see and the show was last night.  She went with AJ and his daughter.  (She asked our older kids and they did not want to go.)  AJ came to pick K up, but first his daughter wanted K to do her hair.  So they had to come inside.


I been home when the daughter has been here before.  I know she is uncomfortable around me and I don't blame her.  She is 15 and for most of her life, her mother was very sick and about 18 months ago, passed away.  She is very much hoping this thing with AJ and K works out.  While she was here, I said something, and I can't remember exactly what it was, but I remember she gave me a funny look.  I did not think much about it at the time.  AJ came in the house too and we exchanged a little small talk.  K quickly finished the hair and they were off.


What made me think of that was when we (K and I) talking about her feelings for AJ, I jokingly asked if she was sure he was straight.  She assured me he was and then said, "I think you creep him out a little."  


I paused a moment.  I was not sure if it is because I am gay, or because I am still married to K and we continue to life together in the same house.  It is probably a little of both.  He is a pretty conservative guy on most topics, but has a "live and let live" attitude about gays.  I suspect he does not personally know any gay people.


K pointed out that this situation is new for them.  (It's new for us too!!)  Both AJ and daughter know divorced couples.  Most of them can't stand each other, fight all the time and some have been very messy.  With K and I remaining close, it is a very unusual situation indeed.


I think it will be OK in the long run.  It was progress that AJ even came inside while I was there.  I also think it was an effort to make the bit of little small talk he did.  What is important, however, is he made the effort.  I think that is a really good sign.  I do not have any expectation that AJ and I will be friends, that would be nice, but maybe not realistic.  But I do expect that if K and him are going to be together long term, that we can be friendly.  I feel the same way about T.  I while it would be nice if they could be friends, I think that is too much to expect.  What they have to be, is friendly.  They have to be able to be together without being uncomfortable.  This is the only way that my Thanksgiving-with-the WHOLE-family fantasy will work.


I know this will take time.  It might even take even years, but I am sure it will happen.


Who would thought when I started this blog 11 months ago, I would have such an optimistic outlook.  It feels pretty good.

Mulligan??

K and I were talking the other day.  It was at the end of a long and busy day.  She was saying that she wanted to have a mulligan.  I asked if she wanted to do over just today or her whole life.


This got us to talking about changes we might make in our lives if we had the chance.  She said there were some things she might do differently, but she did not think she would drastically change much.  I was a little surprised since she ended up marrying a gay guy.


I thought about this too.  What would I change?  At first I was thinking I would have come out sooner, at least to myself.  I would not have married a woman and maybe found a man I could have been with.  At first, I thought about a lot of wasted time pretending to be someone else.


The I started thinking about how the good things in my life happened.  Before I met K, I knew people that she knew, but there really would have been no reason for us to meet.  It was only because I was looking for a girlfriend, that our paths crossed and eventually merged.  If we never met, we never would have become best friends (and more).  As much as she means to me, I simply cannot imaging changing anything that would cause us never to meet.


My kids would not be here.  I love all my kids and I try not to play favorites, but my daughter can light up my world like no one else.  Her innocence and 5 year old view of the world can just melt my problems away.  I love my sons and they each have added a unique richness to my life.  Again, I cannot imaging making any change that would result in them not being born.


Had I come out earlier, there is a good chance that my path would have not crossed T's either.  I might have found another.  I might have even fallen in love.  But it is just a likely I would have spend my life playing the gay dating game.  Drifting from one man to another.  One random sexual encounter to another.  At this point in my life I feel like I am very lucky to have his love.  Why would I want to change anything that might screw that up.


Then my thoughts turned to regret.  I have had a lot of regret over the past couple of years.  Now I have come to see how unproductive that was.  Regret itself is in unproductive emotion.  It's almost as if it was designed to make you stuck in some kind of a feedback loop.  The other (negative) emotions I have felt over the past 2 years at least can lead to something else.  Emotions like fear, sadness, guilt and anger at least will, eventually, cause you to act on something.  Regret is like a circle, when which there is no escape.  It keeps you trapped in the cycle of wanting to change the past, not being able to and then feeling bad that you can't change the past.


It all seems so simple now, but I was stuck in that cycle of regret for a long time.  I can see how easy it is to get trapped and how difficult it is to get out of.


While my life is not perfect and there is still much to do, I have past the stage where I regret.  Now I am looking forward.  I can't change the past.  The pain I have caused K (and may continue to cause to some extent) is not changeable.  I cannot stop being gay.  I cannot pretend to be straight.  I cannot return to the closet.


I have come to see that all of these experiences, good and bad have come together to make me who I am today.  It is the same for everyone.  You are the sum of your experiences to this point in your life.  Had those experiences been drastically different, you would be a different person.


If given the chance to make changes, would I?  Maybe.  But honestly, I hope I never the chance.  I am starting to like myself again and why would I want to change that?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yes, We ARE Together.

Both K and I got to go on dates tonight with our respective boyfriends.  I have been home for a while, but because on the drive home from T's house I drank 2 bottles to soda to help me stay awake, I am now still awake.  I figured I would make good use of my time.


AJ's daughter came to our house to watch my younger kids so K and AJ could go back to his house.  My older kids got some action movie and sequestered themselves up in their bedroom.  K made dinner for him and I suspect did some other cooking too.


I met T at his office.  We went out for a really nice dinner at a place I had never been to before, but he has several times.  Most of the time when we go out, T makes me choose the place where we go. He does this for 2 reasons.  First, he really wants me to enjoy where we go and second, he does not really care about food that much.  He is just glad we are together.  Where we actually go it quite a ways down his priority list.


What I liked was he pick a place that he liked and he wanted to share that experience with me.  That really means a lot to me and I had a great time.  


As we were leaving he told me he noticed a woman watching us over her menu.  He figured she knew we were there as a couple. I generally don't care about that sort of thing and I told him that.  But he pointed out something that was different about tonight.  I think to be gay and go out as a couple, you need to have a certain I-don't-give-a-shit-what-you-think kind of attitude.  If you don't, I think the fear of being discovered would take the fun out of everything.  T said we usually have that attitude, but tonight was different.  For tonight, it felt like we were the only people in that restaurant.  We were so absorbed in each other, there was almost no notice of anything else.


After dinner we... well...  My mother reads this blog from time to time, so I am not going to say what we did next.


Suffice it to say, it was a night to remember.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Back When I Was Straight.

Back when I was straight, my life was simple.


Yes, there was stress sometimes, but it was normal stress. Things like money, kids stuff, work and family.  You know, all the normal things that people deal with all the time.  But at the end of each day, when I got into bed, I knew that things were OK.  The people who love me were there, and would be there tomorrow when I got up.  Because my stress was like everyone else's, I could talk to be about it and listen to their stress.  When you can compare stress and share it, it makes it more manageable.


Of course, it was not really normal. There was all kinds of stress that only I had to deal with.  I had to deal with it alone.  I had no friends or family I could share it with.  I could not talk about it with K at that time.  I was straight on the outside and gay on the inside.  As many people in my situation, that causes it's own special kind of stress.


Many nights after K would go to sleep, I would quietly get out of bed, go the my porn stash on the computer and ... well  ... I would have a private moment.  I got caught a couple of times and I know she was not thrilled with the idea of me ... having a moment ... while looking a pictures of men when there was a perfectly good woman (and perfectly willing) upstairs who would take care of my needs.   Looking back it is hard to imagine how I maintained the straight (or more accurately bi) delusion as long as I did.


Now that I am out (partly out anyway) I have different stressors, in addition to the old ones.  And at the end of the day, I am sleeping alone.  I know the people who love me still love me.  I know there will be somewhere in the morning, but they will all not be right there with me.  I guess I am getting used to that idea.  Now I have to coordinate schedules for everything.  If I want to see T, and I am averaging only a little better than once a week, I have to coordinate my schedule with his, then mine, then K's.  When coordinating with K that also means coordinating with AJ and by extension, his daughter, and I don't even know them.


I don't want to give the impression that this stress is out of control or it is something I cannot handle.  It's not and I can.  It's just of those things I am thinking about.  Now that my life has moved out of perpetual crisis mode, I have the time to look back at how things have changed over the past 2 years.  


In many areas of my life, nothing has changed, in fact it is surprising how little they have changed.  My relationship with my family (parents & sister) is basically the same, in face we may be a bit closer than before.  My relationship with my kids in unchanged.  They know K and I will eventually divorce and they seem to be OK, probably because I am still living here in the house.  He have not gone over the gay thing, so things may change then, but I will worry about that later.  


Other things have changed drastically.  I am in love with a man.  And not just any man.  I'm in love with T.  (I hope he doesn't mind that I posted his picture here.)  I fell in love with him 2 years ago, but I did not allow myself to embrace that feeling at first.  I denied I was feeling it.  I resisted feeling it. I did feel it.  Now I don't have to resist it anymore.  I can embrace that love and love him openly now.  Not that I am shouting it around like I'm Tom Cruise, but I am now able to feel the feelings within myself and even tall a few others about it.


My relationship to my gay self has changed too.  I am now openly and, more importantly, comfortably gay.  I am still not out to most people yet, but in my head there is no longer any question about who I am.  I am gay and that's OK.  I still struggle with past choices and what is means to me and other around me that I am gay after living the straight lie for so long, but I no longer struggle with wether I am gay or not


My relationship with K is a mixed bag.  On many levels, much about it is the same.  We are still partners in parenting and we are sill connected on the more practical matters of living together.  We are still best friends.  She tells me about and discusses most every aspect of her life.  She tells me about how her relationship with AJ is progressing.  I know they are having their own ... private moments ... but she does not tell me the details (and I really don't want them) aside from knowing he is an unselfish lover that make her feel like she wants to feel.  I am REALLY glad she has found that in him.  I know it was very frustrating for her.


Other things with K have changed a lot.  For one thing we are no longer having ... private moments.  We are no longer sleeping together, meaning we now have separate beds in separate parts of the house.  This is creating a level of separation that I am not really used to.  It is getting better.  Even thought we stopped having sex a long time ago, I was nice to not have to sleep alone.  I am slowly getting used to it and eventually it will be OK.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thinking About the Straight Spouse

I have been thinking about the right wing religious people who are opposed to homosexuality.  I have been thinking about the things they seem to want us, as gay men to do.


* Do not engage in gay sex or relationships.  
* Supress your same sex attractions.
* You chose to be gay and you can choose to be straight
Marry the right woman and you will be OK.


It is this last two points that have been bothering me lately.  Not so much because they are destructive to gay people, which they are, but they are destructive to the straight women we end up marrying.


I have been wondering if the Family Research Council and others like them even think about that.  My guess is they don't.  Once they "cure" the homo, and point them toward a woman, they think everyone will be OK.  But not only is the gay man in pain, but what happens to the woman and the children, if they have any?  What happens in the long run?  Nothing good.


Why do gay men marry straight women?  If you have been reading my blog or many of the ones I follow, for any length of time you know the answer.  We do it because we are in denial.  Why are we in denial?  Because we are made to feel that being gay is a bad thing.  It is so bad we must hide ourselves, or worse pretend to be someone we are not.


In the best of cases you have people like T, who realized himself that he is gay early on.  He did not attempt to date girls, but he was too scared to come out to anyone.  Men like him live most or all of their lives in lonely isolation.  They might seek out random gay sex.  They probably will not have any real relationships because they are afraid to be discovered.  This is a sad state, but at least the effect does not extend beyond the individual gay man.


Then there are others, like me.  We are much worse and the damage we cause is far reaching.  Those who have the feelings for other men, but are so scared or ashamed that they might be gay they "choose" not to be.  The decides that they will not be gay.  They may attempt to live a life that is like other men they know, or men they see on TV, but it is a lie.  Deep down they know that, but do not admit it, even to themselves.  They probably will meet a woman and develop some feelings for her.  She may fall in love with him and because he has never been in love, he assumes the feelings he in feeling are "in love" too.


They may get married and for a while the enjoyment of the close companionship feels a lot like love. They may have children. He sees his relationship appears to be a lot like other men and women he knows.  He must be OK, right? But he is not OK.  When he goes out, with or with out his wife he finds he is watching other men.  As he passes them at the grocery store he look at their faces, their bodies.  At the gym while working out, he is watching the other men.  All the time, watching, and praying he does not get caught.


What about the wife?  What about her?  Does anyone care about her?


Sooner or later the man is going to be discovered.  He will not be able to contain his feelings forever.  She will find out.  If she is lucky, he will tell her.  If she is not lucky, she will discover it herself, or be told by a friend who may not be supportive.  What happens to her?  She is probably older now?  What if she planned to be a housewife and mother for her career?  She may be in her 40's now and facing the prospect of starting her life over.  She has lost the husband she expected to have forever.  The plans for the future are shattered.  Her whole life is ruined because some priest told a gay man he should just find the right girl.


I wonder why that story is never told on the 700 club.  


I think if a lot more straight spouse came out and told their stories, they would be powerful advocates for letting gay people be who they are and not trying to force them (or shame them) into being something else.