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.
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