A few years ago I wrote about a guy that used to leave near me. His name is "Steve". Steve is GGAAYY. I met him nearly 10 years ago and I knew in 5 seconds he is gay. Honestly, his behaviors are a gay stereotype. When I met him he was married... to a woman. He had three children. One from his first wife (who died from a complication of childbirth) and 2 from his current wife (current at the time anyway). K and I used to have Steve and his wife over to our house quite a bit. Our kids played with their kids and we all liked hanging out together. I always believed Steve to be gay, but despite his mannerisms, he talked like a semi-homophobic religious type. Eventually his wife caught him with a man and their marriage fell apart into a HUGE mess. When he eventually came out to me, I could not even act surprised. I told him not only did I know, but I gave me an opportunity to come out to him too. I had not met T at this point. Steve and I never did anything physical but it was really nice to have someone to talk to who understood where I was coming from. For a while, Steve engaged in a lot of risky behavior. He had a lot of anonymous hook ups facilitated by Craigslist. While he was in that mode I mostly lost touch with him. I had enough contact to know his version of the gay lifestyle was not for me. I also knew his relationship with his ex-wife was poisonous for for both them and their kids. Fast forward a couple of years. Over the past 6 months I have meet up with Steve and his new partner named "Alex" a few times. Steve is 38 and Alex is 26 but in a lot of ways I think Alex has this shit together a lot more than Steve. He is more sensible and I think that the relationship has been really good for Steve. A couple of weeks ago, they invited me to a party to celebrate Alex's college graduation. After saying I would go, I had to back out at the last minute. I offered to take them out to dinner to make up for it. I had that dinner last week. I met them at their new place. Until about a month ago, they had officially been living separately, but I think Alex had quite a few sleepovers. Now they share a home. Steve moved into Alex's single wide trailer and in the past month they have done a lot of renovations themselves. They added windows, moved walls, installed a fireplace and built a back porch. It really was impressive what they did together. After they showed me around we went out to dinner. While the food was good, the service was very slow. I was OK with me since the the conversation was nice. I was impressed to see how this relationship with Alex had brought structure to Steve's life. I think Alex added actual meaning to Steve's life. A reason not to self destruct in the face of his crazy ex-wife. It was clear they were in love. It was clear they were 2 people living as one. They were partners in everything. This is the life I want for T and me. This is the live I dream about.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
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