Sunday, April 12, 2009

How it all began . . .

How this particular journey began . . .

About 3 years ago now I had a sudden realization. Out of the blue it came to me that I'm gay.

Just like that. Now it was 3 years ago so the details are hazy. But as I remember it came like a bolt of lightening.

Sure I had had a diddling experience when I was a very young kid - 10 or 11 or so. Nothing serious or long lasting. Then nothing. Perhaps that's a bit of the problem.

I remember being 19 or 20 and crossing the street with a friend. He noticed two very attractive young ladies checking us out. Me - I noticed that his head turned around so quickly that he should have had whiplash. It's not that I noticed men either. I noticed no one. Never had a girl friend through high school. Two dates. One of which was to the prom - I was asked. Smoking dope every day before school numbs the mind a bit. One relationship with a woman before my wife - initiated by that person. The sex was not very good.

Then 20+ years ago met my wife while attending a Roman Catholic seminary - that haven of closeted men. I knew some who were obviously gay and in the closet and thought, proudly, that I was not. Talk about sanctimonious.

Anyway, 20 years later the flash of lightening. As I reflect it is not all that sudden. In 1995, or so I was in grad school and picked up a copy of Richard Mohr's Gay Ideas. I was particularly drawn to the Tom of Finland illustrations in the book.

No, I didn't need the book for a class, a paper, or anything else for that matter. I was liberal and wanted to display that I wasn't homophobic. But boy o boy did I find those Tom of Finland pictures fascinating. I can see them as I type this.

At that time we had our first child. Whoosh - back in the closet.

Fast forward a decade. In grad school again. WTF - that's it - grad school is the problem!!

So, a decade later is the flash.

It was around Easter then too. I remember because we were at an Easter party outside at the house of a friend of my wife. A few families were there. Then boom it happened - Frank walked in. Tall, handsome, dumb as a post, but very cute. I was in love, or lust. Nothing happened or could or would. I was infatuated with the husband of my wife's friend. Literally, I felt weak in the knees. WTF was that.

Somewhere in here I called Fr. Roy (or did I call him Ray?). I had heard of him and thought he would be a safe place. I had once attended church there with the family when we were looking for a new church. He was safe place. I pulled into his parking lot a warm spring day. Smoked another cigarette. Walking in was so tough. But I did. We sat down in his office - may have started with prayer - but remember blurting it out - I think I'm gay.

I have no idea how long we talked. At one point he asked if I wanted to explore what I was fantasizing about sexually. I recoiled like a he was getting ready to pour molten iron on my foot. There was no way that I was going to share where I wanted to go there. I do remember we ended praying in the sanctuary.

We had left it that I could contact him and that I had no plan to be unfaithful. That was and continues to be crucial. I left feeling about a million pounds lighter. Sure I was gay, but the world was not coming to and end. I did not call back. I can handle this on my own now (yeah right).

I continued to try to live a normal life and did. Then the one, two punch.

One - during sex with my wife she asked if I was gay. WTF!! Again recoil big time. I have no idea what I said. I was raised Irish Catholic while we remember faults for generations, we can ignore the elephant in the living room even if it is purple and standing on our foot. Perhaps it was that we were not having sex that often-I know I was using my imagination and was not fully present during sex.

Two - my wife was walking a friend through finding pictures on her computer. The easiest way to do that is of course to do it one your own. Thank God, she was doing this by phone. I had joined and browsing through people there, even chatted with a couple until it went right to sex. But the bastards at store pictures in a file on the computer other than the usual ones for internet files. Again, played dumb and dumber. And ditched the files. Had to ditch them at work too. None of the files were explicit, but many were clearly queer - especially the one of the cock.

Not sure which punch came first.

Some where in here the closet door slowly closed again. Slowly, gently, and firmly. Things returned to normal. Three years pass - damn this is getting to be a theme.

I get invited to a series of meetings for work that will likely include Fr. Roy even though his church is almost an hour away from my work. Whew! he's not there at the first meeting I attend. That saves me from trying to explain to him how I had been so confused. Clearly, there was something wrong, but those gay feelings were gone.

Roy is at the second meeting. He does not let on that we know each other. Swoosh - all those feelings swoop in. In think my blood pressure got to about 350/250. I was on the spot for a lot of the meeting - they had called me in to consult on a project they were trying to get going. I was able to speak and look around the room, even at Roy. Cool as a cucumber I was.

This was October/November 2008. I emailed Roy - can we meet . . .

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