Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

journal writing
My first year of college seems quite a long time ago. 1976 to be exact. But I recently reread my diaries from that first year of college for the first time and was surprised by a number of things.

The first big surprise was that in my diary I referred to myself as gay all though that first year of college. The second big surprise was the number of men that I had short relationships with. It was only a few men, but I had not remembered all of them.

I was very much in turmoil that first year. I had been in Reichean therapy to change from homosexuality since I was 16 and was actively pursuing relationships with men. It would probably even be more honest to say that I was driven to men.

I also had a blind spot. I saw the attraction to men as something transient that would eventually go away as therapy “kicked in”. I had been in therapy 3-4 years by that point and it clearly was not working, but I couldn’t see it. And there was very little support in the world at large for a gay lifestyle that was out and proud in 1976.

My college did have an LGBT Alliance, and I did go to one meeting during the very first weeks of freshman year but was too scared to go back. I was also unhappy that now all the gay students saw me as one of them now.

I wish I could do that first year over. Today I would be out and I would be proud. Today I would embrace who I was, a gay man.

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