One of the stereotypes of gay men that I acquired around the age of fifteen, reading the homosexuality chapter of a terrible book about sex, was that gay relationships were fleeting; that gay men soon tired of each other as men continued their relentless pursuit of sex with other men; and that the idea of a deep loving passionate relationship between men was not possible. As much as I have changed over the years, and particularly over the last five years, I think this stereotype still lived on in the recesses of my mind.
There is real death, and then there is what I think of as, the little death. When I use this term I do not mean what people describe as, la petite more, a term that is tied to the feelings at the point of orgasm. I always think of, the little death, as it was described in the book Dune, by Frank Herbert. He writes in the Litany Against Fear: “I have no fear, for fear is the little death that kills me over and over. Without fear, I die but once.” Continue reading →
As I headed towards my 50th birthday in 2008 a number of things in my life were beginning to converge. I was increasingly dissatisfied in my marriage. As the world around me began to celebrate being LGBT, I was in hiding. I felt that I was going through the motions: holidays with my wife’s family; birthdays with the same birthday cakes year after year. I felt increasingly lonely, isolated and compartmentalized. I played the role of husband, father, bread winner while an internal battle raged about my identity and sexual orientation.
Today I am an out and proud gay man. I am out in every facet of my life. But this has not always been the case. I began dating a woman in 1990, who I fell in love with, and we married two years later. We have a 19 year old son together. While I had know about my attraction to men since I was fourteen, and told my wife when we first started dating, I only began to come out fully about five years ago, and subsequently moved out of my marriage almost three years ago.
There was a man I got to know as I began coming out. Gary and I met on Grindr on a Friday evening in the Fall of 2011 as I sat in a restaurant, near Dupont Circle, eating dinner. I had just driven into Washington, D.C. from work and was grabbing a quick bite before heading off to a support group meeting for gay, bisexual and queer men who were, or had been involved with, or married to a women. Gary and I continued texting on Grindr over the next week and soon arranged a meeting. We immediately liked each other and had a good deal in common. My relationship with Gary never became physical but we soon became good friends and spent time together going to art movies and exploring the cultural scene in Washington, D.C.
Thanksgiving is a time of family gatherings. This can make the holiday a difficult time for many LGBT people. I have been involved for the last four years with a peer support group for men who are gay, bisexual, questioning; and who are, or who were, married or involved with a woman. I know a number of men from this group who have moved out of their marriages in the last few years and face spending Thanksgiving alone or with a new group of people for the first time in many years. It can be a very stressful and difficult time.