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April 21st, 2024

Discreet? Not Exactly…

Many years ago a girl that a friend of mine was dating told me, approvingly, that I was a discreet homosexual. I replied that I was single and it is easy to be discrete about your love life when you don’t have one.

I blogged about my relationship with that family previously, and about when I finally realized that all the time I thought I was teaching them that gay guys were just another thread in the American quilt, and that liberty and justice for all thing applies to us too, they thought they were encouraging me to stifle myself and be discreet. It’s easier for some heterosexuals (not all) to accept a gay friend or family member provided they don’t have to ever see any specific evidence of their sexual orientation. Such as a boyfriend. Or the way a beautiful guy can jerk your eyes around and make you look, stunned. As long as they don’t have to see that, they’re fine with you.

One of my straight friends, from way, Way back, friended me on Facebook, and then promptly de-friended me. When I asked why he said he didn’t want all that gay stuff I was writing about on his Facebook page. Of course I wasn’t putting it on his page, but mine. The thing was that he saw it, because he’d friended me which meant he could see all the posts I marked as friends only, and he didn’t want to. 

It was like that whenever we spent time together. He could talk about his love life, but when I talked about mine, or rather my struggle just to simply have one, he would change the subject. I was okay for me to be his gay friend, so long as I wasn’t…you know…gay. 

Especially when all you can see about your LGBT neighbors in this life, is sex.

It is an old stereotype, that homosexuality has to do only with sex while heterosexuality is multifaceted and embraces love and romance. -Vito Russo

It’s on this website, in my artwork and on this blog, that you really see the shameless homosexual that I am. Which is not to say I am given to a lot of overt displays of sexuality here. My art gallery is full of sexy guys, but there is no pornography, which I consider just pushing buttons. I am not given to graphic descriptions of sex, even in my fiction. But there is no doubt that I like beautiful guys and that that same sex couples in my fiction are lovers. What makes me shameless is I really don’t think there is anything wrong with being homosexual. I am fine with this. I am not ashamed. 

Because once upon a time I fell in love with a classmate, a stunningly beautiful guy, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve written before it really was like something out of a Disney movie. I walked with a lighter step, the birds sang a little more sweetly, the skies were a little more blue, the stars shined a little more brightly. I was twitterpated. It was wonderful. There is no reason for me to be ashamed of that.

I can see how your average heterosexual might have some trouble grokking this. Sex is a basic drive inside of us, older than the fish, let alone the mammals, let alone the primates, let alone us, and our libidos are what they are. It either turns you on, or it turns you off. Fine. I get that. But you don’t have to obsess about the sex I might be having to appreciate that apart from that detail of sexual orientation my desires are not that different from anyone else’s. 

All my life I have searched for that significant other, to have and hold, to share a life together, body and soul. And all my life I keep getting told that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. Which is not to say that there is anything wrong with being homosexual, and having homosexual sex. But being reduced to a sex drive you can miss how the sight of a beautiful guy arouses more than my libido, but also every higher emotion of wonder and joy within me, that make life worth living. That’s the part that keeps getting missed when all you can see about your LGBT neighbors is the sex you think they’re having.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments; love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

-William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116 

That sonnet speaks to something deep within us, gay and straight alike. 

I never found that significant other. I’m 70 years old now and looking back at having walked my entire adult life basically single and alone in my heart. I blame the world I came of age in, that kept telling me and everyone else that homosexuals don’t love they just have sex. In a better world I might have found someone to have and hold. A nice guy I might have met at a church social or in high school or at some social event for the gay kids arranged by caring adults. Someone I could have brought home to mom and told her this is my boyfriend and she’d have made a place at the table for him. Someone I could have made a life together with, body and soul.

So if you ever see me gawking at some drop dead beautiful guy, just let me have my moment. Beautiful guys are still a good reason to keep on living, and I’m probably not just drinking in his beauty, but also seeing what might have been if only the gay kid I once was had lived in a better world.


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