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Simmer down …

06/23/2010

You’re going to be gay for a long time.

I have a friend who’s 50-ish, just now coming out, and totally bonkers. He’s dying to jump into it – get laid, do poppers and dance until 3 in the morning, get laid, do a three-way, find a boyfriend, get laid some more – experience everything he thinks he’s missed. I was at exactly the same place a couple of years ago. Except for maybe the poppers and 3 a.m. bedtime part. But I got over it. So, recently I told him something a fellow late bloomer who had come out earlier told me, “Calm down! You really haven’t missed a thing. You’re going to be gay for a long time.”

Good advice. I promise.

It’s been a little more than two years since I came out publicly, and over that time I have grown into my new self. I get more comfortable with it every day. Yep, I’ve had some sexual experience with gay men. But, much more important really, is the social experience. I’ve lived openly in the world – among both gays and straights – as a gay man.

When I first came out, the gay part was sort of like an add-on. A new room added onto the house – in my case right out front – that didn’t blend-in very well. From some angles it was downright unattractive.

A couple of months ago, almost suddenly, everything seemed to click into place. The news about David being gay is no longer news. When I meet new people I am just me – not the guy who decided he was gay after fathering two kids and getting married a second time. What a relief! Social interactions are easier, more natural. And men – a couple of good ones! –  are interested. In me! Without me having to work it so hard. Nice!

The point is, this: The gay part has integrated with the rest. I’m just me again. I can’t tell you exactly when this happened, but it did. And it took some time.

This gets me back to my friend who’s going nuts ­right now. It’s understandable. For him the gay part is so much more important than the rest of him, it distorts his view and drives his behavior. And, sometimes his behavior comes off as … ummm … overly enthusiastic. Not good when you are looking to get into a new life and make new relationships. It can run people off.

This applies whether you come out at 40, or 50 or 75. You simply have to relax and let it happen. Put in the time.

By this, I do not mean you should crawl into a cocoon expecting to emerge a butterfly at some point. You have to work on it, engage in life as it comes at you, make friends. Make mistakes – God knows I did! – and learn from them. Grow into yourself.

And one day, you’ll realize that you didn’t miss all that much. It’s all still there for you.

Good news!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. nanci Reese permalink
    06/24/2010 1:46 AM

    Dear David,
    Glad you are writing so much. AND such good advice.
    In my GLBT class that I took and Greg was a part of this. It was in SF, before the summer of love, before Stonewall, before womens LIB – about and year and 1/2 before the summer of love. In SF and in different communes and just in the community and mainly in the Haight there was just people. It didn’t matter if you were gay, straight , bi, Black, white, Asian etc. Everybody were just all people spreading love and being very acceping of everybody. Greg and his friends had a store on Haight street and you had to quess how much everything cost. And I also think for a period of time they had a free store. But then summer of love happened, and gay freedom happened and the gays went from the Haight over the hill to the Castro. And the women seperated out and there became all these labels. It is too bad we can’t just have everybody be people no matter their race, creed, color or sexual orientiation. My church gets close to that. But we need more.
    Well, now that I have rambled on long I will stop,
    Love,
    Nanci

  2. 06/24/2010 5:36 PM

    My church tries to go there too. It’s hard work, but it’s good to see people at least struggling with it.

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