When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"how things are"

Came back a few minutes ago from My Con Buddy's invite to run out and meet him for a bite to eat. He's the guy I drove down to NC with, and went with him to join a gym, and we've done a classic movie, and attended a podcast recording event, and who I told everything in my history to except me being gay. ("Con" as in "comic convention", not as in "he's served time in prison"). He's (one of) the handsome budd(ies) I have that I hope somehow are as gay as me and are hiding it like I am, and are waiting for me to say the right thing before they'll take me in their arms.

Last week we went out to see a concert. He had an extra ticket because he wanted to invite this girl at work and she became unavailable. So, yeah, he's still hetereo. No indie flick, "best-friend comes out and reveals his true love for the hero" ending to this story. But pre-show, while we were eating bagels in the window of a Williamsburg deli (and yes, I can't lie--it was as cool as it sounds) who walks by on the street except none other than My First Man Date.

Mind you, I haven't spoken to him since he reached out to me in my silence. But there he went on by. Far as I know, he could have been going home--I never knew his actual address, although I do remember his neighborhood, and I didn't mark it as being near Williamsburg. But yeah, there he went. And there I sat with my straight friend, My Con Buddy, who I haven't been able to tell that I'm gay to. And I waited for the panic attack to set in. And oddly, it didn't.

And I thought, not for the first time, that if there's a God, He's writing my life like we write cable drama. Because WHAT?! REALLY?! And my next thought was, what if My First Man Date saw me sitting there with my handsome friend? Well, of course he'd think I was on another date. And he'd want to be introduced, if for no other reason than to verify that I was doing well and getting on with my dating life after it not working out with him (because honestly, My First Man Date is THAT nice--albeit also being a little horndog). And what would I then say to My Con Buddy, seeing an "obvious" gay man greet me warmly and possibly take for granted that I'm on another date with a dude? Well, I'd have to come out, wouldn't I? And what if I did? Would I lose My Con Buddy? And if I did, shouldn't I Cee-Lo Green his ass to the curb?

Hey, if it was that easy, I'd be out of the closet.

One thing My Con Buddy hasn't done point blank is ask me about my taste in women. Of course, I'VE done the asking of his taste, for my own curiosity sake. He either already highly supects I'm for the dudes and doesn't want it confirmed, or he doesn't really care and would prefer not to know anyway. I can't think of a third alternative. Either way, I don't feel like it's a good idea to reveal as I've done with some of my married geek buddies. I figure, I suppose, that since they're married, they could feel less threatened by me (although I know in my heart of hearts that I wanted them to confess their lust for me despite their statusi). The married ones accept me. I dunno if the single ones hunting ladies would accept me the same way. ESPECIALLY if they might be a little gay themselves but want it even less than I do.

So all this is to say that the "how things are" of my life are not so good. I'm still repressed and afraid. I'm still frustrated and ashamed (evidently). And although I'm doing fun things, thanks to My Con Buddy, I'm lonely. (And I miss Ned).

Wish I had better news, but this misery is comfortable and it seems to be the destination of my choice. Even when I considered calling My First Man Date to tell him I saw him in Williamsburg, I opted out of that too. I just want it all to go away. But it doesn't. So I do.


Shades of Scorpio said...

Maybe it's a straight guy thing, but I really don't get why a dude would dump his friend for revealing his orientation. I know I wouldn't do that to any of my friends, male or female...can't think of any of my friends who would. My MOM on the other hand would take the news on her back - but only for a moment - and would then still dote over me as she does now.

I just don't get how true friends could cut it off for that.

Me said...

Well it's because women are better than men, silly.

No, I don't know. I can only guess and speak as a man, observing men in a male-dominated society.

Men admire strength and power and a guy's ability to win. Especially when it comes to sex. An individual wants to be a sexual dynamo but knows he's unable to fulfill all his ego's wants, either because of his physical limitations or because women aren't all mindless sheep. He can't REALLY go all night long and he can't REALLY have any chick he wants. But a man will idolize any other man that he thinks CAN. Male-dominated society sets these men up as the heroes, the movie stars, the sports pros.

The gay equation messes all that up for Johnny Straight. If a guy is gay and APPEARS gay...well, he's not the kind of man Johnny Straight wants to admire. That's not the winner, the dominant one, the powerful one, the conquerer of women. And if there's a gay guy who APPEARS straight ... well, Johnny Straight gets his heart broken to have a potential hero turn into someone that doesn't fit the avatar. Not to mention that when Johnny Straight thought a GAY guy hung the moon ... well, Johnny starts wondering about his place in the family Straight. Johnny gets terrified. Johnny wants a world he can predict and ultimately control. The gay man doesn't fit into Johnny Straight's neatly ordered world.

Now ... out of MY friends, I have a few Johnny Straights. I have a lot of open-minded Johnnies who've looked at life and made informed decisions and have brains a little bigger than a Tyrannosaurus Rex's. They've confronted their fears early and realized another man's sexuality was no threat to their own. They learned to only focus on their own lives rather than demand that others fit into their ideal of How The World Should Be. Those people will be my friends when it all comes out.

But some of my friends are the scared Johnny Straights. Some who are unlucky at love. Others who need a well-ordered community to help them feel safe. Some who have a narrow set of guidelines that work for them. Some for whom change is scary and dangerous. Some who are raising children into a world that they want to be safe, as they perceive it. And some who are a combination of all of the above.

So when I change from Straight Alan to Gay Alan in their lives ... they will just not be able to roll with it as easily as I'd wish. I'll become a different person than who they thought they knew. I'll become an uncomfortable item in the inventory of their psyche. And when they remember how much they liked me, and realize that I was gay all along, they'll worry about their own selves and they're own sexuality. Their fragile egos won't allow them to have used me for a sexual avatar, because that will mean that they lived vicariously through a gay man.

So the only thing they can comfortably do from that point on, as they recover from the paradigm quake, is to avoid me. Even thoughts of me. Or especially thoughts of me. Benignly, peaceably, respectfully ... avoid me.

It's happened to me since I've started these blogs. It's happened to me with MFTD. Now I call him--he rarely calls me. He's most enthusiastic when I detail my plans for celibacy, and his tone of voice goes low when I discuss my plans to go on dates.

This is what I think I have experienced and what I think I will experience more of. This is the pain that causes gay suicides. This is the loneliness that hurts the most, no matter who I manage to screw, or whoever I get to screw me. This is the fear I harbor, no matter how many people tell me, "Hey man ... you're my friend. Nothing will change that."

Much as I pray that to be true .... I know how I feel when I'm alone. I want to be wrong, but who's going to show me that I am?

Tera said...

HNY to you!!! :-)

Me said...

Thanks Tera! And to you as well!