My name is D. I am 36 years old, I’m an openly gay or rather I should say a former openly gay, not former gay but former openly. Basically I came out at age 16. My parents reacted badly but then they somehow accepted my being gay and on the other hand they had no choice. I have had fewer problems with friends than with family but the most part my friends (or former friends) put me into oblivion, and among those who have put me into oblivion there’s one, let’s call Steven, who is also gay and I can take that for granted, but about Steven I will tell you later.
At age 16 I was already a spirit very independent and also rebellious, in the sense that I would never have done what others wanted me to do, or rather I liked to do only what I decided. Up to 22-23 years but also up to 24, that is when I started working, I had to avoid the excesses, I made my convenience, but since I did not have any money there were limits.
From the age of 24 I started to attend the gay scene, what you call “gay labeled” environments . This made me fell a lot of freedom, I felt liberated, I had money in my pocket and I did pick up, I came to bring guys in a hotel room and it did not happen once. The fear of diseases slowed me a little but let’s say that between 24 and 34 y. o. I’ve done all sorts, a bit for inertia and a bit following the current. By then the gay environment was well known to me, they called me and involved me and I accepted their proposals very happy.
At age 34, being reprimanded as gay, being identified as part of an environment and in practice having to feel more “gay” than “D.” began to bother me, I did not like that my gay friends called me and even fewer that insisted when I had said no, among other things I had been with so many guys, but I had never been in love, not only that, but I began to do discourses that I would ‘t have done a year before, I did count how much money I had spent over ten years of that life, and it was really a huge amount of money, nevertheless I felt frustrated and dissatisfied, I was alone, I had had many adventures, but I had nothing left.
I decided to do a two years master’s degree to get a little up at work, which was never something that had interested me before, and there I met Steven. Obviously he knew everything about me, that is he knew I was gay and openly gay, I did not know anything about him, for me he could also have wife and children. The first few days he kept me at a distance, not wanting to be seen with me, I invited him to have coffee during breaks but he preferred not to come. The way he used to tell me “no” irritated me a lot and after a while I didn’t invite him anymore.
Once, he came to classes in the morning with the subway but there was a strike and he could not come back home, I had the car and I took him home. While in route I told him that I was disappointed that he was keeping me at a distance because I was gay because maybe a straight man can not realize the meaning of being gay and can think who knows what. He replied that he did not want to be seen with me because they would have stuck the gay label on him. I told him that I could understand, and he said that, there are also many gays who don’t like “the gay label”. The answer sounded a little strange but the discussion was over, then we talked about work and the master.
Over the months, the relationship with Steven became more easy, it took him six months to tell me that he was gay and he told me a little of his story. He was still alone, he fell in love twice but always with straight guys, but had saved a little money and had bought a small apartment even though he had left the mortgage to pay. I told him about me and my stories and then he asked me if I felt satisfied and I told him the truth, not only that I did not feel satisfied at all but that I could not stand anymore staying in a gay environment. He replied: “And then what are you waiting for? Go anywhere else!”
I’ll make it short. I’m not in love with Steven and I think he is not in love with me, among other things he’s really obsessed by the idea of AIDS and he’s right, now we’re dating for a year and a half, always in secret because he doesn’t want to be seen with me. He got with me a serious result because I quit smoking and I felt better and I also stopped drinking alcohol, not that it was a vice, but in fact it could become so. I’m fine with Steven and I think he’s okay with me.
Between us there has never been physical contact and I don’t know if there will ever be, but when he is there it’s a kind of serenity background that I never felt before. Last week, I told him that I feel uncomfortable being an openly gay (I restarted this issue) and we got the idea that we should change jobs and go to live in another city.
We did some calculations. It was possible to deal with the change of working with a financial sacrifice, and it was also possible to buy a small apartment. But Steven did not agree, and repeated that each of us had to have his own “little hole” because if things did not go as planned, there could be obligations of an economic nature to make us stay together out of necessity. The economic problems were enormous and we knew it. In concrete terms, it was possible to realize our projects in two or three years, not before. I did not want to ask money from my parents, and he had the mortgage to pay.
In a weekend we went to another city where there is a large branch of our company where we could move. It is a very large office, with nearly 40 employees. If and when (because I do not know if it will happen) we will move, I think (I already decided) I will not tell anyone about my being gay. I don’t know if it makes sense or not changing city in order to stay close to a friend that I’m not in love with (at least it’s what I think now), but I need quiet and with him I’m fine. I do not know if there will be anything between us but in fact I do not even consider it too much important. In practice, Steven is the only person who has really taken me seriously, I feel his attention. After all we are the two of us to be alone, it is paradoxical but true.
The idea of starting a new life attracts me a lot, I just want to change the environment. It is the relationship with Steven that makes me change my life, but even before I’d had enough of my gay life. But without Steven I’d probably be in the same situation as before but on the contrary now I’m looking with him to give concrete expression to the changing project and he is willing to sell his apartment and get one in another city to follow me, which seems to me more serious than any declarations of love (Project, I’m getting old!).
It may seem strange, but it is as if the sex does not matter to me anymore, before it was an obsession, now I think that I could do without it, but I don’t think I could do without Steven. At the beginning I used to think that hidden gays were “guys with no balls” (an expression that I read in your forum) but now I think that if I had used more my brain and less my balls (excuse the vulgarity ) now I could feel better. I read on your forum all the discussions about the coming out and frankly I am of those who have considered it fundamental for years but in the end I changed my mind, I almost flipped my way of thinking, if first I thought that a hidden gay guy was “without balls” now I think that a guy openly gay could not have really made his choice but that somehow has been guided by the circumstances, then, once done, the coming out becomes obviously a reason of pride.
I must add one thing though, that I was not only an openly gay guy but was fully integrated into the world labeled gay and that’s why I cannot be aware of the condition of the openly gay guys who don’t attend the gay environment and I think that it’s probably a very different situation compared to mine. Project, I do not subscribe to the forum in order to avoid to be dragged, but if you want you can publish this email. This is just my point of view, does not express general theorems, but maybe it can serve a useful purpose.