we already knew each other and about you I keep very positive memory that dates back more or less to a couple of years ago, when I used as a signature “lovethemusic”, we exchanged some mails, not few, and for me it was an important experience, even if I understood the real meaning only later.
At that time I felt weak and hesitant, today, luckily for me, things have changed and in a sense I think I have understood the true meaning of the things you told me in the mails two years ago.
It is now a year and a half that I’m with a guy, who is six years younger than me, it’s a lot of time, it is true, but since we’ve been together my life has changed, it has changed for me the meaning of the word “love”, my way of being gay has strongly changed. For the first time at the age of 29 I realized how they can be strong the feelings between two guys and for the first time I discovered the meaning of a deep human contact.
We both attended our church, I mostly out of habit, he probably because sincerely believer. We met because we both accompanied a group of young people (14-16 years old) to a summer camp, then he was 21 and I 27. We had already known by sight and a little more even before camping but at the campsite we got to talk a lot and our love story basically started there. I was enchanted by the charm he had on the boys. I was older and the boys with me didn’t familiarize too much, but he joked with him as though he was 15 y.o., and he was perfectly at home in their midst.
We started to talk a bit in the evening when the boys went off to sleep and we remained with the other two camp counselors to refurbish common rooms. At that time I thought that John was straight, because everything made me think so. He hadn’t a girl, I knew it well, but in the end he was very young and had many female friends with whom he was extremely casual. John is a nice guy, I liked him, but I considered him like many other straight guys I had met, in practice a separate world with which I would never had any contact.
The first few days we talked a lot about the church, the boys in the group, the study, the work, but not about the emotional life. I saw that he liked to stay and talk to me and it was always me that I had to stop the conversation because it was too late and we had to go to bed. The camp lasted for around ten days.
Eventually we became friends. I thought that for him, our relationship was a friendship but nothing more. With me he was casual but nothing gave the impression that he could nourish strong feelings for me.
Back in town we started dating, first only through the group linked to our church and then also for our business. In our conversations, only two subjects were completely absent: love and sex. At first I thought it was a sign that it was only a friendship but it did not make sense because in general two friends who already know each other talk a lot about these things. I could observe, however, that slowly our relationship had taken a dimension of everyday life and extraordinary spontaneity, things were developing on their own, we did not even need to agree, any proposal for one of us would automatically be accepted by the other. The smiles and the looking in the eyes had become common things and there was a minimum of physical contact: the hug when we said goodbye was not just a greeting, to invite me to come he took me by the hand, and sometimes he leaned his head on my shoulder or winked as if to say that he knew what I was going to say or do. I tried to be very careful not to expose me, he fascinated me but I tried to avoid him understand it but he must have realized it anyway.
At one point he began to indulge in forms of physical contact more meaningful, such long hugs, sudden and for no apparent reason, accompanied by expressions of happiness when he hugged me. The more I tried to pull back and get things back to usual level, the more John gave sign of feeling frustrated by my behavior. At one point, to fix a moment of embarrassment that had been created, he took the initiative and kissed me, I tried to say no but he replied: “Shut up!” And we remained kissing for 10 minutes. The next day I felt guilty, as if I had taken advantage of him, I told him but I read in his eyes the need to move on, that’s why I put apart every hesitation and hugged him strongly, that night we had our first timid sex. I do not think there’s anything more exciting than being in love with a guy and seeing that that guy wants you deeply. I basically understood what is the true sexuality. He hugged me very strong and had no inhibition, his spontaneity was total and, strangely for me, even my spontaneity was total.
Things went on like this for a few days, then I returned to the usual scruples and started to keep him at a distance. I believe that John has felt totally rejected and it was terrible, he insisted that he loved me but I did not want that between us there was sex anymore and I kept him at a distance for a while, then we restarted our meetings, but we made a pact between us, we decided that we would meet without physical contact. We spent long evenings talking and I began to learn more about John. I was amazed that he acted that way with me even if I wanted to distance. Then I was no longer able to tolerate to see him suffer and we newly began to have sex but the expression is not adequate because in reality, it was true love. For him, sex was a bit a response to his need for affection, was like to realize that his need for affection was much more important than my inhibitions and that in the end I could understand how he truly felt. I never thought that sex could have such an ability to soothe, to reassure that can have an affective so deep meaning.
When I was with him I felt no guilt, it was all so natural, so beautiful, so full of feeling that the idea that it was not a good thing never crossed my mind. But sometimes later, when I was alone, I was reminded that religion condemns these things and then beyond appearances, what we were doing was not a way to be good, but was actually a bad thing, that was a way to hurt him for some reason that I couldn’t even understand. I tried to tell John these things and he listened, puzzled, and yet I knew that he was a believer, but I lived religion through a thousand scruples, he lived it as something liberating. He looked at me with a strong sense of concern and asked me: “Do you really think that we are doing something bad?” And I did not know what to answer, and in those moments I saw him again alone in his solitude, the solitude to which I had forced him, then I took his hand and felt all his hesitation and in that moment it seemed terribly unfair to keep him away from me and then I hugged him strongly.
I knew the weakness of John, his need for love, I felt him close to me as I haven’t felt any other person and slowly I began to put aside my scruples, and I came to understand that our love was true.
Sometimes, when I read things that people say about gays, it takes me a sense of despair, because now for me it is clear that those people do not understand at all what is the gay love, the love between two men. Me too, for a long time indeed, I had strong doubts that between two men could exist a real love, I’ve probably learned this kind of mistrust by the environment in which I lived and for me to go over it was not easy. I started to put aside certain forms of psychological addiction to religion and I began to wonder what for me was good and bad, beyond any preconception and now I have no doubt, and I think that only love has the power to free us from our fears and give us the courage to finally be ourselves.
It remains only one fear that is the fear that my relationship with John can finish. Objectively there is nothing on which to base this fear, but the fact is that the love of John effectively became the cornerstone of my life and think of living without him would not make sense.
In our relationship there have been also moments of misunderstanding but when it happened I never had the fear that our relationship would end. We repeated to each other this thing a thousand times. Today, after a year and a half, I’m a happy man. We do not live together because our families do not know that we are gay and by mutual agreement we decided not to say anything, not for reasons of selfishness or distrust but because we both think that our parents would not understand and every day we receive confirmation from the speeches that we hear at home. In addition to putting in enormous difficulties our parents, we could also expose our relationship to strong tensions but we want to live as a couple in peace of mind. Now I have a job, but it is a job with fixed-term contract and John still studies, if things go on like this, in a few years (I hope) we could be truly independent and we could move in together.
The relationship with religion, in the sense of our community, went into crisis. Obviously in that environment nobody knows about us, therefore nobody can marginalize us but since we know what is the way to see things for the people that live in that environment, we prefer partridge outside to avoid having to pretend a communion of thought which does not exist no longer. But we kept a set of values related to religion and also a great hope that God is better than men and has reserved for us a place in heaven. It is not a figure of speech, it’s a form of faith, I think, we’ll never lose.
Project, now I understand the meaning of many things that you told me and I realize that they were true!