THE REAL LIFE OF A GAY GUY

Hello Project,

about a month ago, while surfing the internet, I found gay project which surprised me because it is something unique. At first I was impressed by the simplicity of the sites and by the absence of erotic advertising, then I started reading and I was amazed by the fact that I was reading a lot of things very similar to those that have happened to me and this, for me , was very important. That’s why I decided to write overcoming so many doubts and resistances. My life does not have anything very important, I’m an engineering student, I come from a normal family after all. My father and my mother more or less get along, my sister got married last year and no longer lives with me. My parents do not know anything about me, and I’ll absolutely avoid to tell them how things really are because for them I think it would just be a trauma, I do not think they would be able to understand, they are good parents, not too invasive, according to the their way of seeing, nor too selfish to care only about their own business. I will not speak with them in order to avoid them to stress uselessly, the idea that children should adapt to be the image and likeness of their parents is too deeply impressed in their own head. I cannot say whether or not they are believers, and to what extent, they go to church on Sunday and I’m going with them as if it were a natural thing because they expect it, my mother goes to confession every so often and receives communion, daddy never, but at least they have the common sense not to put pressure on me about such things. Luckily for me I’m still young and they think that I should hurry to graduate and so the fact that I do not have a girlfriend takes second place, because it would be a distraction from the fundamental purpose. My father and my mother have attitudes toward gay people that make me very angry but I have to tolerate discomfort for a quiet life: they know nothing about such things but they believe they know and understand everything, they are sympathetic to gay people just as priests are, they are inclined to forgive the vice for the weakness of the flesh because “also gays are people” (what a great concession!) but they would never admit that two guys can love each other because “it’s so nice to follow nature” and “between two men or between two women love does not make sense.” I let them talk because they need to be convinced that they are right. By saying so I mean that practically the relationship with my parents doesn’t exist at all but they don’t even realize it, for them it’s much more important to be right. Breaking away from the mentality of my parents and beginning to think with my head it was not so easy. At age 18 I went to confession for the last time, I told the priest that I was gay and I was in love with a guy, the priest didn’t even conceive the idea that it could be a true and deep feeling, and started to repeat certain things that offended me deeply, and I thought that what he said was patently false and immoral so much that I got up and I went away. I do not accept the idea that a feeling that I consider the most important thing in my life can be outraged by those who don’t even understand what they say and think they are speaking in the name of God. I have not had second thoughts, sometimes in church, I hear homilies that I cannot stand absolutely but I act as if I was just thinking of something else, exams, university, etc.. In high school I still had many doubts, not doubts about what I was, but doubts about how I had to behave. I remember a specific fact, the penultimate year of high school the Italian teacher assigned us as a task to compose a short essay on violence. I thought of speaking about violence against women, racism and the usual things and also about homophobia, but then gave up the idea completely, when the teacher gave us back our works classified in the commenting on one of them said to a student: “You have considered many aspects of the problem: religious intolerance, violence in stadiums, homophobia, violence against women …”, at the word homophobia I felt myself freeze and the eyes of all the guys have focused on the student with whom the teacher was talking and there have been mischievous smiles. That guy is definitely not gay but the word homophobia caused a particular reaction among my classmates, for them it is only an allusion to homosexuality, something more or less ridiculous that they only know from jokes and has been interpreted just as a joke. Obviously I had been right not to talk about homophobia. I don’t think that my classmates were homophobic, for them the problem did not even exist, for them gays were a kind of tribe on the edge of reality, for them a gay guy had to have many characteristics that are recognizable, they didn’t even realize that someone could be hurt by the fact that they were laughing at the word homophobia, in the end they were not homophobic, they were just superficial (stupid) and had no need to understand, because it was something that they weren’t absolutely interest in. Instinctively I have always kept away from groups, from too close friendships and from the gossip and this helped me to finish my high school, maintaining the my reputation of fake straight. In high school I supposed that one of my classmate was gay, but my assumptions were totally wrong. In college I found myself immersed in a completely different world. I had gone to the classical high school, with a strong majority of women (more than 2/3 of my classmates were girls), in the Faculty of Engineering there was instead a strong male predominance, and in particular in my courses. For a gay guy who came from the experience of classical high school, being in an engineering classroom was just like being a child entering the pastry: a huge temptation, an environment that created a community almost entirely male. Some guys were very handsome. If ever I had some little doubt about the fact of being gay this doubt vanished soon after I begun to attend engineering classes We went to classes together at the canteen together, to the study rooms in the library together, we spent together intervals between classes, and inevitably there we would agree to spend free time together as well. I should add that the environment was not gossipy and the guys were not talking only about tits and asses, on the contrary, when it occurred, rather rarely, some speech that touched even homosexuality there weren’t giggles, jokes and things like that but serious talk very far from the stereotypes, nevertheless, despite the high number of guys who attended the faculty there was not even one openly gay, a sign that those who were there did not trust to come out of the closet, exactly what I did. After the first few days began to form stable study groups. The basic element of aggregation was the level of knowledge and skills of individuals. Those that were obviously ahead of the others tended to congregate together and so the selection was made, so to speak, on academic merit. After a few days, and after the results of the first tests of profit, the number of students has decreased quite dramatically, in practice about 40% changed their courses of study and two groups were formed, one of the geniuses always in the front pew during lessons, always with maximum scores, but we are talking about a dozen boys in all, highly motivated but in practice these were young people who lived exclusively for the study, and a second group, let’s say mid-level, with more or less twenty students, and then the group of those who took it for granted that they would not have finished their studies without losing at least one year. I was at the boundary between the first and the second group, I was coming from the secondary school of classical address and at the beginning it was very hard for me but then I went ahead well. Prior to joining the faculty I thought it would have been so much easier, then I realized that to stay afloat at a good level I had to struggle a lot. Those in the first group did not send a shot wide, sometimes I tried to enter their group but I didn’t held the pace and, objectively, they were at levels far more advanced than mine. There was another thing, those guys lived for the study, admitted that they had a girl, they probably saw her for up to an hour on a Sunday afternoon and, because I felt like the a child entering the pastry, I did not want to end up like them, I don’t say that I wanted to make a feast of sweets, but at least I wanted to taste one. In practice I was there certainly to study, but certainly not just for that. I decided that I would be among those to intermediate level, because with them the afternoons were not exclusively to study, there was even talking. I have read on the forum something about gay radar, well, in fact, when one is, or better when a gay guy is in an environment like that one where I was, the first thing is to go by eye, that is, look for the guys who are more attractive, but if this were the only guideline it would be easy to miss the target. And there began, about four or five guys, the exhausting game: is he gay or not? And since the first purpose was just studying and no one used to speak about different things, it was extremely difficult to give an answer about the gayness of my colleagues. At this point there has been an unexpected phenomenon. A guy who didn’t belong to the group of geniuses nor to that of handsome guys and not even to that of supposedly gay guys asks me for my notebook of class notes. I would not have given my block of notes to anyone for all the gold in the world because my notebook was my lifeline and I used to handle it with maniacal care, but that guy was asking for my notebook, I show it to him, then he asks me if he can photocopy it and I say yes, he smiles at me and says something complimentary, more or less that I would get them back the next day. At that time I thought I was wrong to give him my notebook, but I was also happy because it was the first real opportunity to hook a guy, I started to wonder how it would have been if that guy had been gay, but he was not one of the handsome guys, yes, he had a beautiful smile, but it was all there, I just lent my notebook to a guy who had a beautiful smile! Project, now you might think that that guy is now my boyfriend, but no, because he gave me an appointment for the next day to give me back my notes and then showed up accompanied by his girlfriend! I was like an idiot, my brain had begun to go on his own, but fortunately the situation became evident almost immediately. Project, in essence, the child entering the pastry, with his mouth watering has been left empty-handed! According to statistics of gay project among my colleagues there should be at least five or six gays, one is me, then let’s say four or five but they are well hidden, I wonder if they too are like children in the pastry or already have decided to devote themselves exclusively to the study. I would not exclude that some of those geniuses who know everything, then underneath are gays terribly frustrated. Then the second year came, we are further decreased in number and hierarchies based on the results of the examinations are now well established, I stay in the second group, I go forward, but I’m not the new Einstein and frankly I don’t even want to be. My dream is to live a love story, I do not know if I would be able, however, it is certain that I’d try. Until now it has not happened. Project, that’s all, it’s trivial, I know, no overwhelming loves, neither depressing disappointments, so many dreams just too big and a lot of very small achievements. Post this e-mail if you want. I think I’ll send you another e-mail tonight with three or four things that I did not understand very well. You are a great, you did a monstrous job that is really useful!

Gay Hunter (but in a good way!)

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum:

GAY SEXUALITY AND ANXIETY

This article is aimed at defining the relationship between gay sexuality and anxiety on the basis of the experience gained in Gay Project.

The issues related to sexuality are dealt in general with specific categories different from that used for all other issues. The first reaction, or rather the first public reaction, is demonstrated by smiles, winks, jokes, all attitudes based on the apparent uniformity of the points of view, which is equivalent to saying that “everybody knows how these things go!”

It is difficult, in public, to go beyond the level of formal uniformity. Sexuality is almost always conceived as a private matter, or in public, as a matter of ideology. Precisely for this reason the serious comparison of experiences beyond the limits of formal uniformity takes place in practice only between two people or in very limited groups. There is still a fear of being judged when it comes to sexuality and that’s why speech is, in public, on a very general level, and only in private can start a serious and useful dialog.

I would say that sexuality is the area in which the uniformity is experienced at the highest level. In a group of one hundred people chosen at random, political and cultural elements of all kinds emerge through discussion, but when it comes to sexuality the group seems made up of uniformly heterosexual persons, you may question some external behaviors but not heterosexuality in itself. I cite a concrete example: in a school with a thousand students there are on average eighty gay guys but no one of them can be identified.

The heterosexuality “seems” to dominate the horizon, but in reality, when you start knowing each individual member of the group, you realize that things are not so, that homosexuality exists and that it is not a phenomenon related to minimum minorities. If, going into the specifics, we talk exclusively with that 8% of homosexual population, we realize that those people are actually not only very far from sharing the general idea to be straight, but also that sexuality is still considered by them as a kind of taboo to be experienced only in secret and guilt, in essence, you realize that gay sexuality is often experienced with anxiety.

While 67.97% of heterosexual guys responded to the survey of Gay Project that they had never lived with anxiety the issues related to their sexual orientation, only 20.45% of gay guys gave the same answer.

Which points of reference can have a gay guy in terms of sexuality? The answers seem obvious, first the parents, then the peer group, then the educational system, etc. etc. . In fact it is already difficult for a straight guy to talk about sexuality with his parents, but for a gay guy the problem is often unsurpassable, not only he wouldn’t probably find on the other side a competent answer but he would face a significant risk of being rejected by his own family. The same could happen with the peer group (classmates, friends, etc.).

The education system in most cases is totally unprepared to provide serious answers in these areas. There are notable exceptions in the countries of Northern Europe but in southern European countries, mostly the United States and in almost all other states, not only there is no form of sex education that includes seriously also homosexuality, but in practice projects are reduced to convey some notion of reproductive physiology leaving entirely aside the emotional dimension and the psychological problems related to sexuality. I had to consider some of the projects of sexual education presented in Italy, aimed at young people aged 16 to 18 years, and I found not only the total absence of any reference to homosexuality, but even the total absence of any reference to masturbation, which is then, today, still a taboo also in the straight field.

To get a detailed picture of the situation we can use the statistics of Gay Project.

The following table compares the percentage of gay guys and straight guys who have never used sex chats or have never used dating sites.

                                        straight            gay
never sex chats             80.47%        61.14%
never dating sites         84.38%        53.14%

It is clear that gay guys do more use of gay sex chats and dating sites than straight guys but the reason does not lie in a greater propensity toward sex as fun or toward quick sex, it is instead a reaction entirely predictable to the marginalization to which gays are forced.

Another significant difference is in the reaction of gay guys and straight guys to the discovery of masturbation:

                                    straight           gay
I didn’t tell anyone       58.59%      80.57%
I told friends                35.94%      15.43%

It is clear that for a gay guy to talk about sexuality is much more problematic. The confidence in the group of peers for a gay guy, on average, is less than half of that of a straight guy.

A similar situation is found with the question “Have you ever told anyone that you used pornography?”

                                      straight        gay
I haven’t told anyone    36.72%    64.00%
I told friends                  56.25%    25.15%

Very significant is the comparison of the number of those who have never had sexual intercourse

                                         straight        gay
I’ve never had sex          32.03%     46.29%
mean age                       26.23         26.25

The overall picture shows that a gay guy has a lot more problems than a straight guy in talking about sexuality with his parents, with peers and at school, and then turns to sex chats and dating sites much more than a straight guy the same age, and also that a gay guy has much less chance to have sexual experiences compared to a straight guy.

Unfortunately, even though it is disheartening, the first source of information on sexuality, for gay guys, is the internet, and especially pornography and the environments of erotic chats and dating sites, which provide images that are often very far from the reality of the life of the vast majority of gay guys. Internet affects gay guys much more than it affects the straight guys. All this makes sexuality a taboo subject for gay guys much more than for straight guys.

I often talk in chat with gay guys having a picture of reality derived entirely from the internet, which means almost exclusively from pornography, sex chats and dating sites. Often these guys are not absolutely at ease with the models they have learned from pornography or chats and end up considering their attitude as something abnormal and deviant to be corrected and for this reason they strive to change their point of view. But if they knew the reality of the lives of other gay guys, they would realize that there’s anything to fix.

Issues related to performance anxiety are still common among gay guys and in these cases the erectile deficit is often considered by the guys themselves as their own personal problem to be solved through the complete acceptance of a pattern of behavior that falsely they consider as the rule of the gay world, but that is far from reality and instead derives almost exclusively from pornography.

There are guys with excellent level of culture and remarkable intellectual gifts that are dominated by anxiety related to the idea of having a small penis or of having problems with sexual response, things that doesn’t exist at all, except as a result of an attempt to integrate at any cost, that is forcedly, in a particular gay scene that they consider to be the typical expression of homosexuality.

There are guys who never use the word gay and avoid all matters relating to physical sexuality. The idea that gay guys can talk seriously even about oral sex or masturbation is still very scarcely spread. In reality, these things should not be considered in any way as a taboo because sexuality is an essential part of life for all guys. A good guy is not a good student who will make his way in life but to be a good guy should not have sex or should largely suppress his sexuality, no! A good guy is obviously (and it would be absurd to think otherwise) a guy who has his sexuality and has every right to live it in any way he likes, with the only limit of the respect of the freedom of others. A good guy lives his masturbation and couple sex when he has a partner, and it is essential that he lives these things with confidence and in a relaxed manner, without stupid conditioning, because sexuality is one of the pillars of well-being. In sexuality, more than in any other issue, the restriction of freedom has an impact heavily negative.

The idea that sexuality is a normal reality of life for all, which is not nothing to be ashamed of and that we can speak seriously of sexuality as we speak of all other things, is almost completely lacking, especially among gay guys.

In situations of isolation, that is in a condition where it is not possible or is very difficult to talk about contents related to sexuality, the anxious reaction prevails and behaviors can become risky. The self-esteem itself of a gay guy is often heavily influenced by the perception of his own sexuality as something that he can’t even speak about.

Addressing seriously the issues related to sexuality, putting aside the anxiety, means regaining self-esteem, reducing problems and maintaining a peaceful contact with reality, that is, in short, feeling better about themselves and others.

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum:

THE BIRTH OF A GAY COUPLE

Hello Project,
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!
Matthew

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum:

 

I’M HAPPY TO HAVE A GAY SON

On December 13, 2008, at 16.40 I got the email you can read below. Today I post here this email translated into English. Thanks Francis, thanks Matthew! What you wrote, Francis, is for me a deep gratification!
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Hello Project,
My name is Francis, I am 45 years old, I live in a little village in a district of Piedmont, and most importantly I’m the father of Matthew, a gay guy 19 y.o.. I’d love it if you could publish this email in your forum. Until last June, Matthew, who is my only child, had always given me great satisfactions, but above all he was good at school had always been affectionate with me and Mom. In short, he was the son every father would have wanted.

He had a girlfriend who was a very talented girl and we liked her a lot and they seemed to be happy, then, at the end of June Matthew was promoted to the fifth year of high school with honors but he was not happy. We tried to ask him what was wrong but he responded in a vague way and tried not to worry us.

In July, he broke relations with the girl, we asked him why and he said: “These things are ours, but we are friends, she doesn’t have anything to blame herself, it’s just we felt no more to go ahead .. Come on, do not worry .. “. A few days later I met Mary, the now former girlfriend of Matthew (our village is small and we know each other) and I tried to ask her and she told me more or less the same words that Matthew had said, I asked if Matthew had misbehaved and she said: “Matthew is a great guy and I wish him a world of good, but we think it’s better that way.”

I did not insist, but I could not understand the meaning of these speeches. Matthew did not seem particularly upset by the fact that he had broken the relationships with Mary and behaved as usually. Usually in the evening my wife and I come back home together and find Matthew at home to study. We work in the same office and we always come back home at around 18:30, because the bus we usually take respects times in a very precise way. One day it happened that we left one hour earlier and we took the bus one hour earlier. We arrived home. Matthew was not there and his computer was on, I was there and I accidentally took a look at his computer that was open on the homepage of your Gay Project forum.

The word gay has upset me, I cannot deny, I felt a blow to the heart. I said, “Oh, Matthew is gay!” I didn’t touch anything, I said to my wife, who was already beginning to prepare for dinner, that I had to go for a moment by a friend and I’d be back after an hour. A lot of thoughts went through my head. I knew nothing of the gays and I had in mind a lot prejudices, I was upset but I didn’t want at all Matthew understand it. I came back home deliberately after the usual time. Matthew was in his room and did not suspect anything. But the name of the site was stuck in my head and the next day during working hours, I went to look for it without being seen by my wife.

At the beginning I felt lost, I was wondering what I was reading, because what I read did not fit at all with the idea I had in mind about gays. In the following days I continued to read secretly the forum and I found stories that I liked very much and I said, “Well, if Matthew is gay as these guys …”And I did not have the courage to finish the sentence, but basically I wanted to say that I would not have seen anything strange there, but, before, I never would have thought I could make a speech like that.

Then I began to follow the discussions on the forum and what the guys had said and they seemed right like my son, I would have been fine that Matthew frequented guys like that, I confess that I read the part for youngsters to understand slowly a bit deeper what it was. You, Project, sometimes also blame parents that go on sites for parents of gay guys and push them to not be hypocrites, this has hurt me a little, I also read things about the therapy to restore gays to heterosexuality, and I was shocked but then I said: “But I would not do such a thing to my son even if I had been forced! But how can people even think of such things!”

I have to confess that I did not know what to do, I felt guilty, I knew that Matthew did not know that I knew and I was dishonest with him. I love my wife but I have not told her, I had found it out by chance but Matthew might want not to tell it to his mother neither to me, it was only he who could authorize me to tell my wife. One day I took my courage in both hands, with the excuse to go to town in the afternoon we went along in the car, I told him what had happened and that I was sorry to have violated his privacy, he asked me if I had told his mother and I said no. He said: “Damn, but you’re more complicated than me and gave me a pat on my hand.

Then I asked: “But do you have a boyfriend?” He told me he was in love with a straight guy and that it was hard to forget. I asked him if Mary knew and he said, “Of course”. I told him that she had not said anything to me and he told me that Mary is a girl like it should be who had loved him but in the end they realized that they could not go on like this. I told him that I had read the forum and he told me that he had read everything, and that was very useful to understand many things.

Project, Matthew told me he wanted to write to you but did not do so because he felt embarrassed. Then, I told my wife who tried to respond as best as possible but was visibly upset. In the evening she started to read the forum and has been there until late, then she said: “But in that forum there are very good guys..” and she did not want to finish the sentence. In practice, with Matthew it has been formed a climate very very nice.

From a few weeks now, he has a guy, a good guy, this guy knows that we know, is often to dinner with us, then goes out with Matthew. He never wanted to stay the night with us and I can understand that, but me and my wife perhaps could really create problems. Here, Project, this email is for you, you made me understand many things and gave me the serenity and happiness of having a son like Matthew, who greets you, too.
A hug.
[Signed letter]

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FROM OPENLY GAY TO HIDDEN GAY

Hello Project,

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.
Bye.

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MY FATHER GAY

Hello Project,
I write for a very special reason that from several days now there’s a thing that causes me profound disturbance. I am a 19 years old guy and no doubt I’m straight, the problem is not about me but about my father. I state that I respect my father very much, he is a father really as it should. He and my mother got married because I was about to be born. When I was born my father was 22 years old and now he’s 41. I no longer have my mother since I was 11 years old and basically live alone with my father that takes care of everything. I have a real dialogue with him, when I had problems (including sexual ones) I resorted to him and he has always helped me. My girlfriend loves him because he has always made sure that she would feel comfortable in our home like in her own.

I go to the fact: from about six months my father has a little changed habits, before he never used to go out, now in practice he goes out every evening. “Out” means he’s out two or three hours. The first few times I did not mind, then I began to wonder: where is he going? But there were other strange things, sometimes his cell phone rang and he entered his room to answer and spoke softly and he never does so when speaking with people I know or even with relatives.

I had the curiosity to spy on him, but I never did because I would be ashamed to do such a thing. I began to think about what could induce my father to that behavior, the first thing was that he could see a woman, but I have never seen my father do compliment a woman and I do not even remember the relationship he had with my mother. For mom and for the mom’s things he has always had the greatest respect, as for me, but an intelligent respect, without fetishes of any kind. After all, if he intended to marry again no one could prevent him and for me it would not be shocking, that would be pleasing to him, and for this I would accept it and he knows it. So I discarded the idea of a woman.

There was a fact that has alarmed me. About a month ago my father introduced me to a colleague of his aged 35. In practice, it was completely random, Dad and I were walking around and we met this guy. Dad stopped and introduced me to his colleague, however, I had the distinct impression that my father was embarrassed and he stayed to talk with his colleague a few seconds too long, and in a way a bit embarrassed. That’s where I took the flash. Of course I didn’t even mention it, but even after I felt the embarrassment of Dad. In the days after he has calmed down but I kept thinking about that thing and the more I was thinking the more the idea that Dad and his colleague were not just colleagues was becoming clear. I do not know what they can be for each other, but are not just colleagues. I want to clarify that I do not feel upset to think that my father might be gay or to think that he and his colleague can be a couple (it could also be), what I do not like is that my father is forced to pretend with me because maybe he is afraid to tell me the truth.

I read in the forum many stories about the coming out of the guys to their parents, but never the other way and I think that if it’s embarrassing for a guy it might be even more so for a father who has to confess to his son that he’s gay. I have not sought evidence that my father is gay, I’m not going to search into his computer because he has never done so with mine, but I do not know what to do, that is, whether to tell him that I understood or to go on waiting for him to take the decision. I do everything for my father to feel at ease with me but I think on this specific point he will never feel comfortable.

I have read on the forum about gay married, so the situation that my father probably lives is not something so exceptional. I talk about it as if I had the certainty that things are indeed so, in fact I’m not sure, but the intuition takes me there. Project, from what I understand you are much older than my father, and perhaps such things have already happened to you and you could tell me what to do, because I love my father and the fact that it can be gay does not constitute any problem for me, I just want him to be happy and to feel free with me because I am proud that he is my father! I wait your response. If you want, you can post this message.
I am attaching my contact [omissis]
G.R.

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UNDERSTAND A GAY SON

Hallo Project,
I am writing after many uncertainties. I am a 55 year old man and my son a few days ago told me that he is gay, or should I say he made me realize that he is gay, because he did not say it so explicitly, but the meaning of the speech was clear. I’m still very puzzled by what my son wanted me to understand, I do not know anything about these things but I’m trying to understand and not to remain on the surface and your Project was like a flash of inspiration for me.

I hope you can understand that I felt really blown away. My son is 21 years old and I have asked myself a thousand questions, I asked myself what I did wrong. I understand that this speech may sound crazy, but I had so many ideas in my head, perhaps mistaken, that sexuality depends on the family education and somehow I thought (and unfortunately I cannot get rid completely of my prejudice) that homosexuality is something wrong but I think you can understand me. I never thought that my son had problems or was in any difficult situation, I always saw him as a normal guy for a while he also had a girlfriend and seemed happy.

He never had any conflicts with me or my wife, or at least nothing visible. So I cannot understand why he is gay and I’m not even sure he really is gay. I have been very uncertain about the idea of sending him to a psychologist, then it happened that he mentioned the subject in a way that left no doubt about the fact that he would not accept help from anyone and then, after hearing my wife, we decided not to make any such proposal.

I do not hide you the fact that after this speech our relationship has changed, is something that makes me sick and I think the same for my son, but it is very difficult to change course, in practice, if first we talked just a little, now we do not talk at all. What can I do for my son? I do not know how to behave, I feel uncomfortable, I cannot pretend that he is not gay.

I read what you wrote in the forum section for parents, and I noticed that in practice the Project is popular only among guys and parents send their posts there in very few cases. Honestly, reading the texts published on the Project, I had the impression to understand my son as I had never understood, I guess I understand what he may have in mind.

I’d like my son frequented an environment such as the Project but I fear that he may enter different roads. Project, let’s face it, there are many other ways of living homosexuality that make me tremble just thinking about. At the limit, if my son came with his boyfriend (if and when he will have one), I think I would accept the situation knowing that he’s fine with his boyfriend, but I’m terrified that he can find a way and a wrong way without telling me anything.

I realized I did not know anything about my son, and it was a discovery difficult to accept. What can I do to keep in touch with him? I feel deeply inadequate. I hope my son does not end up in trouble for no reason. Before I knew his friends, at least by sight and name, now he has other friends of whom I know nothing. I know that a 21 year old guy needs privacy and maybe he also has a thousand problems, but I do not know what to do.

Project, there are several other things that I need to tell you if you will have the goodness to listen to me. I send you my msn contact (omitted) and I hope to hear from you soon because I’m going through a time of great uncertainty. If you consider it is possible, feel free to publish this email, I would like very much to know what guys think about.

Sincerely. M. A

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