BEING GAY AND LOOKING GAY

Dear Project,
you publish on your sites only edifying gay stories, beautiful love stories that I like a lot when I read them, but unfortunately I have never experienced such stories in practice. I know some gay guys like the ones who send you the mails you post on the forum, but I also met gays who were the exact opposite. It may also be that I have been unlucky but I want to tell you at least a significant fact that happened to me in early 2016. There is a gay guy, indeed there are two gay guys with two strange ways of doing, in my opinion they are not bad guys neither one nor the other, but to understand you have to read.
In the New Year’s Eve 2016, I met an exuberant, almost explosive guy who had impressed me so much: I will call him Tano, a beautiful smile, always telling jokes and laughing, also nice to talk to. In short, I liked him. I did not have a boyfriend at that time and my fantasy started working right away on him. During the New Year’s Eve we talked a bit, but there was a pounding noise and we had to go out into the backyard. I felt that I had also attracted his interest, even though we did only banal talk. Get out of the door to talk out in the yard, okay, but doing it with a girl, if you do it with a guy, it does not happen by chance. When we got home early in the morning we exchanged cell phone numbers. On January 2 I called him and he looked happy to hear me again, it was Saturday and the 3rd of January would be Sunday, I invited him to come with my group for a walk to the sea and we set an appointment for 8am.
My group is straight, this means above all that there are a 50% of girls and there are many couples; the guys in the group think that I’m 100% heterosexual, of course, because I have nothing to let them suspect that I’m gay and then such things are my business and I want to keep them for me. I did not know anything about Tano, if he was gay or straight, I only called him because I liked him. Obviously not even Tano knew anything about me, I only had met him the night before!
Sunday at 8.00am the guys in the group were already there, we were just 11, I said we had to wait for Tano, and instead of leaving we started chatting. At 8.30am Tano had not yet arrived, someone began to show signs of impatience. I called Tano on the phone, he told me he was coming. At 8.45 he showed up with his gorgeous smile. Nobody mumbled for his delay. Four couples went with two cars, I, Tano and another couple want with my car. Shortly after the departure Tano started doing stupid things, asking questions unimportant and very nosy to the couple who was in the car with us. He asked if they were a couple, which was absolutely obvious, and they asked him why he was alone, he replied that he was not alone but with me, that is with his boyfriend! I hurried up to deny everything and emphasize that I only had met him two days before, but he insisted doing stupid things: we were sitting on the front seats and the couple of friends were behind. I had my hand on the gear knob, he put his hand on mine. I told him, “Stop, I’m driving!” Then he pulled his hand back in a very theatrical way and told me, “What’s up? What did I do?” Then he asked the couple, “What do you think about gay couples?” Frankly at that moment I would have killed him!
The guys on my group have full control over themselves and know how to behave in every situation and respond impeccably according to the manual of good education and avoid being dragged into strange speeches. When the girl realized that Tano’s talk was heavy and he insisted a little too much, came in my defense: “Tano, I think you have chosen the wrong person, I know Silvia, his girlfriend, they have been together for two years!” But Tano insisted: “You didn’t tell me that … ok, perhaps you’re a bit bisexual!” I was just losing patience. “Tano, do you want to get off the car here?” And he answered, “But what did I say? But I cannot even talk?” Of course Silvia does not exist at all, but Tano didn’t know it. The girl resumed the talk about Silvia, and I also cautiously played my part. Silvia became more and more concrete in front of Tano’s eyes and the gay fairy behaviors ended. For all the rest of the trip we only talked in three. Tano was practically out of the game, perhaps he was expecting a gay group of friends, but found one straight (or almost) and he felt uncomfortable.
When we arrived at the sea, with the other guys he kept a polite behavior albeit easy, nothing similar to what happened during the trip. When we were at the table, I was sitting in front of Tano, I got a call on the cellphone, I answered. It was the girl who was with us in the car. She told me: “I see that you have “that guy” in front of you, do as if your girlfriend really called you, otherwise you will never get rid of him.” I wanted the afternoon to pass safely and I agreed to pretend. I covered the cellphone with my hand not to let him hear what I was saying (and I was not saying anything) and I made very happy faces as if I was talking to my girlfriend. Tano pretended to look elsewhere but was attentive to my behavior. When I closed the phone he acted as if nothing had happened and started talking with the guy sitting beside him.
In January the night comes soon, and we came back home. We accompanied the two guys who were in the car with us, then I went to accompany Tano who apologized for the incident and said he did a stupid thing but he didn’t think he could cause any problems but added that he had thought I was not straight, and he did not know why, but he had thought so. At those moments I did not know what to say. I liked him, even though he was too intrusive and inopportune. I had to tell him that there was no girl at all and that we had teased him to keep him calm, but I would have lost him, on the other hand I would have lost him even if I had continued to play the role of the straight. I was really embarrassed. It would have been possible to overcome the embarrassment with physical contact that would be more meaningful than any speech, but a similar gesture would have prevented me from changing attitudes in case of necessity, that is, if Tano proved to be too intrusive or at any rate,  was really incompatible with me. In the end, I chose to continue to pretend to be a heterosexual who has a girlfriend, because the other road seemed too risky and above all too premature.
Tano was disappointed, but “if one is straight” there is little to do! In the following days he did not recall me and after a few days I called him, he was happy to hear me, but of official happiness, he was controlled in the his speeches and did not intend to prolong the phone call. For a couple of months we went on so, I called him, I tried to talk to him, but he was elusive, but my insistence began to seem strange to him. The first of March he made me an unexpected proposition, he told me: “I’m going to have a pizza with you if Silvia comes in.” It was a sign he had understood. I told him that it was fine and we made a date for the evening of the third of March at a restaurant.
I came first, asked to prepare a table for three and sat waiting for Tano. He arrived, saw the table for three and made a strange face: “I would not spoil the evening.” I told him that he would not spoil anything, and that Silvia was in the bathroom to reset a little. Then I told him to order and he replied, “No, I’ll wait!” And then I unveiled the mystery, but in degrees: “Silvia could not come because… she doesn’t exist …” Then on Tano’s face came back his mischievous smile: “Really?” “Yes” “Then you too …” “Eh …” “Wow!” Then, we had dinner in holy peace! So my story began with Tano, which lasts for almost two years, but I must be clear, I do not think Tano is without fault. We are happy together, this is what I can say, but we will never agree on certain things. I’m going to list Tano’s defects, or at least those I consider defects:
First of all he insisted that I would join his group of friends, which is not good for me, not because they are gay, but because they are very much posing, at least in certain situations, and do not understand that this may also annoy the other gays. There are six boys in Tano’s group, including Tano, if you take them one by one they are good guys, calm, who think before acting, but if you put them all together they become a public danger, they unleash themselves and can certainly create problems to one like me because I don’t like to deal with my homosexuality publicly. When Tano wanted to go with them I did not go with him, and after a while Tano himself did not go anymore, but we continued attending his friends of the group, one or two at a time. And I can say that Tano has accepted this solution.
Second, Tano at the beginning had the fixed idea that I should make a public coming out, which, apart from the fact that I do not like it in any case, is something too much risky, because such a thing could cause me great problems at work. Now he  accepted the idea that we can be a couple even if one is out and the other in the closet!
Third and last thing, this much more private, Tano considers sex as fun, which I find very ridiculous. I made him have the obsessive idea of prevention (before he was not too careful).
He has an idea of gay sexual behaviors, so to say, very classic and I don’t like it at all when he insists heavily to make me do things I don’t like. And here we once came to the brink of breaking. I said to him, “Being in two means being really in two, I’ve adapted myself to so many things to please you, okay, it’s fine, but elasticity must be on both sides, otherwise you have to find another guy!”
He thinks he is incarnating the essence of “gayness” and does not understand that he is just one of the many and that there are a lot of gays who are gay at 100% and who reason very differently. However Tano has a wonderful way of living sex, he’s just overwhelmed by sexuality. I would be less touched, but when I see him, I’m excited too, and things work very well.
Now a merit of Tano: he tells you things in the face, sometimes even brutally, and sometimes he kept me from doing big stupid things with his frankness. There is one thing I don’t think possible, that is that he can betray me, I’ll explain this statement better, I think it’s impossible that he can go with another guy “without telling me anything”, but I think he could go with another guy after talking about to me, and I’m afraid that something like this actually happens even if nothing like it has ever happened. Our couple’s life is not bad, but for me Tano is not a religion, our couple’s life is a reality to be checked out day by day.
Now we don’t live together, even though I have a house where I live alone, because the gossip would be destructive for both of us and I would also create enormous problems for my family. We are working hard both of us to buy a cottage in the country, with no neighbors, but houses cost a lot and it will take time, this is our dream as a couple at the moment.
Thanks for what you do, Project, of course you can post this mail on the forum, even Tano has read it and agrees.
Bye.
Pas and Tano
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If you like, you can participate in the discussion of this post, on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/showthread.php?tid=141
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PARENTS OF GAY SONS

Dialogue between parents and sons
 
In order to create a form of mutual respect and genuine affective contact between parents and sons, parents have to set aside all the predetermined roles and have to play without hiding behind comfortable attitudes that actually prevent their cons from really knowing their own parents.
 
Generally speaking, for a gay boy, perceiving that parents play a role, even in a positive way, but are not themselves and are not sincere, is equivalent to a refusal. And that perception is objectively correct.
 
In a serious dialogue, and especially if it is about sex or even homosexuality, there can be no a priori presuppositions. If the answers to give to your son already exist before each comparison of ideas, dialogue is only apparent. Whenever a parent tries to talk to his homosexual son aiming to convince him of something, i.e. by taking for granted what he will say to his son, regardless of the dialogue with his son himself, that parent is offending the dignity of his son and is creating a false dialogue.
 
With sons, and in particular with gay sons, it is indispensable to be 100% honest. In most cases, sons do not speak to parents about their homosexuality, and I would add that in most cases they do the right thing.
 
What I’m saying is that sons are often afraid of the reactions of their parents, and when fear comes into the relationship between parents and sons, the relationship between them is strongly spoiled. The guys I met through Gay Project, and with whom I often meet in chat, want to hear from me the confirmation that being gay means having a dignity, a morality, a high human dimension, not less than that of any other condition of life.
 
Often the less informed or less seriously informed parents have a completely prejudicial view of the gay world, identify it with the most striking and spectacular stereotypes seen on television … but no! Gays, the real ones, they have nothing to do with these things, I know so many of all ages and are people very reliable who work, who try to believe in what they do and who often live in conditions of non-liberty because where they live homosexuality is not accepted.
 
There are people hiding (the great majority!), I call them “the invisible people,” and hiding because they are afraid, not because they have something to hide. I’ve seen gays living very deep forms of love, with or without sex, no matter who gave them a serious affective response. I saw young boys literally destroyed by their parents’ misunderstanding and a thousand times repented of having come out in the family.
 
Coming out  to parents usually causes anxiety and big hesitation in boys because very often the relationships between parents and sons are formalized and are reduced to relationships between roles rather than between people.
 
Parent’s role of support.
 
What must a parent do if he/she comes to know that his/her son is gay (from the son’s coming out or otherwise)? The answer may seem trivial, but a parent who realizes that his son is gay, if he/she loves him, must help him to be gay. A boy told me: “After all, I had had a lion’s courage to talk to them … but they just took it in a strange way and said I had to cure myself.”
 
Such a kind of attitude for a gay boy is equivalent to abandonment, a non-acceptance. Accepting does not mean trying to change the situation and not even hope for it to happen if there is an attempt to change things or the hope that things change, this means that acceptance is not there.
 
Being gay is not a choice but it is a basic quality of a person about which there is nothing to decide but everything to accept. Rejecting the fact that your son is gay means refusing your son from every point of view. Loving sons means loving them as they are!
 
Parents and sex education of gay sons
 
Gay-friendly parents, generally, often in good faith, believe they have nothing to say about affective and sexual education of their sons, but they are completely wrong. A gay boy must learn from his parents to be a serious gay, to consider sexuality a fundamental thing and to live it in an affective dimension characterized by honesty and respect for himself and others.
 
But apart from moral principles, parents can also play a major role in directing boys to responsible sexual behaviors in order to put aside any risky behavior. The parent’s insistence on this point is generally considered by the boys as a form of positive interest and, in essence, as something rewarding. A twenty-year-old gay guy, who had a good relationship with his family, told me an episode that I quote for you here below through a passage of one of his mails.
 
At a certain point, I had quarreled with my boyfriend or maybe I was just a little tired of him, and although I was still in touch with him, I had begun to attend gay clubs and look for guys to have fun, without him knowing it, and my dad did something for which I will never stop thanking him. One night he waited until I went home, in practice until the morning, and he clearly told me that between loving a guy and going to be crazy to have fun there was a huge difference but if I wanted to get along with him, I had to do things seriously, he said to me: you must respect your boyfriend, because he is a boy like you and you are now cheating him, and if you behave in a less than respectful way toward the guy you say you are in love with, you lack of dignity. And he concluded like this: a gay guy must be a guy as he ought to! I think I will not forget such words anymore!
 
With this example I mean that a parent can and must play a role in relation to the gay sons and that role is to convey to the son the sense of dignity and respect for himself and for others, which are fundamental values for everyone.
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GAY ENGINEERING STUDENTS

I’m a student of engineering at the Michigan University and I’m proud of this. My parents, grandparents and brothers, did work hart to let me go to this engineering college. Now I’m here and have to show them that  I will be able to come back home graduated. Here everything seems perfect, our tradition has to be honored and  for a student  who is less more than a stranger here, life is very hard, I have to deal with teachers who are scientist and with students  who come from the best schools of the country, some of them are geniuses and I’m afraid I could not be at their level.  When I arrived here everything was new for me: buildings, teaching organization, laboratories, but also how to deal with other students. I was on the verge of coming back home because everything was difficult for me, also writing in a correct English , or speaking English fluently like other guys. But the real treasure of this college are the students and living together with such guys is really fantastic, they will became engineers and well refined engineers but they hare clever guys also in many other things. I’m gay, ok, nothing special, but till now I have experienced a lot of disgusting situations because of this. Here, in college, my roommate knows but for him there is no problem. I have to underline that a lot of guys seem indifferent to the homosexuality of  a friend of theirs but when they are in private with just other hetero guys, they let out a lot of criticism about their gay mate, they are somehow double faced: the politically correct face in public and that one really spontaneous in private with other hetero guys. My roommate Andrew is not this way, we chat a lot, also about sex. His thoughts  on this subject are very similar to mine, clearly he speaks about  hetero love and I about gay love. But the two of us talk about love, not just about sex. Andrew is not only a clever guy but also a very handsome one and perhaps he doesn’t understand  exactly how I can react in some situations that are for him  absolutely neutral. Is he so open minded exactly because he is not able to understand what being gay exactly means? It’s a question to keep always in mind! But yes, Andrew is handsome and his behavior with me is the same that he holds with hetero guys. For example he gets out of the shower completely naked and I have to turn my eyes elsewhere. I’d like him get out completely dressed but obviously I cannot tell him  such a thing because for him nakedness is quite natural. Nevertheless I like Andrew, we use talking a lot at night about science big problems like the second principle of thermodynamics or the strange laws  of quantum mechanics.  We talk also about  religion, the big questions about God. I’m fascinated by the brain of Andrew, he doesn’t repeat what he has read or learned somewhere, on the contrary tries to get reed of too much complicated calculations, he has to see in his mind, to imagine  how things have to be, to change and to find their own settings. That’s why he’s an engineer, something more directly related to material things. Well, Andrew has a girlfriend, another student of the same engineering  college but in different sectors of engineering. Sometimes, on the weekends, they go out of campus , I think they have their sexual life and I’m happy for them, But I’m gay and I have to stay alone in the weekends, to study and to get acquainted with a lot of things. There are also a lot of gay guys here, but they, so to speak, are completely out and I don’t like to be considered gay. In my old country I had to keep calm in the closet, now I could feel free but for me it’s too much difficult. My friends in the university are also my principal sexual interest, but they are completely unaware of all this, and I prefer so. Only Andrew knows about me, but I trust him completely and got a lot of proofs that he holds this secret for himself. The life of a gay student is very complicated here. Many many guys and a lot of handsome guys  and also of gay guys but I’m here to study and I don’t want to deceive my family.

Philip

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GAYS AND SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS

The gays have long been engaged in the civil rights struggle and in particular to get the right to marriage or to a civil union, if you don’t want to use the word marriage, which produces the same effects as marriage. The conquest of civil rights recognized by law is a crucial first step towards a non-discriminating community, but remains nevertheless a formal step. You can realize this by observing the number of marriages or gay civil unions in countries where the law recognizes them. In general, only a very small minority of gay couples formalize their union in legal terms. On the other hand, in the majority of Western countries there is a general decline in the number of heterosexual marriages and a significant increase in free unions without any legal constraints.

It remains a fact to keep in mind: gay couples that choose not to use the tools that the law makes available to them to attribute civil effects to their union, very often do so because, even though the law declares the substantial equalization of the heterosexual marriages to homosexual ones or civil unions, public opinion remains on the back ground, and discrimination, though no longer on a legal basis, still exists at the social level, and gay people experience it also within their own families. The real core of the problem of equality of rights lies in social inertia, which means that what the law defines and the more enlightened society considers obvious ends up only to permeate very slowly the society as a whole.

The role of new generations in promoting a process of genuine social equality is extremely important because the concept of equality has many implications and the equality of sexual orientations is just a part of a problem that should be addressed in the whole. The role of the gay new generations is particularly delicate because films, television and the internet often offer a very marked and unrealistic picture of homosexuality, for ideological or commercial reasons.

You can nevertheless see very interesting gay books and films, which are in fact faithful reconstructions of real gay moments, because it is always to be remembered that saying “gay” means putting together, taking into account just a single feature, people who are really very different. Trying to transpose into a movie or novel the “gay” life as a general category means to make an ideological discourse. A good book or a good movie must tell the lives of real people, considered as individuals and not as a category.

What would then be the task of young gay men, who can be the true promoters of a new social culture? The answer is simple: who fights in order to make people recognize the normality of homosexuality doesn’t have to take ideological attitudes but simply has to live his own homosexual normality.

I try to explain it better: if it is right for gays to have a chance to meet with other gays, locking themselves in a ghetto that distinguishes “we” (gay) from “they” (straight) means favoring discrimination.

Let me make another example: a sign of the social mentality in the matter of equality of sexual orientation is found in the large libraries. In some large libraries there is a “gay” section; in others the gay-themed books are not placed in a separate department and, for example, among love novels there are also gay love novels and among Sociology books there are also those of sociology of homosexuality, etc.

Another crucial point, beyond the overcoming of the ghetto, is the normality of behaviors. In many countries, public coming out and family coming out are considered critical moments in the life of a gay guy because they are seen as formal and therefore risky moments, where guys are exposed to the judgment of others. It should be remembered that coming out is not a moral duty for anyone, but only an opportunity, if, and I emphasize the “if”, it can be achieved without substantial risks, otherwise it is a choice to avoid because it could be self-punishing. It should be borne in mind that often, in families who are not prepared for the idea of having a gay son, the coming out of the son may be disruptive for parents.

If we try to observe what happens to the straight guys, we can have a pattern of “normal” behavior that should be extended to gays. The straight guys don’t go by their fathers to say, “Daddy, I must tell you something very important!” just to tell them, “Daddy, I am straight!” The young straight guys begin to have straight behaviors from the earliest age, without officially declaring anything at all.
For gays, the road should be similar: attending other boys, taking them home, going out with a boy telling the truth to parents without any further specification, spending Saturday or Sunday with that boy, not answering too much questions.
Let me give an example: “But why do you always go out with that guy?” “Because he is very nice!” Gays often go to crisis because they have internalized the idea that being gay is somehow transgressive and that’s why gays need approvals and justifications.

While it is true that gays, albeit with rare exceptions, grow in highly straight-oriented environments, it’s also true that once they acquire awareness not only of their sexual orientation but of the dignity of any sexual orientation, they should automatically overcome the idea of being somehow subordinate, but this unfortunately does not happen because social pressures are very strong.

To clarify the concept, it’s useful to refer to the obsessive compulsive disorder, the so-called OCD. It is well known that some people, who have a tendency towards obsessive-compulsive character, can develop heavily-structured obsessive-compulsive behaviors around a well-defined thematic core that coincides with the content from which the person is most intimidated. For an old man suffering from an OCD, obsession can be linked to the idea that robbers can rob him and compulsive behaviors, in this case will concretize in armoring doors and windows, in the installation of latest generation anti-theft devices, and in hiding all valuables. Similarly, for a nun with OCD, obsession may be that of sin and compulsion may be that of confessing every day, always remaining with the perpetual idea of omitting something. For a heterosexual young man, obsession can easily be the obsessive fear of being gay and compulsions can manifest in an infinite series of tests (from tests of masturbation with gay fantasies to the use of  gay pornography) that, of course, never provide any answer that can be considered definitive and clarifying.

So, if we observe the incidence of the gay-themed OCD, which I repeat is a typical disorder of 100% heterosexual guys, it is noted that gay-themed OCD is common in Southern Europe of Catholic tradition and in Latin America, while it is very less common in Protestant countries (where the opening to gay couples is much more common than in the Catholic Church.) In some countries in northern Europe, where serious and mandatory sexual education exists, from the earliest age, and where homosexuality is no longer a scarecrow for anyone, the gay-themed OCD, in practice, doesn’t exist at all.

This is a clear sign that negative social judgment on homosexuality deeply affects the straight guys themselves, and causes some of them an obsessive fear of being gay. If this is the effect on heterosexual guys, the result on gay guys is certainly not less. The classic example can be found in the effort that gay guys have to make to accept their being gay as a value, because the Catholic Church affirms in a peremptory way that homosexuality, or rather homosexual acts, are a serious sin against nature. It is certainly no coincidence that a lot of gays in the countries of southern Europe, even though they are substantially  Christians, are nevertheless far from the Catholic Church.

Here comes another idea that generally finds a lot of favor among the gays, namely the idea that the diffusion of scientific thought would be extremely helpful in favoring greater rationality among the new generations.

In 1797, Francisco Goya called an etching of his “El sueño de la razón produce monstruos ” (the dream of reason generates monsters) and in fact, discriminations, which are totally irrational, are precisely the sign that reason has fallen asleep.

Awakening reason leads not to fear the ghosts, to rationally examine each statement before giving it some value. Mythical thought leads to the elation and the blackout of reason, rational thought leads on the contrary to sobriety and to the critical evaluation of events and ideas.

Even morality can be mythical or rational. A mythical morality is dogmatic, its content is stated in principle without any motivation. Rational morality is really such when it resists any criticism because it is endowed with objective evidence.

Personally, I believe that gays have often given impetus to deep innovations in the field of thought, favoring its openness to broader horizons and overcoming dogmatism. Philosophy, literature or art elaborated by a person are the result of the individual experience of that person, that is, they are somehow the daughters of individual psychology, and in a circular movement they tend to change the individual experience and the life itself of other people. That’s why commitment must be maximum: fighting ignorance and prejudice is not only useful for gays but it contributes to the improvement of society as a whole.
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GAY LIFE IS CHANGING

Dear Project,

I’m very happy to have spoken to you last night. I have found confirmation that the situation of gays is objectively changing and that the idea of ​​homosexuality as normality is slowly breaking. I thought I would summarize in a short writing my experience on this subject, which then I think is not at all a rare thing.

After graduating from a university in the South of Italy, I I changed my university to attend higher level courses in one of the North. In the new university I found that didactic and research are of medium level, I actually expected something better, what literally shocked me was the level of normal life of gay guys within the faculty, something really unimaginable in a southern university. Here where I am now, being gay is no longer a taboo, the guys are not hiding, or at least there are many that do not hide and they are not just the extreme defenders of the gay movement, here do not even hide the normal gay guys” (it looks like a strange association of words). I was determined to safeguard my privacy, but then, without the need to admit or declare anything, a little group of guys (at least a dozen) has been created who were mutually sympathetic and understood each other at another level. After about six months I had a clear evidence that the guys in the group were all gay and here, dear Project, I have to say that it was far beyond the classic 8% that you consider the percentage of gay guys on the total population. Our graduation course was attended by 51 guys, and more or less from about twenty girls, out of 51 boys 11 are gay! More than 20%. And I’m sure they’re gay because they told me that. I wonder how these abnormal gay concentration could be possible in a specific degree course, which is of a purely technical-scientific orientation. Perhaps  the explanation is that gay people are far more than 8% and that their number is largely underestimated just because, apart from the gay friendly environments, gay guys do not go out? I wonder if, in other gay friendly contexts, there are percentages close to 20%, that is, essentially the same of my faculty.

But there is another thing to note: gay dialogue is becoming more and more free and spontaneous. The burden of erotic chat and dating sites, at least at the highest cultural levels, tends to decrease, slowly, it is true, but progressively. For so many good hetero guys, the fact that a friend is gay does not devalues the friendship, But there is something else, in the surrounding social environment there is no gossip about homosexuality, here at least, the topic of homosexuality is perceived as absolutely neutral. The gays themselves have the pleasure of being together but do not lock in a ghetto. Their being together comes from sharing their experiences and feelings in some way homogeneous and is not aimed at sex. Gay friendships last in time. Gay couples last in time. The break of a gay couple relationship does not diminish the relationship of esteem and friendship; solidarity is perceived very strong. I also can see something else, within the gay group of our degree course, the boys talk very little about sex, not for embarrassment or self-repression, but because they consider sexuality a private dimension to be preserved, but if we don’t talk about sex, we talk about love using typical categories of affective life and couple relationships. Today a gay guy, at least in my faculty, does not feel embarrassed when talking about gay love. I met several couples, and were couples who, at least at the origin, were born as couples destined to last. Relations with the hetero world are here, at least, never in terms of contrast, and the strong friendships between a gay and a straight guy is by no means a rarity, and I speak of friendships in which the straight guy is aware that his friend is gay. Even relationships with girls are very quiet and it happens quite often that a girl does not matter if her boyfriend frequents a gay friend. I have the impression that the person is evaluated as such, and without any reference to general categories such as heterosexual, gay or bisexual. Another thing struck me too much, here almost a half of my group, 5 out of 11 gay guys came out with their parents and, more surprisingly, they did not find any obstacles on the part of their parents. In my city of origin gays are completely invisible and the coming out in the family is an absolute rarity. In these things the North is actually at another level. Being gay for so many guys is not a problem. Living for many years in the South I did not realize how much the situation of gay guys was different in different regions of ​​Italy and I did not even think that there could be so favorable situations for gays. Here the places labeled gay are very few, I didn’t imagine such a situation, there is no separate gay subculture, but among the elderly people there is still the apparent tendency to ghettoize gays as a group, I say it’s apparent because elderly people make strange talk but only occasionally when they feel more or less compelled to do so, that is, when there is social expectation in that sense, but also grandparents who make statements of greater closure about gays, in the end have gay nephews, love them and no problem is created for that, but in public it’s hard to avoid the homophobic comedy. Among the guys in my group (the eleven gay guys in my course) I did not even find one objectively concerned or distressed by his being gay, but for the truth I did not even find one special proud  of being gay, they are all absolutely quiet guys and they live in a very natural way. One of these guys, when I still did not know he was gay, had sent me an email that I think is very interesting. I copy it down here in full with his permission:

Hi A.,

I was very happy to talk to you this morning, I would bet you were a smart guy, as well as a phenomenon in the studies. There are so many universities in the South but, seeing you, I guess they are not so bad, you have a very theoretical and scientific training, we are much more engineers, you tend split hairs over and build precise mathematical models, we linearize everything, and at most we do some laboratory tests. I (Fabio, called Failed genius), Andrea (called the Minister) and Marco (said the 1st Thin) began to study together and we are very well. If the thing for you is fine we could even study in four rather than three, they all agree. We are all gay guys, but we do not have any prejudices against intelligent straight guys. Let me know what you think about.

Fabio (Failed genius)

GAY MELANCHOLY AND NOSTALGIA

Dear Project,

I’ll tell you my story. I hope you have the patience to hear and answer me and I know you’ll do it.

I’m 36, not very handsome but just quite passable, I’m not at the top of anything. Fortunately, I have a permanent employment, nothing special, but at least I can go on whit my life. I live at my parents’ home, maybe with a little effort I could even get to live alone, but I do not have a real reason to leave their home. My  parents are old but they are good people and love me. I do not know what they know or understand about me, but at home there is the rule well known in USA army: don’t ask, don’t tell. And I don’t think that such rule has been made in order to avoid me any trouble, my parents never asked me about such topics, even when I was 14. My life has not been very characterized by my being gay, a bit of porn but I’ve never had a fixed idea of such things, a bit of network news, but never chat or dating sites. Until 25 I had never known a gay person. I lived my life, gay things were more the side than the center of my life, they were, so to say, the forbidden and certainly not the daily normality. Things changed at Christmas of 2007. Through my fellow workers I had met a group of friends and had joined them though very reluctant because there were several enterprising girls I thought could put me in trouble. I was on the edge of the group, I went out with them but I did not really feel involved, then a boy younger than all of us, about 20 y. o. joined the group, I’ll call him Luca, he was a handsome boy but frankly, at the beginning, I felt that he was far away from me and kept him at a distance like everyone else. A girl tried to break ice with Luca, but Luca’s answers were not standard, he kept her away, playing a bit with her, but he did not get really involved. Luca also had another feature that intrigued me a lot, unlike all the others, he did not tell anyone his private facts and did not even tell the private facts of others. I slowly began to exchange some gaze with Luca, we did not even speak a single word, but I approved what he did and he approved what I did. Things  went on like this for a few weeks, then a timid dialog started in which we did not say anything of us, but we talked about different topics just for the pleasure of talking to each other. One afternoon I see him very nervous, I try to talk to him, but he reacts badly, I do not give up and insist, in the end, he tells me that a guy threatened him. I am puzzled and I try to understand something more, dialogue is very difficult. I try to make it clear but he does not explain anything, he is reticent, he falls in contradiction. I am very alarmed and I tell him that he must submit a complaint to the police and not endure the threats without doing anything, but I really do not know why he has been threatened or by whom. We keep talking about and in the end he tells me that he has invented everything and I’m very angry about all the story, something that rarely happens to me. he does not even justify himself, he just says hello and goes away, and I remain doubtful. The next day I try to insist, we meet in the evening, he lets me speak a lot but he speaks very little, I try to insist and he tells me: “But why do you care so much about me?” I hesitate before answering and he asks me: “Are you gay?” And I tell him “Yes I am”, and he replies that there is no need to do all that comedy, that if I want to have sex with him he is fine. It takes me off and I’m going to disappear instantly, but I tell him that maybe it will be for sex, but certainly not only for that, but in any case I liked him very much. He replies: “If you want to have sex ok, otherwise get lost! I don’t want people who just talk!” I wait a few seconds before answering but he does not wait, he turns and goes away. There is no need to say that I feel very bad, but I’m almost glad that such a story is over. I went home destroyed but taking for granted that I could not do anything for Luca. A couple of days later, he calls me by my intercom and just says, “Get down.” I step down and start talking but he immediately blocks me and says, “You made me not want to talk to you all the more,” and goes away. After another two or three scenes of this kind, hi gives me an ultimatum: have sex with him or disappear, I tell him I’m afraid of AIDS and he says to me: “but it’s OK also safe sex” and it ends that we go to a countryside and masturbate each other. He asks me if it was the first time for me, I tell him yes. I think everything is over but that’s not the case: we start talking and we go on talking until the next morning. When I went to work, apart from fatigue I had a thousand ideas that almost made my head burst. He had told me many things about himself and many things that were not good things, in practice he had showed me the worst side of himself, or at least what he considered so, that is, according to him, that he was obsessed with sex but he had never fallen in love with anyone. He told me not to take him seriously because beyond sex with me he did not care about anything else. At the time I thought he had put so many guys in big trouble and that he should not have done it, but he told them not to trust him, they trusted him and believed they could handle him at their own liking, and he could not bear such a thing. Then he started playing with them, deluding them and then disappointing them with some sharp comment or maybe not going to appointments and not answering the phone. Luca is not a jovial guy, is very sharp and aggressive, even if never really badly. Well, despite all this, I fell in love with him, even though I knew I would not have any chance. For long periods, we did not even talk on the phone, because he was in love with a guy and trying to build something with him, then he called me in his periods of depression that scared me badly. Sex was by then a kind of ploy to get some talk, it did not happen often, but when it happened it was a very serious thing. I tried to treat him always well and to be always available, and even he, all in all, I think has put some good will to treat me with respect. Since January I did not hear him anymore, which can also be a good thing because he might have found his stability with a guy but I’m still afraid the depression can put him in really bad situations. Now I do not know what to do if I have to call him or let everything go like this. After all I did not do anything for him. I miss him somewhat, but on the other hand I think I cannot really get into his world, or rather I do not think I can really bring him to something positive, that would be something positive only from own my point of view but probably not from his, which I cannot understand at all. Should I move first? It would please him or maybe I might just be there to remind him of old things that for him no longer make sense. At times I felt with him the sense of a total communication, but they were very rare moments. I feel a little blamed for not doing anything, but I’m also afraid to get in a relationship that I could not manage. My thoughts look like late changes of heart and maybe they are, I just need to know he’s fine but I’m sadden in immobility. What would you do if you were in my place? Look at your answer.

A. A.

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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