Monday, December 31, 2007

Four-score and 365 days ago...

A year ago I had my first gay encounter.

It wasn't sexual, it wasn't even really friendly, but we both felt it and it affirmed the fear within me that I had no idea what I was doing.

We were out in a university town, my friends and I from home guests of a few friends who had gone to this school. I couldn't get over how differently they socialized compared to other schools; here it felt almost like the American college system. The group of friends, 25 of them, were inseparable. They lived together, had class together, went to the bars was nice.

New Years Eve saw us entering one of the 'fancier' bars, the foreign guests and the locals mixing together to celebrate the new year. I was with a few of my closest friends, so that was really all that mattered to me, and quite drunk by the time the dancing started. I think I was even having fun.

He had crossed my field of vision a few times through the night, talking to some of the people in our party but never speaking to me directly. I didn't even know his name, only that he was a friend of one of their group, along for the festivities.

Something inside me pulled me to him, unlike anything I had experienced before. I just knew he was gay. No reason why, and he certainly was very 'straight acting', especially in this small-town homophobe crowd. It was so peculiar to me, to feel this 6th sense somewhere in the back of my mind shouting that I should do something with this guy.

For me, it was bizarre. Remember, this was roughly a week after I'd started this blog, and I was just beginning to understand the idea of what being gay meant and that I really wanted to pursue my attraction to men. And there I was, overstimulated and wondering what to do next.

He passed in front of me a few times through the evening, never really speaking or even seeing me, but each time he did I wondered what move I should make next. How could I get his attention, signal to him that I knew?

Midnight was fast approaching, only minutes away, when I noticed him sitting on the sidelines with a few other people, not really talking. I was there alone that night, and it seemed like he was as well, other happy couples bouncing around him. This was it.

I walked over to him, and he looked up at me. I can still remember the look in his eyes, that glance of confusion at first, but ultimately of some unspoken understanding.

"Hey, what are you doing sitting down," I asked. "It's almost midnight. You should be up here," I said, motioning towards the dance floor.

He gave me a bit of a smile, and awkwardly rose to his feet. We walked the few steps to the edge of the floor, as the countdown approached...10, 9, 8...

I looked behind me. He was standing there. Now what do I do?

...7, 6, 5...

In front of me, a friend was standing, shouting out the numbers with the crowd. I joined in, unable to do much else.

...4, 3, 2...

As the numbers came to a close, I shot a glance behind me, to see the boy walking back towards the sidelines. I guess it was a...


...failure. My friend reached out and grabbed me in a hug, screaming happy new year in my ear while I put the previous moments events to the back of my mind and sipped on my drink, welcoming 2007.

Of course, looking back at it now, it was an interesting and funny experience. I can laugh now, because when I think about it, what exactly was I going to do? Start making out with a guy, surrounded by my friends who thought I was straight in a homophobic college town bar at midnight on New Years? Would I sneak him down a back alley and blow him? Would he grab my hand and hold it as the streamers fell from the ceiling? Hardly.

It's funny that it happened. I hadn't really thought about it much until a little while ago, when we were again planning our celebration for the year. But in some way, I guess it was another step in the journey.

Tonight I'll be in Toronto, surrounded by friends. When midnight comes, I'm going to be alone again, a little anxious of what to do with myself while couples all around me embrace and probe each others mouths for leftover bits of hors douvres. I'm not crazy about going out with a group of almost exclusively all couples...except for the other two single guys who are coming along. But they have a nasty habit of picking up single women when out at bars, so I don't think we'll have a good shot at standing awkwardly together.

In the off chance that some guy sets off my gaydar, and is standing awkwardly himself at the dawn of the new year, I think I just may know better than last year how to handle the situation.

To all of you I wish the very best for health, happiness and love in 2008. The new year really can be a clean slate, and no matter if the changes you wish to make are small or big, I hope you find a way to make your dreams come true.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Turned tables...

You've probably noticed the poll's I've conducted, on the right of your screen.

I was curious a little while back about who exactly was walking through my door. After all, this is the anonymous Internet, and site counters don't keep track of if you're a bisexual 30-something who likes reading about my comical stabs at being gay...

So I drafted up the two polls to try and "capture the snapshot," if you will, of who all is reading. Here's what I've found:

Ages -
Under 29: 31 (60%)
30-45: 12 (23%)
46-60: 7 (13%)
60+: 1 (1%)

Orientations -
Gay Male: 50 (63%)
Bi/Pansexual Male: 10 (12%)
Questioning/Curious Male: 6 (7%)
Straight Male: 5 (6%)
Lesbian Female: 1 (1%)
Bi/Pansexual Female: 0
Straight Female: 3 (3%)
None of the Above: 4 (4%)

First off, I appologize to anyone who was offended by any of the categories. As for age, yeah, I know I'm lumping a lot of different groups pretty close together, but I was just looking for a general trend. In terms of orientations, I realize I didn't put any options for Trans people, or people with undefined sexualities. I'm sorry.

So, not surprisingly, you guys are mostly under 30 gay men. But it's interesting to note that people of all ages are reading, and I think it's really amazing that anyone over my age is reading...I hope that means I'm hitting on some universal topics that are of interest to everyone.

But, like any good researcher, I'm more interested in the outlyer results. I'm a little surprised that so few straight women are reading...I guess that's a general stereotype that women are interested in the lives of gay men. I couldn't seem to get women interested in my back in High School...and it seems that hasn't changed! Though I mind a hell of a lot less...

To all the questioning/curious guys reading, I hope some of the things I've written have been a help in trying to figure yourself out. I'd suggest going back and checking some of the really old entries to see where I was coming from, and how things developed. And of course, I wish you all the best of luck in your own journey.

What amazed me the most was that 5 STRAIGHT males are reading! Guys, that's amazing. You're all a rare breed, and I'm so impressed that you've taken the time to read about things you may not want to hear about... Really, you people, whoever you are, are an inspiration and I hope the rest of the world catches up to your attitude and acceptance of us ominous 'others'.

So there you have it, a brief look at your fellow readers! Another obvious question would be, "Are you out?" but maybe I'll save that for another time.

Until then, thanks for voting.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Three hundred and sixty five days...

A lot has changed.

More than I ever thought it could. Good. Bad. Otherwise.

I can gladly say I feel more at peace with myself today than I did exactly one year ago, when I flailed wildly, resisting myself and hating my circumstance. It was so hard for me to understand...but I knew I was doomed to unhappiness and self-hatred and loneliness if I continued to let things be. I also had no idea what to do, where to go, and who to turn to.

Over the past year, my life has changed more than it had in the 20 years before it. For the first time I kissed and meant it, held hands and got the flutter in my chest, dated same-sex partners, gone to bed with them...

Sitting here now, I almost cannot imagine my life without these things. It seems like five years ago, not one, that things started to change. I am so very thankful that they did.

Am I at peace with myself now, 100%? Yes and no. I'm at peace with my sexuality. I don't have that crushing weight on my chest that screamed the need for change and to let me be me. I'm at peace with my friends, who have not turned their backs on me during my harder days or lost respect for me because I'm 'different'. I'm happy to say I love sex!

You know that I still have my tumultuous times, mostly centering around my place in the gay universe. I feel isolated from the gay community in a way I didn't really see myself feeling when I started this journey. A year out of a lifetime isn't exactly a long time, but when it feels like the rest of the world can just come out and embrace things, learn and understand and become part of a community, I feel like I'm very much behind. I'm not at peace with that aspect of my life.

I'm also not at peace with my family. I'm still worried my Mom doesn't really grasp the situation, and I haven't even told Dad yet. How badly I just want it to be out there, so I can stop wondering about what might happen if someone said something...I just want more of a resolution to this part. It's not that I don't know who I am, but I want my close family to know and understand, and ultimately accept too.

Like I have said before, I don't regret the things I've done. I do, however, regret things I did not do. I'm not an extrovert with brazen sensibilities. I think before I act...sometimes too much and for too long. I don't regret the people I've met, the places I've gone or the decisions I made. I'm just sorry that I didn't do more, pushed myself out on a limb and really took myself to the limit. I regret the simplest things, like a missed kiss. I regret the biggest things, like not forcing myself to join the GLBT group at school, or forcing myself to walk through that bar door instead of past it.

What surprises me the most about my experience is how hard it's been, even at my age. I was 20 when I started this journey, and everyone said how young I was and how I had my entire life ahead of me. I will never understand the younger gay guys, some even as young as high school kids, who somehow figure things out, come out and really get the most out of life as a young gay man. Even now after all my progress, I have relatively little gay 'street cred' compared to these twinky boys who were out at age 16. And jealous as I may be for their position in society, I am also overwhelmingly happy for them, that they did not have to go through so many years, when life is so simple, not understanding themselves and not being who they are.

This blog has been my saviour. Without writing my thoughts down, I would never have been able to think things through, and come to a better understanding of how I feel and what I want. Many times I have started writing a post only to have an, "Ahhh," moment, seeing the light and getting a better understanding of my problems, positions and questions. Without the act of writing, I don't know how I would have discovered things about myself.

I also cannot wrap my mind around how fundamentally blogging has changed my world. Because of this blog, I know people all across North America and Europe, who were in the same similar situation as I was. I've met bloggers in person, spent hours on IM to people I may never meet, and texted and phoned my newfound friends, sorting out our lives and our places in the world. Without bloggers and readers, I would never have considered things, understood myself and the world we live in like I do.

In some ways, I wonder if our blogging is a bit of a curse as well. How would things have been different for me if I could not blog, but was forced to start my coming out some other way? Would I have gone to the GLBT office on campus and talked to someone there? Would I have visited a bathhouse in desperate search of answers? Would I still be in the closet, miserable and defeated? Would I have killed myself by now?

I will never know the answers. In some ways I wonder if I could have found what I was looking for faster had I just thrown myself to the wolves. But a large part of me looks at that alternate universe and sees nothing but black because of the missing component of this blog. I do not know where I would be if it was not for all of you. When I think of the faces of people I now know, I cannot imagine life without knowing you. And quite simply, I would never have known you.

This journey has been hard. Not a single step has been easy, unquestioned or painless. There have been times when my energy is tapped, when I have no more to give to myself and nowhere else to get it from. I have felt alone and afraid, with no one to turn to. I have pat the empty side of my bed and asked my eternal question, "Why?" I have cried with and because of my family.

But I have come so far.

Am I proud of myself? Who knows. I'm pleased that I know who I am now, that I understand myself and accept myself. I'm happy that I've come out to my friends and can live freely in my identity. I'm glad I have more to myself than the fact I'm 'gay', and that people seem to recognize that. I'm happy that I've tried (though failed) to love and be loved. Still, I feel there is so much to do... but maybe the worst is behind me.

Thank you for being with me, for however many of the past 365 days you have been. I hope you'll stick around for the next 365.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Glad tidings...

There is nothing more comforting than Elvis Presley singing Christmas/Religious songs.

After I sent my guests home tonight, many bottles of wine and even a bottle of Bollinger put away ("Thanks to my very best friends, from highschool to today, I love you all" I told my story to one of my best friends while one slept on the couch, the others preoccupied with the piano playing Cohen's "Hallelujah."

For the first time ever, I cried about a boy and an impossible situation.

While holding each other on the couch, she told me it was the most romantic thing she'd ever heard.

What can I say, other than I feel drained. Even after I sent a text and received a phone call, I don't know what to say.

Thank God Elvis is on the stereo, reassuring me that Christmas, family and friends are what matters at this time of year.

"Listen to those wonderous bells..." he said, during 'The Wonderful World of Christmas'.

"Shall remain every day in our hearts..."

But still, why does it ring so true, "It won't feel like Christmas without you, no matter so many miles between..."

Gah...I'm a hopeless romantic that will die after I get myself in too deep one too many times. But then what?... and why do I torture myself so now. This wasn't the way it was supposed to work. But, as my friend said, "It's the way things happened, can't you just be happy for it?"

Friday, December 21, 2007

Shopping with Mom...

I never knew Christmas shopping could be so...awkward...

Mom and I had gotten what we needed that day, and were about to pack it in. After a moment, we wound up stopping for dinner, because we both figured we'd rather eat there than go home and cook...hey, it's Christmas, right?

A few doors down from the restaurant was a sex shop. It looked kinda small, and kinda run down, but hey, sex stores are fun. As we walked by, my Mom looked through the window and said, "Maybe we should get your father something from in there, he always talks about going in...sometimes I think he's serious!"

We both laughed, because it's true; he's always joking about needing to stop off for a few things. At least, I hope he's always joking...

We sat down to dinner, and tried again in vain to figure out some small gift for Dad to open that would be a complete surprise. My mind kept pulling back to the sex store...what could I possibly find in there? I kept racking my brain...after all, what do straight men buy at sex shops? Considering most of their stock is, uh, penetrable items, I don't understand what the average straight dude buys.

After dinner, we were walking past the store again, and I knew it was now or never. "I'm going in," I said, laughing, "are you coming?"

Might as well play this for all it was worth...

She hesitated for a second, then nodded. And so, mother and gay son entered the den of inequity together.

I tried not to make it too obvious that I was staring at all the, uh, penetrable products, because I didn't want to scare her too badly. I was half expecting a quiet question about my experiences, after me blurting out, "Well damn, they don't have a lot of selection, do they?"

In the novelty section, cards, candy and games were priced to sell. I selected a pair of chocolate tits for dear old dad, and made my way further into the store. We hit the lingerie section, complete with articles for him and her. Jokingly I walked to the His section, scanning the wall until inspiration hit.

There, hanging low on the rack, was a Tartan jockstrap.

It was a regular jock with no material in the crotch, and a little curtain of silky Tartan-patterned fabric covering the crotch. We both burst out laughing.

That was it! That was the present! A perfect gag gift that will make for hilarity all day. We both could not stop laughing at the imagined antics of said strap, which, though not sporting the family Tartan, will be the source for most laughs of the day. I have no doubt that at some point it will wind up on my father, grandmother, lamp, Christmas tree and possibly the turkey.

Surprisingly enough, Mom seemed to really get into it. "Make sure you get the right size," she said. Oh God, I don't want to know what happens to this thing after Christmas day...

That night I went home and wrapped it up in a big box, weighed down by two cans of beans. So my fathers new Tartan jockstrap is now tucked under the tree, with Grandma's body wash, Mom's new purse and Grandpa's box of chocolates.

Twisted Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mental health/physical health...

I just realized something about the last post and my over-arching gay situation.

It's the same thing.

I'm scared to go to the gym, because I don't know what to do there, or how to act, or the 'rules' and how things work. I don't have a friend in my life to be an introduction, to show me the ropes and help me make a smooth transition. I know where the gym is, but I don't know how to enter into that culture successfully.

I'm scared to go to gay bars, because I don't know what to do there, or how to act, or the 'rules' and how things work. I don't have a friend in my life to be an introduction, to show me the ropes and help me make a smooth transition. I know where the gay bar is, but I don't know how to enter into that culture successfully.

Totally different things, I know, but it's hitting me like a tonne of bricks. But it's the same sort of confusion, terror, dread and unknowing I feel when I think of either situation. And how cut off I feel from finding helping hands.

Food for thought...I guess this just means even though I'm really well rounded, there are a few 'scenes' in life that I have no clue about. I'm not built with the capacity to just throw myself into a totally new and foreign situation. I need to research and understand everything before I then walk through the door. I get my confidence from my intelligence, understanding and ability to problem solve and outthink.

I have no confidence in these few yet important parts of life because I know nothing about them. And what's over-riding my ability to just do it is my fear of rejection and failure in a situation I've already convinced myself I'm going to drown in.


Get thee to a gym...

My mother doesn't know how to be helpful sometimes.

This is yet another classic example of her 'trying to help' with things in life. We were talking about nothing, and out of the blue she tells me, "The gym is having $25 passes for students for the Christmas holidays until school starts again."

What she didn't say was, "You should join."

I took a few seconds to decide how I should respond to this. I played it at face value. "Oh, that's nice."

The thing that drives me mad is her inability to just come out and say 'Lets go to the gym together while you're home, it'll be easy and you might like it.' She just drops this 'hint' out of nowhere, I guess expecting me to jump all over it with excitement.

Truthfully, I would love to join the gym. I'm thinned down. I'm not toned up. This needs fixing if I am ever to be exposing my upper arms, chest and stomach to anyone under more than a candle-glow of light. And God-willing that will be soon, so I need to start working now.

But my problem is, I have no idea what one does at a gym, or how they do it. Hell, I don't even know what guys wear at a gym. I don't own a stitch of sport clothing, or even 'running shoes'. And that isn't even the biggest part.

I was never an athletic kid in school. Far from it, I hated (and still hate) sports, the jock mentality and the cliquiness of physical fitness. I've been so under-exposed to it that I have very little concept of what one does in a gym, other than some very clever porn movies I might have seen. And something tells me marathon sex on the mats isn't what the gym is all about.

I'll admit it, I'm scared of the gym. I'm scared of people (boys) with nicer bodies than mine, scared of people (boys) who will undoubtedly laugh at me while I haplessly try to navigate this 'fitness' thing. Even though I'm sure most people are quite nice, I can't help but associate gym-goers with jocks. It's like prisoners in a jail, you instantly tense up when surrounded by people who are so out of your element.

But I want to start going, I want to learn what you do, and I want to overcome this insanity that is my complete lack of knowledge about gym practices.

The biggest issue is simply that I do not have any skills at all. I wouldn't know what you do with a weight, how far and fast you run on a treadmill, how to use something called an 'elliptical trainer'. And I'm embarrassed, because I'm a boy, and boys are supposed to know how to do this stuff.

I essentially would be a danger to myself and others.

"I wouldn't even know what to do at a gym," I told her, sort of expecting some answer as to how one starts to learn about working out. "It'd be totally new to me, I haven't got a clue how you do anything..."

She paused. "Oh, well, I'm sure people would help you get started..."

What in hell is that supposed to mean? Talk about making me not feel any better about the situation! At least she could have told me a story about someone new to the gym, and how they made out. But no, she just figures people would 'help me out'!?

So boys, tell me, how does one start going to a gym? And how does one do so without making an ass out of himself?

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I'm being shoved back into the closet, albeit temporarily.

And I'm not even talking about back home! Though, naturally, like all closet issues, it relates to home. Tomorrow night a group of us are going out to celebrate the end of the semester. This group includes several good friends, as well as one girl I went to high school with, who's visiting my roommate.

Laura asked me yesterday about what we were going to do. "Actually, everybody knows about you except her of the people going with us!" she said, concerned. "What do you want us to do?"

I looked at her. What should they need to do? I mean, it's not like I'm going with a guy on my arm, and the chances that we'd get into a 'gay' conversation are pretty remote...yet I started to get a little nervous. I mean, what if she finds out? I apparently 'act differently' around my Toronto crew than I do with people from home/high school, and Laura was concerned that one of the Toronto people would out me through a casual conversation.

This doesn't scare me, really, but for the fact the girl visiting would no doubt be blabbing the news around bright and early the next morning. Essentially, she would be one of the people I would fear would do the very thing I want to avoid; making a big spectacle of my sexuality even though it has nothing to do with her or anyone she'd talk to.

"How about I just tell everyone not to bring it up," Laura said. "I just would feel terrible if somebody said something that outed you completely by accident, so if I say something now they'll be good with watching their conversations..."

I agreed, hesitantly. It makes me feel bad, causing such reaction that we now have to watch what we say in our own home so that I don't get outed to the town crier.

But still, is this a bad price to pay so I don't get put under the microscope?

However it goes, I don't plan on hiding too much. Worse comes to worse, though I won't be saying "I'm gay" to anyone, I don't have a problem with her drawing her own conclusions...besides, if I'm talking gay with someone, she probably wouldn't be involved in the conversation anyway. I don't plan on censoring much of anything, because there really shouldn't be anything to censor! We're not going to a strip club, it's just a bunch of people going out to celebrate Christmas and the end of school.

So why am I a little worried?...


Christmas shopping is not going well.

Nevermind my parents are impossible to buy for, plus my grandfather...but my few friends I plan on buying gifts aren't making it easy for me either.

The most common answer I've received is, "I don't really need anything," followed by, "There's nothing I really want."

I'll admit, I fall into that camp relatively easily. The only presents I've 'asked' for was stuff I bought and was promptly taken from me to be used as Christmas presents. But why is it so impossible for my generation to think of things they want for Christmas? I mean, we're all starving students after all...yet I can think of very few things I simply do not have or cannot afford, other than luxury items I'd never be given anyway.

Perhaps it's time to get all philosophical and tell my friends, family and neighbors that Christmas is about spreading the love and not about consumerism. I've never been bogged down in the "me-me-me" thinking of Christmas, so it's not like I'm discovering this for the first time. makes me wonder. I mean, does the fact that I don't ask for something I might really need say that I already have everything in life I currently require? Of course, that doesn't mean I bought the $600 D&G sweater I'm in love with...but damn, I don't really need that anyway.

Currently sitting under my Christmas tree, with my name on it:
-2 Boss shirts, both of which I'll be stealing for different Christmas functions so I look hot
-1 pair Boss pants, currently being not even under the tree yet
-1 chest of Bordeaux wines
-1 1kg Cadbury's milk chocolate bar, imported from England

Hmm...other than a new camera, I really don't think I need much else (and I don't even 'need' a new camera). And looking at that little list, I've already got more than many others will see.

So now I've just got to focus on getting some things for other people. And who knows, maybe I'll buy a goat for some African village to actually get something somebody really needs.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Seems like I have to write another obituary.

I do these because the people I write about have changed my life somehow. The first I wrote was for Micifus, the boy who shared his story that inspired me to take a good hard look at the way my life was going, and gave me that glimpse into something better.

I hate goodbyes. Nothing in life is sadder, because it's such a final thing. When someone stops writing, they usually do so because they've moved on. And they don't come back. The last few seconds of film roll, we see our hero walking into the next chapter of their life, and it is usually left to fantasy to see if indeed they live happily ever after.

Tim, of I Think I Might Be Gay, has retired. Again, not a surprise. After talking with him about retirement once before, I knew the end would be near. But the beautiful thing is, he's moved on. Like he said in his final post, he's a different person than he was, a better, more fulfilled person. For that I am both happy and jealous.

Tim was the first blogger I ever became connected with. We exchanged e-mails, which led to the occasional IM conversation, which lead to talking almost every day. He's my first in the blogging world, the first guy I got to know personally, the first I added to Facebook. The first person to know the full me.

Over the months, I have come to think of him fondly as my friend in Utah, someone a few timezones away who I've gotten to know thanks to the insane marvel of the internet. Timmy, we were riding the forefront of history, considering I befriended a guy who I still have never met. Actually, still have yet to have spoken on the phone, but I'm sure we'll get around to it. But the point is, thanks to circumstance and technology, I have shared brilliant moments with a man I would never have encountered in my entire existence.

What to say about I Think I Might Be Gay. Well, turns out he was gay after all. But his journey is a continued inspiration to me, because it shows how, from the strangest of circumstance, one can embrace themselves for who they are, discover new things along the way, and eventually find the satisfaction and peace they sought for so long.

Tim, what can I say about you. You inspire me to keep discovering myself, to continue evolving and questioning and to push myself to become who I want to be. I won't lie, I'm jealous of your progress, because you made such amazing changes in your life to great benefit. But with that is a huge amount of respect and joy. And through it all you remained so humble and grounded, as if the things you accomplished weren't all that big.

I remember once very recently I was in a particularly reminiscent mood while talking to you. Near the end of our conversation I said, "God, I'm glad I met you." And I really am. Just thinking of you now makes me smile, the laughs we shared and the insight we were able to give each other. I cannot imagine my blogging career without you. Or my journey coming out. As you said, had we been in the same state, we'd probably be pretty good friends, and with that I cannot agree more.

I cannot thank you enough for being my ground during all of this 'thing'. You always were truthful, always were sincere, and always were sane when I was fretting over this or that. For all those times, I thank you.

So, for those of you not familiar with Tim's story, I suggest you give it a read. It's all about a boy who starts to figure himself out, finds out who he really is, falls in love with a boy for the first time...moves on, and becomes an even more amazing human being than he was. Something we can all aspire to.

Thank you for sharing yourself with us Tim. It was a great time.

Much love,

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Different life, different path...

A gay boy avoided setting off my gay-dar.

He’s my age, my year, cute in a scruffy sort of way. I always had wondered about him; he had that indie edge that could either mean homo or homo-wannabe. The last few times, I’ve always been left with a sense of wonder…what if…I mean, he’s cute! And how fun would it be to fool around with someone in my program!?

Add to that, I’ve felt the last few times we’ve been in the same room his eyes were on me. Of all people, he seemed to pointedly say hi and engage in conversation with me. At first I wondered why; he’s pretentious most of the time and I was always worried he didn’t really care for my presence. But after a while, I started to feel like he was treating me a little differently than others.

His outing came via a mutual friend. We were walking together, she complaining about straight men, me agreeing with her analyses. “Actually, I don’t think I have any straight male friends,” she said. Of course, knowing that she was a good friend of Scruffy Boy triggered that inner question, and as much as I wanted to respect his privacy, I also really wanted to know.

“But what about Scruffy Boy?” I asked.

“Oh, he’s gay. Super gay. Done practically everything that it takes to make you gay, but he doesn’t really admit it to himself,” she said, matter-of-factly.

“Whaa?” I said, confused. I mean, of all the people I expected to be fine with being gay, he would be one.

“Yeah, he’s sort of in denial, doesn’t really tell anyone about it, and isn’t really out yet,” she said, still walking, staring straight ahead.

“But…why? He hangs out with a bunch of gay guys all the time,” I countered.

“Small town, conservative family that wouldn’t take it well, that kind of thing. I guess he doesn’t want to lead a double life.”

“He would be so good at it, though, I mean he already has the connections…” I trailed off.

“Really, he’s just not comfortable with it yet. I’m one of the only people he’s totally honest with, don’t know why…” she said.

“Probably because you’re the one who’s sorta pro-gay,” I laughed, and she nodded.

I should have stopped there, but I prodded on.

“Is he seeing anyone then?”

“Not right now,” she said, then dropped the bombshell. “But last year, he was dating this guy for a few months.”

“Nice,” I said, “I’m glad for him. But how’d they meet?” Always on the lookout for tips…

“Funny story, he actually got picked up by some guy in 4th year. Yeah, this guy totally just picked him out of the crowd, started talking him up, then they were going out,” she said as my jaw dropped.

“Aww, that’s sweet. Well, I’m glad he got to have that while he was even deeper in the closet,” I managed. It’s true, I am happy for him. But the story made me a little sad, too, because I’m selfish and self-centred about things like relationships.

How ironic that my classmate, who was always deeper in the closet than I was, got picked out of a crowd by an older guy, swept off his feet and wound up in a relationship longer than any I’ve ever encountered.

I tried to fight it, but I couldn’t help it. The question sits in front of me unanswered; why him, not me? How him, not me? Not to discount his pain and agony from being perpetually closeted, but damn, he was on a roll for a guy that I wasn’t even sure was gay.

He basically lived what I had fantasized about, the hidden hope I had when I went off to university. Just be yourself, and somehow someone will open up to you and you’ll find your path. That, I always hoped, would mean someone would ‘tell’, and take my hand and walk me out of the closet, and maybe even love me along the way.

It’s a bit of a kick in the balls to know that the guy sitting a few seats down from me got my wish. Obviously it didn’t turn out like mine would possibly have, but still, he’s damn lucky to have that experience under his belt. I guess it just goes to solidify my bizarre path in life, my seemingly constant difference from others and unlucky circumstance that has kept me from experiencing that.

Hell, even now as an ‘out’ guy, I’ve never had anyone remotely move on me, let alone the ‘experienced older student’.

I’m now caught in a bit of an ethical pickle. I’d love for him to know that I know, for him to know that I’m gay, and I’d love to talk about it all. But I technically shouldn’t even know, because it’s not like I figured it out by myself. Someone else told me about a closeted guy, and I just don’t feel right bold-faced asking him about it, even though we’ve got the similar background.

There’s always the ‘hint about it’ method, but again, that implies that I know about him, and I’d feel pretty bad if he thought people were talking about it behind his back. I’m sure the only reason she told me was the fact that we’re a) all friends and b)gay.

And of course, now knowing for certain Scruffy Boy is gay doesn’t make me want to jump his bones less…but that’s getting wayyy ahead of myself. Strangely I would feel less ethically wrong if I slept with him without talking about it. But then again, that would sorta confirm things without verbal communication…

It’s a delicate situation, I’m a nice guy, and I’m not sure if I should just drop the subject altogether or tread lightly forward.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Pack away your worries...

I'm trying to firmly make a decision for the next month and a bit.

That decision is actually more like a UN declaration:

"...Though the case warrants further study, and by no way does this statement detract from it's importance, it must be resolved that, to fully engage and enjoy the Christmas holiday (hereafter referred to as the holiday), we, the undersigned, affirm that as little thought and worry shall be focused on the following situations: sex life, relationship status, gay community interaction, 'out' status, isolation and any homosexual-related hardships.

We realize that, as it is the holiday season, with the imminent return to rural environments, there is very little point to exuding much/any energy on problems that cannot be solved while in that geographic location.

There will me much time to ponder such situations during said holiday, but we must make every effort to devote as little time as possible to fruitless worry and dread, as it will interfere with the enjoyment of friends, family, turkey and snow. As seen in previous instances, case subject spends hours, even days, pondering his issues, sometimes at the expense of living 'in the moment'.

While it is unhealthy to truly block any thoughts, or to suppress them from all conscious thought, it is even more unhealthy to devote time better spent on other activities simply to revisit issues that cannot be resolved during said holiday.

As a result, the forthcoming holiday will be devoted to loving family and friends, drinking, eating, laughing, and lifting all spirits with lightheartedness and a carefree attitude. This will not be an 'act', rather, the re-embracement of the simplest pleasures in life.

Upon the end of the holiday, thoughts may turn back to the aforementioned issues, but it is the hope of this committee that such thoughts will be lessened and ultimately worked toward a path of resolution, so the carefree attitude may continue freely into the next calendar year.

Signed, the committee on the betterment of Steve's sexuality, personal life and integration."

If you remember, I started this blog on December 26, 2006. My head was in so many different places at that time, not many of them good. I was screaming silently inside my mind, frustrated to wits end, probably depressed, and all during Christmas. This year, I don't want it to be like that. The biggest question of my life thus far has been answered, and really, there is relatively little more important during Christmas than enjoying it with my family, reaffirming my spirituality and clearing my mind and body.

Sure, I've got my problems like usual. I wrote it out not too long ago, after finally realizing what really has me scratching my head at night. But nothing can be solved by another Christmas worrying over things that aren't as important as living in the moment, this moment, of December 2007.

Now, if I can just get through all these exams...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Let it snow...

Finally I've figured out what my preferred weather system is.


I was joyful beyond words last night, walking from my place out to meet friends for dinner. Through the day, the snow had flown off and on, but I wasn't expecting it to be dumping when I was headed out the door.

As soon as I rounded the corner from my door, a smile crossed my face. It was cold, but a manageable cold, one you don't really notice too badly until you're frozen stiff. Gloves and scarf and iPod all firmly in place, I set out amongst the falling snow.

Like I had said before, snow silently fall is so peaceful, and even more so at night. With the beautiful glow of the city lights as a backdrop, huge fluffy white flakes settled on the asphalt and patches of grass.

The entire walk I was smiling like an idiot, humming along to my iPod and completely enjoying the feeling of walking through this storm. Really, I don't know what it is that makes me so entranced by snow over, say, a thunderstorm...but I now recognize that my favorite weather system is a good snowfall, especially at night. It turns the gray city streets into a different, magical setting.

The dinner was also nice, something I needed I guess. A few of us met up at around 7, and tried to get into a couple restaurants. But of course, no reservations on a Friday night near Christmas means a bit of a wait for a table. But it was worth it.

We wound up at a fairly nice place with a 45 minute wait. Someone suggested just buying some ingredients and cooking at my place, but I really didn't want to have to walk all the way back. We took up a spot at the bar, had a drink and just talked. The minutes blew by, and we had our table.

During the dinner conversation, I became a little apprehensive in wondering if people knew about me. There were the usual sex questions, and someone started talking about bath houses and what exactly went on in there.

"Oh, group sex, public sex, one-on-one sex in public or private...pretty much anything," I said blandly.

"And how do you know so much about this?" one of them joked.

"Well, not that I've actually been to one before," I said, laughing.

Time wore on, and I don't recall how it came up, but someone was asking a question and suddenly tagged on, "But I'm not entirely sure, your sexuality seems to be a bit ambiguous, so do you mind if I ask what orientation you are?"

I shook my head, and said, "Not at all, I'm gay."

"Ah, well that's what I thought, but wanted to make sure," he said. "Oh, and I'm totally cool with it, by the way." Why do people have to tag that on? Obviously I would suspect you're alright with it, if you didn't jump from your seat and run the other direction.

Still, it's nice to hear that people want to go the extra step and really remind you it doesn't matter.

Outside, from our seat beside a window, I could see all sort of people, and all sorts of snow. Magic.

Conversation then took another turn, as I was informed of some sort of informal declaration about people in our program. Apparently I rank as one of the 'cool' people in my program, part of a very short list according to the people privy to such information. I was also declared one of the best looking, but of course, I'm not letting this all go to my head...

Actually, it's almost funny for me to have such statements made about me. I would never consider myself a ranking member of the 'cool kids' in my program, yet I've been voted in as such. It kinda makes me feel good, considering I'm not out to impress anyone by acting any differently than I normally would. So that must mean...people like me for who I am?

Oh, there's also one person who doesn't like me much, but I like her fine so we all think it's a miscommunication.

After several drinks and hours of conversation, we left at around 12:30 a.m., light-hearted and talked out. Outside, the snow was still falling in quiet wisps, and as I walked home I still had the goofy smile on my face.

This time, it was about more than the snow.