Archive for May, 2011
When I got home from my business trip San Francisco, I was still reeling from my time with the man I met there. I couldn’t stop thinking about him and how close we grew in a matter of hours. From the moment I touched down in New Jersey, we were texting or talking on the phone. I couldn’t get enough of him.
I knew in my head it was crazy. We were on completely opposite coasts of the U.S. — Three time zones away. Him, a 34 year-old from Hawaii, and me, a 27 year-old from Pennsylvania. There were so many reasons why anything between us wouldn’t work.
But, at the time, I had no love interests in my life. There were a few adam4adam.com guys I talked to and set up dates (4 set up in 4 days), but who knew if the connections would be so strong. Subsequently, I compared every date to my first date with San Francisco.
I decided to send him flowers that Monday. I never sent anyone flowers before, let alone a man. But, I was a stranger visiting a city I’d never been to before, and he welcomed me in with open arms… and then some.
When the florist delivered them to his office, coworkers saw and flocked to his office to ask who they were from. He read the card that said, “I left a piece of my heart in San Francisco. Take care of it until I get back.” One of his coworkers wandered in and said, “Wow! Big night this weekend?”
He called immediately to thank me. I could hear his smile in his voice as we spoke on the phone. He was so happy, and I was so happy he was getting all the attention of his coworkers. It was my main goal to make him the center of attention and realize how loved he was.
We talked every night since I left. He would call when he finished work, and we would talk for hours. That night, after telling him how much I missed him, I told him I wanted to try to make it work. I couldn’t believe how strong our connection was, and I had to at least put in the effort to know if this relationship had two legs to stand on. I think he was touched, and fully dove in head first with me on the venture.
Over the next few nights, I taught him how to skype. We could now see each other as we talked. Eventually, we began watching TV together. Since we shared such a connection over Brothers & Sisters, every Monday night, we would watch that week’s episode together. Anything we could do to make it a stronger relationship. We became Facebook friends, and I also taught him about gchat, so we could talk at work throughout the day. I got a text every morning saying, “Good morning.” And however we ended the day, I would get a, “Sweet dreams.”
We were both happy. The distance was a burden, but we were managing.
We started planning a trip for him to come visit New York. He lived here for 10 years. He had a lot of friends here he hadn’t seen in three years. In my head, he would come visit in May, and come June, I would trek out there again, this time for pleasure. If these trips worked out, there was no stopping us. But we would cross those bridges as they came.
I didn’t know what this was. We put no label on it. But I knew he made me happy. That was all that mattered to me. And, I couldn’t wait for his arrival!
In memory of all the gay activists who have died in battle and the countless who have succumbed to suicide in hope of ending their pain…
Watch this commercial if you haven’t already. It’s so inspiring it gives me goosebumps!
WednesGAY lunch in the park…
Of the four dates I set up for the week, this one scared me the most. He was truly a wild card. He was gorgeous in his pictures — like model hot — but we only scratched the surface the few times we spoke on adam4adam.com.
When he told me his name, I was quite confused. In his pictures, he looked white, but his name sounded Middle Eastern. Only now, from googling the origin of his name, did I find it is of Spanish origin and not very popular.
I asked him for his number and if we could grab a drink sometime after work. He told me he doesn’t drink. Normally, this may have been a deal breaker for me, but I was beginning to enjoy my new dating adventures. Good or bad, they were experiences and something interesting to talk about with friends (Again, this is also when I thought I had an idea to start a blog). So I decided to be open-minded. I asked him where he worked, and he told me from home, by Bryant Park. So, I asked if we could do lunch one day. He suggested Cosi for lunch since it was nearby my office, his apartment and the park.
It was a gorgeous Wednesday after many days of cold and clouds. I was happy to be spending time outside. I walked to Cosi, texting him on my way. I wasn’t getting a response. Finally, after standing on the street for about 5 minutes, he texted me explaining he was en route and would arrive shortly.
When he arrived, I could tell he was quite flustered and sweating. Even through all that, I could see a beautiful man standing in front of me with flowing curly hair. Very dreamy. Also a bit intimidating. Towering over me, he was about 6’4″ or 6’5″ (I’m 6’2″ and intimidated by people taller than me since it happens so rarely). He apologized profusely for being late in an accent I was not able to place. He told me he would explain his tardiness when we sat down to eat. We hopped in line, ordered our lunch and walked across the street to the park. Ironically, I would later find out weeks later I was spotted while eating lunch by a fellow Grindr I was courting.
He told me he was on the upper west side on his scooter and was pulled over for not having the proper decals on his plate. It all clicked in my head why I wasn’t getting a phone call or text explaining why he was running late. Luckily, the cop let him off, but not before giving him a hard time. I then asked him what he did that allowed him to work from home every day. He gave me an awkward smile, and said, “Well I don’t work. I’m a landlord.”
I replied, “Not a bad gig. I’d kill to do that!”
He then explained he is originally from Miami and owns a few rental properties there. This was his source of income and allowed him to live a life of daily freedom. After he asked, I explained what I do for a living.
We started talking candidly about dating in NYC and in general. We talked about the challenges and pitfalls of trying to find someone to spend time with. Too many people are just simply looking for sex. He said, “We all have sexual needs, but it’s really challenging when you’re trying to find a meaningful relationship.”
At this point, between his pleasant disposition and his amazing looks, I was very interested. He also had an innocence about him that was very intriguing. On top of that, I couldn’t help myself. I was staring at his sexy jawline, his dreamy eyes and the flowing hair he continuously pushed behind his ear.
We talked about being from Miami and why he moved to NYC. He did it alone because he’s always wanted to live here and wanted a challenge. I admired this greatly. I myself have always considered moving to California, but don’t have the guts to start over. His courage was admirable and sexy. He elaborated. He told me about the man he left in Miami. They had been together for almost 10 years. “Pretty much husband and husband,” as he put it. He left him behind because he was not willing to move to New York. He needed to do this for himself — to find himself, so he left.
This was a bit of a curveball I wasn’t expecting. I tried to change the subject to something lighter. I asked him where he lives. He pointed out his apartment from where we were sitting. An apartment overlooking Bryant park is more than impressive. I asked him what he does for fun in his free time. I learned he lives a very European lifestyle. Grocery shopping all over the city on a daily basis, cooking meals, reading, traveling… He then went on to tell me he has a house in the mountains and loves to ski. And when he’s not there, he’s traveling out to his new LA apartment to get that in shape.
And all of a sudden, the dream came crashing down. We were not compatible. We came from different worlds. I admired his lifestyle and aspired to it, but I would not be someone’s kept man. He had so much freedom, a relationship with me would hold him back and create resentment. On top of that, my lunch hour was over.
We were both headed in the same direction, so we started to walk. The date ended without even a hug. I figured he wasn’t interested in me, and I lost interest when I realized how different our lives are. He suggested we do lunch again sometime, and I agreed. At this point, I considered putting him in the “friend zone.”
Sadly, we have not kept in touch since then, and I don’t know how well it would be received if I attempted to reach out to him now…
TuesGAY late night cocktails…
Single life was looking less scary every day. I accomplished 2 dates in 2 nights. I was on a hot streak (at least for me). So far, one was a incompatible, and the compatibility of the other would be determined on a second date.
On Tuesday of that week, I planned to meet a guy who lives in Weehawken. We met on adam4adam.com, exchanged AIM screennames and had been chatting online for weeks. It seemed we were never able to set a date and time that worked for both of us. When I finally got his number, it was a lot easier to plan a date. The night before, we texted and decided to meet in Hoboken after work for drinks, a bite to eat or coffee, depending on how we felt at the time. We both work in the city, but since he had a meeting in Philly, we agreed to meet on the Jersey side of the Hudson.
Midday, I texted him to confirm our plans for the evening. However, that text was met with silence. I didn’t hear back from him until 5:30 when he told me he was in a meeting all day that ran over. He and his coworker were going to hang out until rush hour died down before heading home. By the time he got home, it was about 9:00 and he was beat. He asked to reschedule. I obliged.
At the same time I wasn’t hearing a response to my text, I was cruising Grindr. I happened to find a guy on there who lived in Hoboken and started chatting him up. Through our discussion, we realized we live a block apart. He asked if I wanted to grab a drink after work. I told him I was planning to meet a “friend,” but it was looking bleak. I asked if I could give him an answer later that evening. So, when Weehawken cancelled on me, I brought in the guy from Grindr as a backup.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not usually some big whore. I was totally new to this. I had a fear of this dating game and needed to face it head on. The only way I saw it getting any easier was by meeting a lot of guys.
So we met at a bar near our apartments (the same restaurant/bar I went to for Sunday brunch for a date). I arrived before him and grabbed two seats at the end of the bar. The second he walked into the bar, I predicted we would not be compatible. I’m not completely shallow, but you can generally tell pretty early on.
I wasn’t ruling him out by any means. I was going in with an open mind, but it wasn’t looking promising.
We began to chat about work and what we each did. The conversation wasn’t exactly flowing naturally. We talked about what we liked to do for fun. Both of us play tennis, so we talked for some time about that. As the date went on, my assumptions were confirmed. He was far too feminine for me, and we didn’t share a whole lot in common.
At this point, it’s 11:00 on a Tuesday. I asked him if he wanted to head out. We finished our drinks and I closed my tab.
We walked home to the intersection where we would head in opposite directions and said goodbye with a hug and a “European” kiss on the cheek.
When I got home, I received a text from him. “Nice meeting you tonight.”
To which I politely responded, “Likewise.”
I figured we were on the same page. We weren’t entirely compatible. I was wrong. He responded, “Maybe we can hang again?! You are funny and cute!”
I’m not sure what made me lose my nerve with this guy. He was very nice, but you should be honest with everyone. I guess I figured he wasn’t the type to hound me if I never got back to him, so I responded, “Yea, we could do that sometime.” I had no plans of ever hanging out with him again.
Needless to say, we have yet to see or hear from each other since.
MonGAY night happy hour…
After my first failed a4a date, I was a little leary. However, I was also excited, because if I could deal with that awkward situation with such poise, I felt I could deal with whatever else was thrown at me.
I’d been talking to “HR” for quite a while. We started on a4a, and quickly exchanged numbers. We texted periodically and tried to set up a date, but it always seemed to conflict with one of our schedules. He was out of town on business, but when he came back I’d have to go away.
One Saturday, he went up to Providence to see Sara Bareilles in concert, and we texted for the majority of the day. By the time he was on the train coming home, we finally set up a date for the following Monday. I suggested Arriba Arriba for margaritas, and he quickly agreed, and we set a time.
I got there before him, so I carefully selected a two-top facing the door in the corner of the restaurant for privacy. When he came through the door, he found me immediately. After apologizing profusely for being late, and for bringing his briefcase and laundry with him (since he was doing so much business traveling), we dug into a bowl of guacamole and frozen margaritas.
The conversation began awkwardly, but we quickly became much more comfortable with each other. We talked about work for a bit, and then moved the discussion to stories from adam4adam.com and Grindr. He had his horror stories, and I was beginning to build up quite the portfolio of outlandish responses from men.
In the middle of the date, I really started sizing him up. He was a really nice guy, and he definitely had a very stable and successful job in human resources. I was also intrigued by his musical background. I never really felt strong chemistry, but he was worthy of getting to know better. We had some good laughs and continued the conversation for three hours. By then end of the date, I was staring at his lips while he spoke wondering what they felt like. I couldn’t wait to experience them with at least a goodnight kiss. Finally, I asked if he wanted to get out of there. He was heading uptown, and I was walking down to Port Authority to catch a late bus home. We said our goodbyes a block from the restaurant.
Goodbyes have always been my biggest weakness. I’m terrible at making the first move. I didn’t know how well the date went. I wasn’t sure if he was interested or just polite. So when the time came, we hugged, and I awkwardly said, “I’ll be in touch.” He looked at me puzzled, and I immediately realized what I did. I recovered quickly by saying, “Yea… I’ll have my people contact your people.” We had a quick laugh, and he hopped in a cab.
While walking to the bus, I decided to text him. “So I’m going to break dating 101 rules since that’s my style and text you right now, but I had a great time tonight!”
Coincidently, he texted me at the very same moment, “It was seriously so great to meet you! In the spirit of being honest, I found you to be incredibly sexy and attractive but was trying to behave.”
Immediately, a wave of disappointment ran across my body. Why can’t I ever muster the nerve to go in for the kiss? The only reason I was able to plant one on Boston in Miami was because I was properly lubricated. So, I immediately responded with a text, “Next time lay one on me.. I get a bit shy… Only regret of the night was not kissing you goodnight…”
To which he responded, “Please. I’m about to turn this cab around and come to port authority. Now I know for next time (and there better be a next time).”
But that’s another post for another day…
The next series of posts inspired me to start this blog: It’s where the name One Gay at a Time comes from.
SunGAY morning brunch…
The foot surgeon and I connected on adam4adam.com. He was one of the first guys I chatted with.
After exchanging messages on a4a for a some time, it was evident that we shared many common interests and values. So, we exchanged phone numbers.
Immediately the texting began. He texted me all hours of the day in heavy spurts. Instead of gathering his thoughts and sending one text, I would get 5 rapid fires in a row. I was enjoying the attention. It was great! I just broke up with Broadway a few weeks prior and Boston was in another state and less responsive to my advances than I would have hoped.
Timing with the surgeon was very tough. He wanted to meet for dinner or drinks early on. I wanted to play the field a bit more. I just started on a4a and was getting A LOT of responses. Many were creepy old dudes, but a lot of them were “quality leads.” For the time being, I prioritized working out and trivia with friends over dates with him. I needed to get in shape since I was now living the single life.
He intrigued me because of his profession and playful personality, but he wasn’t exactly a local. My last relationship ended because of lack of time and commitment. I wasn’t about to dive right in to something with a surgeon…
Between him going home to Illinois for a week and me traveling to San Francisco for work, we were able to finally set up a brunch date near my apartment. He arrived before me and was seated in the large dining room in the back of the restaurant. No one else was around. This made me happy because I didn’t want to be a public spectacle.
Much to my surprise, I wasn’t nervous at all. I had nothing to lose since I wasn’t all that into him; no big letdown.
About 5 minutes into the date, I realized this guy would not be a repeat offender. We had a decent conversation for an hour about our families’ dynamics over breakfast. The conversation was never forced, but there was never really any chemistry there. And, while not ugly, I was not attracted to him in the slightest. He definitely looked better in his pictures.
I decided I had enough. I asked if he wanted to get out of there. We walked back to his car (passing 2 guys holding hands — a first for me in Hoboken!). He walked right up to the driver’s door and opened it as if he was about to get in. I was happy about this because it saved me the awkward “ass-out” hug. I said thanks for meeting me and have a nice day, and I walked home.
Two blocks later, I got a text describing how nice it was to meet me. I responded, “Likewise.” Then, he asked if we could do it again.
This is when I finally grew a pair and realized I had enough confidence for the first time in my life. I responded, “You’re a nice guy, but I just don’t think we have chemistry.”
He texted back thanking me for my honesty and wishing me good luck.
On to the next guy!
This isn’t one of my typical posts, but it was something I viewed recently in my life I thought was poignant:
Every once in a while a great show comes along that pushes the envelope. I’d have to say that Glee is one of those shows. With its complicated high school dynamic and homosexual story lines, the hit show expanding peoples’ homophobic comfort zones and educating them about the bullying of young gays today.
Since its inception, I’ve been a fan of Glee. But a few weeks ago, they took the show’s storyline beyond my most optimistic expectations.
The show started as one of the show’s more run-of-the-mill episodes. And, in the weeks leading up to this episode, sexual tension was building between Kurt and Blaine. But, in this particular episode, they finally found each other in the culmination of a passionate kiss.
(In an attempt to show you the kiss in full quality, I pulled it from the FOX website and posted it on my Youtube channel. However, the fine folks at FOX pulled it down. So, this amateur footage will have to suffice).
Granted, the audience I was watching with with is biased. I’d hope they’d be comfortable with a homosexual relationship after being around me for the past year. But, when they passionately kissed, I looked at my roommate and his girlfriend expecting a reaction. Nothing. To them, it was just another kiss on TV. I turned my attention back to Kurt and Blaine as they went in for a second open mouthed kiss. These were no minor pecks either. They were passionate, long kisses.
As someone who recently came out, this was monumental for me. All I could think about was how big of a deal this was. Two young boys kissing on a hit television show.
The next day, I was expecting the conservative right-wing backlash. But, all was quiet. I was both shocked and delighted. I was surprised no one made a fuss about two young boys kissing on television, but thrilled, because it is finally accepted in today’s culture. Progress. It’s no longer the spectacle it once was.
I can remember one episode of Will & Grace when Will kissed Jack in the audience of the Today show. It was a big deal back then for a show of such subject matter to be on network TV, let alone two of its main male characters kissing each other.
While watching Glee, I thought back to all the gay kisses I’ve seen on TV since Will & Grace and couldn’t think of a single instance (and I watch a lot of television). So, I decided to do some light research (don’t hold this against me, but feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m wrong).
Gay men kissing on television didn’t appear until the 90s. Shows like Melrose Place in 1994 would lead up to a kiss, but in the final moments, cut away, usually to someone else watching in utter shock. It wasn’t until 2000 that we got TV’s first real gay kiss on WB’s Dawson’s Creek. I say real, because the kiss is portrayed as genuine and slightly awkward; the way most first gay kisses are. However, this wasn’t network television. It was cable. 2006 was the year ABC’s Desperate Housewives portrayed two high school boys kissing. But again, we were back to the fast cut-away to a mother’s shock and anger. They completely redeem themselves however, by later portraying the two boys waking up in bed naked together. Nonetheless, homosexual teen relationships finally landed on a major network TV show. And in 2006, ABC’s recently cancelled Brothers & Sisters brought us our first nuptial gay kiss.
These days, Glee has become somewhat of the gay agenda’s lobby group (Not that we have any other agenda than equal rights and acceptance). I certainly have to thank them for expanding acceptance into homes that might not have otherwise been so accepting. And, while I have some issues their portrayals of gay stereotypes, they are doing more good than harm. Kurt (Chris Colfer) has been a fun character, but he’s also an extraordinarily stereotypical gay character. He loves show tunes, wears ridiculously fashioned outfits, joins the girls when the club is split by gender, etc. This season, with the addition of Blaine (Darren Criss), we see a gay character who’s confident in who he is — apparently a pretty normal guy who’s had it rough but who’s done a good job of dealing with it. By portraying less effeminate gay characters on television, hopefully we can begin to shed the “queen” stereotype as well.
I think Michael Jenson, editor of Logo’s AfterElton.com said it best. “It’s hard to overstate the significance of the kiss between Kurt and Blaine on ‘Glee.’ It wasn’t the sort of kiss we saw back in the 90s where the guys pecked each other on the lips — or worse, the camera cutaway — but this was a real kiss that hinted there is much more to come in this relationship. If we still needed proof how far gay characters have come on network TV, ‘Glee’ just gave it to us. The two most recent episodes have represented queer youth and coming of age in a way I’ve never seen on broadcast television before, let alone one of the most popular shows in the country, with a mostly young audience.”
With my new found freedom, I was hitting the town. I met a guy on adam4adam who was interested in meeting that night, so we exchanged numbers. That Friday, while out at the bar, we managed to find each other and chat a bit. After getting thoroughly inebriated, I got in a cab and went home with him. He was NOT attractive (and would later find out very poorly endowed), but I had nothing better going on. And I was drunk. We didn’t do much more than heavy petting, but when I woke up the next morning naked in his bed, I was hustled out the door. I wasn’t planning to ever call him again, so I was fine with the early wake-up call. Irony struck when walked outside and realized I was exiting my sister’s building.
The next day, when work was slow, I managed to find a cute guy. I messaged him and told him, “Hey dude. Very sexy smile.” He responded positively. We agreed to grab drinks following work. I had no idea where he was, or what he did, but, I had nothing to lose. I knew only 1 guy out there, and I couldn’t get ahold of him.
When work ended at 4:30, I sent him a message. He wasn’t done work until 8ish. I decided to go exploring. After stumbling upon Lombard Street’s winding road, I remembered the Palace of Fine Arts is in San Francisco. I googled the address. 1.9 miles away. I had nothing but time, so I began to walk.
After snapping some great shots at The Palace, I happened upon the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was sunset, so I took the opportunity to snap some more quality pictures.
When I started walking back to my hotel, I got a text from Mr. San Francisco. I looked at the distance, and it was cut down to feet. Apparently, I wandered into his neighborhood.
It was a little awkward when we first met. He wasn’t quite what I expected. He was a tiny little Asian man (which I would later find out to be Hawaiian), but still that great sexy smile. We walked down the street, coming across the gym he runs and his coworker outside eating his dinner.
We found a bar to settle into, and by chance, one of the girls I graduated college with happened to be there. I walked over to say hi. Since I didn’t feel like telling her I was gay on the spot, I never introduced Mr. San Francisco.
We sat at the bar and began talking. When the conversation turned to TV, we really clicked. We both watch Brothers and Sisters and really bonded over the show. He started placing his hand on my leg periodically. I found it extremely disarming and welcomed it every time. After all, this was pretty much the 2nd time I went on a date with a man.
After a few rounds of drinks, we decided to grab dinner. But, not before we took the opportunity to steal a few kisses on the street corner. Dinner was great and the night only got better as it progressed. I was having a great time! We paid the check, walked out into the street and took another opportunity to show how much we were enjoying each other’s company.
He looked at me and said, “What now?” In my head, I was thinking how easy it would be to go to my hotel room. Isn’t that what they’re for? Instead, he asked what time I had to be at work in the morning. We worked out the logistics. He asked me to come back to his place for the night, and we hopped in a cab.
When we arrived at his apartment in The Mission, he took me up to the roof. The make-out session continued. His roof had amazing views of the entire city. When he unzipped my pants and started giving me a blowjob, I was in absolute ecstasy.
We then went down to his bedroom to continue our passionate session. He was so tender and his eyes were gentle and inviting. I felt so comfortable with him. I was a stranger in a strange land, but I felt right at home.
When I woke in the morning, he made me coffee, and we snuggled on the couch watching a little TV before heading to work. I didn’t want this to end, but I had no choice. Work was beckoning.
When I arrived back at my hotel, I stood in front of my bed and laughed. It was still pristinely made. The maid must have been confused when she entered the room, questioning where I slept.
I wouldn’t get to see Mr. San Francisco again until 2 nights later. I traveled to San Jose for a meeting, but came back for one night. I arrived back at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. I took my laptop down to the Urban Tavern to do some work, grab an appetizer and wait for Mr. San Francisco to arrive. We shared a lovely meal, some delicious desert and hurried up to my room to finish with more desert.
From the bed to the shower, we fully enjoyed one another’s company. So much, that I swapped my ticket for a later flight at quite a pricetag. When we woke in the morning, we exchanged full contact information so we could stay in touch. I was headed to the airport, but not before dropping him at work. We savored every last minute together in the car until we hat to say goodbye.
I was very solemn the remainder of the ride to the airport. I stared out the widow aimlessly, feeling empty. We continued to exchange texts the entire time, joking about turning around or coming to the gate to stop me.
It was a very short timeframe, but we clicked immediately and we clicked hard. I knew this was a bad idea, getting attached to someone an entire continent away. But, I figured I had to give it a chance. I had nothing else on the horizon. We would give it a shot and see what happens…
When I myself accepted my homosexuality and came out to many of my friends, I decided I wasn’t going to come out at work. Much like my reasoning for not telling my extended family, I decided it wasn’t relevant to my work-life. Rarely does the topic of significant others arise in my department. When it does, I am probably thought of as the ambiguous bachelor.
I’m quite close with my coworkers. One of them described our department best when she said, “I love our dorm-room work environment.” Very few subjects are taboo. It’s like working in a Seinfeld episode. On the contrary, my boss is a born-again Christian. I’m not too sure how accepting of my lifestyle he would be. I’ve never given him the chance to prove me wrong, but like I said, it is not relevant.
While I was dating Broadway, it became necessary for me to tell coworkers I was in a relationship. Like my friends originally, I led them to believe I was dating a woman. I explained it as a no-strings-attached relationship to compensate for never bringing “her” around or talking about her.
After a while, I got to the point of needing to tell one of them. The lying was geting to me. On top of that, I spend 8+ hours a day there. I needed to talk about it. It’s my nature.
I have been working with my current officemate for 3+ years (at 2 different companies). She is very outspoken and lacks the filter many of us were born with (this also happens to be the reason why I love her). Many times, she said to me, “You better not turn out to be gay, or I’m going to have a lot of explaining and apologizing to do.” The first time hearing this, I asked her to elaborate. She told me it was because many of my coworkers have asked her about my sexual orientation, and she told them flat out I was straight.
While most times I appreciate her frankness, this got under my skin. I didn’t appreciate my sexuality being the topic of any conversation. So when I finally came out to a coworker, it wasn’t her.
Over the year I worked at my current company, I came to know and trust one of my coworkers. I saw how professional she dealt with her job and how she was able to compartmentalize. I knew if I confided in her, she would be a lock box. I just prayed the key wasn’t an array of mini liquor bottles like Elaine on Seinfeld. She also had a gay roommate, so I knew she would be accepting of my sexuality.
When I finally felt comfortable telling her, I messaged her on AIM. She sat 10 feet away from me, and I’m surprised she didn’t get whiplash from turning her head so fast. She became my confidant, and over time, I felt comfortable telling my office mate as well. But that didn’t stop me from explaining to her why it took me so long to tell her.
I feel that many of my other coworkers either know or suspect I’m gay. That means they’re either clueless, or they have enough respect for me not to ask. And I’m fine with that arrangement. It’s none of their business quite frankly.
I question every day whether I should tell them or not. I trust them, but I also feel the more people I tell at work, the faster it spreads. I’m afraid people may judge me or look at me differently, and I’m not ready for that. I don’t plan to stay at this company forever. Maybe when I change jobs and start fresh, I will feel comfortable being my whole self with my coworkers, with no reservations.
Want to start with a special thank you shout out to Angels of Sodom, a great blog by gay student at the University of Pittsburgh. Thanks for getting the word out to your readers to visit my blog.
Check out his blog. He has some amazing coming out stories posted there. Look for mine, coming soon…
On with the show…
For the first time in my life, I was a single gay man. I had the freedom to date or have sex with whomever I wanted. But first I needed to get back to me.
Of course this meant hitting the gym big time. Coming off the winter, I was quite out of shape. I immediately began running, swimming and lifting regularly. Within a short period of time, I got my body back to something that I could feel comfortable standing naked in a room with another human being.
But there was a big problem. How was I going to meet other gay men. I hated the gay scene, and I had 1 gay friend (who is all but married – car, apt and dog with boyfriend). With no local spot and no wingman, I was on my own. So, I turned to the internet.
Casually sitting on the couch one night, I searched to find gay dating sites. Originally, I found DList.com, but that turned up no results. After sorting through a pile of trashy hook-up sites, I came across adam4adam.com. I made an account and began to check out the guys. Within no time, I realized I would never attract anyone without an attractive profile. So, I pulled back and started writing honestly about what I was looking for and added a conservative headless picture.
Easy going guy looking for more than hookups
27, 6’2″, 195lb, Swimmer’s Build, Brown Hair, Smooth Body, White
Looking for Friendship, Relationship.
Relatively new to gay world… Contrary to my picture, I’m not a whore…
Love my friends & hanging out. Active lifestyle. Travel, hit up bars, play tons of sports, go the beach, etc. Basically anything that keeps me active & holds my attention.
Work in advertising in NYC & travel a bit. When not working I stay fit.
Into masculine dudes who like to stay fit, but aren’t completely obsessed w/ their body.
If I sound interesting to you, hit me up. Always up for meeting new people!
Swimming — Lifting — Volleyball — Tennis — Running — Watching TV/Movies — Amazing Cook
HIV Neg 4.12.11
After surfing the site, I noticed a trend. Of course there were pictures of dick all over the place, but you learn to look past and ignore them. Overall, the profile pictures skewed more overtly sexual. I realized I needed to spice it up a little. Once I changed my picture to something sexier (an extended version of the picture attached to this blog) the hits started flowing in. It was a great boost to my self-esteem. I’ve never thought of myself a particularly sexy, but I was being told otherwise.
After talking to a few guys, I began building up a roster. My goal was always to move the conversation from a4a to something more permanent, i.e. a phone number or chat screen name. I started to line up dates with these guys, but got to a point where I was overwhelmed. I didn’t have enough time between staying in shape, work and life in general to schedule them in. But I was having fun. I was really enjoying dating. So much so, I’m sure my friends were so sick of hearing me talk about it.
Right in the middle of trying to juggle dates and managing to keep the conversation going with a few guys, the time came for me to go on a business trip to San Francisco. I would be there for a week and wanted to see if I could meet some guys while visiting. I heard about an app for you phone called Grindr. It locates other gay men within the vicinity of you who also use Grindr. Basically it’s gaydar.
Until then, I resisted downloading the app. But, as the cabin door was closing and my plane was pushing back from the terminal, I downloaded it. San Francisco’s gay community would be a whole lot easier to navigate when the plane touched down…