Posts Tagged homophobia

What’s All the Squawking About?

I can’t help but bring up the big story in the gay world right now. I’m sure you are all quite familiar with the situation at Chick-Fil-A, so I won’t bore you with the details. And, dammit, if I don’t love those nuggets more than anyone else’s! Alas, they will never pass these lips again. I wouldn’t be able to get over the awful taste they would leave in my mouth.

Yesterday, swarms of people showed up in droves to show their support of Chick-Fil-A. Surprisingly, protesters stayed away from the event. Turns out, the gays and their supporters are slightly more civilized than that. You see, that’s just it. We stayed away. We protested civilly by not patronizing a place of bigotry and hate. We didn’t show up and get in the faces of those exercising their right to eat tainted chicken. We did it our way. We turned the spotlight on our heroes like Boston’s mayor who wrote a strongly worded letter to the powers that be at Chick-Fil-A.

In addition, our supporters turned to social media outlets to get the message out to the masses. I want to share with you a brilliant response to Chick-Fil-A’s shenanigans. Everything she says is brilliant and spot on. Share this with everyone you know, so they will know the impact their dollars have in this world. Take a look!

Some day, I want to marry the man I love. I want to publicly, officially and legally share my undying love for him, no matter where I live. The thought breaks my heart, but I want to be able to do simple things like holding his hand during his final hours, and should I go first, I want to make sure he’s taken care of when I’m gone.

Do you part and put your money where your mouth is. Don’t support intolerant companies like Chick-Fil-A. Take your patronage elsewhere. Buy products who aren’t afraid to stand up for gay rights — Like America’s favorite cookie, Oreos!

GLADD is planning a “National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-Fil-A” on Friday. As part of the event, couples are encouraged to go one of the chicken restaurant’s locations and take a photo or video of themselves kissing. “Let’s show Chick-Fil-A thanks for their support of Love, Equality, and the Real Definition of Marriage! Invite your friends!” GLADD said on its Facebook page. If you are gay, know anyone who is, or simply believe in equal rights for all, find someone of the same-sex to go with you to Chick-Fil-A and plant a giant kiss on each other. And, don’t forget! While you’re there, ask them for a water to rehydrate after all that kissing!

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Fillet Mignon and Baked Potatoes

After breakfast at the hotel, we got back on the road to my great-aunt’s house in Mount Vernon to drop off the keys and make our way home. It was surprisingly fast.

I was really disappointed I never got to chat much with the bride. It’d been years since I’d last seen her, and we only speak on the phone about once every four or five months.

During the whole ride, I had a lot of time to think. For me, this is deadly. When I have time to think, I crawl up into my own head and start digging around where I shouldn’t be digging — This is why I lead such an active lifestyle. Thinking depresses me.

A lot of thoughts about Smiles were going through my head. I was a little hurt and upset my advances were rejected in the morning. I also was very disappointed I didn’t get to grab brunch with him. Overall, I guess you could technically deem the weekend with him a success, but I still wasn’t thrilled. I was on unstable ground. I had no idea where I stood with him, and it was getting to me. As usual, I was over-thinking everything.

When we got back to Hoboken, we stopped at the grocery store. I decided to call Smiles to see if he wanted to come over that night. I wanted to make him a nice home-cooked meal since he never cooks for himself. We always go out for dinner or order take-out. He agreed to come by. I also had ulterior motives. I wanted make-up sex for Saturday morning when I was denied.

That evening, when he got off the PATH, I hopped on the motorcycle and rode down to pick him up. I was happy to finally get him out on the bike. He’d been on one before, so it wasn’t as exciting as the first time I’d taken motorcycle virgins on the bike, but it was nice to have him so close to me. We rode back to my apartment with his arms tightly around me. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I started us off with some artichokes while the fillets finished grilling and the rest of the meal finished cooking. I made more food than the two of us could possibly finish. When we had our fill, I cleaned up, and we made our way to my bedroom for the night. He asked if he’d be spending the night. “Of course you’re spending the night! Did you think I was going to kick you out now?” I responded. “I don’t know. Some people need their rest before Monday morning,” he said. I reminded him the size of the California king bed and assured him he wouldn’t disturb my slumber. If anything, he would enhance it.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. I started getting frisky. After not getting any the morning before, I was even more geared up for some great sex. We undressed each other and jockeyed for position once again. I wasn’t making the same mistake again. I made sure I was in position to top this time. When I pulled out my night-stand drawer to get a condom and some lube, he made a comment about the large dinner and not sure it was a good idea. I surrendered, and we decided to use alternate methods. He climbed on top and used his hand behind his back. I was impressed with his ingenuity and his willingness to try alternate methods. However, it wasn’t quite enough for me. It felt great, but I couldn’t quite get over the final hump, as is my issue often.

We stopped and just enjoyed each other’s bodies laying next to each other before we both cleaned up and hopped into bed.

When I woke in the morning, I snuck quietly into my bathroom to shower so he could fall back asleep. If he wanted, I was going to let him sleep as long as he wished and just pull the door shut behind him. However, he had a few things he wanted to get to Monday morning, so he joined me on my morning commute.

We casually walked to the PATH and hopped on. When the time came for him to get off, we exchanged a quick kiss. A lot was going through my mind before that. I was a little afraid to do it because I knew all eyes would be on me as soon as he got off. However, I was the one who initiated it. It was subconscious, but I wasn’t going to let fear of others’ reactions rule my actions anymore. I didn’t care who knew I was gay anymore.

I rode the rest of the way to work not making eye contact with others. I wasn’t 100% comfortable in my own skin, but I was still growing with every day. Things were progressing nicely with Smiles, and they could only get better with added confidence.

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Unhappy Ending

I woke Sunday morning and decided my time with Mr. Grindr was over. N was still trying to get with him, and that was a whole lot of drama I didn’t want to get into. I was disgusted by the whole thing. It reminded me constantly of the time I cheated on N just for the sake of evening a score. It reminded me of how much less of a man I was. I didn’t need it. Plenty of other fish in the sea. I think I kept him on the roster for so long as I did because I felt guilty for dragging him into the middle of N and I.

Since no one was in town, I did what I could to clear my head. I don’t do well alone. When I’m alone, I have nothing to distract me. I star to crawl up into my own head, and I don’t like what I find. I get depressed. I know this isn’t healthy, but denial is a wonderful thing! I decided to head down to the pier in Hoboken with a few magazines and my notebook to catch up on my blogging.

Of course, I couldn’t leave the house without my matchmaker, Grindr. And once again, I found myself spending more time searching and less time writing. I managed to reconnect with a guy I had been chatting with on an earlier day. He was a sexy black man from Jersey City. I have nothing against black men, but they’re not usually my type. However, I don’t discriminate, so I convinced him to come to the pier and hang out with me.

I had been in the sun a majority of the day and was enjoying myself. I sat and people watched and read Men’s Health and Details. He showed up a few hours later. We shook hands, and he sat next to me. We started with small talk, but as the day progressed, the conversation developed more substance. We shared a great deal in common. He looked like quite the athlete as well. He had nice arms and great legs. He kept his shirt on while we sat in the sun. I found this slightly odd, but to each his own. I just wanted to see what was under the shirt.

When I couldn’t take any more of the sun, I asked if he wanted to grab a drink. I was enjoying his company a lot. He seemed like a great guy. We packed up my blanket and other things and walked to nearby Trinity to sit by the waterfront and have a few cocktails. I hadn’t had lunch, so I ordered a large salad. We both got drinks outside our usual comfort zones and shared with each other. It was nice. We were having a good time. Eventually, he ordered some food as well.

I was pleasantly surprised. This was a completely last-minute unplanned date, and it was turning out to be quite good. I was also finding myself more and more attracted to him. He had an amazingly infectious smile.

After a few round of drinks, we took a walk along the waterfront. I hit a bit of a snag in keeping the date going. It was starting to get late, so I wanted to head back to my apartment, but I also wanted him to join me. But, I had my motorcycle and only one helmet. When we arrived at my bike, I explained the predicament and invited him to come back. I would have to ride home, and walk and meet him half way to my apartment. He agreed, so I sped off.

When we got to the apartment, I opened a bottle of wine, and we went out to the balcony to relax and keep the dialogue going. When 11:00 rolled around, he was ready to head home. I invited him to stay. He knew I was no longer interested in simple hookups. I made that clear early on, so he questioned my logic. I told him, “After spending the day with you, I feel comfortable and would like you to stay.” He graciously agreed, and we started making out on the balcony. After some time passed, I grabbed his hand and brought him back to my room.

The clothes came off, and that’s when I got a bomb dropped on me. All of a sudden, I knew why the shirt stayed on at the pier. While his legs and arms were quite toned and muscular, his mid section was very flabby. It was almost as if he had lap band surgery and hadn’t completed the skin restructuring. When I grabbed for his ass, it felt like a Ziploc of water. There was absolutely no muscle definition there. He wasn’t kidding when he told me he was a mathlete in high school, and not the football player I pictured him to be.

I’m sure I’m coming across very shallow at this point, but sexual attraction is 40% of a relationship for me. This was 40% I couldn’t get over. I can be very forgiving about a lot of things on a guy, but this was tough. I had been with a guy before who had this issue, but it was very slight. I looked past it. Tonight, I could, but this guy would not be back for seconds. I liked him a lot, but I was no longer sexually attracted to him. We still fooled around, and he spent the night with me, but I couldn’t picture myself repeating the night.

In the morning, we woke and got dressed. I explained how he could get to the light rail to head home. We kissed and he invited me to hang out again. He said I could come hang at his pool sometime. I appreciated this. He really was a nice guy. I could easily see us being friends, but we certainly would not be romantically involved. I gave him a kiss goodbye, and with that, he walked out the door.

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When It Rains, It Pours

The next morning, I woke up and felt bad about what I said the night before. I texted N, “Sorry I blew up.” He quickly responded, “Yea.” I didn’t want to just leave it at that, however. I wanted to explain where it came from in hopes of avoiding the situation in the future. “You were kissing all over me last night. I’m still trying to figure this out. Regardless, I was out of line…” I said.

Immediately, he got defensive. “I kissed your cheek n shoulder? I was wrong? Lest you forget you invited me to your bedroom two nights prior.” I didn’t want this to escalate into an argument, so I tried to calm him down. “I didn’t say you were wrong. I just said I’m still trying to figure this out.”

Then he hit me with a blindside I wasn’t expecting. “Don’t take me the wrong way when I say this because you know how I feel about you… But maybe it’s too soon for us to be friends?” I didn’t want to hear this. “No. I don’t want to take a step back that far. I get it. We’re not a fit. I can control myself…” I responded. He tried explaining himself as well by noting, “I don’t know if we are a fit or not, it’s just not the right time.”

The conversation had come full circle. I stated, “We’ll do our own thing and we’ll still be friends. It’s cool.” He apologized, “I’m very sorry if I led you on last night.” I replied, “It’s cool. No apologies necessary. We’re cool… At least on my end…” To which he said, “We’re cool here too big guy! Always.”

When I wrapped up my conversation with N, I turned my attention back to the man I was chatting with on Grindr the night prior, a hot construction worker from Queens, NY. He was awake and responding. I talked to him about the possibilities for the day. I wanted to find some way to meet him, and I wanted sex. He was hot, and I was horny. I had the hotel room until 10:00. My sister and K had already gone home. I knew D and his girlfriend and I would be heading to the beach for the day. I could double back to the room if I could get this guy to meet me before 10:00.

No dice. He was still with his friends and he couldn’t get them moving. In the meantime, I started getting hit on by another guy on Grindr. He was younger and good looking, so I started to respond. I was holding a conversation simultaneously with both of them. I managed to convince the hot construction worker to gather his buddies and come to the beach in Belmar. They were going to grab breakfast and head over. He told me the other two guys he was with didn’t know he was gay, so he would have to sneak away at some point.

As I made my way to the beach for our final day at the shore, the younger guy told me he and his friends were coming to Belmar to go to the beach as well. I responded with our street number and told him I’d meet up when he arrived.

I sat on the beach laughing out loud. D and his girlfriend asked what was up. I told them all about N from the night before, but also how two different guys were coming to the beach to meet up. Just then, N started responding to my text messages and told me he and his roommate would come to Belmar from Manasquan to go to the beach. He just had to wait for his roommate to come home. At his point, I was laughing my ass off. I had two guys from Grindr coming to meet me, and the guy I just broke up with would probably be there to witness the whole thing.

After some time passed, I got a text from the younger guy telling me he was on the beach. I texted the construction worker to see if he arrived yet. He was the main target. The younger guy was a fallback. The construction worker texted back. He was just stepping onto the beach. I turned around to the entrance to see him. I paid attention to where he set up camp.

Later in the day, I noticed the younger guy walking around. He walked right in front of me. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to meet him just yet. I thought I would wait for the construction worker first since he was much sexier. After he went to the back end of the beach, he called me. I picked up and turned around to notify him of my location. D and his girlfriend both left to grab food, so at least I didn’t have an audience when I met him. He came up next to me, and we formally introduced ourselves.

He was a really nice guy. He is from near where I grew up. I asked him what he was doing at the shore. He told me he was staying with his two friends. He told me they went to Paradise, a gay bar in Asbury Park the night before. He also told me he felt like a bit of a third wheel because the other two guys he was with kinda had a thing for each other. After we chatted for a bit, D came back and the guy decided to head back to his friends. He said he’d swing by again later before he left.

I watched as he walked back to his towel. I thought to myself, “What a coincidence! He’s sitting right near the construction worker.” The irony.

I couldn’t have expected what was coming next. The construction worker, the younger guy and the other random dude all walked down to the water together. They were talking and periodically glancing in my direction. I tried not to make eye contact. I went through all the logistics in my head and stories were not lining up. The construction worker told me his friends didn’t know he was gay. The younger guy told me he had a thing for the random dude.  I was willing to bet the construction worker was the one fabricating the story. Nonetheless, they were all together.

When they all went back to their towels, I texted the construction worker and asked him if he was going to meet me. He agreed to go for a walk, and I would follow right behind. When I caught up to him, I introduced myself. We talked a bit. He apologized for not being able to meet up earlier. It was very awkward and slightly forced. Then I told him, “Grindr is a small world.” I brought up meeting his friend, the younger guy. He played dumb and acted like he didn’t know he was gay, only suspected it. I wasn’t buying his BS, but he was hot! I wanted a piece of that action, even if I had to wait until we were both back up north. We chatted about a few bars in the city. I was very turned off when he made the comment, “I hate the faggot bars. They’re not my scene, but when you go to the straight bars, the drinks are so weak.” I agreed with him and we discussed a few good place in the New York City to go to. He was trying to be someone he wasn’t, and I wasn’t impressed. As we got closer to our beach, we walked our separate ways. We talked about when we were leaving and left meeting up later open for discussion.

When I got back to my towel I texted N and his roommate. I assumed at that point he and his roommate were not going to show, but I thought I’d offer him a ride home with D and I. N didn’t respond, but his roommate told me N already gone home on the train. She was going to stay in Manasquan. I found it a little disrespectful after talking to N all day about hanging out on the beach he never told me he was going home. This was becoming standard protocol for him though. It would be something I needed to get used to.

On the ride home, I texted the construction worker. I wanted to see if he wanted to swing by my place on his way back to Queens. I got a few messages back at first, but then he went completely dark. When I arrived home, I texted him one last time. “Hey man. If you’re not interested, let me know. I have thick skin and don’t want to bother you if you’re not interested.” He responded back telling me I just wasn’t his type. I could respect that, and we each texted each other, “Ok. Good luck…”

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Losing My Religion

Religion is a very important aspect of life for my family. I was raised Catholic and went to mass every Sunday. When I was in high school, I was recruited to be a Eucharistic minister (the person who hands out the communion and the wine at mass). Ironically, as a kid, my mother asked if I wanted to be an alter boy but was quite happy when I declined out of slight fear of a pedophilic priest. In CCD, I was such a religious scholar, other in the class called me “God boy.”

My religious beliefs were part of the reason I struggled with my homosexuality for so long. I had faith in God, and I thought he was testing me. I took it at face value that homosexuality was wrong. The Bible teaches against it, and I have always been taught it was a sin. It was a burden I would have to bear the rest of my life or somehow manage to overcome.

I moved into an apartment my sophomore year of college on a Sunday. I was particularly busy, and I rationalized an excuse for not attending mass. After that, I stopped going to mass every week and believed if I had faith in God and was a moral person, I no longer needed a weekly dose of church. I went when I felt I needed the extra help or when I simply missed the ritual. As I was becoming an adult, I began to own my religion. I’m certainly not as devout a Catholic as my grandmother was. I am a cafeteria Catholic. I pick and choose what aspects of the religion I want to follow.

One of my best friends from college is my freshmen year mentor. He is a Marist Brother, a Catholic congregation dedicated to the Christian education of young people. We have shared a strong bond since I met him and continue to do so. I haven’t yet figured out how to break my news to him or how he’ll take it. I’m not afraid he’ll judge me or anything of the sort. He cares a lot about me and always inquires about my mental, physical and spiritual health. I just need an opportunity to have a heart-to-heart with him. However, he’s like a grandfather to me, so it’s almost as stressful as it was telling my parents.

In my adult life post-graduation, I made every attempt to go to mass weekly. My friends and I went as a group and cooked dinner for each other following services. Ironically enough, dinner was when the gossip about our sex lives flowed freely (mine was nearly non-existent and still with women). When others started falling off from the group, so did I. Once again, I was responsible for my religion, not a priest.

I started having doubts in the Catholic religion when I began to come to the terms with my homosexuality. After I met Broadway, I had a conversation (one-sided of course) with God. Ironically enough, I never felt so close to God as I did in that moment. I simply laid on my bed, and thanked him aloud for allowing me to finally feel comfortable with my true self. I realized being gay was not a choice, not a sin and simply a part of who I am. God loves me regardless. I finally stopped resenting that part of me.

While I have come closer to God through that experience, I’ve become more disenfranchised with the Catholic Church. Who wants to be part of an organization that doesn’t accept him or her? Their congregation has evolved over the years, but the Church has not. Any organism that can’t evolve becomes extinct, and the Catholicism is slowly shrinking in numbers.

Some days I think about marriage. I think about the idea of marriage I once had in my head and how that idea has evolved. Sadly, I will never be married in the eyes of the Church, let alone the state. Honestly, that saddens me greatly. I believe strongly in the sanctity of marriage, even if that marriage is not in the traditional husband and wife. When I make that commitment to a man, it will be ironclad, but it will still be incomplete without the recognition of a congregation of believers.

My belief in God will never wane, but my faith in my fellow man is tested every day. One day, I hope all will be accepting of homosexuals as equals, but until then my relationship with God will have to be exclusive.

There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are she said, ” ’cause he made you perfect, babe.” So hold you head, girl, and you’ll go far. Listen to me when I say, “I beautiful in my way, ’cause God makes no mistakes. I’m on the right track baby. I was born this way. Don’t hide yourself in regret. Just love yourself and you’re set. I’m on the right track baby. I was born this way.”

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Memorial Gay

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!

www.itgetsbetter.org/

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The Kiss of Progress

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.”

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The Office ‘Mo

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.

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A Broadway Christmas

Since I’m from Pennsylvania and Broadway’s from California, I went home for Christmas, and he stayed in the city. I was disappointed we weren’t spending Christmas together, but I wasn’t ready to bring him home and his work didn’t allow for time off. A few days before I went home, we spent a night in the city. We saw the decorated storefronts and the tree in Rockefeller Center, finally ending at the Plaza Hotel for a drink. This was the first time a man bought me a drink. I felt so special and so loved.

For weeks, he bugged me about what I wanted for Christmas, but I refused to tell him. I knew, without asking, the perfect gift for him, and I wasn’t going to give him an easy out. I really had no idea what he was going to bring to the table.

We celebrated Christmas at my apt the night before heading home. I handed him a rather sizable box. He handed me an envelope. He opened his first. The Sex in the City complete dvd collection (deluxe edition). He was ecstatic. He mentioned months ago how much he wanted it. He threw his arms around me and gave me a big kiss.

Inside my envelope was a card and 2 tickets. Weeks earlier, we discussed going to see Driving Miss Daisy on Broadway (with Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones), but tickets were more expensive than I was willing to spend. I was so touched he remembered I wanted to see it and got us tickets.

Inside the card, he wrote about how much he enjoyed spending time with and getting to know me over the past few months. Also, we would have a night on the town with dinner, a show and topped off with sex. I couldn’t help myself. I started to cry. He was concerned, but I calmed his questioning look when I planted a big ol’ wet kiss on him.

We spoke on the phone Christmas Day even thought we couldn’t be together. Coming home from Christmas at my grandfather’s, my mother and I finally started talking about my homosexuality. We were talking about my sister’s relationship, when my mom finally said, “And are you still dating the same guy?” I told her how happy I was. Then we began talking about coming out to my extended family.

She asked if, how and when I planned to tell them. I told her it was irrelevant for the time being until I felt the need to bring someone home to meet them. At that point, I would probably send them an email. She asked if and how I would tell my grandfather. I explained how uncomfortable it may make him and how it could unnecessarily alter my relationship with him. I think my fear was also her fear. He’s from a different generation, and he may not understand. I could see she was relieved I wasn’t planning on breaking the news to him because she was worried about dealing with the fallout.

That year, I also spent New Year’s Eve with Broadway. I’ve had one good New Year’s to date, and I can’t even remember it because I was too drunk. It’s never been an exciting event for me. It’s a burden to plan for and a holiday I could do without, much like Valentine’s Day.

We planned a very nice night. We started at my friend’s apt in Hoboken. Following, we planned to go into the city to watch the ball drop at his cast mate’s apt. After that, we would meet up with his roommates and friends to close out the night at a bar near his place.

Plans changed, however, when we were unable to catch a bus after 45 minutes. The fear of passing midnight in the middle of the Lincoln Tunnel became very real. So we decided to head back to the party in Hoboken for a bit. When we got back, my good friend came up to me and said, “I’m so happy you came back. After you left, I was saying how I was disappointed I wasn’t spending New Years with you.” That was one of the sweetest things anyone’s ever said to me. I realized he truly was a good friend.

Everyone decided to go to the rooftop to watch the fireworks in the city and count down as the ball dropped. Broadway previously watched the ball drop every year, so he asked if we could stay in view of the TV. I didn’t care where we were, I was just happy to finally have someone to share New Year’s Eve with. After the ball dropped, we had our midnight kiss. I really felt at ease with him. I was thrilled with out relationship and never felt closer to anyone in my life. It was a New Years to remember.

After everyone came down from the roof (which apparently didn’t allow for any fireworks viewing) we decided to try our luck getting into the city. This time the bus came without much delay. At this point, we skipped the cast mate’s party and went straight to the bar to meet up with his close friends. We ended up at 9th Avenue Saloon and threw back a few more drinks before hopping in the photo booth for a photo shoot together.

We closed out the night with some New Years love making and then dozed off. For the first time, I truly had a happy holidays.

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Faggot

Faggot, often shortened to fag, is a pejorative term and common slur used chiefly in North America against homosexual males. Its pejorative use has spread from the United States to varying extents elsewhere in the English-speaking world through mass culture, including movies, music, and the Internet.

Etymology
The word meaning “bundle of sticks” is ultimately derived from Latin fascis. The origins of the word as an offensive epithet for homosexuals are, however, rather obscure. Although the word has been used in English since the late 16th century as an abusive term for women, particularly old women, the reference to homosexuality may derive from this (female terms being often used with reference to homosexual or effeminate men i.e. nancy, sissy, queen). The application of the term to old women is possibly a shortening of the term “faggot-gatherer”, applied to older widows who made a meager living gathering and selling firewood. It may also derive from the sense of “something awkward to be carried.”

Faggot or fag is not a word I ever use. It’s just not part of my vocabulary. I have been guilty of saying, “that’s gay,” in the past (and even joke about it now a little), but I’ve never used that f-word. It is such a vulgar and harsh word that should not be a part of any vernacular.

I cringe every time I hear it. In my mind, the word has a violent visual attached to it. I’ve been fortunate to never have been truly harassed with the term, but I can visualize someone being cornered in a threatening situation while having the slur screamed at them.

In this instance, they never use the term “faggot” but their actions are equally deplorable: warning, this can be a little hard to watch

During my holiday party, one of my best friends, while arguing with me, shouted, “Stop being a faggot!” The whole room was silent for about 3 seconds. I felt all eyes on me. They were looking my reaction to guage their own.

I FAILED MISERABLY. I pretend the offense never occurred. I just turned a blind eye to his unacceptable behavior. I kept on doing what I was doing never called him out on this.

This wasn’t the first time he said this to me. The last was before I came out and was over the phone. I immediately hung up on him and cut off all communication. A week later, I confronted him about it and he apologized. I regret not putting him in his place the second time around. He was a repeat offender and has no idea the ramifications of his language. He, and many others, need to be educated.

Silence is not acceptable. Standing by while someone else uses this word is just as offensive as the person uttering the term. We can’t let people have this word anymore, especially children. If we don’t teach them this is wrong, how will they ever learn. So often, you hear kids making fun of each other or bullying another with the word.

So I encourage you to do your part by standing up against “faggot.” I made this mistake once, but it certainly won’t be made twice.

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