Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Weight of the World

So seven more years would pass carrying this massive burden. Thoughts of what to do about myself and constant internal conflict sat square on my shoulders.

Your twenties are supposed to be an amazing time in your life. You're at your sexual peak; supposed to be out dating, having fun, trying new things. I shied away from all of that and locked myself away. I was comfortable around my close friends because they never brought up the subject of love and dating (probably because they knew I was gay and didn't want to make me feel uncomfortable). But when it came to meeting new people, I tried to be unsociable. I remember making up excuses not to hang out with my coworkers because I felt we were getting too close and personal.

The entire thing was just humiliating as well. Here I was as celibate as a rock, not dating, never been kissed; and here came my cousins (some of which I changed their diapers growing up) having relationships and whatnot. I felt like a complete loser.

And it also caused me to look down at organized religion extremely negatively. How could I believe that any God existed that would tell his followers to hate me even though he created me this way? Of course it was bad enough hearing people insist that being gay is a "lifestyle choice" when they have absolutely no fucking clue. For these people, if they're so sure it is a choice, then that means they chose somewhere in their lives to be straight, which means they are in actuality bisexual and choose to ignore their feelings for the same sex.

Okay, I'm rambling. But I'm just trying to convey all the shit I had to put up with (and still do today). So something happened when I joined Twitter. I developed a huge crush on a guy who I presumed to be straight.

And in talking to the guy, my crush grew out of control to the point where I constantly had him on my mind. And then riding on the train into work one morning, everything that had been sitting atop my shoulders suddenly crept into my head and seized my brain. I don't know if you've ever had that feeling like you need to jump out of a moving vehicle, but that's what this episode felt like. My body would not let me relax. I felt like I was at the end of my rope and I just felt like I desperately needed to tell somebody about me or I would end up hurting myself. I needed to diffuse because the pressure inside my head was reaching critical mass.

And so on that morning, April 14, 2009, I texted the one person I knew would be okay with me; the person I had been trying to tell for months: Erico Suave.

One side note: I think I'm done with these cutesy names for people on my blog. From this point on I will be using real names. It's just a little thing called growth.

So I told Eric. And even though he didn't get the text until later in the morning, right after I sent that text, immediately and literally the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. And I felt RELIEF!

I then started letting my friends know and found that either they pretty much knew or it wasn't a big deal. All my friends were incredibly supportive.

Now, back to this crush on Twitter. I had it hard for this guy and it drove me crazy that I had these uncontrollably strong feelings and had nowhere to hang them on. Because he was straight, it was a dead end and I knew it. But he was so nice and gave me so much attention. One night after work, all these emotions hit a wall and I collapsed into a ball on the floor of my room and could not stop crying. I really had no idea why. Texting with Eric, I surmised that I needed to tell someone in my family my secret; that my body was forcing me to get it over with.

I thought this was a good plan, so I tried to muster up the courage to tell Tim who was in the other room watching "Shaq Vs." After several attempts, I could not do it. I just could not spit out the words. Or to even bring it up is incredibly awkward. There's just no easy transition into coming out. My crush then texted me to ask what was going on. I told him that I was trying to tell my brother my secret and then my crush texted this:

That sounds good. I haven't told many in my family yet.

Wide eyed, I couldn't believe what I was reading. He's gay! It felt like fate or some shit. And so I thought that if I had any chance of getting with this man, I must tell Tim now. And so I finally mustered up the courage and.. with my head buried in my hands.. I blurted out "Tim, I need to tell you that.. I'm gay. And I hope that's okay."

He paused. And then he asked, "Are you serious?"

Head still in hands, I nodded.

And then he said he was cool with it. We talked a bit about if he had any clue and stuff. The next morning he held up a Macy's catalogue opened to the women's lingerie page and asked "So this does nothing to you??" I confirmed earnestly. And then he flipped the magazine over to an old unattractive male model and said "So you like this?"

He was on the right track, but I had to give him a blehhh look.

Telling Tim was incredibly liberating. It allowed me to be myself in my own home. But there was something that surprised me about Tim. He said to me that he would stand by my side when the time came to tell my mom and dad. Amazingly, this thought had never occurred to me before. Growing up with this secret, I always pictured myself dealing with it all alone. I never thought about how when I tell others, they would become my support and help me get through this difficult time.

Then naturally I had to tell Ellvin and Grace. But would I do it before their wedding.. or on the day of..?