Tuesday, February 2, 2010
You look so Gay in that Box...
Yesterday I was feeling very down, the ever looming deadline and realization of an impending decision seems to be taking it's toll on me. Whilst popping out for my morning ritual, which is a coffee and muesli rusk, I noticed a man walking in wearing a t-shirt with a slogan that read "I am not gay, but my boyfriend is", I had to smile. He wore it with pride and I could not help but think to myself how far we had come, and yet how far we still have to go.
This week I was upset to read how a fellow blogger seemed to struggle labeling himself as gay (which is fair enough I feel the same way), but i disagreed with his reasoning and I quote "It’s just that sometimes I don’t like being lumped in the same category as the fruity fruit loops. That sounds bad but it’s the truth." He was referring to being thrown into the same box as effeminate gay men.
I am definitely not a believer in being labeled either, I have written about this in an earlier post, and to be honest as an extremely masculine straight acting man I often struggle with the concept of classifying myself as bi-sexual let alone gay. I however have learnt that it does not matter whether or not I am labelled or choose to fit into one of the numerous boxes available as it is all irrelevant, however what does matter is that I am happy.
I try not to judge others, I have in the past, but somehow along this journey I would like to think that I have softened, become more gentle, more tolerant and less judgemental. I have come to the realization that everyone has the right to be happy, but often it comes with great hardship, especially when it comes to ones sexual identity. So I have to ask myself, how is it that someone who is battling with his own sexuality, who is unable to be brave enough to live his life openly, and hides the truth not only from his family and friends, but from himself as well (I am not judging him for this), still finds it within himself to criticize effeminate gays? Does he not realize that they represent the very thing he is striving for....a honest and open life, a more accepting world and an understanding of there sexuality.
I wish I was raised not only in a more accepting time, but that I had parents that were more open minded to me being different, I pursued living their expectations of a life that they desired for me as i was not brave enough to live the construct of my own life or challenge and questione what was presented to me as the right path.
I have no regrets, I was blessed to marry a wonderful woman, with whom anyone would be thrilled to have as their life partner, and I have been blessed with two beautiful children, but I remain with the question, would this have been my choice knowing what I now know, having explored my sexuality and knowing that I have the capacity to not only be with a man sexually, but to love him as well?
On Sunday night, my boyfriends emotions and the challenge and frustration of the last few weeks culminated into and emotional outbreak and the desire for him to now have an answer. I got the sense that he was less concerned as to what the answer would be than him actually receiving the answer itself, I think that the desire to get on with his life had become all too consuming. Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt our mutual love, and I certainly don't doubt his desire for a future together, but I think and fairly so, that everyone involved is now exhausted and requiring some sense of stability and normality back in their lives
We have all been on a roller coaster ride over the last few months, but I would like to think that despite the pain, torment and exhaustion we have all endured, we all seem to be allot more aware of ourselves and each one of us would agree maybe even better people.
I can honestly say, I am not sure which life it is I see myself happiest in, I guess I will never fully know. I do know that letting go of either life though is going to be enormously challenging for me. I not only have fears with choosing a life, but I also have fears about the life I choose to leave behind.
Leaving my wife, would mean leaving my home, and allowing her to not only meet new men, but to also allow that man to play the role of father to my children. Yes I would always be their Dad, but it is a hard pill to swallow to imagine another man having more time with my children than even I, not to mention my children's mental states, my wife's emotions and everything else I would be giving up on.
Leaving my boyfriend leaves me with the fear and notion of someone else having the access to him that I have enjoyed, it will be hard to stop worrying and caring for him, i think of him so often and I fear that he would regress back into an empty life with little regard to how wonderful and special he is, but through it all, the fear that worries me the most, its the fear of simply not having either my wife or boyfriend in my life.
I honestly believe that I find myself having to make this decision that I am now faced with because i was not raised knowing that exploring and challenging this part of myself in my youth was ok. I find myself in this situation for fear of being judged, labelled and ridiculed just as my fellow blogger is doing to others even in his own struggle for his identity, but most of all I struggle within myself to undo the fear that exists in my own limitations from leading this life.
I guess if I was brave enough to wear a t-shirt in public it would read "I am not gay, but I love my boyfriend", the question is am I brave enough, or would I rather just ridicule others who are?