Can a person who doesn't completely believe in the conceit of strict sexual orientation come out? What of a person who long ago stopped "heterosexualizing" his life (as viewed by others)?
At 45 I'm frankly sick of worrying about losing perceived friends yet still worried about it, there's a paradox. What do I do; simply announce to each and everyone as I meet them "...oh, by the way, I'm gay"? I think most of those who already know me have silently figured it out long ago, I dropped many hints over the years. That's no longer enough for me. How does one just start living gay? I can't think of any other way of saying it. Do I owe my friends the announcement?
Fear and secretiveness long ago became habit. I lived two lives, but then they both fell apart to one degree or another. I hid from the world for a long time; now I have faced among others, my biggest fear. After spending nearly a decade celibate and waiting to die I got tested. Relief isn't a big enough word after the years of self-imposed uncertainty. It is a awakening of such tremendous proportion for me.
So now I must recast my life. I have once again opened my mind and heart to new ideas and new modes. Yet I still hold back from the final little step. This is partially complicated by an intuition I am not alone in having and reinforced by much enlightened reading.
I must stress that this isn't some lame form of denial. I have never had a problem with my orientation, just the world's view of it. I now believe the constructs of homosexuality and heterosexuality are merely inventions. Keeping in mind Kinsey's (sexuality) scale while reading, among others Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton or Homophobia: A History by Byrne Fone has reinforced years of personal experience. I can't tell you how many "straight" guys I've had encounters with over the years. The stereotype of the sleazy men's rooms, rest stops and parks is based on truth, but the real truth is these are the areas bolstered and frequented by these "straights" more often than not. Many of these men don't seem to be in any sort of self-denial as to their desires, they simply believe in presenting a straight persona to the world. Very often these men are married, I can't help but feel they're bit hypocritical. I'm not bashing those men who grew up in fear or ignorance just those knowingly accept and deny, sort of a societal DADT.
Now I figure I'm about a five and a half on Kinsey's scale-does that make me a homosexual? Or does it make me a man with a marked homosexual preference? Don't think of it as a semantic dispute. Think of it as a label dictated by society, an all-exclusive identifier. Why must the sexuality of the homosexual be the attribute used to define the entire person? I am so much more than simply a sexual being. I think this categorizing of sexuality may have been used primarily to legitimize civil persecution in place of religious persecution as church powers declined over the last few centuries. These secular arbiters, it must be remembered were and are for the most part congregants of these very same religions. So a fallacious precept is given secular and medical legitimacy by these people, reinforcing for some a pre-existing irrational hatred. This hatred was and is a self-hate for so many.
In spite of all this enmity there continue to be men and women who accept their innate disposition to one degree or another and in spite of the fading official dogma of church and state. How has it come to pass that a majority of, at least us Occidentals (Westerners), have learned to suppress so thoroughly a living part of their very being? And why?
Someday things will change for the better, but until then intelligent free thinking people must stand against all forms of prejudicial irrationality. So now having reached a transition must I follow a existing standard and label myself a gay man. Or can I identify myself as a man who's gay without sounding like a pedagog? I can't help but think it's important explore, reflect and discuss the validity of our present ideas of sexuality. So does coming out for me become a refutation of my developing belief? What do I become and how do I put it into words?
On top of all that, shedding my entrenched covertness is a difficult and ongoing process. A huge part of me can't help but wish it was already over and done with. I still haven't figured out how best to simply "be a gay man" (or a "man who's gay") in my day to day life. Is it still even necessary to declare your affiliation?
It is an interesting albeit awkward journey for me, I've got a lot of catching up to do! Hopefully one or two people will find this little composition and will be willing to share some of their wisdom with me.
( Still partially hiding behind a nom de blog.)