I obviously had a lot of angst still left within me. Again, I blame heterosexual society, but they can't shoulder all of the blame. I must take some of the blame, because we all are responsible for our own actions to varying degrees.
A Gay Opinion 12/15/00
by R.A. Melos
One of the web collaboration sites I write for has give us the topic of friendship
to write about in the month of December. Not just a pro or con article, but
an in-depth look at the concept of friendship in the world we each inhabit.
At one time in my life I would've said "I have lots of friends," but now I don't feel that way at all. It took being hurt by my best friend, and ex-lover, to destroy my trust in my fellow human beings. I really shouldn't be so harsh on him, as his side of it would paint me the bad guy. In truth neither of us are bad guys, we only see the world from different angles.
From the moment I met him, I loved him, and, in some ways, always will, but we saw life from two distinctly different outlooks. When we met, he was in his first marriage, with one child and another one on the way, and he never saw himself as gay, only experimenting with homosexuality. I won't berate him again for not facing himself as a gay man, because he is incapable of facing the gay side of himself.
On the other hand, when we met, I was deeply entrenched in the closet, and refusing to face my own sexuality. On some level I always knew I was gay, and had pretty much decided to ignore it until my parents were dead and I could live my life as I saw fit without hurting them, but that wasn't to be. My ex-lover, when we broke up, outed me to my mother in an attempt to destroy my life.
At the time of my outing, I thought he had destroyed my life. It was only after two years when I realized he hadn't destroyed my life at all, but helped set me free in my own mind to face my sexuality and accept myself for who I am, I started to come out of the depths of despair to which I sank.
The worst part of all of this became my losing his friendship, since I retaliated by outing him to his family. Unfortunately, by the time I outed him, he was already divorced from his first wife and two children and remarried to his second wife who was pregnant. Oh well, he was determined not to face his sexuality, and didn't care how many people he hurt to protect his secret. Another shame, because I got to see him interact with me as a completely different man than the one he became.
Yes, I suppose I destroyed our friendship, as he sees it, by not keeping his secret even after he outed me. He saw it as the ultimate betrayal of him, since it was obviously all about him, and in a way he's right. It was all about him. It wasn't until we became lovers, sex-partner, whatever you would call it, when I came to terms with my own sexuality, and finally started to accept myself and enjoy who I was, without feelings of guilt.
My relationship with him became the most confusing time in my life, as I couldn't understand how I could love him, and even be willing to give up my closeted lifestyle if he would've said the word. Even more confusing to me was the thought of living with him, if he had asked, which he didn't.
You see, I knew I never wanted to live with him, even if he would've asked, and I knew that would probably have ended our relationship, because he wouldn't understand why I wouldn't want to live with him full time. It wouldn't have been a rejection of him, but a way of preserving our relationship. Well, that doesn't matter now, since he refuses to acknowledge my existence.
It really doesn't matter whether or not he acknowledges my existence, since it is my acknowledgment of him which matters to me. He will never know how much he helped me, or how good he made my life by outing me.
Now understand, I'm not advocating outing anyone. As a matter of fact, the outing experience was one of the worst moments of my life, but it was also freeing on a biblical level. The truth really does set you free. I no longer care in the least bit what anyone but me thinks of me. I am now fully out and happy with myself as a gay man.
I know my acceptance of myself is not for everyone. I know there are people who cannot, under any circumstances, accept themselves as the homosexual they are and will continue to hide in their own closets, peeking out periodically just to see what the world they should be in is like, and to see if they will be attractive to others. I wish I could help them, but they have to ask for the help first.
My friend, whether or not he considers himself my friend, is someone I will always love and be willing to help when he is ready to ask for help. If he never is, in this lifetime, ready for that help, it is his choice, but I would want him to know he always has the option to come to me and I would be the kind of friend he expects me to be at this point in time.
Prior to being his lover I surrounded myself with, as I referred to them, sycophants. I always had a large group of friends and always went out with never less than 3 people, but that time has ended. I opened myself up, and cleared my life of people who were using me for their own means, and I stopped using people to make me feel important. I have a great sense of humor, and enjoyed being the center of their attention, but I no longer seek such meaningless acknowledgments.
It's still very easy for me to meet and make friends, but now I look at relationships differently, and am not looking to fill my life or my time with people whom I don't feel a deep rapport. I avoid most on-line friendships, since I will, most-likely never meet with these people around the world, and I've never been good at keeping up long distance relationships of any kind. Yeah, I know, an e-mail only takes a minute, but how often does someone want to hear about a friend's mundane life? And how often do I feel like returning the favor?
I do have a few on-line friends, with whom I enjoy a nice rapport, but they are the exceptions, not the rule. In my honest opinion, the concept of friendship is something which cannot be defined. I have a friend, whom I've known since 2nd grade. We talk every 3 to 6 months, and seem to pickup where we left off as if no time has passed. Another of my close friends helped me greatly in my discovering my pagan nature, and she is also someone I can see a few times a year and still feel like no time has passed for us.
The nature of my work, as a Realtor or writer, or even the tarot and web site design, is creative (okay, so real estate is the farthest thing from creativity as possible), yet mostly solitary, so making friends through work is not something I do very often. One of the friends I did make through my work, who I am probably closer to than most, who knows everything about me, is my lawyer. He is the only person I trust completely, and one of a handful of people I actually respect.
So now I spend most of my time working, creating on many levels, and not surrounding myself with people I normally wouldn't give the time of day. My life is very full, for me, and I'm not looking to change it much.
Yes, I would like to open myself up to the possibility of a new lover, but that level of trust is something which has, so far, eluded me. It won't forever, but for the time being, lover takes a back seat to my work. Now I'm not saying my priorities are all money oriented, but work has become very important to me, as is the concept of living my life as I please without the need for acceptance or approval from anyone other than myself.
If something I do doesn't please me, I correct it. I'm no longer about the people with whom I associate, but am about myself and be damned anyone who passes judgment on me.
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