Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Coming Out to Myself

"When did you know? When did you figure things out?"

As far as gay small talk goes, this is pretty much a cliché (I can't think of a first date I've been on where this didn't comeup), but one that we can all connect with even though our experiences vary as much as our occupations or our tastes in men. Every one of us had a moment in which we realized that we didn't quite fit into the archetypal world presented to most of us as kids:

Boy meets girl…boy goes out with girl… boy and girl get married in the temple and live happily ever after.

Along these lines, some GMBs know before they start dating, others figure it out as they interact with the opposite sex, and yet others figure it all out later in life. I like to think of this point in life as coming out to oneself. Of course, most of us have our inklings….

A couple of years ago, I had a very sincere discussion with my friend Brenda. For several months we spent most of our Fridays together watching movies or bowling on a purely platonic level. That night she asked me, "Why don't you date more? Guys like you are in high demand. You're an RM (returned missionary), intelligent, and handsome." I later found out that that was her way of trying to figure out if I was gay, but after thinking about it for a few minutes, the only thing that came to mind was: "I just haven't met a girl I'm interested in that much."

Well, I suppose if I were to overhear a conversation along these lines today, I doubt I'd be able hold my tongue, but I puzzled over that sense of non-attraction for over a year, eventually leading me to a precipice of sorts: "I'm not attracted to women and I'm not attracted to men, so I'm definitely not gay. I'm just asexual." Following a childhood in the church a full-time mission and the subsequent years, it was difficult to accept this possibility. That said, on April 15, 2008, I was pushed over this cliff.

(And although the metaphor of a cliff suggests danger and death, it led to the most enthralling and satisfying time in my life).

End Part One.


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