Saturday, February 20, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating, Part 9


For months, I pieced together the other half of Drake Hatch’s identity. As I felt out the gay world, some names became synonymous with philanthropy and others with political activism. Wherever I went, Drake Hatch was known for being a player—a dating machine that everyone tended to fall for even though he was so guarded.

Preposterous as it might sound, the fact that I had tied myself to him emotionally and psychologically at that point seriously put my identity—the one I thought I’d figured out—in question.


It was a question of fate and destiny. I’d tied my identity so much to his past I worried my future would soon evolve into his life. Do I have the potential to become a ‘player?’ Some sort of heart breaker? Is there any way to keep that from happening?

I knew very well that I was in charge of who I became and what I did, but he showed me a potential that I was not prepared to see in myself. Not a month later, a guy completely unaware of what had been going on in my head following these two dates joked, drawing on our parallel pasts and a busy dating life, “At this rate, GMB’s going to be the new Drake Hatch.”

If others saw that potential as well, I had to be doubly-conscious of the decisions I was making and the way I treated the guys I dated. I wasn’t going to disappear. I was going to share too much instead of too little about my past. I was going to be more open with my feelings. I was going to live to a standard of complete honesty.

In the coming months, I continued meeting people online because of the good I’d seen in people. Not all guys were trying to find somebody to use or some cheap one-night thrill. Many of us were genuinely looking for something more. There were guys (like Kevin and the first Drake) that showed enough concern so as to watch out for me even though they hardly knew me. And each of them had some continuing impact on my life whether that be as a result of the world we live in or a web of fate woven before us.


In the gay world, it’s very hard to disappear—to not be somehow tied to another person for a very long time. We would continue to run into each other, often under unexpected circumstances, and come up in conversation among gay circles. The lesson to learn was one of accountability. The experiences we have with one another travel quickly and reputations are hatched even faster (in part because of the internet).

The time had come to forge my own reputation to make my own destiny. Would it be constructed from my fear of becoming the next Drake Hatch or out of confidence in who I really was and who I wanted to become?

End of Series.


C.J. said...

There's no danger of you becoming Drake Hatch II. You're genuine; he's not. You're also very introspective and, I think, have it together way more than you give yourself credit for. You're obviously a great guy, and I hope you find Mr. Right!

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

C.J., for the most part, that has held true. I'm hardly ever a shallow person, and Mr. Right will come along. Thanks. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with CJ I don't see any of him in you and I barely know him or you but you what I do know about you two, you don't seem anything like him

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