Being out, not Coming out

A while ago, I thought it would be about coming out, but the more I read about it, the more I thought about it, the more I talked to people about myself and my place in the world and the way people think about me already, there wasn’t much coming out to do. I’d made it pretty clear to just about everyone but my family that I was attracted to both sexes, but not in a promiscuous way like many bisexuals. I’d even come up with a better word to describe by sexual preference that anyone who knew me agreed was right; I’m an omnisexual. Which means I’m not a Heterosexual. Which means that if I’m not telling my family that I’m attracted to men, I must be in the closet, right?

Not quite right. My parents seem to have known one way or another that I also like men. I’ve certainly never said that I didn’t. There’s more to it though. There’s the idea of sexuality generally. There’s the idea that one’s parents don’t really want to hear about the sex lives of their children, no matter who it is with. They may want to see them settle down and produce grandchildren and be happy with whomever they’re with, but they don’t want to hear about the physical activities that led up to the production of grandchildren. Parents don’t have that sort of relationship with their children, generally. I know mine don’t want that kind of relationship with me. Sometimes I think they’d like me to be the celibate person I sometimes dread I am going to find myself in the long run, so they never have to hear about my relationships, good OR bad.

I’ve worried so long about the possibility of offending their sensibilities that i have censored myself far too much here and in other areas of my life. When I told my older sister outright in December that I prefer men, she emphaticly advised me that I should wait to tell my parents until sometime after they pass away. When I told my younger sister she said she had ‘always assumed that was the case,’ but that my older sister was right, I shouldn’t bring the subject up with my mother and father. My father, I think, has been worrying about this for a while recently; he keeps hinting to me that there’s something he needs to talk to me about, and he sometimes drops by unexpectedly (usually when I’m not there because I wasn’t expecting anyone) and kept telling my sister (who was living with me for the last six months) that he needed to talk to me, saying something about being a sinner. I haven’t spoken to him on the subject yet, but the last time I saw him was after I brought it up with my mother, and I gave him every opportunity to breach whatever topic is on his mind (maybe I’m wrong; maybe he thinks I’m covetous or an idolator), but he seemed not to have anything he needed to say to me. My mother, when I mentioned casually in a conversation about why I’m still single my difficulty with the gay scene in Phoenix being so centred around bars, didn’t bat an eye. As we continued to discuss my recent difficulties expressing interest in people and ‘picking people up,’ she would substitute female pronouns as I would use male pronouns for the objects of my desire. It was a little weird. the conversation didn’t end well, but that was an hour later over a disagreement of the definition of words, not over my desire to find a nice man to settle down with.

I had a few friends I had to clarify my sexuality with, but everyone basically understood already. There has been almost no outward change in my behaviour since I resolved that it was time to ‘come out’ because I was already living my life pretty honestly. Just not actively, I suppose.

As I lamented earlier today, I feel that I don’t have very many gay friends. I think it’s really a matter of proportion, though. And ignorance. For so long in my social life, I just did the same old things, and they weren’t gay or straight. In fact, they weren’t very interesting at all. I’ve been doing less and less of anything in recent months, though making an active effort in recent weeks to rectify that. I want to be active. I want to make new friends. One of my best friends had a bachelor party at Pookie’s, and whereas most of his friends felt so far out of place that the bachelor and I got literally dragged against our wills to an all-nude all-female strip joint afterwards, I felt totally in my element there. I even got to dance with a couple of nice guys before being pulled away.

But I could never really afford to do the upscale Martini Bar scene; I don’t have enough money left over after rent and everything else. This is the cost of living alone, and I accept it. So, find something else. Go out dancing, maybe. I’m thinking I need to go to Freedom this Friday night. Yes, liquidmercurial frequents Freedom, but it was more that reading that jogged my memory that I don’t need to find a ride downtown to go dancing someplace gay-friendly – Freedom is just that Friday nights, and literally one mile away. I could walk. I’ll probably bike. Or maybe I’ll find someone to go with. I don’t know. A cover charge I can afford, and water is free (before after-hours), so it can’t cost much to go and see. Maybe I can re-awaken the idea of a ‘Gay Beer Club’ where we visit a different gay bar/club every week or two. There are enough of them in Phoenix to last 6 months or more at that rate without going to the same place twice.

What’s the point? I like gay men. At the very least, I’d like to make some new gay friends. Making friends with Chris has been a life-saver. He’s really the first gay guy outside of the weird circle of friends that I’ve had for years that I’ve been friends with, and it’s really refreshing to know that I can make new friends afterall. I’ve almost lost contact with that big old circle, and I don’t really want to end up totally alone. Oh, and there’s the other point, that there hasn’t been any ground-breaking, earth-shattering, emotional rollercoaster of a coming out. It’s just been me gradually being more and more out in the places I wasn’t before. Eight months ago if I’d posted about liquidmercurial I wouldn’t have mentioned that she and I both seem to like gay men. Everything else, maybe, but not that. And it would probably have come across to my mother that I was torturing myself over this girl I haven’t seen in years and years. And I admit that I am torturing myself a little over this young woman that I haven’t seen in years and years, but I also admit that if she can introduce me to a great guy or two that she knows is right for me because she knows what loving me can be like, or if we can maybe just have that ‘what does it all mean’ talk that Charlie derides in High Fidelity, that’ll be a help. And I don’t seem to have given up on the hope that the love I originally offered her offered me in return, that there might be happiness between us someday, and I don’t see that going away anytime soon…

Where was I?

Oh yeah. I was trying to say that I’m finally beginning to feel that I don’t need to hide online that I like men and women. That the best kiss I had at the party the other night wasn’t from Heather or Susan or even Dave, but a half drunk (and thus half-gay) Pitr. Although Heather came in a close second. That all the trepidation and all the hype and all the stress about coming out was dissolved in an anticlimactic moment of realizing that it’s really about Being Out. That Coming Out is hard when you’re not ready to Be Out.

I took the ‘Which Queer As Folk character ar you?’ quiz earlier today, and though I know the questions were more about my artistic bent, I know that Justin is the character I feel like most because he’s the newest into the scene. Except that by now (the end of the 2nd season) he’s become so acclimatized to the scene that I feel almost retarded in my ability to find my way in. I know there’s an in. I’ve seen it. I went to AZ Pride. I was surrounded on every side by thousands of hot, gay men and women (some hot because they work out more than I could ever commit to, but mostly because it was nearly 100 degrees with no shade in sight). I’ve been to a gay club or two, I’ve been to Pookie’s, I know they’re out there. I’m just a little slow at joining them.

I kind worry that I’ll be rejected for not knowing something or someone or some way to be. I feel so old. A recent article in The Advocate said that the average age that American males ‘come out’ now is 13-14. I feel ten years behind, and I don’t want to feel ten years behind every time I make a new friend. I know, I know. My fears are irrational. The gay community is about acceptance, not rejection. (Except I know a few people who have been rejected by monosexuals for being bisexuals. I worry that the same thing will be said of omnisexuals like myself, even though I know the rejection is usually based on perceived promiscuity and the same thing that makes Americans want to divide themselves down party lines. Pick a side or be rejected by all. They see no room for third or fourth (or more) choices.)

I almost feel bad for writing so much today. Must be all the not writing a novel I’ve been doing for the last two weeks. I got all that inertia going and it doesn’t want to let me stop. My only paper for this English class is shorter than what I typed in an average day last month for my novel. All I have to do is come up with a single idea and the whole thing will be done in a couple of hours. oh, and not writing about Being Out was starting to get to me. I probably won’t have as much to say about it next time I say something about it.

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Author, artist, romantic, insomniac, exorcist, creative visionary, lover, and all-around-crazy-person.