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Maybe We Gays Have Come Further Than I Thought

Updated on April 26, 2010

On the whole I think I would classify myself as a cynic. I think cynics are lazy. After all, cynics just get to sit back and judge other people’s ideas (sort of the Simon Cowell of their own life and other people’s lives) and tell them that they probably won’t succeed. They don’t have to put in the sweat and determination it takes to have a big idea, share it with others and try to make it a reality. No, we can just sit on the sofa and go, “Nope, that’ll never work. Life doesn’t change that quickly.” Of course the down side to that is the next thing you know someone’s actually made the Snuggie (the blanket with sleeves) and are now laughing all the way to the bank while you scratch you head and ass going, “Hmmm. Must have just been one of those flukes.” So while I am aware that there are times when I do take risks and have ideas, on the whole I’m as I described above, a cynic. But every once in awhile something happens that makes me think that I’m wrong and that there is reason to be excited about ideas and the future. This is one of those days. Maybe we gays have come further than I thought – Don’t Get Me Started!

The big burst of positive force came in the way of an email. This is one of the reasons I love technology. You don’t have to really know someone, you just need their email address and you can start the conversation. I’m convinced this is how those dating sites make so much money. The email started with,  “I’m a fifteen year old kid from West Virginia” now normally when I get these emails  I immediately put on my gaytriarch hat and think that I’m going to be asked for advice or assistance in calming a teen who is involved in some sort of drama. These emails don’t come in often but when they do they normally follow that pattern. This email did not. It was an email telling me that they enjoyed my Gay Icons Series of vblogs on YouTube and suggested that I do a video on the likes of Madonna, Cher and Lady GaGa. All good possible choices for this series but that wasn’t the thing that made me begin to examine life in a new way. It was the last sentence after suggesting Lady GaGa that did it for me – “My boyfriend JR and I are in love with her.” (Name changed to protect the innocent)

Here’s a kid who is fifteen and has a boyfriend. Now whether anyone else in the world knows that he has a boyfriend is another thing altogether but the fact that he could write to me and tell me that he has one got me to really start thinking. What was I doing at fifteen? What would I have been like if I could have had a boyfriend at fifteen? I’ve always known that I was gay so it’s not about that, it’s about a world of espionage that you had to go through when I was a teen. You had to act as if you weren’t gay even though everyone knew you were, you had to try to have girlfriends so that no one would know, you had to change the pronoun if you were talking about someone you “like liked” from “he” to “she” and a host of other lies you had to tell to try and protect…well, protect what exactly I don’t know. I just know that even though you could be as flaming as could be you weren’t supposed to admit it because everyone had the same opinion of gays being some sort of deviant perverts or something. Yet here is this fifteen year old that has so much more time on his hands than I ever had because at least it seems that he is comfortable enough with himself to have a boyfriend and do a bunch of other stuff besides wasting his time trying to cover his tracks.

I’m not someone who dwells on the past or has a bunch of regrets but I do wonder what I would have done with all that wasted time of trying to convince people I wasn’t gay if I had been allowed (mostly by myself but also society) to just say I was gay and move on. Maybe I could have learned about geography or how the stock market works or even learned to knit with all the extra time. And maybe I wouldn’t have become so cynical. I think cynics are born from people who drink from the river of broken dreams. They don’t become what they think they should or want to so there’s a part of them that doesn’t want anyone else to have their dreams. At forty-five years old I’ve learned enough to be honest with myself and just like trying to eat healthier and exercise more I’m going to learn how to trust more and believe again in dreams for myself and others. I’m not going to stop demanding that we gays have equal rights in a country that is supposed to guarantee me equality but maybe, just maybe I’ll learn to no longer have one eye brow cocked at all times in an expression that reeks of sarcasm and cynicism because even if I didn’t get to have a boyfriend at fifteen, there’s someone out there who does have one now and God bless both of them and me and the rest of my generation and the generation before us who paved the way to make this possible for the gays of today. Maybe we gays have come further than I thought – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thank you, Tony for your eloquent and kind words.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      I found this a poignant story, a story of how injustice, in whatever form, can stop people being who they really are. And how injustice will be overcome, by little steps, people taking on the struggle for justice in the world in even very small ways, but those small steps can add up. It is important to be who one really is, and it takes courage. The kind of courage you have shown here, and the kind of courage the 15-year-old has which enabled him to state "I have a boy friend." I like that so much.

      Thank you my friend for being who you are (and don't get me started, either!).

      Love and peace