Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Culture

It is strange – months of active struggle, years of currents just under and sometimes breaking the surface, endless posts on labels and words and I say it, I say it aloud: I am gay. What happens –neither fireworks nor bolts of lightning. Worse: suggestions maybe I am overstating the situation.

So I go back to some basics. I am bi-sexual. My relations with women, emotional and sexual, are substantial and real. My relations with men have physical credence and my deeply held fantasies are not easily dismissed: my physical desires and emotional musings relate to men. I cannot imagine saying all of this every time I consider my orientation. Gay seems strangely simpler as a statement even if it ignores such depths of nuance.

I e-mail with a fellow blogger. His wife likes the long explanation – less threatening than gay. He points out that he does not feel a connection to the gay culture. My wife has lunch and tells her best friend that all is not well in paradise. She had sensed things – assumed I was having an affair. She is understanding, a good thing, and feels she understands, a slightly stranger thing. She tells KA that she knows - I do not fit into the gay culture. To her I am not gay: I am the married guy with a weakness for sex with men, something she suggests my wife should tolerate within reason.

In this little blog world when I have discussed gayness in purely sexual terms it has been met with a skepticism – these are matters of heart and soul, not just an excited penis. I know they are right but I also know that when that penis gets busy one would not be called straight.

I have come a full circle it appears. It seems this gay club is tough – I never learned the secret handshake. Of course it is a matter of what is gay and the answer is many things. There is the “culture” of popular myth. My niece and mate wheeling a baby carriage are not exactly hitting the Baths. They think they are still gay. Brad as lawn queer is anything but – a regular guy with a really green lawn. I have never asked either their cultural identification but when dealing with one in the real world and the other in our cyber community I am not struck by cultural issues – this is not my cities Halloween parade. I am struck by normal lives, normal relationships, and of course green lawns.

So I am off Thursday morn for a brief visit to the windy city. My trip is planned. I have already written of my plans – dinner both nights, a divorced bi man and a gay man my age. I did not leave time for gay bars and the like. It is a journey to learn about myself through real interactions with real people.


I have meant to change my sidebar for a month and when I saw Bea beat me to it I got my ass in gear. I hope no one minds but I have in most cases replaced your blog names with your screen names, real or assumed. I have done this for both selfish and symbolic reasons. From a selfish point of view it makes it easier to find where I am going. More importantly you are individuals who I think of in real terms. And while so much is shared in common, so much is different: many cultures, intersecting but not in lockstep.


When you say Dylan,
he thinks you're talking about Dylan Thomas,
Whoever he was.
The man ain't got no culture,
Paul Simon

6 comments:

Brad said...

I have been accused of not being gay enough. When I first came out, people at the bars thought I was an undercover cop.

You're right, I'm certainly not sashaying down Main Street in a sequined outfit.

But, I do accept the fact that I am gay. That's a no brainer, at least for me. It's more than just the sex thing.

I don't tell many people this Nate, but women frighten me.

You're right about another thing. My lawn is looking mighty green and manicured right now.

woe said...

Speaking for myself I am fair convinced I am gay. Of course every so often I have a fantasy involving a woman. Convienient for me to pull out the Bi lable then.

Somedays I aint straight enough. Some days I suspect not gay enough. I will have to settle for a Not Straight Card.

Your previous post had me rolling with laughter. No you could not make that up.

Spider said...

Guys - I hate to break the news to all three of you, but you are gay! And I am happy as HELL that you all are!

bear said...

(uh, oh...I was found out..teehee!)

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other word would smell as sweet."

(and taste so...salty?!)

Restored Vows said...

The labeling theory.....first addressed in mental health circles: Major depression, schizophrenia, alcohol dependent, cocaine dependent, etc. Just as there are various diagnoses of depression, I am going to suggest that there are various degrees of "gay".

The polar opposites are gay versus straight with bisexuality somewhere fluctuating in the middle. So Brad doesn't like sequins, does that mean that he is leaning more toward the straight end? My point here is that bisexuals, for the most part, are not accepted in either the gay or straight "cultures". They are viewed with suspicions from both camps.

I was on gay.com last night chatting when I almost got "caught" by my wife. I wasn't looking for a hookup, just wasting time late at night trying to get sleepy. I'm sure she suspects something. Our love life is minimal. However, I'm not willing to leave her or my kids that I love dearly. I was a product of divorce, so I have my own abandonment issues to deal with. However, when my wife gets "bitchy" I wonder if it would be easier to get a divorce or just stick it out.

FYI....homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder by the American Psychological Association up until the 1970's, when it was removed. There are four areas within the GLBT community....not just two. I'm suggesting an alternate paradigm.

Anonymous said...

Chicago - half time:
So much to post wheb I get home. Thanks for the comments and yes Spider - Iknow I'm gay even if I cannot start to fathom what it ultimately means.
Nate