Friday, May 26, 2006

Where The Heart Is

It is strange how a week can contain events that seem, and are, monumental in their implications yet can ultimately be so, well, ordinary.

It has been about four months since that fateful night when I told my wife “I am bi-sexual” and much less time since I have actually believed what I said and integrated the fact that the “gay” word also fits into my picture. In that time I have blogged, started therapy, made new friends in this world. I have not uttered so much as a word about this “minor” aspect of my life to family or friend.

That changed on Tuesday and Thursday when I came out (it still sounds so strange) to a friend and a sibling. Tuesday I spoke with a friend who lives in Texas – one of those friends where after a year of not speaking you pick up like it has only been a day. Thursday I met with my sister, an afternoon interlude, walking and talking.

The experiences were similar – broaching the subject is oh so difficult, almost impossible. And after that natural - a conversation among friends about matters of the soul. I discovered there is only one way to broach it – the declarative statement: I am bi/gay. Then you can jump in with all the modifiers, explanations, and anything else.

An amazing thing occurred both times. Nothing. No anger, no tachycardia (on either side), no recriminations. Just calmness, questions – many questions – and a sense of acceptance and love. My life continues to be blessed.

What has come to occupy my mind is where I am emotionally in the aftermath because it is not where I was expecting. I do not mean to imply that there was a clear vision of where this would take me – not even close. I did anticipate a sense of liberation and liberation I did receive.

But the liberation anticipated was one of being free to move along this path, continue the journey if you would. Instead the liberation I found was to be happier where I am. I wrote my sister “I think it has to do with the feeling that being satisfied at home is not a denial of who I am.”

She responded:
“That is an interesting insight -- & perhaps, the idea is by sharing this, it is a facet of who you are & not necessarily the entire defining perspective. There feels like an honesty & openness that is more comforting. It's always been sort of interesting that while we do not use our heterosexuality as a total definition, being gay or bi can often (especially initially) become the totality of a definition - perhaps because of the process of self discovery & cultural aspects. There's lots of facets of Nate (as well as all of us).”

A facet of who you are: She nailed it (she is a therapist and mother of gay children). KA and I have become trapped by issues of sexual orientation: a critical component of who I am has instead become the totality of our existence.

I have also been wondering over my lack of motivation to act on my gay side. It would be easy – an e-mail to JJ and “lunch” at the local motel. It would be fun – isn’t sex always - and I do like the man well enough. I wonder if maybe my time with Jerry in Chicago spoiled me – wanting that emotional content. I met Jerry through posting a very honest CL ad – I can write another yet I do not.

Yesterday in an e-mail exchange a man I know discussed trying another hookup – it has been months since his last one. He told me that he can’t do something like that until he can be sure that he’ll still like and respect himself once it’s done. It made me realize my emotions of a lunch time hookup – at this point in my journey the pleasure of the moment would be less than the self recriminations afterwards.

That leaves open my feelings towards my fifteen hours in Chicago: I would not rule out seeing Jerry again, but it is not an overriding concern today.

It is strange how by admitting my gay/bi side to real people in my life I feel more comfortable being what I want to be at this moment – husband and father – two pretty cool things. I also realize that much of what troubles me is not a result of sexual orientation or confusion. "Being" straight, gay or bi will not change those things; it only masks these equally real issues - subjects for other posts if I possess the honesty and will to address them.

I am wary of grand pronouncements – I have made too many over the last many months – and will not start to predict where I will be tomorrow or next week, but today, at this moment in time, I feel ready to return home - home where my heart is.


Flip said...

Very nice post.

It would be nice to make it a non-issue - or at least right-size it.

As always, thanks for sharing.


bear said...

Awesome, I'm so glad your outings have found you some greater insight. Wasn't expecting this. Basically you are saying you are very much what you were before. Married... husband... father... happy... Nate!
And I agree with your sister. I like her insight because it's so true how this bi/gay thing is not the complete picture of you, and like flip says it should be "right-sized."
Thanks! :)

A Troll At Sea said...


my heart is very full.
Best not to say more.


Brad said...

Love your post, Nate. I've read it a few times today, and it leaves me with a gentle smile. For you.

Tony said...


Are we on similar paths at this point and time.

I was approached by my mom several weeks ago. She said she noticed that I had been distant over the last six months, somewhat vague as to friends, etc. then the shocker for me. She asked if I was gay. I wanted to say yes instinctively but I held back. It just did feel right because I hadn't done enough assessment yet as to how the rest of my family, siblings, would feel. So the response I gave was, 'I don't know mom." In my mind that was sort of an admission. The words will come out sooner or later but I feel a bit of relief, even though the response I gave fell a bit short.

However, yesterday I did admit upfront to a friend that I was gay. Don't ask how, other than finding out recently I blogged, but he stumbled across my blog. He appraoched me privately at school and said he had seen my blog. I knew then he knew based on various portions of content I have in my blog. So I went with it. Told him I was gay, no adverse reaction, and we moved on. It was definitely odd to finally hear me say, I AM GAY, directly to someone, other than another gay man.

Nonetheless, I wish you well on your continued journey.