For the past month it seems I have been struggling with Flip – in my mind and in our e-mails. We have even toyed with a “mutual” post, but I have never felt comfortable in explaining our different perspectives. Flip has been worried for me – the worry of someone watching a friend make a mistake, or at the least border on reckless - and his worry is greatly appreciated.
For those of you who may have blinked – or not kept up with the comments – Flip looks at my oft-stated beliefs: love of wife, devotion to family, definite bi-ness. He then wonders if all this is true, why can I not just zip it – or at least attempt to zip it – and return from the precipice. We both have approached our gay side from the land of physical attractions. I may be attracted to the smell of ozone but would still avoid standing in a field during an electrical storm. Health – physical or mental – traditionally trumps fulfillment of base desires in mature adults.
This all resonates with me. I would like to think of myself as a mature adult and surely my entry into the gayness was driven by my sexual desires. Yet I am on the verge of moving from a psychological separation to a physical one, albeit in the same house. I have started coming out to my children. Carrie no longer hesitates in telling her friends the reason for the separation. (My favorite is the personal trainer who looked at Carrie and said: “Other woman?” and without missing a beat Carrie responded: “Other man.”)
The terrifying part is I do know why I continue down this path: however I have no idea whether I am right. In some fashion I see being gay as a core issue, not one of “I like” or “I desire” but one of “I am”. And if that is truly the case there is the selfish aspect, the “I want to be who I am” point of view. But to me there is the larger issue. How much of my life has been dictated by repression of my gay side. This is the part that can only be answered empirically in the laboratory of life. It may be that I swim like a fish thrown into a pond or maybe I will be found floating belly up (in the emotional sense) in six months or a year.
There is only one thing in all of this that I am sure about. It is too late to turn back now because if I do the future is clear: a lifetime of wondering what would have been. Carrie has reminded me many times this past year of another core belief in mine. I have always regretted what I did not do much more than anything I have done.