10 January 2011

PE: Acting Straight

It is impossible to detail all the daily struggles a Gay Mormon experiences when trying to repress their sexuality. If I were really to write a detailed description of my lifelong struggle to scrape the gay out of me, it would fill volumes... and I've already written a 9-part "My Story" series. But sometimes I feel like if we could really explain these daily struggles, maybe it would help people realize what kind of life a repressed gay person lives. For those of us who know first hand, it is second nature... we don't even realize that it isn't normal. So I will attempt to describe a couple examples.

I remember talking to a friend about another mutual friend who had mannerisms that were "gayish." This friend said, "kind of like you." I demanded right then and there to know what I did that seemed gay. Apparently the way I stood and the way I used my hands to talk were a bit "gay." Well, this was before I had accepted that indeed, I was gay. So I immediately determined to re-teach myself to talk and stand in a more "straight" way. Not using my hands was impossible, so for the next few weeks, I just worked on talking less. I would just sit back and listen and only talk in a bored, disinterested manner when I did. It was so hard. I'd watch how guy friends sat and stood and walked to try and mimic them better. I wanted to rid myself of any trace of gayness. Basically I wanted to become someone different.

Growing up I never allowed myself to really express my love for things that were "girly" or "gay." I would take straight guys' lead. If they said something was gay, then I definitely didn't like it. But in all honesty, I loved it. I loved Spice Girls and Brittney Spears. I enjoyed reading about Edward in twilight. But I could never allow myself to express my real likes. The only way I got away with reading Twilight was because I read all the books out loud to a dyslexic friend of mine who wanted to read them but couldn't. So that way, it was just because I was such a nice guy, a good friend. I was probably more interested in reading the next chapter than she was. I'm pretty sure she would have been happy no matter what I was reading. But I could never admit that I was actually into the books.

Then after all my hard work... after trying so hard to make myself as straight as I could, every once and awhile, friends would still ask, "are you gay?" Seriously... can anyone cut a guy a break??!! I was trying SO hard and somehow everyone saw right through it. Eventually that is the question that finally broke me. A person can only react defensively so many times. Eventually I had to consider it for real... as much as I wanted to deny it.

Well, let me just say, it is such a relief to be gay and be okay with that. I can like gay things all I want. What is the worst someone could think? "He must be gay?" SO what? I AM! I can blast Brittney Spears in my car, I can say when I think a guy is hot (like that guy on Burlesque/Twilight OMG), I can buy all the chick-flick DVDs I want, I can decorate my room, dress with style, get highlights, watch Glee every week... the list goes on and on. It isn't that I didn't like these things before. I've always liked them. I just could never allow myself to appear as if I liked them. So I got really good at lying to myself. It is so refreshing to be honest with myself... even before the great feeling of being honest with others. I can finally let myself enjoy life and be unashamed about it.


Steven Lester said...

Oh no, now I think I fail the gay test, because I don't like any of the gay stuff you like. Spears I've never heard sing before and the Spice Girls I've never heard OF at all. I liked Wolf Boy in Twilight better than Edward, who I thought was really weak until he fought and killed Victoria, than I thought somewhat better of him. Maybe he wasn't a "pansy" after all. (I haven't read the books, except for the last one at the final confrontation because I wanted to finally see That Pain Chick get her comeuppance, but it somehow just didn't quite happen.)

And really? People just come out and intrude on your private business by asking the Question without permission just because they're curious or something? Doesn't anybody respect boundaries anymore? I'd NEVER ask that question of anybody, unless they brought up the subject, for fear of causing them embarrassment or worse. What a brutal generation to which you belong!

I'm curious, though. In your quest to become studly and all-guy, did you go out for any kind of sport or competition, so as to earn your letter, which you could wear on your special coat, that then showed that you were as gutsy as any other real guy in the school? I would think that for the closeted gay person either swimming/diving or wrestling might be the most fun to pursue. Football is too rough, basketball is too sweaty, and track is too breathless to really want to try out for. Gymnasts look great, but they fall all the time, or crash into walls or other people way more than most folks realize. It would be cool to find out.

Oh, I forgot to add, chick-flick films don't affect my tear-ducts at all.

This must mean that I would fail to register on the gay-o-meter, so maybe I'm just weird instead. This would not surprise me.

Steven Lester said...

However, I do think that Lady GaGa is the greatest entertainer since Michael Jackson, and that she eclipses him by about 5000% She writes all of her own songs, and more amazingly, choreographs every one of her phenomenal performances. Actually, I think that she is greatest entertainer that ever graced the boards, and yet in her private life she is just a meek Jewish daughter taking care of her aged father who is home lying quietly in bed, as she once self-described herself..

Doesn't this count for making me just a little gay...I mean, just a little?

Anonymous said...

Thank YOU for putting the key to your blog posts up. That is really very helpful. You are kind to do that for me. Thank you!

Love and respect, always.

bradcarmack said...


Gay Mormon said...

@Steven- Of course that doesn't mean you aren't gay. Obviously I was referencing the stereotypical "gay" things that people categorize. I just happen to fall into some of those stereotypes :) There are still gay guys that love sports. And Lady Gaga is amazing :) I tried basketball one summer and hated it. Swimming would be fun, volleyball, and if I wasn't so tall- gymnastics is hot haha. And you are right... in the movies, Taylor is way hotter than Robert. Also, chick-flicks don't make me cry or anything. I prefer the funny ones.

@Duck- No problem... thanks for the idea :)

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