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Oh My Love (or Sex)

T'other day at lunch, I was sitting there, eating my chicken strip basket from Dairy Queen and thinking about the first time I felt romantic love for someone, as you do.

His name was Kyle. I'm sure I've mentioned him here before. The feelings I developed for him prompted me to eventually face being gay, and to eventually come out of the closet. The lunchtime thoughts pertained mostly to what a significant effect Kyle had on my life, and if he ever thought about me, or if it's more like, 'Matt who?' for him. The realization then struck that the 20th anniversary of my coming out is in 6 months.

All of the thoughts of love, being gay and coming out coalesced into a question I posed first to myself, then later that day on Facebook, as to what do people think of more when it comes to human sexuality: sex or emotions? A lot of folks took-up the challenge on Facebook, providing some insightful answers. I'm not sure there's a right or wrong answer here. It's probably different for everyone. But it took me back to April 1993, when I realized, pretty miserably at the time, that I was gay.

You see, dear reader, I'd been sexually active for a couple of years beforehand. Not very active, but a little. Always with guys. You may think this should have been a major clue to me that, perhaps, I was what one might refer to as 'queer,' but no. For whatever reason, as long as it was only sexual -- with no emotional entanglement from either side -- I felt pretty resolute that whatever was going on, it would eventually pass, and that I liked women. It wasn't until Kyle came along that such self-deception began to crack.

So it goes that emotion trumped sex. At least for me. For others, it may be different. Indeed, some of the folks who responded to the query on Facebook argued fairly persuasively that sex -- not emotion -- is what the big deal is when it comes to whom we date, marry, etc. In the end, it probably doesn't matter. Love is love. Sex is sex. And there's a lot of stuff that keeps us busy inbetween.


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If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
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"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…