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Glassdog: The Very Last Life Serial

Glassdog: The Very Last Life Serial. I never really got into reading Lance Arthur’s writing (though I’ve been astounded by his design creativity just like everyone else), but I’m floored by the final entry in his online journal. He so remarkably relates what it’s like to come to the realization that one is gay and the struggle with finally admitting it to another person. Just when I’m intrigued, he has to give up writing! But that’s cool. He’s okay with it now and that’s what’s important.

I’ve fallen into a kind of gay ghetto with my usual weblog / journal surfing patterns (helped in no small part by this). But is that so bad? I don’t have any outlet at all here in Kirksville for socializing with gay men in my peer group — they’re all either young students or local residents that I’d rather not get involved with (I admit it, I’m an intellectual snob).

I watched The Broken Hearts Club the other night, which is filled with cliches like: “I can’t remember when I first realized I was gay, only the first time I knew it was okay. It was when I met these guys – my friends.”

Cliched but true. I floundered for a few years after coming out, without a circle of gay friends to rely on for support. Then, shortly before leaving grad school last year, I started dating this really fun guy named Jeff who had a lively bunch of friends who cut across the lines of gay subculture. It took me a while to feel comfortable hanging out with them, and just as I started to, I had to move here to rural Missouri for my job.

Looking back, it was then that being gay stopped being the issue at the forefront of everything I did. Before and now, I’m the token gay friend of all the straight people I hang out with. My homosexuality is often a topic of conversation in a way that reveals it as my distinguishing characteristic in their minds. I’m always on guard for how my speech or actions might influence their perception of the entire gay community.

But when I was with those guys, I could just be myself. I could talk about my love of show tunes without worrying about seeming faggy. I could gush about how much I enjoyed the taste of food, appreciated fine art, or would kill to be able to pull off wearing that certain shirt I saw at The Gap. I could comment on how hot some guy looked without feeling like that was an improper topic of conversation that marked me as some kind of sexual deviant.

Anyway, I miss it.

And I can’t help but feel that I’m missing out on how rich and full my life could be if I lived in a place where I could have a circle of gay friends that I shared common interests with. But instead, I signed up to work for another year at this amazing conservative school in the middle of nowhere. There’s quite a bit of self-defeating behavior going on in my life that I really need to try to work out this summer, if only I could force myself to take time out during the day to pick up the phone and try to make an appointment with the counselor in town I was referred to.

The point of this entry though is: I read a lot of weblog/journals written by gay men. Sometimes I write comments on their pages (not often enough). Sometimes I email them (not often enough). Sometimes I hear back from them. The tenuous connections that I make with these men (most of which are a product of my imagination as I read their sites) is what has been helping me to get through the day recently.

Some of them write about their incredible gay urban adventures, which I’m sure they take for granted. Some of them write about going through the same experiences as me in their own rural wastelands. But they all make up a cross section of gay life that makes me feel like I’m not so alone. It makes me feel okay about being gay.

3 responses so far (Respond)

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i really enjoyed reading this post. i think i do take my “gay” life for granted, living in san francisco and not having a single straight friend (not by choice, just not many of them around).
i can’t imagine living any other way.

vic | 4 May 2001
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You know, I was thinking about this very same subject when I read your post. The catalyst for me, believe it or not, was listening to the album of RENT for the first time in ages. As much as I may dislike bits of the show, it always makes me cry, and I realize it’s because of the deep, interconnected relationships that form among this diverse group of friends. Every other stage of my life before now, that’s how I’ve existed – as part of a pack, a group, a circle. Now, I have plenty of friends, but they don’t know each other. It’s stressful for me to try to see EVERYONE when I need to see them separately (or in small groups), and there’s also something missing… in a way, our strange little internet community fills that hole, because we do care about each other, watch over each other, gossip about each other… all the good and bad that comes from having community. Hooray for us.

dlevy | 4 May 2001
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Beautiful entry, sweetie!

Hugs
QS

Queerscribe | 6 May 2001