Saturday, August 3, 2013

Out of the Closet

I'm 72. Have been married twice. Two children. 50 years of pretty satisfactory hetero sex. But there's always been something left out--something awakened with news a few months ago of the death of a friend I knew from early childhood. Saw again ten years ago after many years apart (seems not that long ago) in a reunion for his 60's birthday. The news of his death was a blow I could not have anticipated... and woke in me a realization that, not only did I love him... I was in love. We never had sex. The usual early adolescent masturbation sessions... but had we, had he been receptive, I think my whole life might have taken a different turn.
I did have sex with boys... 11 or 12, 13.  years old. Never fully consummated. I wanted. They didn't. This was the early 50's. A different world.
I live in a sort of 'commune' --as sexually diverse as imaginable. Twelve to 20 people living in an old warehouse. So I've listened to people tell their stories... from any orientation you can pin a label on. I know, there are those who KNOW, without doubt or question--one way. Boys who always liked boys. Girls who always liked girls. I was more on the cusp. I was attracted to women, maybe more than I would have been in a world that didn't expect that of me, and driven, I suspect, in no small part by a kind of romantic displacement, but it wasn't false. I wasn't in a closet—not that I knew of.
But those early adolescent experiments, and that I was... secretly, even from myself, in love... profoundly in love with a boy... this never left me.
An activist. An artist. I've started my life over, many times now... like, all my life. And living in a family of wonderfully crazy queer trans radical fairies...and open, accepting straight housemates... made this ever so much easier.
Since hearing of the death of my friend... my never would be lover... my erotic fantasy life has been, obsessively, and persistently homo eroti... oh fuck that. About men. Penises. Touch. Affection--the kind that sex releases and makes possible by erasing the inhibitions. Other than those pre-pubescent cock sucking not quite to finish sessions...I'm a gay virgin. No, I am NOT 'bi-curious' or any of those awful (to me) labels. I want. I desire. Though it only ever live in my fantasy--if the chemistry were right, the person compatible, I so so want this. Again, yes, for the sex. Always for the sex... but for the affection, the touch... all that is made possible... by sex.
I've told people where I live. I left revealing messages on FB. I'm not ashamed or in any way inclined to hide...though it makes me anxious. I mean, like anyone. I want to be accepted. I fear rejection. (Oh, you're not REALLY gay! You haven't experienced the rejection, the... )... and I haven't. I don't want to claim the victimization. I just want the company. And even if I don't find it. I want to be open. Ecorche vif... skinned, if that's what it takes. Look at me. This is what I am. What I have become.
Has anyone at close to my age, gone though this? I’m sure they have. I can’t be unique in this.
Oh... after a late night confession in our kitchen, someone wrote on the chalk board: "Who is to say that you can't come out to your slut phase at 70!" I almost broke into tears...
postscript… two days later, I didn’t wake up cursing myself, my gut in knots from anxiety. I am at peace. Though it sounds strange, to say, I’m gay. I’m queer. It doesn’t feel strange. It feels right.

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