Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gay Vulnerability

Random Anecdote: Brigham Young University hosted a dance tonight to help new students become acquainted one with another. There was a partner dance competition, and perhaps the most progressive (liberal) of all of BYU's male students, a guy named Ben, sought me out as his temporary partner. We danced, I dipped him, and he ended up winning with his girl partner (in the name of decency, of course). It was hilarious, miraculous, and downright blasphemous, so naturally I loved it. If only BYU knew what a commitment it made when it sent me my letter of acceptance. :)

Real Blog: A phenomenon has been occurring with increasing frequency in my life, and my beloved sister finally helped me to pinpoint it. I can only hope that identification is the first step to overcoming, for I often believe that I would be better without it.

When I interact with gay men who are aware of my own homosexuality, I commonly feel a myriad of emotions not typically associated with "hanging out." These range anywhere from feeling a heightened happiness or excitement to an utter confusion or continual anxiety. I leave these social sessions with feelings of ecstasy coupled with what could be termed an anxiety. Unfortunately, I did not know why this was; no amount of self-directed psychotherapy brought me to a conclusion.

The topic must have arisen randomly in conversation, and my incredible sister helped me pinpoint the issue. She explained to me how when I am with this crowd, my deepest, formerly darkest secret is completely on the table for all of these other men to accept or reject. She showed me how, in my social life, it is the pinnacle of vulnerability. I place my concealed sexuality and all of its appendages, facets, trials, etc. in the public (socially speaking) every time I associate with my gay friends.

To exacerbate the situation, my "deepest secret" directly relates to my acceptance or rejection by men. To illustrate, let me use an example: if someone's greatest secret was their love of apples, and they met with other people who loved apples, it would be a vulnerable situation but not anything exorbitantly so. However, if someone whose greatest secret was their love of apples met with a bunch of other apples (who also had a secret love of apples), things would be tricky. That is the plight of a gay man who associates with other gay men. The secrets, and thus the intimacy, are extremely open, and a part of the secret itself is whether or not the other people with the secret accept or reject you. That was a perplexing sentence, but I hope that I have left the reader in a position to understand what I'm saying at least on a basic level.

Does anyone else experience this phenomenon? Or should I not have posted this unique problem and kept it a deep secret? :)

7 comments:

AttemptingthePath said...

I have to admit that you lost me completely with the awkward fruit analogy.

Kengo Biddles said...

I think it's something we all experience, at some level, at some point. So you're not alone, and most of all, you're not weird.

Well, at least for that. ;)

isakson said...

I've experienced what you are talking about...it is a weird phenomenon. It probably has something to do with finding somebody who can finally understand (at least partially) what you are going through. Its probably a relief after so many years of hiding it to yourself.

Also, there could also be some kind of attraction between you and the others which could cause the anxiety or rush. Who knows?

I also didn't get the fruit anology. Later man. Hopefully next time we see each other I wont cause you any anxiety! :)

Kengo Biddles said...

A second comment, based on a conversation I had the other day:

Could it be that part of you is just so relieved to find another gay person that some level of your brain says, "I must be in love with them, because they're like me!"

I know I've felt that on a couple of occasions.

Boo said...

It may well be like when I first admitted to my husband that I had "issues" (although completely unrelated to SSA), which was much easier to do considering he has "issues" too. It definitely gives you a feeling of vulnerability, but at the same time, you also want to keep up a "good image" so you don't "too bad," especially if you want to be "tough" for him. I don't know if that makes sense, but your entry did.

My husband feels the same way... I think it is also about the pain of letting someone get close to you with the risk of having them reject you. Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

I got the fruit analogy.
I miss you.
I totally can't relate at all.
I miss you.

October Rising said...

Your sister is one smart and insightful women! Lucky you!