Dealing with this sexuality, comes in waves. There are moments when I'm feeling proud. While there are other times, when I am ashamed.
I grew up in an urban area. I always felt I was different. Throughout my whole life I have had leadership positions in numerous groups. From President of Student Government to State Youth Advocate of the Year. My life's goal was to be happy and make a difference in this world. I had my first sexual experience with a man at the age of 15. I didn't think anything of it. Until the end of my freshman year, my roommate started a relationship with a girl. We had a true friendship, but I liked him in a different way.
Blackplanet.com helped me deal with my sexuality issues. I developed two online relationship with men who were accomplished and "dl." They taught me how to accept my sexuality. They also informed me that there were many men that did get down that were successful and masculine. This reassured me that I wasn't the only one.
The summer of 2000, I learned a lot about Life. I developed a relationship with someone from the net. We didn't even meet and we were telling each other, "I love you." I thought with all my heart, I loved this dude. In the course of our three-month relationship, I was on cloud 9. Friends at home and school notice the difference. I spent many nights in my single room waiting for this dude to call me, cause I didn't have a cell. One day, I called his college door and someone answers the phone. The man told me to leave Danny alone and he was his boyfriend. I immediately sent him a note on bp, explaining how I felt. He quickly responded and told me it was true. I cried. Broken-hearted.
A couple months afterwards, we were best friends. Called each other everyday. Shared what our new experiences or new men in our life. He couldn't explain why he led me on. He told me he talked with many people from the net. We still had not met. I entered my sophomore year with four leadership positions and had to focus on school.During my sophomore year winter break, I returned home and went on my first date with a man. We went to Mars 2112 and to a movie. This also marks the first time I met anyone online. Before meeting him, I like him very much. We enjoyed a winter evening and I never called him again. I panic. I thought this was too much for me. That men should not go on date or have relationships. This is at the same time, that all I wanted was to hold a man and be held by a man. I felt bad that, but I kept it moving.
I chatted with many men from a cross the country. Young and old. Poor and rich. Lawyers and the unemployed. Greeks and high school drop outs. I realize that I wasn't the only one out there that lived this same life. I wasn't sexually active. I did absolutely nothing. Well, some phone fun, lol. And it was that moment on the Internet that I... forget it.
2001, a year that I began to accepted that fact I liked men. The company that I interned for gave me tickets to a concert. I invited one of my closest friends, Deborah. Afterwards, I drove her home and told her I had to tell her something. I could not say it, because I never said it aloud before. On a napkin I wrote, "bi" and she read it and asked what does this mean. And I gave her a look and she says, "I can't believe this, its ok with me. I still love you." She asked some detail questions, but I didn't respond. She was the first person I ever told and didn’t know how to react.
A month later, a college friend from a nearby school told me that he knew about me. This person, I always felt was messing around since freshman year. So, I told him I know he gets down. And our friendship became very close. He was my mentor/advisor. He knew everything that was going on in my life. Today, we aren't that close, but he is the sole person that I trust with all the negative things that I have gone through. Well, two weeks after our talked, he took me to my first get down club. We traveled over four hours to go to the Brooklyn cafe. On the line, I nearly cried and fainted. His boyfriend danced with me for a lil. I looked all over this club, and was like DAMN. All of these black and latino men. Masculine men. I felt relieved and insecure. It took me 16months to enter another get down club.This is getting kinda long.
So in 2002-2003 I met a couple of people. Had a few short-term relationships. Told no one, except the dl people that got down at school. Didn't do too much because I had many things going on with my organizations at school. I began to notice that my black men that held leadership positions at several schools nearby ALL WERE IN DA LIFE. Now I felt, it was ok to like men, just as long as no one str8 knew about it.
Since Bp, I have/had 4 strong friendship internet relationships. After four years of chatting, February of 2004, I met one of these men. We quickly became close friends. March, I had a break down in regards to my weight. I began to hit up the gym. I went to a get down club for the first time in 13 months. I enjoyed it. I never knew I was FAT. Seriously, I am very far from obese. I am attractive, but I did have a stomach. I started going more frequently.I began chatting with someone new, Walt in April. He was everything I wanted. We finally exchanged picks and we chatted less and less. When it came time to meet, he was always busy. I remember breaking down at the mall, and running out, because I was upset that he didn’t' like me because of my weight. I cried on the phone with a friend. Constantly asking him, "why?"
I'm a very determine person. I'm confident with many aspects of my life. But, when it comes to men, I don't know how to respond or feel. (at this time) After him, I spoke to my boy who took me to my first club. He told me you need to go out and meet people. If I chatted with someone from online, begin as friends. This was the best advice I could ever get.I started to lose weight.
Right now, I lost 54lbs and counting. I had a great summer. Had some flings. Promoted at work. Settled in my own place. Felt great about myself.
Keith Boykin has been featuring some of our young black educated men. A couple of weeks ago, he featured someone that I've chatted with online and on the phone. This person during his summer visit was supposed to stay with me. I freaked. I didn’t want an openly gay man to know me personally as a man who likes men.
When the McGreevy story hit, I totally freaked out. Stopped many relationships I have online and personally with people who knew about my sexuality. I have a couple of goals that I feel being openly gay can prevent me from obtaining them.
My family does not know about my sexuality. Nor do most of my close friends. So, I build a sector of my life with everything that dealt with my sexuality, which has spread in 2004 to every part of my life, including family and church.
I do not know what tomorrow brings, but the past has brought pain and joy. Today, I know about myself than every before. I have experience tremendous growth. Today, I am striving towards the man I ought to be.
But, I struggle. Struggle with the thoughts with being alone for the rest of my life. I struggle from the desire to be with a man for the rest of my life. I struggle to have a successful career in the public life while keeping my male relationships at home. I struggle with the thoughts of having kids that have my genes. I struggle because I am nervous when looking at the man in the mirror. I struggle because I am a single gay black man.