Learning To Be Gay
After coming out I had a real dilemma. I had never been around openly gay people for very long. I only had stereotypes and ideals to go on. My main vision of homosexuality was tv shows and family bigotry. It was very murky water for me.
I thought that because I wasn’t flamboyant or didnt sit crosslegged or limp my wrist or have a homosexual ‘accent’ that I wasn’t fully gay, or perhaps I just wasn’t a very good gay man. I thought that maybe I should go back in the closet and hide out there somemore until I figured it out.
Then came a man named “Daz”. He had a nickname that was short for “Dazzle”, kinda cliche, I know, but that was his name and it was kinda fitting. He was this gentle man, the same age as me and he had been out his whole life. When it came to being gay, no one knew how to do it better them him. So I became his unknowing protege. I watched how he interacted with other people who didnt talk to me. I watched how he did everything. He had this way about him that was sure and confident of his every step. I admired that so much. I was a hotheaded child in a man’s body and he wasn’t.
It’s kinda funny because that whole time I hung out with him, I thought to myself “so this is homosexuality?” I wasnt really sure what that meant to me. I guess I was expecting musical numbers to break out whenever I got happy and confetti and glitter to sprinkle the chow halls when two or more gathered together. To me homosexuality was outlandishness and prancing. (ok, ok, it still kinda is for me, I actually just want to learn to dance solely so that I can one day break out in a musical number, probably Grease or maybe something from Cats…”
Me and Daz were amazing friends, story is much different from my own and perhaps I can tell you about some other time. After he released it tore me apart, I kinda felt like I had to carry on his confidence and poise. So I did, and when I did I realized that I hadn’t learned to be gay, I had learned to be comfortable with myself and that there is no roadmap to being gay. There is no one way to act, there is no single path to homosexual happiness. He unknowingly taught me how to be happy with what’s inside. Perhaps even knowingly, his character bled over to me and all I wanted to do was to have the same poise and self-reliance that he had.
Now, all I want to do is provide that same building block to those who want it. Discovering myself was beautiful and very hard to do. I hope that I get to help someone feel better. There is no book of answers, it’s all about being comfortable with you, whoever that is, however that presents itself. Perhaps dance, or art, or flamboyance….whatever it is were beautiful and amazing people.
Love you all
Jeff Utnage 823469
Learning To Be Gay