I grew up on a farm in Western Oklahoma. I am the fourth of five boys. I didn’t know I was different but I was treated different by family and at school. I described it back then as, “They treat me like I am a square peg in a round hole.” Sure I had an underwear fetish and dreamed of naked boys and couldn’t help but stare every time I saw a male with his shirt off, but I didn’t talk about it so I didn’t think anything was wrong when my brothers and my classmates didn’t talk about it either. Besides that, I will grow out of this, settle down, get married and have kids, the house and car payments just like everyone else. And that is what happened. I married a wonderful woman because I denied who I am to be accepted and belong to my family, except it didn’t work. She was happy that someone would marry her. My parents and I never talked about being gay. They saw me as a person who made a decision to go to hell. Our relationship continues to be very rocky.
I have two daughters, the little white house and a new red car with payments. I am living the American Dream except I am not happy. I want to be with a man so bad, I buy gay porn magazines and then feel guilty about it. I love my wife but I don’t want to have sex with her and yet I do have a healthy sex drive. I want a relationship with my boyhood family but they don’t want anything but a shallow relationship with me. I was laid off at work and my wife told me that our marriage is over. I found a job in the nearby city of Amarillo, Texas. I went to the adult bookstore the first night I was there and that behavior continued for several years. I never cheated on my wife with another man, just through porn, being distant, being sad. I met a few gay friends along the way and one Saturday night, a friend and I went to a gay bar. The walk from the parking lot into the gay bar was full of emotion for me; anyone could see me walking into this bar. It wasn’t like the bookstore which is outside of town and only people like me were there. The bar was boring at first but later on two guys got on the dance floor and danced, followed very shortly by other men and all of a sudden I felt like I was home, that I belonged here and these were my people. I am one of them. It was different for me to see gay men in a social setting rather than going to a small room and being promiscuous.
I was 43 years old when I went to the bar, which was 13 years ago. I use the Friday after Halloween as my coming out day. I regret that I waited so long, that I denied myself my own identity. Please don’t misunderstand; I love my daughters so much. It is bittersweet that I went through so much. I wanted my parents acceptance so much.
I enjoy being gay. I have had the talk with my ex-wife and daughters, but I see no point in talking about this with my mother. My dad died a few years ago. I feel a lot better about myself since I know who I am and accept who I am. In the middle of my coming out, I talked to a therapist. She asked me if God is comfortable with me being gay. I told her yes, God is more comfortable with this than I am. I have never spoken more honest words.