It was my second year of college, and I had fallen hard for my fraternity brother. By this time, everyone at school knew I was gay and it wasn’t an issue. Sure there were some guys that I smacked on a fairly regular basis because they couldn’t keep the f-word out of their mouths (the three lettered one), but it was mostly great. I could be myself and nobody really cared one way or the other. My fraternity brother and I had gotten close while we were rushing…so close he had even confided in me that he was attracted to men. When he told me this, I told him that I had always had a crush on him. His reaction was probably something I should have seen coming (he had told me about all the cute, athletic guys he had gotten with, and I certainly didn’t measure up…well, it would probably be more accurate to say that I didn’t measure down to their perfect waistlines.) He didn’t like it. It was okay for us to like guys, but I wasn’t allowed to like him. It was the first time I had ever told anyone that I liked him, and this was not a helpful experience.
He commented about how it could never work between us. He was never going to act on it again (lie–not two weeks after this he hooked up with another one of our brothers), he didn’t want to do anything with a brother (again, lie), I wasn’t his type (true, but he wasn’t so gentle with telling me my shortcomings) and plenty more to get his point across. I’m proud to say that I held it together long enough to get back to my dorm room before I broke down. I cried about everything: him, myself, the stress of school, not being able to talk to anyone…everything.
That’s when I decided I needed to talk to someone. I grabbed my cell and left the building. I called my older brother. He and I hadn’t seen each other in a while, so he was obviously confused when he saw my number and even more confused when he answered to a sobbing sibling. I told him that I wasn’t feeling well at all and that something bad had happened. He assumed I had been in an accident of some sort. I told him it wasn’t anything like that, and that I had a huge secret that I had to tell him. I told him that I was gay, and that a boy had broken my heart. I’ll never forget his reaction. He told me that the guy must be an idiot, and he was obviously not worth my time. When I asked him if he was surprised that I was gay, he responded:
“Dude, you sang ‘Fame’ in your 6th grade talent show…I had a clue.”