Hi. I am Brian and I’m from Lexington, Kentucky.
So kind of a very quiet, shy kid from a mid-sized town, decided that I really wanted to live in New York City. And I had a passion for education so I decided to join a teaching corp in New York City to kinda, like, transform my life. So I packed up, moved to New York City.
And in that time, I was in a fraternity and I was moving into at Saint John’s University and someone stopped me and saw my Greek letters. And it was this young female. She’s like, “Oh, I’m in your sister sorority. You know, let’s try to connect!” Because there was about five hundred of us training in Queens. So I was like, we’ll never see her – I’ll never see her. But then, like, randomly, I kept bumping into her. So we’re like, let’s be friends.
So through our time training, we became closer and closer and then you know, we’re living in Queens, we’re trying to find apartments in Manhattan. So, you know, being 22 years old, like, we’re out trying to party, trying to, like, find places to live. So we’re starting to get to know each other a lot. Throughout our time, you know, we’re teaching, we’re becoming really good friends, you know, moving in and out of different apartments, so, like, you know, heavy bags going up 4 flights of stairs, and, you know, hot summers on the train, and you know, drunken nights, you know, in the taxis. So kind of all those things together really built up our friendship in such a way that I knew that was gonna be someone who I was going to be friends with for a lifetime.
And then I also noticed for myself that I had so many queer people around me that I was like, hm, maybe start to think a little bit about myself. And I’m like, well, all these friends keep having these one-on-one conversations with me about coming out and I had never really thought about myself and my own sexuality other than being with women.
So one of my friends invited me out to this open bar and I saw one of our mutual friends, who – I went up to him and I was trying to talk to him and say, “Oh, you know, a mutual friend was telling me about like, you know, you’re gay.” And I was, like, trying to be, like, cool about it. So one thing led to another. There were some alcohol involved. That person ended up being my first boyfriend.
So I kind of kept it to myself because most people didn’t know my background or had any suspicions that I might be exploring my sexuality. But I’ve really felt bad about not telling my friend because we were so close. And through that time, I realized that I think that her roommate and her are together. So it made me think about a time we were going out to a music festival and we’re on the train and her and her roommate begin arguing. And I was like, this doesn’t feel like just a roommate argument. It feels like a lover’s quarrel. And I was like, hmm, I was like, okay, I’m not gonna question it because feelings are very high right now. So we wound to going to the concert. Like, we kind of, like, didn’t speak of it.
So my birthday was coming up and I invited a big group of friends. I think it was my 26th birthday. You know, we have a little bit more money now, so I, like, had rented this, like, rickety basement Lower East Side bar with the couch. And I decided, like, this is the opportunity that I want to be transparent and honest with my best friend and also just challenge myself to be just more honest and transparent, too.
And so we kind of we go there, we get there, I’m a little bit nervous because the person I was dating was going to be there. So I just, like, pulled her aside, sat her on the couch and I said, “Okay, so I have something to tell you and I have kind of a request, too.” I said, “Well, my boyfriend’s here that I want you to meet. Her eyes got really big. She’s like, ‘Excuse me, what? “Yes, so my boyfriend’s here and I’d also like to be introduced to your girlfriend.”
We both kind of, like, paused and embraced and was like, whoa, this is like really monumental. Because it’s the first time I’ve ever come out to anyone. No one’s kind of known what I’ve been going through and she’s like, “I thought so but I didn’t wanna ask and I didn’t want to hide it from you either.” So it was really kind of cool opportunity to, like, for us to kind of share this, like, really intimate moment. It was such a relief for both of us because I think she’d also been kind of struggling with how to approach this kind of new lifestyle that she was exploring. So I think for both of us, we both had this kind of sigh of relief and then like, we just hugged, it was just like, whew.
After that moment, we kind of were like, wow, so we are in the queer space together in New York City. So let’s explore. So a part of us being able to, like, come out and tell each other stories, so we, like, start going to the different, like lesbian bars and gay bars and, like, really experience New York City in a different way that we had never done before.
After 15 years from that date, you know, still one of my closest friends. I think I’ve met every one of her girlfriends. I was like, before I will allow her to continue dating, I’m like, they have to meet me first. And vice versa. She’s seen, you know, the ups and downs of all of my relationships. And that’s like my confidante when it comes to just seeing our growth together and being able to really think about someone who knows you the insides and outsides. So, you know, kind of in terms of relationships, we’re like, that’s the person I go to be like, Am I trippin’? No, I’m not trippin’. Okay. Great.
You know, when I think about my friends and I think about – I don’t really have acquaintances, I have people who I consider to be really close, intimate friends. And it was really because of when I was able to come out because I was like, wow, people will love you regardless of anything. So I think it’s really transformed me as a person. One, to be just really open. And two, not to be fearful of what I think other people may think because I think that’s the hardest thing with being a person that’s dealing with kind of any kind of queer issue is that we built up this kind of like nasty monster in our mind, when I think more times people are actually going to be more accepting. And if they’re not, those aren’t people we need in our lives. You know, whether it be, you know, close friends or family. I think family is how you define it and a lot of my family in New York are people who I’ve grown up with and people who love me no matter what.