I’m From Detroit, MI.

by Greg M.

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

“Nah, I can’t be g*y…I just have to find the right woman…yeah, that’s it…”

If you say it to yourself enough times, you’ll believe it.

I was too afraid to face my truth, for fear that God would hate me, and the few friends that I worked hard to have would run away from me and shun me completely. If they shunned me for social reasons like my opinions on things, good riddance. I know who I am, I stand for what I believe in, so, later for them! However, I could NOT have them know my biggest secret. It would devastate them beyond belief. I even went toe-to-toe electronically with other gays letting them know that I wasn’t afraid of them, yet, afraid to admit that I was one of them. Weird, eh?

Added to that, whenever I as a young black kid saw gay people, they were largely effeminate. I never saw gay men who were masculine and liked men, so I felt alone.

The culture of Rap is very homophobic. Even as I type this, feeling more out that I have ever been, but not completely, I’m still not ready to hear an openly “Gay Rapper.” I certainly wanted no part of a gay rap movement either, because my sexuality isn’t the first thing I want people to know about me. It’s private and personal. To me, my sexuality is and was always something that dealt with who I was having sex with or in a relationship with — why does everybody need to know about that? Rap was always entertainment to me. I didn’t really believe the stories that rappers told in their songs, I just applauded their ability to tell lies very well; something that I was good at doing myself, but chose not to — except for this one glaring issue.

For years, I lived a double life online, fearing that the two worlds would clash horribly if anyone from one world met another. After years of being a silent member of the gay community, I can’t honestly say that I’m an out, loud and proud member now. I am however more open-minded to others who are living their truth, no matter what it may be.

It wasn’t until after I released my first album that I finally dealt with my sexuality. Having hid behind my music and first career choice all through my 20’s, aside from one unsuccessful experience at an after-hours club, I had never been with a woman. I was too afraid to get them involved in my mess of a life. I had also never been involved with a man, because I was too afraid of being caught by someone I knew. If I was out and about on a date, what if some friend or family member saw me? What would they think? I was also (and still am) uncomfortable with the main act that most gay men do, but I couldn’t get past that idea of actually being with a man. I got more feelings from seeing male physical features, and women simply did nothing for me. I mean, I wasn’t really attracted at all. I felt like I could be their friends, but sexually? I just wasn’t interested.

At the age of 33, I finally started online communication with other gays in an attempt to understand myself. Why did I wait so long? I was afraid. Plain and simple. What made me finally attempt to resolve this? The increasing loneliness and desire to have someone in my life, romantically — someone to share life with.

After my first experience with a man that same year, I started to deal with it. I talked to God about it through prayer. I expressed the desires of my heart. At that point, I had started to distance myself from regular church service because I was feeling disconnected from it for different reasons. I still had a strong connection to God through the help of my pastor who always taught that knowing God “is about relationship — not religion.” I was okay with that, but I still felt unresolved in my sexuality, and I had questions: Why did the experience I had feel right if gay is wrong? Why don’t I feel this way about a woman?

To anyone that ever says to me that God isn’t real, I offer up my life as an example. Only God could place the people and objects in my life that have been there to see me through this issue of my life. I don’t believe in happenstance. I don’t believe that God makes mistakes either. Some things just are, and it’s up to us to accept them.

The movie “Milk”, the documentary on the life of Harvey Milk, “For The Bible Tells Me So”, and the podcasts and columns of Dan Savage are all things that changed my life and perspective. I never felt like any of these things were evil, or of malicious intent. For the first time in my life, I was seeing gays who lived past the sexual aspect. I believe that God put these things in my path to show me that I wasn’t alone.

So what’s changed now? Well, at 35, while reorganizing my life educationally, I’m out to my mother and sister and a few close friends. I have indeed resolved to continue to be private about my sexuality, but if asked, I won’t lie about it, so I guess I’ll be “coming out” for a while. I feel closer to God because I’m living my truth now. I’m not lying about who I am, and if this very story causes some questions to come my way, they’ll be answered…truthfully.

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