I’m From Eureka, CA.

by R.M.

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

I was a fairly handsome guy when I was younger, and I’ve been on a million first dates, all but five of them with women. I’ve been on six second dates; two of them with women and four with men. I’ve been on two third dates; one chick and one dude. I married both of them; I spent 19 years with the chick and I’m still married to the dude. I went on my first date with a guy when I was 43, shortly after I realized I was gay. I didn’t want to date women anymore.

Why all these first dates and so few follow-ups? I ultimately figured out that I couldn’t bear to go on second or, God forbid, third dates with women, because then I would pretty much be expected to do something. At least to kiss them. I enjoyed going out to dinner with them and stuff, but I sure didn’t want to kiss them, much less venture further into base running. I convinced myself I was just shy, or maybe commitment averse, though I really knew I was neither. The gal I married was different. I loved her; she was really cool. I didn’t really want to kiss her either, but my extreme fondness for her allowed me to work through that and, occasionally, beyond.

Eventually that didn’t work out anymore as we both grew older and friction alone didn’t always get the job done. Finally, in a spasm of self-awareness, I realized I was gay and came home and announced it, all without having had so much as a conversation with another gay person, much less any physical contact. That was a risky move, but struck me as at least being honest. I was promptly thrown out of the home I had shared with my wife for almost two decades. I couldn’t really blame her.

With nothing much left to lose, and without the comfort of any further lies I could tell myself, I dated a couple of fellows. It turned out I did like kissing them, and I finally learned what all this talk about getting to second base or hitting a home run was really about. I liked that too. A few guys later, I stumbled across The One; a guy I love more than life itself and with whom I’ve shared almost 12 years. I know the conservative Christians maintain that I will burn in hell, but I personally believe that God wanted me to be with this man all along and had grown impatient with my audacity in denying that I was the person He had created.

Being gay can be difficult, even in a big urban liberal area like mine. But knowing who I am and living an open and honest life is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I wish I had known this twenty years earlier.

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