I’m Tirrell and I’m from Atlanta, Georgia.
Before moving to Georgia, I lived in Hawaii until I was 15. Growing up in Hawaii, it was different, it was a bit isolated, I didn’t have a lot of gay friends, I didn’t have any gay friends actually. I didn’t really know anybody who was gay but I knew that I was gay. I had a friend who I had known since probably 7th grade. We went through middle school into high school together and I definitely had a crush on him, I just never really, it was just like I really liked him, I didn’t know if he was gay, we never talked about it, I never even let that part of me really out. We were on dance teams together, I guess I should have known he was gay then, but, we were on dance teach together, we ran track, we did a lot of sports together so I was always sleeping over at his house, and there would be times that I would be over there spending the night wishing something would happen, anything, a kiss, just him telling me, like, you know, high school boy’s fantasy I guess.
I would say it was a couple weeks before I moved to Georgia, it was the summer after my sophomore year of high school and I stayed at his house just as a kind of a last hoorah. We still had not any real contact with another male. I definitely, I had encounters with girls and stuff like that, but I knew that wasn’t what I wanted, I knew that wasn’t how I was feeling. So I was staying at his house as a little goodbye, and that night was a little different. He was being a little weird, maybe it was just because I was leaving, I don’t know. We were always really close but there was this energy. And I remember that urge for like, “This is going to be the moment, something, I don’t know what’s going to happen but this is going to happen.”
So the whole night we’re eating pizza, watching TV, playing video games, normal stuff, and he brings up the idea of playing “Truth or Dare.” And of course I’m like, yes! I don’t know how I’m going to make this happen but something’s going to happen. We didn’t do a lot of “Truth”, there wasn’t a lot of “Truth”, there was like “Dares” and they started off really light, little things, I dare you to go outside in the middle of the night, take your pants off or something and run outside and run back in, easy things. More and more they started to get a little heavier, a little more intense to me.
“You have to sit here the whole time in just your boxer shorts.”
It was very…it started getting me riled up. I remember one of the last dares he said. He said, “I dare you to kiss me.”
And I was like, “Uhhhh…no.”
I chickened out completely. At that moment, I was like I don’t know what’s going to happen after that kiss, or is this a trick, or you know, is he feeling the same, does he even want this, so many things. So he was like, “Well, if you’re not going to do this dare, you have to do a counter dare, and the counter dare is going to be even worse.”
Basically, he was like, “You have to strip down and sit here and we’re going to play the rest of this game, or you can just kiss me and we’ll go and play video games after this.”
And I was like, “Okay, I’ll kiss you but I’m going to do it with my eyes closed.”
It felt like a good 10 minutes passed by before he leaned in and it was a really slow, just like a slow, soft kiss, and the biggest smile creeped on my face. And when I opened my eyes he just like, as goofy as he was he was just a goofy person, he stuck his tongue out and was like, “Okay, let’s go play ‘007’” or something, whatever the game was. And everything was normal after that. I was so terrified that it was going to happen and we weren’t going to be friends for some reason or he was going to want to out me, but it was just super normal and we were still friends.
After I left, I moved a couple weeks after that, we kept in touch for a little while but it just kind of faded out. I actually never, I didn’t have another male-on-male encounter until I was 18 after that, like not a kiss, nothing. He was my first kind of solid experience.