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Beyond the Pearl Anniversary


Entry 09/13/2012 07:38:44 AM – Mentat 664

Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some perfectly uninteresting event.” – Oscar Wilde

Nothing like waking up with a start exactly 1 minute before when my alarm typically goes off in the morning. Then, there was this wonderfully annoying feeling that came immediately after my eyes suddenly popped open and I realized that this is the third day that this has happened: me waking up exactly 1 minute before when the alarm was supposed to go off. After that, it was the typical stampede of conscious thoughts that I had tidily put away just prior to passing out, like boxes stuffed into an overfull closet and upon opening the door, they all come falling down on top of you. Getting up with a groan and more than a fair share of joint cracking and popping, the thought that bubbled up to the top of the pile was:

Today is my 33rd anniversary of coming out of the closet.

Nothing like feeling infinitely older in an instant, realizing the fact that I’ve been out of the closet longer than most of the kids I annoy the piss out of online have been alive. And to throw salt on the wound, nothing like remembering in a moment how much things have changed (both in the world and with me) since that day when I was able to say “I am gay” and not feel regret, guilt, self-loathing and a dozen other feelings for being that much more different than my friends and peers than I was already. It wasn’t so much all the changes that had occurred that made me feel that much older. No sir, it was the fact that the moment took longer than a few seconds to flash through all that memory. I wasn’t sure if that was a sign of my getting older (that my brain is moving that much slower now than it did 33 years ago), the fact that that much has happened since, or a combination of the two. In any case… It’s a lot of time.

Truth be told, I don’t exactly remember the precise day or hour of when this had happened. I remember vaguely that I was in junior high school at the time (Woonsocket Catholic Regional, now closed). I remember I was in 9th grade when it happened. I remember it was the year after I had “dated” this girl — Donna L — who was more tomboyish than I ever could be… No we never kissed, but I remember going through the motions about the whole “seeing each other”, a bit of holding hands. But that was about it. She was across town and the walk for me was too long and I didn’t like walking as much then as I do now (particularly when you consider that for 2 years I was walking 4 miles a day to and from school).

What I do remember is that I was able to look into the humungous mirror in the bathroom of my step-father’s house and say aloud while everyone was out of the house, “I am gay” and not feel as much self-loathing about it as I had done in the years prior when I realized how different I was.

The actual date was added a year later, after I had kissed Eric when I was in high school. Looking at the calendar — it was a Saturday. Based on what I remember of the time back then in high school, it was actually September 9th that I had kissed him. That was the day that the Science Club used to meet, of which turned into Dungeons & Dragons club because the science teacher that used to run the after-school club couldn’t always dedicate time to running it. That and there were more nerds and geeks of Fantasy & Sci-Fi at the club than actual Science Geeks.

So what happened that Saturday instead? Well… Heh… Let me post a song that will better explain what happened that day… and that will be all that I have to say about that afternoon (and evening). *smirking*

It was a year after that, that I went to my first gay club — called the Night Affair back then (which would later become the No Name). I remember that it was New Year’s Eve. I remember dressing up like a complete dork. I remember the place had a small dance floor and a fogmachine. But what I remember most was watching men dancing with men, drag queens doing performances, and feeling completely out of place being only 17 at the time (with the drinking age up at 21 at the time). No, I didn’t have a fake ID, at this particular night club, if you didn’t have your ID you had to sign some disclosure that it was my responsibility to proving I was 21 and of age to be there and not the night club’s (this had long since changed, but this was the early 80s and a different time before Mommy-Government came into full effect).

Sitting here now, I recall even then I was out of place there. And the years of my going out to night clubs, gay bars and pubs, it really didn’t change all that much. While I might have come to realize and accept that I would never ever have children (though there have been and still are some moments of my finding myself thinking of either adopting or spawning my own… In spite of the curse my mother warned me about), I found myself just not feeling at all right being there. Casual sex has never truly appealed to me, particularly given my history of trying it on more than one occasion ending in complete disaster. But at that time, it was the only way that I could meet other queerfolk and hope to actually date.

I’m really glad that this has changed since though. It took efforts in the late 80s, coupled with the dogged effort of the 90s and the 21st century where one can socialize and meet people. Sure the sexual tension has always been (and will always be) there, but it’s not like the meat market approach one catches when at a gay bar or night club. Not to mention you don’t have to deal with the over-loud music blaring from the DJ trying to get people to dance and drink.

Still though… In spite of the fact that I’ve witnessed so much change… From queerfolk trying to prove just how different they are, to the slow transformation of queerfolk trying to keep up with the Joneses… There’s still so much more that needs to be done and still needs to happen before there’s full equality. Unfortunately though, the realist that I am doesn’t and can’t believe it’s going to happen in my lifetime. From what I’ve seen of the changes in the last decade, I sometimes feel as though we’re as a “community” are going backwards instead of forwards. The most notable (and at the top of my list of “you’re doing it wrong” has got to be the Day of Silence crap that PFLAG and other organizations have organized. And while I’ve said more than my fair share on this, I’m going to harp only on the fact that it fits in the “you’re doing it wrong” category… Well that and my other favorite saying as of late being, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions…”

In the end though I think I’m going to need to leave it to the later generations to work out and fix. While I’m still of the right age to be either an activist or a lobbyist, I’ve gotten to the point in mid-life where the siren song of politics sounds more like fingernails on a chalkboard and not music whatsoever. Not to mention that I have less patience for the political doublespeak dance too many politicians pull in this day and age. Funny that given that most politicians are my age and older. Heh, makes me wonder where I went wrong there… If only for a moment.

Not too much else to say about this at the moment. I’m glad to be middle aged and the fact that my being out of the closet has been as long as it’s been. For a sort of celebration tonight, I’m going to spend time at the parentals’ place for dinner… Talk a little about the shows that are up and coming (and don’t watch) and perhaps retired when it gets cooler to annoying the kids in either DCUO or STO; depending on where my mood is.

Until the next time.

  1. Trent
    10/03/2012 at 1:22 am

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    • 10/03/2012 at 12:47 pm

      It’s all dependent on what the content of your blog is going to be. For me, it’s a copy of my journal that I’ve been writing since I was 17. Once you figure out what your theme is going to be, there’s plenty of source material out there to help you kick start it.

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