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    Jun 23, 2008 10:24 AM GMT
    I don't know where to begin.
    I have my heart on my sleeve and a mask on my face

    My high school graduation was one of the happiest days of my life. To other people the day had impact, but the depth of their experience was a puddle compared to my ocean. It was the end of a prison sentence.

    Being in the closet is like being locked in a jail cell, while having the keys to your freedom. I can look out my barred window and see happy straight people engaging in public displays of affection I could only dream of having. I'm still stuck in the world of never been kissed and accidental electric touches.

    When I went to prom this year, with a group of friends of course, I saw a couple. Two guys completley absorbed in eachother's gaze. I can't tell you how much I envied them, how I wish I had their courage, how completely empty I felt after seeing them. I've become infatuated time and time again with best friends, relationships that for the most part ended because my secret pain destroyed them. I've had crushes so intense they hurt. I often ask myself why they hate us so much, why I have to live in fear. My heart is as heavy as a stone and only I know about it.

    One person knows I'm gay. My best friend since I was three. I'm comfortable with her but reluctant to express myself because I know she can't understand how hard it is. I'm rooming with her for college.

    Yesterday night my friend came over, well call him J. J and I were best friends freshman year, I'll never forget the night on his roof when he told me I was his best friend. I was determined to make the friendship work but my jealousy ended up corrupting it. He was in a bad relationship and ended up cheating on his girlfriend and losing his virginity because of a girl I introduced him to, the night I introduced them. He would tell me about his hook-ups; I've never felt so invisible. I cared for him so much I didn't know if I could even stand to be around him. It got so bad I almost came out to him, I'm glad I didn't, it wouldn't have been the right time.

    I helped him through his depression and called his house when he called me telling me he overdosed on sleeping pills. His mom thanked me for saving his life.

    Sophmore year we had a fallout, he pushed me away, feeling betrayed because I exposed his dangerous sadness to his family and because I had become so hard to deal with. I can understand, and I needed the seperation.

    Anyway, J came over last night. His visits are infrequent but we did what we always do, smoke, wrestle, watch tv. He was sitting at my computer chair and I told him to move out of the way so I could type something. He said no so I had to reach over and grab the mouse. At first I thought he was smelling me, probably just my agonized hopeful mind twisting my perceptions, and then he bit me. He bit the back of my arm. I know it was out of affection, and as appreciated as it made me feel it made me feel equally as lonley. That bite was venomous, and I spent the night cuddled close to faceless pillows wishing I had someone. Dammit dosn't he know he's only making life harder for me? haha

    Soon I'll leave for college. I can't wait. The next time everyone sees me I want them to be amazed at how much I've changed. I want my ambition to take me places where bigotry and ignorance wont be able to harm me. Part of me is tempted not to return, just tell everyone they'll never see me again.

    And the weirdest thing is, people don't know. I have a magnetic personallity but I'm not attracting the attention I want, maybe I'm not worth it (is it any wonder my self esteem is so fragile?), or maybe everyone is just as scared as I am. People think I'm weird and some rationalize that the reason why I don't date or have a girlfriend is because I haven't found the right person, which is completley true and false.

    I've discovered that being gay is filled pradoxes.

    I havn't found the right person. The solitude has made me into a hopeless romantic. I'm not at all into empty hookups, after such a long time waiting I want it to be right. I'm sure some people suspect I'm gay, hell, I could be totally transparent and not even know it. But even if they have their suspicions they still don't have me figured out. All those times they've seen me smile my joy has only been a shadow of what it could be if I was living without my mask.

    I'm preaching to the choir here. Thank you if you actually read this whole thing, especially if you responded. I often read the articles on RealJock and become sad and giddy knowing that I have to wait but what's waiting for me. I will contiune to read and hope.

    Maybe one day we'll be able to get married and show those ungreatful straight people how to handle love with the respect gained from adversity and deprevation. We'll show them how a heart can love after being steeled by pain.
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    Jun 23, 2008 11:53 AM GMT
    I havn't found the right person. The solitude has made me into a hopeless romantic. I'm not at all into empty hookups, after such a long time waiting I want it to be right.

    So true. Why is this so often the case? I'm only out to one person and that's very recently, and really, being closeted does make you a hopeless romantic. Weird. icon_razz.gif

    How old are you and why does your profile say 43 when you sound much much younger. icon_confused.gif *ahem* Are you a real person? icon_wink.gif

    You do have a flair for writing. Have you ever read gay fiction? Those helped me accept myself and get the courage to start planning my coming out. There are a lot out there, targeted especially for closeted teens. If you're interested just email me or something.
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    Jun 23, 2008 4:12 PM GMT
    Most of the youngers generations I've met and became friends with came out just when they hit college, being the reason is they have moved out their parents house, plus they have more freedom to do as they please without worrying about the impact it'll do. Of course, there are stories of people who never came out and became confined in their own misery of not knowing how to accept themselves -- I've read true stories of men over 40 who never came out and wish they did. You don't want to be one of them, do you?

    It took me a while to "accept" that I am a gay man too. Then I wondered what life would've been like if I never came out, not to everyone but to myself mostly and accepting that I AM who I am.

    If you can't accept yourself, then certainly no one else will. Least that's the lesson I learned.
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    Jun 23, 2008 4:34 PM GMT
    Continue to be brave and strong!! The post was heartfelt and I am at a loss for words, however life gets rougher, get easier, gets more fun and challenging; just do your best!!
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    Jun 23, 2008 4:54 PM GMT
    I agree with 1972Guy. Great post and great to hear from you.

    Something I try to keep in mind, when life feels too stressful, or depressing, is that I'd prefer it to be exciting and stressful and rollercoastery, than to be boring and dull.
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    Jun 23, 2008 5:21 PM GMT
    Just know that the hardest part of diving in is walking to the end of the board and staring into the pool, questioning the outcome of your leap.

    What you wrote is on the minds and hearts of millions at one point or another. But that does not make it any less difficult or personal for you. We all come to a point in our life where this struggle gets easier. But trust another will take its place - thus is being alive. I had to get out of my small town and be free myself. I was breaking out of my skin. It sounds like you have a similar situation.

    Be true to yourself. Take your time. Learn to lean on yourself and others, but be strong either way. It may not seem like it now, but the world is full of people who you will learn to love and trust. Your journey is all about finding those people. You have some good friends who can be your support... just not your crutch.

    As for finding that special person. I know you must feel like a hopeless romantic. I look back at the years when I was coming out and read my journal and chuckle at how romantic I felt. The one thing I learned is that I was basing my own happiness on finding someone to bring me happiness, rather than looking for it in myself. Find the person inside of you that you are in love with. Once all the pieces start to fit together, that fun electric personality will shine brighter to everyone. Love yourself and the world will see you for who you are - and trust me, love will come. You can't rush it or look for it.
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    Jun 23, 2008 5:33 PM GMT
    Not to sound completely unsensitive, but that sounds pretty basic for a lot of gay guys at your age. Being 16, 17, 18 is hard. Life is such a mystery to everyone at that age, when you toss in being gay and closeted it makes it 10 times worse.

    Don't let negative experiences of your past influence your future. Be happy with who you are and what you will become. Don't blame the ignorant, they don't know any better, they're ignorant! College was the best time of my life, 4 amazing years and I'm sure it will be great for you also.

    Also -- don't base your happiness on your relationship status. Having a boyfriend is a great perk in life but shouldn't be a defining characteristic!

    Good luck kiddo!