History, Part 4 of 8
Now I was a gay kid on a mission ;-). I started going to Quaker meetings that were only meant to find ways to keep gay kids from suicide. I stopped looking for a partner, and started going to the youth group hoping to fix this pervasive looming problem with gay sociology. That’s not egotistical, right? :-)
Didn’t work out too well. I was already getting guff for being “straight acting”. I couldn’t muster a lisp, and it took constant vigilance to keep a wrist limp. Ironically, my innate mannerisms caused some to discriminate :-). Those familiar with bigotry can be too quick to take it up (and can’t say I never have).
Anyway, once I started advocating abstinence until lifelong monogamy, I made a good number of enemies. Being anti-sex, in any way, can come across as being anti-homosexual, especially to those gay kids who’ve bought into their culture’s bias against homosexuality as being only about sex, and have treated it as though it was an addiction to sex.
I was about to give up the Stonewall Center for the Quakers, but it was friends and family night there and my parents wanted to go and I wanted them to speak (they’d be 1 of 2 sets of parents there, out of about 60 greatly dejected kids). One of my close friends came with us as well.
There, that night, a very handsome stranger caught my eye. I couldn’t pay attention to much but him at first until I realized he must be someone’s straight friend. I put him out of my mind and went on with the meeting.
But he wasn’t anyone’s straight friend. He had just heard of the youth group that morning. He was another gay man on the verge of doing something drastic, and he’d come to the Stonewall Center as a last resort. He was back from his mission, had just broke off an engagement, his father was an LDS Bishop, and he was gay.
Turns out he noticed me too, but thought I was the straight friend, and my friend was the gay child of my parents. Anyway, we, two gay men at a group for gays, were immediately attracted to each other but both sure the other was as straight as an arrow :-).
Thank goodness he figured it out. Fortunately, my mom had mentioned my high school, which it just so happened his cousin had attended also. He found my last name in her yearbook, and called through all those sharing it in the Salt Lake valley (I was flattered :-)). He finally reached and talked to my mom, actually, for about an hour.
Once I got home, she wouldn’t stop talking about this kid, that “straight” guy (to this day she very proudly tells everyone she brought us together). I hesitated a couple hours, and called him back. Once I got a feel for his wonderful personality, I, in one of the rare impulsive acts of my life, invited him out.
I told myself I was simply trying to reach him before my perceived gay menace did. But I think I knew even then, if anything was meant to be, this was it.
And it was. We hit it right off. Our morals matched, and personalities, though very different, clearly complimented each other. We’ve never been separated since, and never have we been with anyone else, and I dare say we never will. It was love at second sight :-).
That was about 14 years ago, and each day makes me more and more grateful for that night, the night that led to our union and our family, to everything on which happiness hangs. Not many couples are as fortunate as we’ve been in being able to build what we’ve built, gay or straight, and I feel that blessing keenly each day I return home from work.