Elbow: Possible Identy Distraction

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Possible Identy Distraction

The position I find myself in is one that very few people can relate to. For most gay Mormon men the desire to marry a woman is very strong and the fact that I’ve done that sets me apart from most of the gay men that I come in contact with. Being divorced is something that I can completely hide from my identity as I come in contact with various people. They either assume I’m gay and or notice that because I don’t have a wedding ring on that I’m single. And then I could be very honest and when they ask if I have a boyfriend or a girlfriend then I can say “I was married and now I’m not” and then they assume I’m straight and that’s ok, but then again it doesn’t feel honest to me to let then assume I’m straight because I’ve done that my whole life and I really don’t like how it feels. I want people to know that I’m gay and that I’m proud of who I am and feel whole and complete in every way.

The more people I meet it becomes apparent that they assume so many different things than what is actually the truth. Most people assume I’m straight, or at least they as if I have a girlfriend which is probably the polite thing to do, so I can’t tell if they think I’m straight or just don’t want to feel embarrassed if they were to ask if I was gay and I got offended. Either way it’s not important. They can assume what they want but it is very interesting to me to see what people project onto me.

There is this kid at work who is gay and is in his early twenties and when he first met me he asked if I had a girlfriend and I told him thanks for thinking I was straight but no I didn’t. I then let him know that I was gay, but I felt really comfortable with him considering that he is obviously gay and I felt he had a sincere interest in getting to know me. He’s now constantly asking me questions about gay relationships and about what he should do in the relationships that he is forming or with guys he is dating and I think it’s so funny because I have virtually no experience in the world of gay relationships but he’s assuming that I have a lot of ‘street cred’ in the gay world because I’m 28 and out.

And then there’s the part of me that thinks it would be interesting to tell him about my life and how I’m getting a divorce from my wife of 3 years. But there’s more to me than that, and there’s more to me than my sexuality and there’s more to me than being gay.

I feel like I’m starting to understand what it means to be misunderstood. I feel like people like me and they like be for all the right and true reasons, but at the same time it feels like the older I get the more I know how valuable my true friends are because they’ve been with me from the beginning and they know me and they are continuing to get to know me as opposed to people who feel like they have me cornered.

I appreciate the openness and honesty of my peers and friends respect the fact that I am fluid and that I have a journey to continue on, and they realize that I am more than many parts that make me whole, but I’m also the possibility of my many options and opportunities.


Blogger playasinmar said...

For better or worse we are what those around us percieve us to be.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

... or what we allow others to perceive us to be... we have some say in that perception game.

Elbow, I'm glad you're still kickin' and I hope you count me as your friend even though I haven't known you from the beginning. I think about you a lot and pray for you to be well...

1:38 PM  

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