Saturday, January 28, 2006

It's very self-affirming to read stories about how others have dealt with coming out and how this absolute act of courage is being done at an ever-younger age. People born just a few years younger than me act like they were born in a different generation with respect to the societal acceptance of gays. And yet, it's still very difficult for me to acknowledge my sexuality in my world, which I'm sure I will think of as unique from these others.

But is there really a difference between "my world" and that of my homosexual peers? Every time I am with my new gay friends, it seems like a world away from that that I'm used to. I matured in very establishment institutions, Oxbridge and Ivy League universities and now work in another mainstream world, Wall Street. I like learning about men or women who built great businesses, people like Kay Graham, John Rockefeller Sr., Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. I admire entrepreneurial men, those who carve out their own worlds that are distinct from convention. And I especially admire those who do so whilst keeping their values intact, those values being integrity and rationality.

There is a debate between those homosexuals who wish to be "normal" and those who wish to flaunt their gayness. They disdain each other, one arguing for assimilation and the other for flaunting their gayness. I was probably in the "normal" camp before, as I could not relate to and in fact was repulsed by many aspects of gay life that I felt did nothing to help the cause of gay people. Now I don't think the answer is so simple as picking one camp over the other. Any answer should speak to the right for people to be themselves, and to be normal in order to assimilate into the mainstream or to flaunt one's gayness are likely to be symptoms of a deeper insecurity.
Going back to my world then. It isn't so much that I don't meet gay people who work in Wall Street or who have gone to Ivy League schools that leaves me feeling ambivalent. It is that when I meet them, I don't get the same sense from them as I do from meeting guys in my everyday affairs. It's a little difficult to describe, and I'm afraid my sparse talent for putting words to thoughts is going to distort or simplify what it is I'm trying to get across. The notion is a little like that of quality in "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance".

Does the quality of a person change when he is in different worlds? Or is it that I have yet to meet people who traverse both worlds with equal confidence? Why is it that no man that I've met in my gay world has excited in me the same package of emotions as when I meet certain people in the worlds that I grew up in, specifically those years as a student? I say package because I don't want to trivialize it to mere attraction. It is attraction that goes with a sense that I could build my life with this man. It is a sense that there is a future waiting for him and me to conquer. It is a feeling of mutual respect and a sense of possible reciprocity in feelings. I feel an attraction to him that is more natural than that I feel in the gay world.

Friday, January 27, 2006

When I took my baby steps out of the closet, I had hoped to find love quickly. Foolish romantic that I am, I dreamt of how everything common in life becomes uncommon and lives on forever in my mind when the one that I love is next to me. Love made its absence felt very strongly, despite my being in the closet and my lack of experience in matters of intimacy. It's not like a good book, where in order to know its value you have to read it. The desire for love is naturally felt, without need for nurture.

And although it's fairly recent that I've become open to dating, I am fearful that love will take its time to come my way. Places where people go to meet other people feel so contrived to me, and so difficult really for me to meet any meaningful person. These days I long for the time when I was back in college or grad school, when friends hung out or went to classes together, and where attraction was more natural and a relationship could develop more conducively.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Shakespeare's ode to love here is perfect in describing how love between any two people should not be prevented nor taught to be disdained. I have just started reading the sonnets, and was hoping to find one in which he writes about an ideal love, and so happily still, therefore, do I find one where he expresses his love for a young man.
Why is it that it's so hard to write about what I feel even though I know that my thoughts are brimming over to escape? Maybe it's because of all these built-in checks that seek to ensure that what one says is appropriate for the image that one wants others to see. I hope that this exercise in writing will help me get over these qualms because I want to write about things that are rather uncool in today's cynical and superficial world. I want to write about what happiness means to me, and to write about the difficulties in pursuit of that happiness.