As I previously wrote, coming out is an ongoing process. I think I’ve had some setbacks. I hadn’t returned to men’s nude yoga. I haven’t had another date with a man. I have thrown myself into my studies which is good. I also briefly had a job which was also good.
In all of that I didn’t address my needs, my desires, hungers, wants. I am still a human being. I still want to connect with someone. I am unique. I am an introvert that enjoys connecting. Something that’s been going on is that I think I haven’t been able really to believe that I am gay and that it was okay. This hasn’t been so much self-hate. Maybe a lack of self-acceptance? When you have spent as many years as I have wondering what it would be like to really be gay and not have anything to hide from. Now, I more or less have that opportunity right in front of me. Recently, I sort of have ignored that there was an open door and all I’ve had to do was turn the knob. How could I do that?
It started with me putting on a simple gay pride-themed paracord bracelet. I wore it out and about on errands one day. When that same day was over with, I didn’t want to take the bracelet off. I decided to keep wearing it. Not hiding who I was. Instead, I have been wearing it proudly “I am Gay.” I then decided to keep up the wearing of my pride. I went looking for more pride jewelry. I ended up buying a pride rainbow leather cuff. Why not have more options to share my pride? I found out my bank offered a custom gay pride-themed debit card. That’s now in the mail and on its way to me for me to actively show that I am a card-carrying gay. I am also looking at t-shirts. I want to make sure I show off who I am with pride and a big smile.
Buying stuff doesn’t necessarily make someone gay. I have had some obstacles of confidence in the past. I recalled what I once learned about turning something into a habit or a best practice, which is that if you want to adapt something you need to be able to say it, think it, read it and do all fairly regularly. I wrote down on a note card “I’m Gay.” I then framed it and put it on a wall. Then I took a picture of me with the card. I have framed that picture as well. I also made and found other gay-themed art and placed it around my home. My hope is that I can positively reaffirm my outlook.
I’ve also tried to get out more. I went to a local restaurant that proudly exclaims that it’s a gay-friendly business. It was fun, and it was also just neat to be a part of a community, even if it’s over lunch. They took a video of the customers during lunch hour and posted it on the social media page. The me that I was about 5 years ago would’ve been freaking out. Why? They included the hashtags #Gay #GayPlace. Being associated with such hashtags would’ve freaked me out. I would’ve worried that I would’ve been found out.
How do I address my inner critic? Well, I’ve tried starting with my inner critic’s voice – my Mom. She’s let me know she doesn’t judge people. She put this to practice when she briefly got into an argument with a client of hers defending trans soldiers from Trump’s ban. I was in awe. This was my Mom who did this. When nearly 20 some years ago she nearly kicked me out for having called a gay sex line one too many times.
Last night, I returned to nude men’s yoga. I proudly wore my Star Trek shirt. That has a rainbow warp trail following the U.S.S Enterprise. A few of the men who were already present complimented me on it. It felt neat. I went back into the practice room and again I was in awe of what I saw. I got undressed got comfortable to the practice mat. My nearby practice mate said “Hi” and introduced himself “Hi I am John.” We had a chuckle over the fact that we essentially had the same name. I was positively giddy that a naked man was saying hi to me. We briefly talked. It was his 5th time. It was my second. The actual practice began. Again it was an experience of torture and delight. The torture happened, because, I am still not in the shape that I’d like to be in. The delight then occurred with me seeing so much. When I wasn’t hurting, I was definitely smiling. In it all, I got to be myself exposed, raw and gay. The practice would end after an hour. I made some more small talk with John. I let him know that I’d be coming back.
My coming out will continue to be an ongoing process. I am having fun with it now. There’s no more shame. I am enjoying life just being myself. There, of course, might be obstacles. I think of it like this, Gay pride embraces the rainbow as its symbol. Rainbows come from darkness. I am not going to be in the darkness anymore.
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