|Emotions run deeply in me, and I am very |
sensitive to an array of feelings.
Also, I don’t typically become outwardly angry; confrontation makes me terribly uncomfortable, even when I’m not directly involved. And because of my passive-aggressive nature, I usually keep to myself when I get frustrated or upset, until the feelings pass or I have a chance to vent my emotions to a third party. Sometimes I feel as though I have more sensitive receptors for emotions. Things that would mildly bother some might be tremendously hurtful to me; or things that would normally put the average person in a good mood can leave me feeling absolutely elated.
|I learned the emotion of love from the amazing|
women in my life, particularly my mother.
Love is one of those emotions that I have always had an abundance of. Between family and friends, especially particular women like my mother and paternal grandmother, I have never had to be without exceptional loving support and care in my life. Affection has always been an important way of showing love in my family, especially kisses and hugs; friends sometimes tease me for the fact that kissing on the lips is normal in my family, at least with female family members. My mother, my grandmother, and even one aunt have always greeted me and parted ways with a kiss on the lips, even now that I am well into adulthood. For my three older brothers, it is the same. To others it is awkward and abnormal; to me, it has always been the sweetest form of love and affection.
Aside from family, good friends have long been sources of love and caring in my life. It wasn’t until junior high that I feel like my friendships from school began to transition into personal relationships outside of the classroom. Many of my most enduring relationships that I still have today began in classrooms and other school activities.
|Crushes and infatuations with both girls and|
boys started early for me.
The first crush I ever had on anyone was a girl with whom I attended first grade. I was infatuated with her. I still remember a dream I had about her one night; we were on the playground at my elementary school. We ran off together and hid under an outdoor staircase and shared a brief, innocent kiss. I woke up wishing that it had really been true. However, other crushes that I had at that time (around seven years-old) were usually on young celebrities—but they were all boys. Young movie stars, mostly, whose films I had seen and enjoyed. I began to obsess over many of these boys. I admired their talents and their looks; that’s when I really remember noticing an attraction to other boys’ facial features.
Looking back, I think early sexual involvement with boys my own age who lived in my neighborhood had triggered such same-sex attractions in me. The details of the beginnings of those behaviors are vague, and I don’t remember if I was the initiator or if someone else was. I knew that my parents and the parents of the boys with whom I did such things would be upset if they found out (and a few times they did), but to me they weren’t abnormal behaviors; I actually liked it, and I often sought opportunities to experiment with my and other curious boys’ bodies. I noticed boys, and even grown men more often after that, and was drawn to them in emotional and sexual ways. It wasn’t until I got older that I began to recognize what such attractions implied—a separate orientation altogether, different from all other people, one that I realized didn’t fit in with the rest of the world’s expectations of normal feelings or behavior.
|I felt more comfortable around girls than|
I did boys; like I could be myself.
As early pornography exposure turned to an addiction that fueled unhealthy sexual appetites and habits, crushes and infatuation with boys and girls became more intense. I was highly attracted to many boys and girls in my school; with the boys, my attractions were strictly carnal, lustful, and emphasized by a desire to act out sexually with them. I took immediate notice of the boys who were more handsome and good-looking, and they were the targets of my erotic thoughts; sexual fantasies were common place during those years. With boys my age, I felt inadequate and inconsistent as I constantly tried to act in a way where I could be measured according to masculine standards and expectations, wherein I always failed.
Girl crushes and attractions were simpler, characterized by feelings of belonging, relation, and understanding; I could act like myself around girls because I felt more comfortable doing things that were considered to be more feminine, and that was okay with them. I admired girls for their talents and personalities, but there was no sexual attraction at all, and certainly no erotic fantasies involving girls. With girls I felt wanted and accepted, and my own personal talents like humor, kindness, and sincerity were able to shine through and were appreciated.
|My love for girls began to grow,|
while with boys I could only lust.
By my high school years, my admiration of my female friends eventually crossed the line into my first loves. I loved them romantically, affectionately, and emotionally. They were confidants and supporters. Attractions to their minds, personalities, and spirits shifted into physical attractions that in previous years I hadn’t experienced much, since a natural inclination towards women was not (and still isn’t) as normal for me. The boys, however, remained immediately attractive in every physical way, and the subjects of my fantasies. But I had never been close enough to any attractive boy long enough to discover if he was also beautiful on the inside. Very few boys seemed to accept me as I was, and the ones who did were typically not the boys I felt the most physically drawn to.
Actually, I was doing it all backwards: I was getting to know girls on a deeper, more emotionally intimate level first, while physical attraction and true emotions followed after; with boys, I was awkward and struggled to see past their handsome looks and muscular bodies long enough to actually find out if I was even compatible with them as a friend. So, the boys remained sexy, but mysterious and elusive—strange creatures that were so different from me, despite the autonomy in our chromosomes and anatomy. Girls however, were the entire package—beautiful, smart, funny, sexy, sweet, and everything I felt like I could ever want in a relationship—a relationship that I felt could last and really mean something. And perhaps unlike other boys, my goal was not to run the figurative bases with the girls I loved; I wasn’t interested in what they were like underneath their clothes.
|Even though I hugged, cuddled, and even kissed|
some of my female friends, we never dated.
There were several girls during those years in high school, and the years following, who I truly had intense and loving feelings for. Because of the perfect match I felt we were as a pair, I would’ve loved to date them and make them mine—and I can’t say I didn’t try at some point with a few of them. But I knew (and they insisted) that all we would ever be was simply friends, and to this day, we are—even the best of friends, who have stood the test of time together. One or two girls I came very close to dating, and having as my girlfriends. Our relationships progressed from long hugs, into cuddling, even kissing a few times, and saying “I love you” constantly. But ultimately even those relationships weren’t meant to be anything more that lasting and beloved friendship.
To this day, with many of these girls whom I truly loved, the emotion is still there. I could still see myself being with them, if things had ever happened differently. I can still feel the love that I had for them all those years ago, but with time I have seen how that love has gradually been molded into something more poignant and beautiful and deep—something beyond friendship—something eternal, and perhaps more meaningful than if we had been lovers.
|It was important for me to learn that|
I could romantically love a woman.
To some extent, this may all seem like normal boyish emotion—something all males went through at that age. But to a boy like me, who from five years-old onward knew that he was different because he liked other boys more than he should, these emotions are significant. Now, as a grown man who is more or less openly gay, I have accepted the fact that I may or may not ever feel emotion and love strongly enough to make a relationship with a woman last a lifetime—even an eternity. I may or may not ever find the girl to whom I can propose marriage, and make it actually work. But if the love for a woman has touched me so powerfully before, it can come again. And when it does, I will be open to accepting it. Most times I wait patiently; other days, loneliness can creep in. But I know that I have the capacity to love a woman, despite my strong attractions to men. And that gives me hope that maybe, somewhere, there is a girl out there for me.
Here is a poem that I once wrote about a girl whom I was very in love with. I wanted her to be my girlfriend more than I desired anything at that time. She was afraid that dating would complicate our unique friendship and possibly cause damage to it, so we never did get together. But she was right to choose as she did, because she remains to this day one of the best friends I have ever had—one who knows me inside and out, better than many people do. Her love for me, and my love for her, as it is now, is something I would never give up or replace with anything. This poem reminds me of the powerful emotion that is present when a man loves a woman.
‒ My Heart ‒
My heart makes its journey
from my chest to my throat,
and then back down again.
An up-beat tempo
rattles my ribcage
as it beats furiously for you.
You look into my eyes
and smile laughingly,
and my heart leaps;
I gaze back into yours
and see into forever—
the soft hazel hue
reflects your genuine nature.
My heart overflows with joy
at the sound of your voice—
only the enlightenment of your laughter
exceeds the beauty of your song.
You occupy my thoughts,
lost in the corridors of my mind,
possessing only the key to my heart.
I hold your warm body in my arms
and listen to your gentle breaths;
My chest rises and falls with yours,
while underneath my flesh
my heart melts away into ecstasy
and flows into my soul.
My affection for you blossoms
each time I hear those words
pass through your lips:
“I love you,” you say,
and at that moment
my heart fills with excitement.
Your embrace ignites my bosom with passion;
blissful emotion fuels the flame
which burns in my heart.
At the moment you pull away,
I go cold—
My heart frozen in a state of longing,
With only the warmth of your tender touch
to keep me alive.
I soar through the unique wonderland
that is your personality;
My already-frantic heart quivers with amusement
because of your matchless style.
Images of you circle like a whirlwind in my head,
Mixing with the pounding sound
coming from within my chest.
Time slows as I listen to the rhythm,
and your name repeats with every beat
of my enamored heart.
- Wade A. Walker -
November 30, 2004
|To read more about why a gay man would|
choose to be with a woman, try my post,
"The Road Less Traveled By."
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