I learned early that existence was being in a state of constant heartbreak, longing to be within a cozy weekend bubble with another. In the past I sunk under the weight of pursing others like a puppy only to not be selected. The superficiality of idolized physicality in homosexuality was not me. Perfect was the Abercrombie & Fitch model or Justin Timberlake; the pop-idol and the porn star got all the attention. Not me, the queerly geek whose authenticity – the interests, experiences, and beliefs –existed on the peripheral of popular. How could they not see how cool I was?
I didn’t go to local gay youth groups to meet peers because I wasn’t ready for an identity label, which was rooted in the denial that was needed in high school to survive. The homosexual teenagers I conversed with through the internet seemed so much braver than myself because they had found and proclaimed their inner authenticity. Their assured identity gave them the bravery to ask to meet immediately. To me they had already labeled themselves and claimed to have said as much to their parents. Being exceedingly reluctant of labels, I was intimidated, fearing their permanence. I wasn’t ready to be placed in any box, let alone the wrong one; and then go through the embarrassment of changing labels. I was incapable of reading other homosexual teenagers’ eagerness to meet as a shared isolation, and so made excuses as to why that couldn’t happen.
There were homosexual adults whom I interacted with through the internet, and their eagerness to meet only reinforced my Jodie Dallas induced greatest fears of being queer. Still, though, I more quickly accepted an adult’s invitation to meet than a peers’. In adult companionship I saw a greater possibility of the exciting homosexual adventures, like those in Queer as Folk; their adventures seemed like the safe juvenile antics I should be participating in. I entertained ideas of big city adventures like Sex & the City, and meeting Mr. Big, who’d take me to the theatre and art openings. What I instead found was sneaking off to the backwoods of Upstate New York and trailer parks, where their own inauthenticity funhouse mirrored my own.
I was in college by that time and finally saw healthier homosexual relationships, through Will Graham, Will & Grace, was single through the majority of the show’s run, having serious relationships after the show found success. The domesticity on Will & Grace was not perfection, but the characters created a bubble of playing house. I wanted to emulate the relationships by running errands, sharing chores, and cooking together. Our existence would be dictated by shared calendars and outings. It would be teamwork and comradery.
I crafted doctored acceptable variations of myself, believing my exposed self would not be good enough. The knowledge my authenticity was deferred to others in an effort to avoid insult and derision. Receding behind partners’ goals I built up their hopes, while exploring how to play with the truth, creating chaos that would ultimately result in implosion.