For my undergrad I attended SUNY @ Purchase, where perfect was the antithesis of high school, evolving to be the artistic and eccentric. In college perfect was chased by girls and boys, and perfect boys were more likely to chase boys back. Perfect was still not the quietly humorous one who liked school and read in his dorm. He was cool though, which afforded me the opportunity to be entertained by a peer as a possible date. Refreshed by a sudden gust of attention, I set my sights on who was deemed the most desired boy on campus: Daniel. He wasn’t actually a student, but was the friend of the students on the floor below me, and visited every weekend. Luckily, the friends I had made on my floor knew the people down stairs through a mutual friend from Long Island; guess New York City isn’t that big of a city.
I forget the immediate circumstances surrounding our initial meeting – if it was a party or randomly, and if a party was it arranged or not – but immediately and for a brief moment maintained a crush on him, which was something he knew. A fact that followed by his rejection (I wasn’t his type, and he preferred guys more seasoned than I was) dissipated any attraction I had. His friends felt sympathy for me, revealing that Marc gets crushed on a lot. I thought how if I wasn’t special or a first to Marc I’d move on and I was over him. We hung out after and it was clear we had nothing in common other than our mutual friends. During that friendship I saw that beneath bravado, was a desperate want for stability with a boyfriend, just as I did.
As college goes relationships were fleeting but sexual encounters were not, with my attention no longer fixated on one person. The relationship that I had dreamt of, had hoped for during the college experience, eluded me. I was good enough for a lay, but not to spend time with. I was no wallflower, but I was unable to break the habit of isolating in my room and studying. I didn’t go to the campus’ LGBTQ Union to meet peers because the members I conversed with assuredly proclaimed their identity to everyone. Despite my sexual escapades during this time I continued to rebel from any identity label, that I had no history with.
I turned, again, to the internet to dominate my acquisition of homosexual dynamics. I focused my attention away from the campus to older gay males, and this time they seemed more worldly and attractive than when I lived at home. I quickly accepted invitations to meet. Jodie Dallas’ specter began to fade and no longer existed on the peripheral of my concept homosexuality. The big city experiences that I had expected, from seeing Oliver & Company and Tales of the City, seemed like a greater possibility. Instead of a NYC Queer as Folk, I repeated my youth in reverse, by escaping dorms into the suburbs. This version of the suburbs didn’t match the ticky-tacky boxes because now I was seeing behind the neighbors’ curtains, and I didn’t like it. The men that I went home with would close their curtains, citing their need for privacy. As my perceptions grew I came to see “privacy” as a bent mirror to my rejection of the homosexual label.