In high school, while I explored life through the internet, adults were just as eager to meet as peers. I exchanged emails and messages more with adults, but their eagerness to meet only reinforced my Jodie Dallas induced greatest fears. Still, though, I quickly accepted an adult’s invitation to meet. In adult companionship, I saw a greater possibility of the exciting homosexual adventures, like those in Queer as Folk. I had wanted big city Sex & the City adventures with Mr. Big, who’d take me to theatre and art openings. And older men had seemed like the best way to experience that. What I found instead was sneaking off to the backwoods of Upstate New York and trailer parks, where their own inauthenticity funhouse mirrored my own. They were adults trapped in adolescence, attempting to stay past their prime by hanging with the freshly prime. I was an adolescent playing adult, attempting to stay out past bedtime by hanging with those without a bedtime.
In college, I turned, again, to the internet to acquire homosexual dynamics. I focused my attention away from the campus to familiar older gay males, hoping they’d be more worldly and attractive than when I lived at home. I quickly accepted invitations to meet. Jodie Dallas’ specter faded from the peripheral of my concept of homosexuality. The big city experiences that I had expected, from Sex & the City 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 Yonkers, White Plains, and white suburbs along the New York and Connecticut border. These ticky-tacky suburbs reflected like funhouse mirrors my suburban attempts at escape because now I was seeing behind the neighbors’ curtains, and I didn’t like it. The men that I hung movie and TV inspired fantasies on, whom I went home with, would close their curtains, citing their need for privacy.
As experiences grew my perceptions, I came to see “privacy” as a bent mirror to my rejection of the homosexual label.
Back on the college campus, relationships were fleeting but sex was not. Sexual encounters were often furious and fleeting, held in others’ dorm rooms while their roommates were away, or secluded areas within lecture halls late/early mornings. Despite my sexual escapades during this time I continued to rebel from any identity label, that I had no history with. I was unable to break the cycle that had resulted from middle and high school’s habit of isolating in my room. 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.
In post-undergrad and grad-school, I doctored acceptable variations of myself, believing my exposed self would not be good enough. My authenticity was deferred to others to avoid insult and derision. Receding behind partners’ goals I built up their hopes, while exploring how to play with the truth, creating narcissistic chaos that ultimately resulted in implosion.