Back into the Closet

This weekend I went back into the closet. It was a conscious decision that was prompted by my partner.

"Pookie, I'm getting tired of trying to wedge your clothes onto the rack. and I looked at your polo shirts and some of them have got to go..."

Paul, my partner, is incredibly organized. In such a cute, adorable way, he will say

"Ugh, you are such a straight boy"

What this means is that I throw clothes on the floor, can't move stuff in the refrigerator to find things (such as a gallon of milk), laugh at slapstick comedy like "Norbit", and leave wet sweaty workout clothes in my gym bag.

One day our little every other weekend dog "Gi-Gi" , Paul's youngest daughter's pet, was frantically digging through my gym bag.

"See" I said. "Gi-Gi likes my gym bag."

"That's because she thinks there is something dead in there". Paul said without missing a beat.

He's right. In some ways I do not act like a gay man. In other ways, I do act like a stereo-typical gay man. But really there is no way that a gay man acts. We have all seen the movies and TV shows with the stereo-types. Organized, witty, sometimes bitchy slim men. Truth be told, there are a few of us that fit this stereotype. The rest of us are exactly who we are. Shaped by our environment and genetics.

Paul has always been organized. He is an engineer by trade. There is a place for everything and everything in it's place. I have never been that organized and sometimes good enough is good enough. But, Paul pee's with the door open, calls women "gals", subscribes to three different car magazines and was the prom king at his high school. He does not "act" like a gay man.

While we were growing up in our closets Paul and I passed as straight because our personal traits did not betray us as Gay. We owe a debt of gratitude to those that could not pass as straight. they were the ones whose closet door, if they had one, was made of glass. They were the ones who opened their closet doors and demanded equal rights. Paul and I simply waited until it became somewhat acceptable to be gay. Don't misunderstand me. We both always knew that we were Gay. We just kept the door shut until it had to be opened because we were suffocating.

So, I went through my clothes and threw out anything that I had not worn in a year. Three trash bags of clothes later I felt a real sense of accomplishment. It was like a weight had been lifted. We all have closets and they really do need to be cleaned out every now and then. I will go back in to see what is in there. To get rid of the old stuff, but I'll never keep anything in there that does not belong.

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H1N1, Prop 8 and Scott Brown & Turkey Schnitzel

Today was a tough day. Last night the senate seat long held by Teddy Kennedy, a long time friend of the lgbt community, was won by Scott Brown. Brown, an impressive campaigner, wrapped up in a charismatic, good looking package is a bigot. He voted against same sex marriage in Massachusetts 25 times and described lgbt parents as "ridiculous". How could this happen in such a blue state?

I'll tell you how. Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate ran a lack luster campaign because she knew that she was a shoe in. She was also quoted as saying Curt Schilling was a Yankee's fan and why would she want to stand outside of Fenway Park and shake hands in the cold? She disparaged Red Sox fans and believe it or not, the people of Massachusetts hold their beloved Red Sox in higher regard than their political values.

Couple this win with the fact that my partner, Paul is Scott Brown's physical twin, which everyone has commented on, and it's a formula for conflicted feelings.

I was feeling defeated this morning driving into work. Here we go again, another politician telling us how immoral we are. When I got to work, I had to deal with a technical solution that had been decided upon without my input and I am the IT Director. Everyone was out to get me! Just as this crisis subsided, my alarm alerted me that it was time for my H1N1 vaccination. I hate shots. The nurse was nice enought to point out the two pimples on my arm.

Sometimes there is a perfect storm of bad events and you need one more thing to push it over the edge. I tuned into the Prop 8 trial in California and while the team defending the LGBT community was doing an excellent job of presenting credible expert testimony, they clearly pointed out how politically powerless the lgbt community is, who discriminated we are and how much the religious institutions of the world hate us. Final straw that pushed me over the edge.

When I walked through the door head hanging low after a long commute home. I was greeted by the most delicious smelling dinner, Turkey Schnitzel, brandied apple sauce and whipped potatoes. There stood Paul, with the sexiest grin pouring a glass of wine for me and suddenly all was right with the world. This is my sanctuary and no matter what happens each day, I know that I will be greeted by the love of my life and it is perfection.

We are each other's strength and the port in the storm. Somehow fighting against the rest of the world for our right to love each other only makes it stronger. There is no where else in the world or no other way I would rather be.

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A Snowy MLK Jr. Holiday in New England

This is my first post so I should start by telling you something about who and where I am.

I am sitting in the living room of my home in New Hampshire watching the snow fall. It has been snowing all night and now everything outside is white with outlines of pine trees etched across the sky. It's beautiful unless you have to drive in it. Fortunately today is the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and I get a reprieve from the "C" word: Commute. I live in Manchester, NH and work in Cambridge, MA. Not an easy commute on a day with no weather hazards. So, today I find myself at home, the two oldest children upstairs in bed and the youngest on her way to the Orthodontist and time on my hands to write this first post.

I am 46 and my partner is 43. Yes, I am gay and we live a very normal life. That is the reason for this blog. See, three years ago I could not have imagined my life today. I was living as a straight married man teetering towards severe depression. I did not know anyone who was gay and living a "normal" life. Gay men were unhappy, alcoholics with insatiable sex appetites and spreading AIDS.

I grew up in the south. The product of a republican attorney father and a very Catholic stay at home mother. Being Gay was not an option. So I did what was expected. Married at 23 and first baby at 28. It was easy enough at first to "play" house. But as the years wore on, hiding who I was and what my feelings were ate away at me. So, when my wife (ex-wife now) asked me three years ago if I was Gay, my reply "I don't want to be" set me free.

Not a very affirmative response, I know. But it was how I felt then. I did not want to be Gay. It meant I was going to be unhappy, go to hell and probably die of AIDS. All of the things that the world had told me. But let me tell you this now. I was unhappy, and lying to everyone about who I was put me in my own private hell. How could it be any worse?

Jumping back to today. I am planning my wedding with Paul and living such a full life with a wonderful group of friends and family. This is the way life is meant to be for me. It is what God intended for me and I want to share this life and story with anyone who may be doubting their orientation or anyone who does not understand or anyone who just wants to understand why their son, daughter, friend, mother or father is Gay. I'll repeat again. This is the way God made us. It is not a preference or a choice. It is a piece of the puzzle that makes us who we are.

My plan is to share the everyday happenings that make up my life. The sometimes boring, sometimes exciting, sometimes sad and sometimes happy little details that make up my life and show you how "normal" a gay life can be. But when I say normal, you can substitute that word with wonderful......

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