Leading the Parade

So, one of my friends made a joke today that I'm leading the parade. I recently posted on my Facebook that I'm "interested in men" and I tonight went to the GLAAD awards. Even though it was a simple and friendly jest, I found that in recent weeks I've felt more and more like it is important to state your case, announce who you are and be proud of the fact.

Before these weeks, I felt it was OK to just be gay and if people knew, it was alright and if they didn't - oh well. But as the times push along, I find that being gay needs to be a more public knowledge. I find that trying to convince people that gay marriage is OK isn't that easy when there are so many afraid to come out. I feel people need to be open and honest. Normalize the idea that a man kissing a man or a woman kissing a woman is just the same as a straight couple.

In my relationship, I found myself wanting to hold hands in public but afraid of the repercussions. I wanted to introduce him to strangers at a party as my boyfriend but again - feared what that might mean. You can't undo your homosexuality in other people's eyes.

I found this is like a second coming out. It is one thing to announce that you are a gay man, but another to announce that you are a gay man with (gasp) another gay man. I never really considered the fear that comes along with that, even though I am open with letting people know, I found I have been hesitant (until these recent days) to present myself with my partner.

Sure, when we were behind closed doors, we would snuggle and watch American Idol or sleep in the same bed together but in public we were no different than any other friends. At first, it felt alright, I was never for being a big PDA sort of guy. But, I soon grew restless. I wanted to put my arm around him. Wanted to hold his hand. Wanted to give him a kiss on the cheek, even if friends and strangers were watching.

I wanted the same respect and trust that a straight couple might receive.

But, it wasn't there. Partly because of him, partly because of me - all of it in fear brought on in the same ways that I felt before coming out. What would people think, how would they judge me? And not judge me in a bad way - but more in that - I am allowing them to judge me. If I just pretend he's my buddy, they don't get to judge.

But people do anyway.

And sexuality is a hot topic. It isn't like politics or religion or any other sensitive subject, people want to know about your love life. Who you are dating. Who you find attractive. I find that people ask me about ladies (unless they know) and it's hard to react. I don't want to care, but I also want to say - well, actually I'm more attracted to the other kind...

But do I really have to tell everyone?

I understand why some guys tend to act very - flamboyant. There's no confusion. There's no tension in hiding who you are. But, when you act (mostly) straight acting, there's a line you have follow.

And I'm discovering how to come out all over again.