Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just a Phase...My Firsts

How many times have we heard that phrase coming out? ..."its just a phase"...The implications being, that you decided be be gay on a whim. Like dying your hair bright pink and developing a taste for 70's punk. This off handed comment, often made by parents struggling to deal with there child coming out to them, completely ignores the soul searching and inner turmoil that we have to go through to accept ourselves let alone find the courage to tell those closest to us. It also ignores the fact that being gay is as much a part of us as the color of our eyes or the frustrating fact that I will never be any taller than 5'9". It hard for those around us to accept that we really thought about this....tortured ourselves over it...and that its the naked, unalterable truth. Its so mush easier to dismiss it as a changeable facet of our personality, like deciding to dye your hair.

This is the crux of the argument made by religious conservatives that "being gay is a choice". It is the faulty reasoning that allows the ex-gay movement to go on...and the reason why one of my parents suggested to my brother that he kidnap me to get me "away from homosexual influence". And the big lie...that gays recruit kids. Despite all evidence to the contrary, people still stubbornly hold onto the idea that homosexuality is communicable and therefore preventable and changeable. It is not.

My sexuall orientation is a part of the way I came into this world and a part of me that I am very thankful for. However, my path to that acceptance was not a "straight" one (pun intended). Like most adolescents, I turned my attentions to girls. I kind of envy those who knew from childhood that they were gay but I did not have that insight. I was always told that I would meet a girl, fall in love, and get married. That was the script that was repeated to me time and time again all through my childhood years and I did my best to make it come true.... so I put forth that this period of my life was the true phase....and a temporary stop on my way to finding truth.

I also need to add that I was a very late bloomer. I had no interest in sex of anykind until waaaayyy later than most people. My pursuit of relationships with girls was a pursuit of love as I imagined it was supposed to be. My libido never sent me that direction. Though I had fantasies about men, often I refused to see them as anything but "temptation" or to bury them as completely as I could. So it makes sense that all of my most important romantic firsts happened with girls before they ever happened with men. So...this makes me nervous to share but here is  my heterosexual walk of shame....Only the names have been omitted to protect the innocent...

My first girlfriend was in Junior high, she would come over to my house stoned and ask to make some toast. A whole loaf of bread later, she would ask for a ride home....yeah, burning passion there eh? Maybe if your a loaf of bread. That lasted about two weeks.

My first kiss was also by a girl who I considered more friend than "girlfriend". She was a very pretty girl with a mane of red hair that, had I been straight would have driven me wild(love redheads), but at this time my hormones still hadn't kicked in. Sex to me, at that time was an idea more than a desire...and I was 18...how sad is that. Clearly though, she had designs on me for some reason. One day we were hanging out at home, it wasn't a big house and not much that happened in it could by hidden...I guess my parents where outside and we were standing in the hallway when she pushed me up against the wall and gave me my first, very aggresive, kiss. I laugh about it now but at the time I was scared shitless. Far from being exciting, my  first "french kiss" felt like having a foreign invader in my mouth. That kiss never led to anything else and somehow the two of us managed to remain friends afterward.. until a year or so later when we lost touch with each other. That was another one of those "you shoulda known you were gay" moments that I didn't pick up on.

My first love and first sexual experience were with the same person. I met her in my early twenties. She was a salesgirl and I was a dock worker at Emporium Capwell, the department store where we both worked. She was pretty and mysterious and I have to admit those where probably the things that attracked me to her. She always wore sunglasses and it wasn't until we dated a couple of times that I discovered it was because she suffered from blinding migraines. She used to self medicate by getting prescription drugs from her friends and we spent many a night driving to sacramento so she could bum them off her regular source. But prescription drug addiction did nothing to prevent me from hanging all my romantic hopes on her. I met her parents and all her old friends in Sacramento who probably all wondered what the hell we were doing together. She was also a rabid fan of Depeche Mode. To this day, I can't hear them and not think of her. She often used to joke that most of her boyfriends turned out to be gay....Haha...I guess it is pretty funny now.

At anyrate my first sexual experience was on one such road trip to Sacramento. Listening to Toad the Wet Sprocket and Depeche Mode, we decided to stay the night instead of driving there and back. In a little motel along the way I got my first education in sex and right away it made me hooked on her. I started planning kids and all sorts of things that I had no right to be even thinking about. To me, sex = love. I didn't realize how doomed that relationship was. She eventually broke up with me and I was absolutely devastated. I felt as though someone had burned out my soul and left me behind as the hollow shell. Over time however, I got over it and one day I met her again after I came out....lol...we had a good laugh about that one and both of us felt relieved. I am still very gratefull to her for being the person to help me take my first awkward steps into love and sex relationships.

In between I dated a couple more girls, both were awsome and didn't deserve what they got from me. I didn't realize that the reason I couldn't go deeper in my relationships with them was because you need more than the idea of love. It takes all of what you have to give to make it work and that includes that part of us that excites us and gets the motor running...so to speak.

So there it is, my sick sordid foray into heterosexuality. Brief though it was.

When I came out to myself and had my first relationship with a man I already had a little experience under my belt...but it was all with women. I still had a lot to learn, but this time all of me was involved in the process. I felt like I had gone from seeing in black and white...to seeing in color for the first time ever. Its how I knew that what I was feeling was true and that there was nothing wrong in it. I hadn't realized how much I could love or what I would be willing to do for that kind of love.  I learned what love was supposed to feel like and forever ended my phase of heterosexuality.

So consider this next time you hear someone say that "its just a phase".


  1. I do like red hair.

    I have no experience with women. And very little with men.... God i suck.

    Oh and it´s not a phase fo´shizzle

  2. Hi Bryan.

    Thanks for sharing this to us. Lately it's have been hard for me to try to explain who I am with my family (specially with those who I care about the most). But you always seem to put everything in a cool perspective and trying to be objective at all times.

    I hope one day I would be able to do explain it without getting angry, since apparently they can't understand it.


  3. I will share my first relationship as well. It is also straight and is s horrible story so will make you feel better about yourself.

    When I was in school my sister and I used to go horse riding. The girl who had a horse in the stables next to ours asked me out. Now I already knew I was gay and had been to a gay youth club and had kissed boys by this point. I was 15 and I was sick of people at school calling me names because I was gay. I decided to go out with this girl for show.

    I used to see her as little as actallu possible but all the while she grew more and more obessed with me as 15 year olds do. She used to pressure me all the time asking me to kiss her and play with her boobs. I was never that interested and would do the bare minimum to shut her up. At the same time I was still seeing boys but not doing much more than groping.

    In the end her pressure for me to hVe sex with her got too much to resist. She wrote me a poem about how she wanted me in her and gave it to me while she got naked. I got my penis out but otherwise remained fully clothed. Have way through nobbing her I remembered that I had promised my mum I would watch a song contest with her so pulled out and ran home.

    We had both been virgins previously do needless to say this unifinished half hearted attempt really upset her. I decided to dump her and just go gay but didn't bother to call her to tell her. I just stopped answering the phone to her.

    A couple of weeks later my sister caught her calling me a bastard and a nerd. Assuming that I was the wronged party she beat her up.

    I haven't seen her for years. I do feel bad about it all!

  4. Hi Bryan,

    Great post. Really evocative I have to say. It reminds me alot of myself in certain ways, although in my case I had half acknowledged my feelings for guys by putting it down to bisexuality. It took me a long time to fully come out but what you say about finally seeing things in colour really describes it very well. Everything is so much better, vivid and well just feels right.

    Thanks again for your posts and your videos. You guys rock :)

    Maurice (in Ireland)

  5. I've had one relationship with a woman - and it ended horribly. I had no interest in spending time with her, and it drove her insane (she is actually quite a clingy person). And I wasn't physical enough for her - which is suprising considering she was the daughter of a Mennonite Pastor. That must say something about how much physical attraction I had towards her.

    She is a wonderful person though- and has remained an important part of my life ever since we broke up. I don't think she knows that I am gay, but probably suspects it at this point. I knew about it years before I dated her, but kind of went for the relationship (knowing that nothing was going to develop out of it) because all of our mutual friends were suggesting we do it.

    I look forward to seeing in colour. Right now, I feel like I am in the third quarter of Pleasantville, with most things coming to life but nothing actually shining just yet. I can't wait to see the world shine.

  6. As usual a wonderfully lyric post. I don't understand why you called it your heterosexual walk of shame, wasn't that just a part of your maturing? Yes, so it took you awhile, so what? We all travel our roads at different rates of speed.

    It would be hard to hear the 'it's only a phase' from your family, and emotionally painful. But, at least it's explainable for the most part. I'm an androgyne, try explaining that....... I always knew I was different inside, and that I didn't fit in at all with females, or think like them at all... and now finally I have a name to what I am, and it is so very liberating!

    And yes, as another poster said, 'You rock' and that couldn't be more true!

  7. @ aww...thanks for the vote of confidence biki...AND mush.

    I called it the walk of shame because they were not terribly successful relationships and most of them ended in hurt in one way or another. Yes, they were neccesary for growth but I wish that I had done some things differently....like gotten a clue about myself a little earlier.


    No worries. We were all bratty kids at 15. I know that I did not do well by the girl I was dating at the time I finally came out to myself. While we were dating some friends took me to a gay youth group and that pretty much told me what direction i was heading in. Not long after I broke up with her and gave some lame excuse. She absolultely did not understand why and I still feel bad for that today. I hope where ever she is my silent apologies reash her and that she found someone to love her as she deserved being as awsome as she is.

  8. Bryan, reading your story was like reading about myself (the script for life, late bloomer)... before you got to the experiences part... Pretty boys always get more action, whilst (yes, whilst, for I am a nerd, apparently) I had some awkward walks home with girls (actually, they were not awkward at all, which should've been a clue)... Maybe they expected me to make a move, and I didn't? There were also a couple of crazy ones, in America you call them sluts. So, no, those I didn't even consider.

    I'll just cut to the chase. I live in Russia. Here people don't even know what gay means, no one discusses it in the kitchen, reporters never talk about this on the news, talk shows never cover this kinds of stories (I'm talking about 90s & 2-3 years of 00s). So, it's like this gay thing doesn't even exist. And when you don't know anything about it and have no internet access, there's a pretty big change you won't even think that you might be gay (which happened to me).

    By the way, Bryan, thinking about having kids — I guess, it's also a major giveaway for gays :) When I was 18, that's what I was dreaming about: having my own kids, giving them all the love I never got from my parents, making sure that they are safe and healthy... I could write a book about childcare and everything else I've thought in those months. Hmm, normal people are fantasizing about having sex (or just have it), and I was fantasizing about raising kids... how gay is that? :)

    At some point I had to give up those dreams, there's only so much you can fantasize about. And at the same time the informational blackout began to shatter, some pieces of information about gays were finally available. It was a shock for me to hear that 10% of all people on Earth are gay (someone claimed it to be true). And that was a beginning, an eye-opener. That's when I had this thought, “What if I am...? No! Impossible! You can go to jail for this! It's a mental illness, I saw it in my medical book! No, I'm not mentally ill! I won't be! I'm not gay!

    But once you get this thought, it's hard to get rid of it. So, I decided to experiment on myself — every time there was an ad on TV with those bare-torso hunks selling you shaving creams or whatnot, I was looking at them trying to understand what do I really feel, and no matter how much I wanted to convince myself I liked those bodies because I wanted to look like them (who wouldn't?), resistance was futile because I didn't feel like running into gym to work on my abs, no, I felt like running to those men to touch their bare bodies, to feel their strength in my hands, to admire their... Sarah Jessica Parker! I'm gay!

    I'm sorry that I'm boring you with this story, it's just that right now, in the middle of January, I'm having my auto-coming-out anniversary: 6 years ago, in January 2004, I finally realized and accepted I'm gay. Auto-coming-out did not change anything... Recognize! Define! Accept! Put back into the closet! It was unthinkable to do something about it, so, I chose to ignore it. Anyway, pretty soon after that I managed to fall in love with a group-mate in college, without even knowing that I fell in love. Bryan maybe remembers that story about a certain S. Finally, I got in touch with my feelings and realized I'm in love. Now I'm struggling with the aftermath: it wasn't just a crush, it was something more, and it still is. I like this feeling of finally being in love, finally feeling all those things I could never understand. But at the same time it hurts like hell that I can't be with him every moment of my life. I can't be with him at all. This love must die. If only there was a recipe to poison thy love in thyself...

  9. @K!r!lleXXI

    Happy Auto-coming out day! and I didnt think to get you a card or anything. Dang it lexxi you gotta give me more warning about these things!

    But seriously...don't go poisoning any loves. theres far too little of it as it is and the world always needs more...even unrequited love. besides hasn't romeo and juliet taught us anything? that didn't end well.

  10. @gobling. I sorry but i loled thrught the whole story... why you ask?

    I pictured you with your dick out, while this girl act like it was a stuffed animal rubing it against her face while you rolled your eyes.

    Yes.. I´m sick... I do feel kind of bad for the girl

  11. Great story Bryan-thanks for sharing. I honestly think I am more sexually attracted to my leather desk chair than to any woman! LOL I love them-they are some of my closest friends..but..YAK!
    So many gay men get married thinking the feelings will go away. A good friend of mine did and the results are simply disastrous...
    The moral of the story-be who you are..and the way you were created...

  12. Great story....love the pic of your family...beautiful!

  13. @Bryan, the fact that you've read my insanely long comment is a gift enough for me. Thanks for wishing me happy anniversary on this kinda weird occasion! :)

    As for poisoning love or not, if the feeling most likely will not be reciprocated, you need some kind of remedy to move on. I am a one-man man, there's no one else in the whole world for me except the one I love. Arrrrgh, this becomes way too weird to talk about it that publicly. Believe me, there's a lot of love in me, I just need someone to give it to. I gotta stop bitching about it, this story is as old as time, we all know every page of it.

  14. Lexxi - I'm thinking of moving to Russia to learn Russian for my historical research... if that actually happens, I can guarantee that, for at least 3 years, you won't be the only gay person in your country.

  15. What a coincidence, Neal, because I'm thinking to move to your country of Canada, as soon as it is humanly possible. :) From what I know, it takes up to a year since submitting all the necessary documents to get the decision of Canadian Immigration Agency, and I haven't even started collecting those documents yet, so I'm stuck here for a long time.

    What is your historical research about (if that's not a secret)?

    And I have to warn you that Russian language is pretty hard to learn, especially from the get-go; lots of intricacies. I have a privilege to compare Russian and English languages, for one of them is my native language, and the other one I speak pretty much fluently (though not without making lots of mistakes, still need a lot more practice); anyway, I think I can be a reliable enough expert to compare both languages, and I can say that English is way easier to learn, especially if it is not your native language. On the other hand, being a Canadian, you probably have an experience of learning not one, but two languages (English & French), and the latter is also not that easy to learn; probably, it is relatively close to Russian in terms of its difficulty.

  16. I've listened to and read many coming out stories, and when I listen to all the hurt all people involved experience, I just can't understand people who want to suppress and deny homosexuality. As a woman, I naturally feel for the girls involved - they don't deserve falling in love with a person who can not love them back the way they need it. Just like no young man deserves having to deny his real feelings, desperately trying to "fit in". If FINALLY society would accept homosexuality as normal, just as it is, life would be so much better for EVERYBODY...so much hurt could be pervented!
    Thanks for that honest and open "report" from your youth, Brian! :-)

  17. Lexxi - I'm looking at doing research into folk music that developed in a response to the Soviet empire, as well as analyzing how social responses to some major Soviet classical pieces reflected the central themes of protest for which they were written.

    I've heard that Russian is a very difficult language to learn. I'm expecting it to take 3 years, provided that I actually decide to focus on that research. An opportunity also exists in Germany... so that may take me other places.

    Canada's immigration policy is quite exhausting, and our current government has become increasingly strict on who they let in. A couple of months ago, Jay and Bryan shared a video about how they were denied access to Canada (unfortunately) because our country looks for rather specific qualifications.

    Interestingly, we (Canadians) seem to pretend that we accept a lot of political and social refugees in Canada through our immigration policy. This is entirely untrue in reality. Refugees in all categories usually only make up about 12% of Canada's annual immigration - all other immigration tends to be professionals from other parts of the world...

    What is attracting you to Canada?

  18. I was never attracted to women, I just used to jump myself threw mental hopes to explain why before I finally came to terms with my sexuality.

    I actually used to literally go oh I just have crushes on guys not Gris cause i don't have a drivers license and car and girls would not like that, then it changed to job etc before i finally admitted that I had crushes on guys because they are who I was romantically (and sexually) interested in.

    The only down side I would say to that, is that when I came out to my father of course the first thing he asked was "have you ever been with a girl"(this is the one question I absolutely hate when people ask!) of course the answer was no. Unfortunately that feed/s his idea that its a phase, and that I will meet some girl and start a family with her, he even will still say wife etc at times when talking about my future. Which sucks cause it upsets me and when i correct him its makes for nice long days (sarcasm) of silent treatment.

    It sounds horrible but I some times wish I had wound up doing like you just so that I could say yes I was with women but I was not romantically or physically attracted to them. then again that's its own bag of potential bombs too.

  19. @canadianhumility

    Neal, I watched those videos of Jay & Bryan, too. I remember they were talking about some extra points they got for their last name (I never saw anything like that on the website that provided information from the Canadian Immigration Agency).

    What is attracting me in Canada? Well, lots of things. First and foremost, treatment of homosexual people, ability to get married to a person of my own gender. Also, the nature which is almost like in Russia: forests, snow in winter, etc. (but I'm done living on the flat ground, I'd like to move closer to mountains, preferably Vancouver). Also, they say people in Canada are better. Health care is good. And I love English so much that I'd love it to become my first language of use. Seems vague, but I don't want to go into detail, don't want to dream about it too much, for there's a slam dunk chance it will never happen. Girl's gotta dream, but not get obsessed. I'll try it out, I'll find out if there's something I can do to improve the number of my points to actually get to 67, but if it's impossible to do it in the nearest 5 years, I'll have to give it up.