Moving and Cultural Exposure

Before I have a flashback of my travels across Australia, I thought I would remind you that I will be moving around the end of the month. That means that I may not post as much as I usually do.

kathakaliBecause I am essential just moving into my partner’s family’s old place, it’s going to be a pretty easy move. My partner told me that his brother may invite me to their new place for a housewarming. What will be interesting is that it will be a Hindu-style house-warming which I have never experienced before so of course, tons of questions enter my mind like “What exactly do I expect?” My partner has told me it will be a bit of a lite version and it will be very small. Luckily, there are some videos online that show me what they’re like. I am really unfamiliar with a lot of things so everything is new. As I’ve stated before in other posts, this is the longest that I have been with an Indian guy.

As anxious and nervous as I am, I know that it important to my partner and his family, I am going to go. The culture has always been interesting to me and to be included in it is quite special. This guy goes out of his way to make me feel included and a part of his family which I have never, ever experienced before. So instead of being anxious and nervous, I should be thankful.

Maybe a lot of this is good preparation before I go to India sometime next year and visit my partner’s hometown. He’s super excited about it and I love seeing that in him.

Hi May

Not much is going to happen here for now. It’s just been over a week since I posted and I guess it’s worth mentioning that I’m still around. I thought that my next few posts may reflect on some of the things I’ve done since I have lived here in Australia.

That has to wait though.

Right this second, I have stuff to do so yes, later it will be.

My Coming Out Story

I thought that maybe I should write something about my coming out as a gay men while I still remember. Quite a lot of this, if you’ve been around me for years, will be regurgitation but if you’re looking for help, ideas, or support, then feel free to read my answers to some questions. I’m going to do my very best not to go off topic too much, but if I do, just hang in there!

What was life like for me growing up? (A little background)

prideflagI grew up in a small town somewhere in Texas, close to Houston, Texas. It was one of those small communities where people knew each other (to a degree, because there were still thousands of people who lived there).

My parents were both in my life though sometimes I feel like they were both emotionally available to me only slightly. I felt like that I couldn’t tell them much of anything without getting in trouble for it (and I feel like that a lot today as well with my mother). I also grew up feeling like anything or everything I did wasn’t good enough. My sister was always my playmate though she was older. When she was getting to that age where she was no longer interested in playing with her little brother was really hard for me.

I played with Legos a lot. I had a huge obsession for computers, video games, art, music and such. I have always had a creative mind and to this day, I still embrace that as I am able.

I was never surrounded by anybody who was gay or lesbian. My family had their own opinions about some family members and when they came out, it wasn’t pretty but it was never horrible.

My childhood wasn’t very religious though I eventually began to go to the Church of Latter Day Saints through my teens. (I went to church so that I wouldn’t feel left out with everybody else. My hometown is full of religious people.)

When did I first know I was gay?

I honestly did not totally get it until I was in my teenage years, I’d probably say around 13 or 14. Before then, I was interested in girls because I wanted to fit in with everybody and being from a small town, that’s what I felt like I should do–be interested in girls. So I kept getting girlfriends and my sister would find out and tell my mother. Then, I was really embarrassed!

I can remember that the last girlfriend I had been with was when I was about 16 years old. She was sweet but she dumped me for one of my friends! I wasn’t really hurt because at that time, I think I knew that I liked men.Mormon Rainbow

In high school, I was pretty much a skinny guy who didn’t play sports very well (except for soccer) and got bullied only a little bit. The bullying was never horrible and it didn’t make me not want to go to school. (What made me not want to go to school was AOL and the school told my parents that I could have graduated 2 years earlier, which they did not let me do… so I rebelled.)

I developed crushes on guys in high school but wouldn’t act on it. That is, until my senior year of high school. I was around 17 years old when I finally had myself a “boyfriend”. It was very short-lived for reasons I don’t care to reveal here.

I kinda did what a lot of kids in high school. I said I was bisexual (and I still think in ways, I am. Even now I don’t feel like I am 100% gay). Bisexual at the time sounded better than being a gay guy. Being so-called bisexual, to me, shielded me from the name calling, I thought.

I had some good friends back then who understood me and when I did tell them I was bi, they didn’t care. They were mostly in drama classes so I suspected that they didn’t really care anyway.

When did I tell my family?

This is when things got a little weird. My dad asked me one night if I was gay and I immediately said, maybe a little bit. He needed clarification so I said I was bisexual. He asked me whether he was going to get grandchildren and I said, “Well, maybe. I don’t see why not.” In my head, I was thinking to myself that I could easily produce offspring. I wouldn’t have to be with a woman to do that, but I didn’t want to get a woman pregnant just for that reason. He, then, told me to never tell my mom that part of my life because “she doesn’t like that shit”.

I finally told my sister about it at some point. I don’t remember if it was before that or after, but I eventually told her long before I told a lot of people but it was around the same time frame. I don’t think she meant it but she seemed to treat me a little different for that fact and sometimes she would say some pretty nasty things about me when she’d get mad which always made me want to curl up under a rock. I don’t think she knows this or not. We are okay about it now and I talk to her about who I am seeing.

rainbow birthday cake

Later, much later, I was on Facebook and one of my aunts was saying really nasty things about gay people and I ignored it for a while. Finally, I said that it was enough and came out to all my family on Facebook at the age of 32 or 33. That is when my mom found out and I didn’t talk to her for about a week after I did that and told her I was so sorry for doing that, mostly because my dad told me not to tell her.

A few of my family members on my dad’s side of the family stopped talking to me and didn’t want to have much to do with me. They would go to places like my aunt’s and grandpa’s funeral and my uncle would call me the “queer” of the family. I choose not to talk to him anymore because I have no room in my life for that negativity.

I tell people this all the time: I didn’t expect for anybody to show me pity or sympathy for my sexuality. I just want people to say “OK” then move on with their lives. I’d have to say that most of my family (besides the ones that I mentioned above) are fine with it.

No one brings it up and that’s what I prefer.

Who else did I come out as gay to?

Coming out to others is a process that doesn’t stop. Unfortunately, people assume that you like someone of the same sex unless they can tell or unless you tell them so I have to do it continuously. I’ve found that living in a big city in Australia makes this a non-issue because I surround myself with people who just don’t care or as I said earlier, “OK” with it.

As far as my best friend in the USA, I told her eventually. Her family, to me, seemed quite conservative and I was afraid that they wouldn’t like me anymore once they knew. I do know that they were afraid that I would turn my best friend into a lesbian. I think a lot of them totally understand me know and know that sexuality isn’t something that I can spread around like a cold.

How far have I come?

Luckily, I have always been the kind of person who totally understands that I am a little different. Not because of the gay thing, but in almost everything. I love my individuality. I love being comfortable enough now to tell people who I have a partner. The weight having told my family is an immense pressure off my back even if they have said they already knew!

When I was younger, I didn’t see the importance of telling people who I really am. Until I was in my early 30s, I didn’t really see the whole point of being able to get married. In so many ways, getting older has made me a little wiser, more open-minded, and stronger.

What if you are reading this and need support?

What I have to say is that people aren’t going to like you 100% of the time. Someone is always going to have a problem with anything that you do. I was lucky enough to have a family that mostly still love me but I know that it is not always the case with other people. I know sometimes different cultures, religions, and upbringings make every situation different. What I do have to tell you is this: Tell your family/friends/whoever about your life when you want to and when you think it is safe. If that means being across the world like me, then so be it! There is always going to be someone in your life that totally gets you (and they’ve known about you for a lot longer than you think) and they’ll love you no matter what.

Your sexuality is only a little part of you. It doesn’t have to define you and it doesn’t have to restrict you from living your life the way that makes you happy.

You don’t have to fit into any stereotypes. Be yourself. Love yourself and if you don’t/can’t do that, learn to love yourself! You can do it!

If you need support, hugs, or a message of encouragement, you know where to find me! You can always send me a message here or leave a comment here.

If you need a little list of resources, I have made a small list here which I will be linking to this entry.

 

The Guy I Love

DSC_0011I am pretty bad about going to see my boyfriend who lives in another city. He usually came to see me and we’d go around Melbourne or to my place. I decided today I would go and see him on his “own turf”. I didn’t realize that the times that I went there, I was with another friend of mine so I didn’t get much of a tour around the smaller town.

I originally planned to leave where I’m staying at 10 am but ended up waking up around 6 am, so I left when I could. I ended up getting there just before 9 am.

We met up and just spent the day together. I wanted to spend as much time with him as I could, so I left when the sun went down. If it was up to me, I would have stayed with him all day and night, but right now, that can’t happen. When I move in with him next month, we’ll have plenty of time together.

DSC_0010

It is coming up to one year together and I’m very excited to be able to spend every day with him. I really hope that we’re able to stay together. I’m really looking forward to having him in my life and if the past year is any indication of what I get for years to come, I hope that it is forever.

I can’t say just how sweet, loving, caring, beautiful this guy is and I’m not really sure I have all the words to describe him but I do know that I love him more than anything. Today just cemented that fact, just like every single time I see him makes me love him even more.

Different Is Beautiful

Sometimes I think it’s probably best to give myself a few days to cool down before I post certain things on here but it’s there and it’s readable. I have made some really valid points concerning my privacy and it’s made me really think about the things I discuss with people or write. I think that was the important thing. It’s kind of why I took down my travel section here because I had to ask myself whether it’s anybody’s business.

Anyway, on to the main point of this post.

As people here may or may not know, I have been having quite a lot of back problems lately and I don’t seem to get much of a break in the mornings from pain. I have started noticing it after I put on a lot more weight and after I have been forced to be a lot more active.

My partner, about a week ago, told me that when we go to India, I’ll have ayurvedic massages which I said no, I’m not interested. I told him that I didn’t like to be massaged or touched like that because they usually make me more tense. I’m not really sure but I have never particularly liked people being that close to me. Every so often, I’ll allow it but generally, I don’t like to be touched.

It's really hard for people to get in my personal space like this...

It’s really hard for people to get in my personal space like this…

Now, I know that when you go to a country (especially my partner’s country for the first time), you’re supposed to try these things out. The problem is that I don’t even like to be touched in Australia or the USA like that. I don’t know how someone else would be able to make me relax.

He said I was culturally insensitive for that. Okay, I’m not sure whether he used those words but he’s a sweet man who I love to bits and pieces. That hasn’t really been said to me before so I was a little shocked.

Yesterday, he did a dance performance in front of a group of people and he sent me a few pictures. I have to admit that I told him that he looked “strange” (yes, my poorly chosen words) but then said that it was probably not the best way to describe what I thought. I said different instead. He did look different. Not in a bad way, it was just different for me but he is still handsome. I just told him he needs a haircut because I like him with short hair. I think he doesn’t like his hair short so it’s a bit of a different preference for the both of us. He has to be happy, and that’s what matters. (And I like him with some facial hair too. It makes him look super handsome.)

What saddened me though is that he said that I shouldn’t be shallow-minded about what he’s wearing in those pictures. That’s after I told him that I would show my sister. What he doesn’t know is that I wanted to show her because it’s cute. He’s cute. He may not think he is, but I think he is.

handsome guy

I don’t know whether he’ll kill me for posting this. To me, he looks like a Mortal Kombat fighter. ;)

To me, I think that it would be like me going to meet him at the train station wearing cowboy gear or something like that since I’m a native Texan. It’s not something I’d choose to wear everyday (or at all for that matter) but I know that he would see it as different. Same thing goes for me because I’m always seeing him with his regular clothes.

As I said somewhere before, I haven’t really dated an Indian for this long before. Yes, I have really liked one or two before, but I’ve never been this deep emotionally with someone of that culture. I know what makes him different makes him special and I wouldn’t expect him to ever push that aside. Ever. I really like it. It’s a learning experience for me, I guess you could say but at the same time, I know he’s a great guy with a huge heart.

I guess if it did come down to it and I went to India, sure, I’d give the massage a try. I think a lot of the times, we’re just afraid of the unknown. Over time, this unknown will finally reveal itself. Trying isn’t going to hurt me, right?

As far as being culturally insensitive, I probably have been a few times. Sometimes I have been dismissive of it because I like to see a person as a person and not as someone of a certain color, religion, etc. I think, really, he knows that about me already. It’s just frustrating sometimes to be in a place where people don’t try to understand others or the stories behind people. I find them fascinating. I hope that I have a lot more stories with this guy.

Time to Back Away from Sharing?

One of the worst habits people have gotten into over the years is sharing a little too much. I’m no exception to that. I share pictures, my thoughts, my feelings, and my broad travel plans. That applies to social media, this weblog, and in person. Back when I started blogging and before social media came along, I shared almost everything. Sometimes even that comes back to bite me, over 10 years later. Not often, but it happens.

Something interesting happened the other day: I received a really hateful comment on one of my posts (and I did not allow it to be published). People forget that I am a bit more technology-savvy than the average person and I can go back and see where things are coming from. It took me about five minutes to realize who left it and I confronted them personally about it. (This  is someone I know in person.)

It was a bit strange because it contained information that I didn’t post here. It had enough of a hint in it that I could tell that it was something I told someone and even then, it was something I said to people person. Though I knew who did it (and they denied it initially), it was frightening enough to make me think that maybe I say or write too much. Maybe I shouldn’t be saying a lot of the things I say because it will come back and harm me in one way or another.

I have had a weblog (and, sometimes, a personal journal podcast) in one form or another for the past 15 years and found it to be therapeutic. It has helped me cope with broken, unhappy relationships. It’s helped me process the newer relationships and to an extent, it’s helped me grow. It’s helped me by being a history book on my life so I don’t keep making the same mistakes and repeating unhealthy cycles.

I’m a bit sad because after a few days of thinking, I am not sure what’s going to happen to this weblog. I’m not sure whether I want to write about my feelings where my life is in the open. I think that I am just going to keep most things to myself so, I don’t know whether this weblog is going to become a lot more boring or whether it’s even worth keeping it around.

The lesson is that you don’t send terrible things “anonymously” to people you care about, even if you think they’ll never find out. Not even as a joke… it’s not nice. I know I am not the greatest friend, but I have things to do, appointments to keep, and relationships to maintain. Just because I can’t hang around waiting for a reply doesn’t mean I deserve abuse. No amount of apologies is going to make this go away though I’ve said that it’s “okay”. It’s not “okay”. It’s disturbing.

Someone’s Looking Over Your Shoulder

Every so often I go to the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne to get a little bit of time to myself and so I can catch up on work or school projects. I hardly go there to use the computers because I think they still have Windows 95 or something like that.

156518884515I went with a friend of mine yesterday and I was standing behind her while she was finding forms so she can work here. It was pretty funny because the guy on the right thought that I was more interested in what he was doing than what she was doing. Little did he know, I didn’t even look at his screen once yet he kept looking at me to see if I was. It was pretty funny.

The lady on the left was more interested in what my friend was doing than what she was doing. She kept looking around to see what she was doing and sometimes she’d look at me to make sure I wasn’t spying on her too. Again, I had no idea or interest in what she was doing.

It was kind of funny though. I don’t really like when people are looking over my shoulder at the stuff that I’m doing whether it’s just reading news or playing with Illustrator. It’s all innocent stuff, I swear it is!Monitor-Privacy

Something that I noticed is that the wifi there is absolutely abhorrent. It’s so slow that I can’t do anything I need to do and that’s not like playing games or anything, that’s actually browsing pages. So, since I’m still a part-time student, I go to the university next door to use it where it’s like a zillion times faster.

One of the pictures that I found trying to explain this whole concept of privacy was one of those hoodies with the thing you wrap around the screen so you’re the only one who can see it. I think without something like f.lux installed (which makes your eyes very happy when you’re working late at night or in the dark), it’s hard. Plus, I can imagine the screen on modern desktops picking up the display and popping you in the face. Kinda funny, in a sick sort of way.

One day, I hope to see someone looking at some really weird shit when I walk by. That would totally make my day. Haha.

By the way, the State Library of Victoria is actually quite beautiful on the inside and if you are around Melbourne, you should take 10-15 minutes to tour the place. You just wouldn’t want to use their slow wifi. It will ruin your vacation.

Pizza and a Double Post

Pizza. Brain food after you take a tour of a gym/pool!

Pizza. Brain food after you take a tour of a gym/pool!

It’s not often that we get two posts in a day… okay, so it probably isn’t two in one day. I wrote a post before I left the USA and at the time, I was pretty upset and typed a lot of angry things. I decided to edit it and post it because it had a lot of feelings towards living in the USA that I wanted to share. Well, it’s up and you can read it if you’d like.

I’ve been spending the last few days with my partner and so far, it’s been great. I know that I was a bit grouchy yesterday because it feels like I can’t get anything done between people sending me messages (who really aren’t to blame) and my code being bad. I am working on a job now that is requiring a lot of computer time and let’s just say that I’m getting sick of sitting in front of one! I haven’t been able to enjoy the Easter holidays.

Yesterday, I was able to take a tour of a gym and pool that I want to go to when I live here. The place was huge and it was a lot bigger than the gym I used to. Fortunately, it’s a bit cheaper, so that’s a plus. After I took a tour of the gym, I walked across the street to Domino’s Pizza and ate a whole pizza myself. That’s what champions do!

I’ve noticed this is a pretty nice place to be and it’s a shame that I’m going to have to wait another 6 weeks to move here. I guess I will be patient until then.

I knew this post wouldn’t be long. I also knew it wouldn’t have much substance either. 🙂 Until next time…

Easter Memories and Meeting the “In-Laws”

My posts for the last few times have been quite depressing so let’s change that, shall we? First, I just want to say Happy Easter to you. Here in Australia, it’s a four day affair. So that means, on Good Friday, I’d say about 95% of places are closed. On Sunday, oddly enough, more places are open. On Monday, people get the day off because Easter is on a Sunday. There’s a thing called Easter Saturday as well so a lot of the smaller shops are closed too. You could imagine how fun it can be when everything’s closed for a span of four days.

Who'd like to fill these up with some $20 bills?!

Who’d like to fill these up with some $20 bills?!

Easter, when I was back at home in the USA, was one of my favorite holidays. I remember getting Easter baskets full of candy and it always seemed like I hit the mother lode. The Easter bunny always went a little easy on my sister and me so we didn’t get tons of expensive gifts. It was always tame, but when I was a kid, it was usually when I’d get an Nintendo game (Super Mario Bros is one I remember well. My NES came with Duck Hunt and Gyromite, and we got that for Christmas the year before.). The rest of kids in the neighborhood would get bicycles, four-wheelers, and stuff like that but I was always happy with my Easter gifts. I think most of the reason behind that was the week of sugar supply I got. Later in the day, we’d go and visit my grandparents’ places for either lunch or dinner and they’d fill plastic eggs with candy or money. When I got older, I started filling them with cat food or some other stuff. It was always fun to see my cousins freak out when they saw it. I kinda figured it was a good chance to be a jerk without actually getting in big trouble for it.

I do miss those days. I sometimes think about what Easter would be like if I had kids of my own. I don’t know whether that will ever happen but I think that it’s something that some gay people go through. I guess adoption is on the table, but I am absolutely not ready for that. I still need to work on my career though I’m in my mid-30s. I didn’t imagine that I’d be where I am now but… but… this is supposed to be a positive post, right? So, maybe one day it will happen. I can’t see myself being with or marrying a woman, so I guess maybe this guy I am with now will do. 😉

On that note, I am staying at his family’s place for a bit. They’ve been absolutely wonderful so far and I am excited to have met them finally in person. I think I’ve seen everybody through the webcam, but this was a live meeting. I didn’t realize that I have so much in common game-wise with my partner’s nephew. When I move into this place, it will be fun to have someone to play Minecraft with! Haha.

That’s it for now. As I said, I’m trying to improve my mood and hoped that I would be able to do that this short weekend, at least. I seem to think that I will be able to sit back and enjoy my time with my partner but get constantly reminded how shit my life can be. But! Positive thoughts!!! I will get there, get out of the shit, and be a happy guy who can get back to the gym and lose this gut! Not sure this attempt was good enough to be a little more positive but the Easter memories did help. 🙂

 

My Mood Enhancers

Me and J

At one of my favorite fountains with one of my favorite people with a terrible look on my face.

It’s been a while since I updated this thing and it was unintentional that I ignored it. I haven’t been in the greatest mood since I’ve been back so that’s probably the main reason why I’ve been quiet.

I’m still having some trouble finding a temporary home for the next 6 weeks. A few friends of mine have offered for me to stay with them, but I don’t want to become a burden. I think what will end up happening is that I will try to stay with someone different every 2-3 days so that I don’t end up using up my welcome. It’s just a really crappy place to be. I’m staying in my old house for now until tomorrow, then I am going to stay with my partner for a week and a half.

Speaking of that, I would probably say that he’s one of the main reasons that I came back and he’s a reason why I am not feeling worse than I am. He’s been absolutely wonderful.

I’m also happy to be back because my old friend from when I lived in New York is living here now. (She’s the one who took the picture.) She hasn’t lived here in Australia for very long (a few months in other cities) but I know she’ll get a hang of things. It’s nice having another American around. It’s even better that I have someone close to me like that from home.

I think I feel a little bit better. I am a little worried over not having my own place and finding stable work has been a bit difficult due to the fact that I am not sure where I’ll be staying. I thought I was going to have a place in the west, but that deal fell through so yeah, maybe I can try really hard to find a temporary place until I move in with my partner.

Speaking of that and sorry I am skipping around so much, my partner met three new friends here. I never really introduced my friends to any partner of mine, so this one is super lucky. I am happy to say that it looked like they all got along well. I have been wanting to introduce my partner to them because I think it’s important to know people who I talk to. He seems fine with it though and I think if we’re going to be together, it’s going to be important we both know people together.

So, yes, I love this guy and I feel that he loves me too. It’s a nice feeling to be able to feel that. I know I’m not the most affectionate person, but I think he secretly knows that. I think he’s okay with that. He’s accepted a lot of things about me that I have a hard time accepting in myself.

10 months is coming up next week. Wow, time flies. I just maybe wish that I told people earlier that we were an item.