Lately, I've thought about the many gay men I came to know over the years. As we moved on to other locations, other stages of our lives, we lost touch, but I wonder what happened to them, if they ever found the long-term, committed relationships they so wanted.
I believe the natural state for human beings is to be together with someone else. We are meant to be coupled. We are meant to share our lives with someone we love dearly. We are meant to partner with someone who will teach us what we need to learn about ourselves. We are not meant to be alone and lonely.
Some of the gay men I knew had an odd way of looking for relationships. They headed straight for sex. I suspect, gay or straight, most men have an easier time engaging in sex than committing themselves emotionally to another human being, which I don't understand and find unfortunate.
My hope for the gay men I knew, both in Kelowna and Vancouver, is they settled down, grew up, realized what they did wouldn't put them in the place they wanted to be. I hope they learned to love themselves along the way, because I didn't see much of that when we were friends. Goodness knows, I wasn't much of an example myself.
Do all of us arrive at that destination eventually, that place of love for oneself? Does it happen automatically as a matter of course, just by growing older, being a part of life's many experiences? Or do we need to make the conscious choice to love ourselves despite the things we've always hated about who we are, including being gay?
Do all of us find that special person? Do all of us get to experience the fullness and the beauty and the wonder of love? Do all of us get to be so much more with someone else in our lives than we could ever be if we remained alone throughout it?
I picture so many of the gay men I used to know, their faces now lined, their hair greying, arriving home to empty houses. I imagine them never having learned how to open their hearts wide enough for themselves, let alone partners, finding just enough space for a pet of some sort. I see them amongst a lot of friends, but, at the end of the day, they remain solitary figures, sad and pitiable, missing out on the single greatest blessing of the human experience.
I hope I'm wrong. I pray I'm wrong. All of us have so much love to give. That's why we're here, after all. If we can just find it for ourselves first. If we can just believe in our own self-worth, in how extraordinarily amazing we are, in our entitlement to love and to be loved.
I don't want one person who's truly serious about finding the right person and being in a long-term, committed relationship to go without. I pray every last one of us gets exactly what he wants, including all those young men who made me feel so much better about myself because, in their own way, they loved me as I loved them. No one should ever have to be alone, if that is not his choice.