Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Response to Recent Comments, Part Two

Comment #2, received November 26, 2013  (My response is in italics.)

Thanks, Rick, for replying. I just wanted to expand a little bit. I think it's an unarguable truth that we all want love and someone to love. On that basis, I think there's only so much a familial love can fulfill us, and that's why we seek a partner to fall in love, and start our own family.

I could not agree more.  I completely believe we are here to love.  In fact, that is the only reason we’re here, a truth which eludes some.  And, no, familial love isn’t enough.  If we’re lucky, we experience familial love, in a form we recognize as such (some of us don’t, like me), and that allows us to move into our adult lives, ready and able to share our love with that special someone.   

Being single is okay, but you cannot experience the full spectrum of what life has to offer by being single. It's just okay.

From time to time, I receive a comment or email from someone who doesn’t get the whole relationship thing, who claims he’s happy as a single person and couldn’t imagine it any other way.  Like I said in Part One, different strokes.  But, deep inside that person, I believe there is a big hole, waiting to be filled with the experience of love from someone else.  He just hasn’t realized it yet. 

To go through this entire life without experiencing love from someone other than family would seem to me akin to being only partly alive.  I feel sorry for anyone like that.  Even loving fully and completely, and losing, is still better than never loving at all.  Until you’ve been in love–real and true and deep love–don’t tell me you’d rather be single, because I won’t believe you.

I know this because I had several partners who thought the world of me, but to whom I could never fully reciprocate. To them it was pain, because they cannot get what they crave - my heart. Again, the issue is not with me, because it is not difficult for me to fall in love - with a straight guy.

Oh, dude.  Read that again, will you?  Don’t you get it?  The issue is not with you?  Then who is the issue with?  Every partner you’ve ever been with?  So all of them were wrong, and you were right?  Who is the common denominator here?  You!  That’s right.

And I know exactly the problem.  You have no trouble falling in love with a straight guy, but you can’t give your heart to a gay guy?  If that isn’t homophobia, I don’t know what is.  And you know why I can say that?  Because I felt the exact same way. 

For years, I found straight guys more attractive than gay guys. I won’t get into the whole thing with gay guys being attracted to straight guys (in fact, I wrote a post about it previously, even calling it a fetish I had), but you need to open your eyes. 

What is it about straight guys that appeals to you that you don’t find in gay guys?  Straight guys are more masculine?  The idea of being with a straight guy not only turns you on sexually (converting a straight guy is a big gay guy fantasy, if you didn’t already know), but I’d be willing to bet you crave the validation from a straight guy too.  Here’s how it goes:  If I can get a straight guy to love me, then he’ll show me that being gay isn’t so bad after all.  In other words, his attention and love will show me I’m a valued human being. 

But it’s a big illusion, because if you got a straight guy, technically, he wouldn’t be straight, would he?  Then what?  When he gave you his heart, you’d withdraw yours, because he’s no longer truly straight?

Not to mention that if you’re self-accepting, then you shouldn’t need validation from a straight guy to make you feel good about yourself.  You should already feel good about yourself.  Do you see that?

One of them was so depressed to the point, he was suicidal. I had to take him to the hospital to an emergency room. I didn't leave him abruptly, nor was I cold towards him, because I totally understood how he felt. I wanted the same - I mean, not necessarily the same, but to be in a mutual satisfying relationship with someone. Regardless of straight or gay, we all want that - because it IS our heart's desire. Even the Bible says so.

Wow!  I feel sorry for this fellow (the one who was suicidal).  Just on the basis of what you wrote here, I’d say he was definitely suffering from low self-esteem, and he saw your leaving as figuratively ending his life, which he literally wanted to carry through on.  This is a manifestation of how desperate some gay men are when it comes to accepting themselves for who and what they are, and finding the love for themselves that is key to their/our mental health in general.    

That being said, I think being gay is a big challenge, almost a curse,

A disability in one comment and a curse in the other.  Please reread my comment in Part One about this.  Being gay is neither.  It just is.  What makes all the difference in the world, in every aspect of your life, is how you look at it.  You create your own reality by how you look at something like your sexual orientation.   

…that cannot be changed to become a blessing by our own will/strength,

I don’t know if I’d call being gay a blessing.  That said, because I’m gay, I have this blog, and I’ve met some incredible people, like you, as a result.  I consider that a blessing.

And, because I’m gay, I met my partner, Chris–the most extraordinary human being I know–and have experienced the best twenty-one years of my life with him.  I consider that a blessing.

I can’t know what my life would be like if I were straight–although, in my less happier days, I gave some thought to what that might look like–but I can tell you I’m one blessed man.  Whether that’s because I’m gay or not, you decide for yourself.

…but it is somewhat dependent upon external factors such as finding the right one for you.

Gay or straight, external factors will always affect our lives, including finding the right person.  But let me tell you this.  Just because you’re straight, and find who you believe to be the right person, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be happy, or you’ve got it made.  Just ask all those straight people out there who got married, thinking they had it made, and are now divorced.

In other words, gay and straight people have an equal chance of being blessed by external factors (which are largely out of our control), including finding the right person.  There are no guarantees.  All you can do is the best you can do in all areas of your life. But a positive attitude almost always means you’ll find yourself in a better place than if you have a negative attitude.

It is just okay with being by yourself. We can be somewhat happy by being single, but never be fully fulfilled until we meet our heart's desire and are in a fulfilling relationship.

Agreed.  I've already commented on this.  

So I think it is wrong for you to say I am wrong.

I haven’t said you’re wrong.  As far as not being fulfilled until we meet our heart’s desire and are in a fulfilling relationship, I couldn’t agree more.  I’m an example of that in my relationship with Chris.

Because essentially, what I am saying is very basic and fundamental, that it is irrefutable. Anyhow, thank you for your response, and I look forward to your new post you promised on this topic.

Thank you for your comment.  I sincerely hope I've written something here that got you thinking, and maybe helped you to look at yourself and your life a little differently.  Sometimes, that's all we need–a little push in another direction.     


  1. Thank you, Rick. I read your comments on the two posts. I think you broke down and chopped up my overall comment, and took each words/sentences too literally, you missed the point. When I said being single is "just okay," I didn't mean it in a positive note - I think you totally misunderstood this. And when I said being gay is like a disability/challenge/curse, I meant to convey how challenging it can be to be 'gay and happy' as a metaphor - please don't focus on the literal meaning of disability, because my intention was not to be portrayed as a "homophobia" to put being gay down or lower. Maybe "disability" wasn't the right word to use - because I believe being gay is not a choice most of the times, and there is no functional difficulty with being gay. But what I meant to say that you missed is the underlying challenge - whether you're white/black/asian or whether you're tall/short, or if you have some form of physical deformity, or some kind of disease - any of them can be a challenge in its own way, and some of them a much greater challenge than the other. I meant to say being gay is a challenge - can be in an internal way too (like self-image or low self-esteem), but also in an external way as in finding the right partner for yourself. Latter is what I stressed for myself - you have misconstrued what I said by grouping it a "gay challenge." I have trouble understanding why literate people like yourself only look at the superficial meaning of the words/sentences, and not look in to the deeper underlying sentiment of my comments. If you couldn't see it in my words even when you said you will trust me on the statement that I have no problems/issues with myself, then you should have trust me so - instead of having doubts that I might have low self-esteem/insecurities. I have more confidence in myself than I probably ought to. I think you are wrong in saying most gay guys are attracted to straight guys because they want their approval/affirmation - that is not the only reason, nor it is the fundamental reason. A lot of gay guys are attracted to straight guys, because they often possess the qualities they like and are attracted to - simple as that. It is not good to make it complicated and over-analyze on things, because truth usually comes out simple. We like guys for a reason, right? Straight men tend to manifest masculine qualities, and gay men tend to manifest more feminine qualities - whether it be good or bad. When we say we like men, almost by definition, we are attracted to the masculine qualities. Now a lot of people would say there are many gay men who are very straight-acting, and some are so, but in reality, I don't think there are that many gay men who can pass as straight & has the straight men qualities (not just act straight, but has the high-tolerance, not-so-sensitive side and whole bunch of other "masculine qualities"). We are only deceiving ourselves when we say, "You only want the straight men's approval/affirmation to boost your self-confidence." You may be old and experienced, but you haven't experienced the whole spectrum of being gay - for example, I have slept with a friend in his late 20's, who sincerely identify himself as straight, or at least not gay, a few times because he told me he was attracted to me. I know I was his first guy experience, and perhaps the last. I didn't turn him gay, but I know he was attracted to me. My boyfriend I had in Hawaii thought he was straight until he met me, or he told me he was confused and more confused after meeting me, but this is the same boyfriend whom I had to take to the emergency room because he was suicidal. And no, I don't think the main reason he was suicidal is insecurity/low self-esteem. Although he did have low self-esteem, he knew I didn't love him as he loved me, and his heart was not fully content - there was always a thirst that he couldn't quench. Continue to next (character limit)...

    1. I've read your comments, and I don't disagree with what you said. Believe it or not, our various responses are more alike than they are dissimilar.

      The bottom line for me is, a lot of words have gone back and forth between us over the past few days, but I only wish you happiness, whatever that looks like for you.

      Thanks for your interest in my blog and for taking the time to correspond with me. I'm here for you if you ever want to "talk" again.

    2. Yes, I know our responses are more alike than are dissimilar - that's why I thanked you for your affirmation in the end. I just think you twisted the literal meaning of my texts and made it more complicated - never realizing the underlying sentiment - which is sadness. Just today, I had to say goodbye to my ex again, because he thought we had a chance together again. He is a good guy, but I just can't concede in my feelings anymore, hence, the goodbye. I just wished you related more with the sadness that gay men tend to carry, but you have a partner for over 20 years, so who can expect that from you? Sadly enough, it seems like you are a typical American - never admitting, never apologizing. Sorry, I think that's the American culture, and that's why I'm moving to New Zealand. Hopefully, "if" it's meant to be, I'll find someone there (we can never guarantee anything in the future that we don't know for sure to happen by saying "when").

    3. Anonymous, I learned from blogging recently at "The Huff Post" that the reader (you) should get the last word. But I think your comment above deserves a response, just to clarify.

      I'm not certain I "twisted the literal meaning of your texts" at all, and I believe you misunderstand me, to a degree. What any reader gives me in terms of a comment is all I have to go on. If you say one thing, I will take it that way, pure and simple. If you mean to say something else, then you must be sure to write it that way, so the reader–in this case, me–gets it. You must look at what you write from the perspective of someone who doesn't know you and isn't in your head. Write to be understood.

      I don't know where you get the idea that I didn't feel the sadness in what you wrote. It was everywhere. And I know it's a result of your being alone and wanting to be partnered. I get that. Yes, I've been partnered for twenty-one years, but, for thirty-two years of my fifty-four, I was alone (even when I still lived at home), and I felt it intensely. You never forget the pain of that. So am I out of touch now because I have Chris? No, of course not. That's why I related so much to what you wrote. It's also why I committed as much time as I did to responding to your comment, why I desperately want you to find someone. I'm on your side, dude, believe it or not.

      And please watch the potential insults, okay? I'm actually not, as you put it, "a typical American–never admitting, never apologizing." I'm Canadian. There's a difference. And when I have something to admit or apologize for, I'm not above doing it.

      I sincerely hope you find what you're looking for in New Zealand. Chris's sister lived there for some years, and Chris's niece now lives there with her husband and baby. It's a very different place from North America, much simpler, if you will. And they seem to be more open about gay people, even teaching about it in schools. Perhaps you will find yourself a Kiwi.

      In closing, I just want to say that, yes, I took your original comments and did a detailed analysis of them. If you didn't expect that, if you thought it was too drastic, if you believe I was too literal, well, then I'm sorry that happened. I was only trying to help, based on what you gave me in your words.

      I wish you well. If you're up for it, write me again when you've found someone in New Zealand. I'd love to know everything turned out great for you.


  2. And you also misread that part when you said that I left him when I took him to the emergency room - I said I stayed with him, and didn't leave him abruptly to care for him, so that he will be ready. And yes, you did say I was wrong on the comment you made to my response/comment. I just have hard time understanding why people can't read/take things for what they are, and have to filter it in their minds to make it so complicated. Anyhow, I have read all what you wrote on the posts, and I sincerely appreciate your time and energy spent on writing them. It is not easy to find a person like yourself who is concerned and caring about other people.

    P.S. In terms of my standards, no, it is not the physical features so much that defines it. I have written that I have never been in a "mutual relationship" - that means that I could never say I was really attracted to or have fallen in love with the people I was with - except maybe one which didn't last for long because of his extreme difficulties (drugs, alcohol & mental disease). I don't believe so much in concession - maybe concession of standards, but we should never concede in how we feel. I just never felt more than "deep, sincere care" for a person I was with, as opposed to, "love, that is blinding." And I don't wanna go for any more "try-out" relationships - hoping that I might fall in love with the person after a while - they never work. Anyhow, your post topic was about "Being gay and happy" and my focus was about being happy. I think we both agree and have established that we can't be truly happy being single - I call it "just okay." So thank you for your affirmation in what I believe.