Thursday, February 02, 2006
Don't ask, Don't tell.
I’ve not disappeared, just busy. I’ve been working on this post for a while, and I hope to follow it up soon. No promises. For all those out there who have been terrorized with ecstasy, there is hope, and there is healing.
At age 16 I received my first blowjob. But it wasn’t supposed to happen. At age 16 I looked like a linebacker: 6+feet tall, 200+ pounds. What irony! I looked like 21, but acted like 12. Always grave beyond my years in so many ways, I was so immature.
Bill Clinton did not invent “don’t ask, don’t tell.” It started at my house. But it went way beyond anything about sexuality. Don’t ask anything difficult. Don’t tell anything bothersome or upsetting. Best yet, just shut up and get out of the way or I’ll give you something to cry about. (Well, my father was that way. My mother did her best, but was usually depressed, heaving heavy sighs).
So, as I waited for a stall in the restroom at the mall, a hand appeared from under the partition. They thought I was waiting for something else. I did not understand what was happening, but I figured out it had to do with touching. Oh. My. God.
I did not know people did that sort of thing. I really didn’t understand. Yes, it felt good, but what was that all about? I don’t think the term “gay” had been used yet. Though I knew I was different, I didn’t know I was queer. And I didn’t know what it meant.
The results of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” household environment means, “go away and figure it out yourself.” No matter what “it” might be, take care of it yourself. So I did. And I still do. When there is no one you can truly rely on, you learn to cope on your own, even though you miss a lot along the way. And, you tend to isolate yourself.
I knew all about things academic and some practical (like laundry). But relating to others? Forget it. If it wasn’t taught in school or readily available in the public realm, (which does not include public restrooms), I was clueless.
So, in that toilet, in the mall, two men come out of the stalls. They . . . well, you know. Never had I felt anything quite so wonderful and yet been so terrified, both at the same time. Ecstasy and terror. Oh. My. God. What have I done.
“Don’t ask, don’t tell.” And, I didn’t. Not to anyone. Not for years. In that one afternoon, I learned a lot. But I lost a lot more.
at 9:32 AM