Saturday, October 16, 2010

Odds & Ends

I have shed many tears over videos on Dan Savage's "It gets better" project.  Watch them.  Weep, and rejoice.  As a teenager, I had no information to know what I was.  But in my 30's, I did come close to suicide.  I'm so glad I didn't.  It's gotten SO much better!
C'est moi.

There is more information for youth, and the rest of us, today.  But maybe not enough, or not enough info out there for them to find.

Last week, with an opportunity (working with my regular 'customers' who happen to stop by on Sunday mornings) to speak on the subjects of bullying and on accepting gay and lesbian folk, I was scared sh**less to say anything.  But I did.  And with very positive results.  Once again, they didn't fire me.

And in other news . . . .

Dating life is not going so well.  The guy I have seen several times, over a month or two is just the greatest guy!  He is nice, kind, considerate, not pushy or pressuring.  And fun to be with.  I told him last week how much I want to fall in love with him.  But I'm just not feeling it.  It's simply not happening.  While I'm able to accept this, I also have this commitment to being honest.  I can lead him on, drag this out, continue to pretend.  Though I hope we'll see each other some more, I had to tell him how I was feeling.

Meanwhile, he is ready for me to move in with him.  Smitten.  God knows I don't want to hurt anyone.  But I recall a friend of mine in a similar situation.  He was head over heels for a guy, and they were together for a year or more.  though they didn't live under the same roof (as I believe they were in different, but not distant, towns) they spent a great deal of time with one another.  My friend was smitten, in love, over the moon.  But I'm not sure how much was really talked about.  His lover comes in one day and announces he has met the love of his life.  And then he could not understand why my friend was thrilled for him.  Friendship for one was love for another.

I don't want that to happen.  For me, for him, for anyone.  Ugh.

Maybe something more will grow?  But I don't want to deepen the hurt or prolong the end.  Time will tell.  Who knows?  I, too, am trusting that it gets better.  It's not just for teenagers

That was more than I meant to say about that.

Photo credit: BG with thanks, even though you think I'm angry 

Aside:   Somewhere there is a joke about a proctologist and a psychiatrist going in to practice together.  They were trying to come up with a creative name for their medical office.  While I don't remember the punch line, two of the suggestions were "Nuts and Butts" and "Odds and Ends"


BentonQuest said...

Hey Joe!

Sorry to hear about the BF, but I, too, believe that honesty is the best. You are a great guy, there will be someone out there for you.

And I heard the punchline as "Heads or Tails"

behrmark said...

You've touched on several things that have crossed my mind over the past few weeks. It's true that the GLBT youth of today have more resources and exposure than in my day. They are more aware of their sexuality at an earlier age as well.

I completely agree that being honest with your friend is the absolute best; I would caution you, however, on the time spent with him in "friendship." If he is smitten he will continue to fall in love until one day the reality of the situation will dawn on him and he will be hurt. I know; I speak from experience.

GREAT picture. I am envious of your handsomeness.
Behr Hugs!

Neil said...

Portrait photography has always been my favorite and this pic is my best one. It's nice to see it online, for the world to see. Thank you for this exposure and for the credit.

Ur-spo said...

Brave soul; keep going.

Jeremiah Andrews said...

We hope that all this attention paid to the topics at hand will be life affirming and also be teachable moments.

Honesty is the best policy. Mr. right will come along...

Enjoy the time you have with Mr. right now. Friends are good, lovers are better, don't put all your eggs in one basket.

If it ain't working, it ain't working. It's good that you are aware of that. It will serve you well.

Keep us posted.


Michael Dodd said...

Agree that the photo is great. A bit sad? Or just reflective?

On other fronts ...

1) Honesty is a good thing. Timing is also a good thing. When they come together, it is a great thing. I'm sure you know that.

2) The truth will set you free. And it will set your friend free. But it can hurt like hell first. I'm sure you know that.

3) Love is organic, living. It grows. Infatuation is non-organic, an event. It happens. What grows has a better chance of surviving than what merely happens. I'm sure you know that.

4) Friendship sometimes cannot survive one friend falling in love with the other. Sometimes it can. Friendship is important and worth the risk of letting it happen and helping it survive. I'm sure you know that.

5) Remember all those stories about the stranger who turns out to be Christ in disguise? Don't miss the visitation of love because it doesn't look/feel/etc the way you expected and the way culture [even gay culture] says it will look/feel/etc. I'm sure you know that.

6) The word verification is ratman. So not any of us, right?

Cubby said...

"I, too, am trusting that it gets better. It's not just for teenagers." I'm so glad you said that. I feel the same way. The thousands of videos out there made for this project, while surely helpful to teens, are also bringing joy and hope to my life as well. Many of the vids make me cry, and I feel like I'm growing as a man each and every time I watch one.

Do you have any idea how hot your pic is? My heart skipped a beat...

Lemuel said...

@Cubby: Not *nearly* as hot as Joe is in person! *wink and e.g*

I'm glad to had the chance to broach the subject with your customers. There are a lot of similar businesses telling their customers that the suicides are all the fault of the gays themselves. Gays invited bullying because they are gay. Right.

As to the bf, I am glad you were honest here and now at the beginning. I hope he appreciates that and I hope your friendship continues. Perhaps it will blossom into love. Perhaps not. Better that love blossoms in the future as you continue to get to know each other than that you pretend it exists in the present and only end up in a world of hurt. Many of us have been there.

There are always good wishes for you heading out from here at the Lake. Yes, the picture is hot, btw, but I also saw that the picture captured the gentle, thoughtful, wonderfully and fully human guy that I had the privilege to meet this summer.

Birdie said...

You seem quite centered in this post. You have put the needs of another before your own, but that is no surprise to me. In doing so you have given yourself the peace that comes from grace.

And I believe you have found your new profile picture; it is strong in many ways.

Ice John's World said...

Good luck, Joe! Honesty is the best way and time will tell if it will turn into love.

Butterfly Mage said...

I am very glad that I didn't ever kill myself. Back in the 1990s, I gave it a shot a few times. I suppose the attempts failed because I was more interested in the misery in my life ending and not actually interested in my life ending.

Life did get better. I'm pretty happy most of the time.

Maddog said...

Haven't stopped by in a while. It's a very moving post. All of us have to find a way to stop the bullying. I've been at it with all of my friends for the past several weeks. They probably think I'm bullying them. But if it helps just one kid then it will be worth it.

Greg said...

Being honest with the man is the best thing. You're showing him that you respect him and don't want to lie, which many people will not do. (I'm guilty of that, and it ended with a 4-year relationship to someone I really didn't like -- all because I wouldn't be truthful to myself and to him.)

BadgerBear said...

re: joke ... Well, you could simply name the practice "Analysis" ;-)