I want to start by prefacing that I in no way hold any active homophobic beliefs and I am glad to say in my daily life do not act or conduct myself with any homophobia. That is not in any way what this post is going to be about, in fact, it is mainly going to be down to my sexuality and how I went about discovering it.
Anyone who knows me, knows I am not the most masculine of men in the world. There are plenty of images where I am wearing nail polish, or make-up, or some sort of traditionally female regalia (although I do not make a habit of it). However, that coupled with the fact I am rather flamboyant when I speak, as well as my proclivity to partake in ally activities and read queer fiction has lead people through all my life to talk.
Now talk to me is harmless, I have had it all my life. My older brother was more masculine. He would play football and hang out with the ‘lads’, while I much preferred my books and video games; though I still fail to see how running around and getting sweaty with a bunch of men is more ‘gay’ than reading a book. So, even from an early age my brother and mother would call me gay for being quieter and more reserved than them.
Later in life, I developed a strong and unyielding love for musicals, this may I say did not help my case. I would be no happier than when I was singing along to my favourite ‘ little shop of horrors’ song, or when Sandy and Dany sang about finding love on a beach. Other than the fact my singing is sub-par and pitchy at best I had no issue with it, I loved what I loved and it didn’t matter what other people thought. In fact, in most cases, I would steer into the skid so to speak and belt out a show tune whenever someone would comment.
This carried on being a regular theme in my life, I would find an interest or a hobby that would not fit masculine perceptions, and I would be called gay for it. Most of the time in a joking sense by my friends, although when it came to the family often said with more venom. My, mother even once said to me ‘ god I hope you are gay, then I would not have to come to your wedding and sit by your farther’ (in context this makes sense on account of my parents being divorced.) When I pointed out to her that people of all sexualities can get married she scoffed and said ‘ yeah but it’s not real for them’… now you can see what I am working with here.
Throughout all of this mind, I want to stress I was convinced i was straight. I didn’t care that the activities didn’t fit i knew I liked girls, I had only ever fancied girls it made sense to me. I found some guys attractive sure but I never felt or had any romantic interest in them, so when it came to schoolboy crushes, I simply never had one on a guy. Celebrities crushes was a different matter altogether. Neil Patric Harris was a major celeb crush, and so was Luke Evans, however it was more realising they were attractive and not being attracted to them. At least that is what I thought at the time.
My first real encounter with my sexuality and how it may in fact not be what I always thought it was, came when I was 17. By this point I had previously had two girlfriends, I had been sexual with them and I was so far convinced i was straight. However, I had recently secured a staring roll in pantomime were I played the loveable buttons. It was during rehearsals I started talking to a bass player in the panto band, we started talking and swapped numbers. I knew this guy was gay but at first, it was nothing to do with that we would just be chatting and it was a nice friendship.
Yet things didn’t stay that way. One night we were texting one another and somehow we ended up getting on to the topic of fantasies. He soon admitted he had a crush on me and that one of his fantasies was that I would experiment with my sexuality with him. Without hesitation and knowing he lived close enough to walk I said sure why not. At first, he didn’t believe me however I pushed and said yeah I will experiment. So we agreed to meet in the local woods in a quiet spot he knew. When we got there things were beyond awkward at first, as you can imagine two teenagers meeting in the wood would be. However, he got on his knees pulled down my trousers and took me in his mouth. He grabbed my arse with his both hands and the warm moistness of his mouth made me hard instantly. I grabbed hold of the top of his head to try and pull him away but before I knew it I had orgasmed. As I stumbled back and held on to a felled tree for the support he got up and chuckled. He made some degrading lude comment about how fast I came, which I chuckled along, before turning and saying ‘your turn’. He put his hands on my shoulders and pushed me to the ground. I slowly pulled down his trousers, and there it was. Smaller than I expected (though not a complaint), as just as enjoyable. I had to the time of my life tasting him and doing what I thought would please him, as he thrust into me.
I will admit right now, I was terrible. I did not know how to give a blow job, and he had to finish himself over me. However, that is not the most embarrassing part. The most embarrassing part is what I did after the incident, I simply pretended like it didn’t happen. We still talked as friends but I refused to acknowledge that we had done anything like that and soon it fell into fiction. Not long after I was leaving to go to university so it didn’t matter too much and I could pretend as nothing of the sort occurred. When I think back on it now I struggle, knowing that I used someone who had a crush on me to explorer my own sexuality.
When I got to uni things carried on as normal, had some crushes a few ‘normal’ one night stands just business as usual. Little to no resemblance of a relationship, however, I blame myself as a resurging anxiety problem meant I had issues functioning with the wider world. Still, things were fine, ML even helped me reconnect with my love of kink and set me up on a few sites where I could find and talk to people with similar interests. Everything was good, or as good as things are for the typical millennial with bad mental health, debt, alcohol issues and crippled love life. Aside from all that things carried on that was until my third year.
In my third year while scouring through ‘collar space’ I began to talk with a male domme. He had told me he was a similar age to myself and interested in the same things I was and talking to him was amazing. It felt like I had really made a connection with someone and I was actually excited about it. However, now came the tricky bit, how do I tell ML that I found someone but that someone was a guy. I knew ML was a lesbian and I was fine with that like I said prior I supported all LGBTQ+. So then why was it so hard for me to admit for myself.
I had been called gay and queer all my life and now I was faced with the question what if I was and why did I had an issue with that. One of my first thoughts was well if I admit this out loud then girls won’t be interested as they will think i only like guys. Followed by I don’t want to have to tell my family about this. A number of thoughts raced through my head, even some trying to convince myself this wasn’t real and I didn’t feel this way. I had expectations and reservations that while I didn’t hold for anyone else I held for myself. This is why I say about hidden or latent homophobia because in that moment there was no reason for me to feel this way other than societal pressure that I wouldn’t put on others yet seemed to apply to me.
In the end, I opened up to ML who understood how I was feeling, I was reassured and have since opened up to some more people about it. I don’t tell everyone about it as my sexuality is my own and not theirs. I also don’t feel the need to come out to the family as being bi-sexual until the moment occurs where I would need to I also don’t see why they should have to know. It is less about hiding it or running from it now though and more about it belonging to me. I still am more attracted to women in general but I now don’t fully dismiss the idea of being with a guy like I once did.
The thoughts of. ‘What if he is gay, what will that change for him. Will, he ever be able to be with a girl, how will his parents react. Will people treat him differently. He is afraid this isn’t who he is.’ They have gone now and I am free to be a little more me than I was before, musicals and all.