I no longer want to be gay. I know that on the surface this statement reeks of the denial, self-loathing and internalized homophobia commonly associated with accepting and integrating ones gayness but truth is, I just don’t want to be gay anymore. It has outlived its usefulness. I have experienced all aspects of the life and can safely say that it no longer speaks to the person that I am or want to become. I didn’t always feel this way.
Initially I came to this community searching for love, intimacy and brotherhood. In return, I got shade, infidelity, loneliness and disunity. The self-loathing in this community forces you to encounter a series of broken men who are self-destructive, hurtful, cruel and vindictive towards one another. I have struggled to adapt my moral code to fit the behaviors concomitant with the lifestyle but it seems that the lifestyle is forcing me too far away from everything I love and value. No matter how many times I try to purge my perception of its firmly held beliefs and skewed biases, the same classic stereotypes of gay men keep rearing their ugly heads. The indiscriminate sex, superficiality, unstable relationships, self-hatred, peter pan syndrome, closeted connections, ageism, shade, loneliness, preoccupation with sex, prejudice, aversion to intimacy all seem to come out of the ground I thought they were buried under. Gay men just seem to find it difficult to transcend the stereotypes and clichés attached to the life and it is becoming disheartening.
It has been seven years since I decided to live my life as an openly gay male and it has not been an easy road. It has been fraught with much pain and misery that I initially tried to mask with alcohol, drugs, sex and parties. In the beginning it was hard to admit that I liked other men. But I did and it was a very freeing experience. It gave me the opportunity to assert my identity when for years I struggled with this. It gave me a chance to be my own activist and stand up in the face of opposition from family, friends and society as a whole. I took pride in my gay pride and felt as though I were apart of something greater than myself, a movement of men who loved other men and who were unafraid to show it. Our love was supposed to be a revolutionary act. But the truth is, we didn’t love each other; we were just infatuated with the idea of belonging and going against the grain. We loved the freedom and taboo of rebelling against societal mores. The love that we thought was intricate to the spelling of our revolution was just a knife that we turned in on ourselves under the guise of fun and good times.
Personally I believe that love is sacrifice and not many gay men are willing to sacrifice for their brethren nowadays. Initially this spirit of self-sacrifice was salient during the AIDS crisis in the early 80’s and 90’s when resources were scarce and people were afraid. But now, there seems to be a preoccupation with the seduction of risk, as gay men play with matches, hoping to ignite meaningful connections in their never ending self-discovery. The grand prize of intimacy is often forfeited for the immediate gratification of a casual encounter on craigslist or a geo-social hook up on Grindr. Cars have become the new bedrooms and sex is not followed with pillow talk but rather phrases such as: “Blo and Go,” “Pump and Dump” and “Skeet and Leave”. The life is starting to look a lot like a slow death simmering on low heat and it doesn’t hold the same appeal that it once did to me. It is a life in serious need of renovations.
Men also used to be men and approached you with a modicum of chivalrous courage. Now they hide behind electronic masks or position themselves in close proximity to you at clubs hoping you initiate contact only to arrogantly dismiss your advances in an attempt to project their own discomfort. I have noticed that a lot of gay men seem to only want a challenge and live for the elusive. They want men who do not want them, men who resemble the emotional distance or absence of their fathers.
I am too young to long for the good old days but this life makes you miss what it meant to be gay. It makes you long for the times when a guy would greet you and offer you a drink as opposed to his cock size and sexual stats. The middleman of courtesy has been eliminated and replaced with an immoral devil who chaperons your destruction daily. It just isn’t worth it anymore. And while I recognize my attractions to men, I choose to no longer associate myself with a life that lives outside of morality and goodness. The gay life is like the love of a bad boy whose attention and love you initially covet but eventually outgrow. It’s just not where I see myself anymore.