Thursday, April 7, 2011

Meeting Brad, part 1

Ever since I came out as gay at age 16 I've wanted a boyfriend. No, that's not exactly right. I knew I was gay before I came out to my family and friends and remember wanting a boyfriend when I was 15 (or was it 14?).

Since I'm 18 now (almost 19) I've had a lot of time to think about what kind of boyfriend I wanted. In my mid-teens I think it was more the "idea" of having a boyfriend that was appealing. I had crushes on lots of different boys -- movie star boys, boys I made up in my day dreams (and night dreams), boys in my class at school and boys I would see at the mall, the ice cream shop, McDonald's, you name it! When my eyes were open, they were scanning.
Sometimes at night I would close my eyes, pick a boy I thought was cute, and imagine us holding hands, kissing, going to the beach, listening to music, going to the movies, laughing. These imaginary boyfriends in my mind could change in a split second and I'd be onto the next one. Sometimes they had blond hair and other times they had brown hair. Different eye colors, too. Some tall, some my height.
There was something really exciting about the whole thing. Whatever I made up in my mind belonged to just me. Nobody could make fun of me, nobody could call me a sissy, a fag, a queer. It was the most normal thing in the world and I loved it. Sometimes in my dreams I would let other people in and they would be happy for me and my boyfriend. Having a boyfriend was the easiest thing in the world.
When I hit 17, I no longer wanted a "pretend" boyfriend. I wanted to get serious about the whole thing and actually had my eyes on a couple of boys in high school. I had a hard crush on one who was totally straight, so I knew that would go nowhere. The other boy was gay and we had winked at each other in passing and even talked some after school. He was so totally shy and I couldn't tell whether he was interested or not. I mean, I sorta felt the same way too. Like how do you learn as a gay boy how to flirt with another boy? Did you go about it the same way straight kids did? So, how could I get my hands on some manual or book on, The Gay Teen Boy's Step-by-Step Guide to Flirting and Dating? They didn't have that one in my school library!
When I came out to my mom at 16, one of the things I remember her saying was, "Matty, one day you're going to meet the man of your dreams (how did she know about those day and night dreams of mine?!? Yikes). Until then just take all the time you need learning about yourself. When you meet someone to date, just be yourself. Don't try to be someone you're not. And don't ever pressure yourself or be pressured to settle for less than you deserve."
So, I tried to just put those raging hormones on a lower level (easier said than done!) and began to think about who I was and what I wanted.
Now, fast forward to age eighteen. My best friend in the world has always been Tyler (and for the record, he's straight). We practically grew up together and we're the same age. Our birthdays are just a week apart and we had a long standing tradition of celebrating our birthdays in the middle of that week and we were now both turning 18.
I know it probably sounds silly, but we've always had a theme for the party, and this year we decided on, First Things Next. I mean, eighteen felt like a huge deal and we wanted to be thinking about some of the "first things" that were important to us at this big "rite of passage" birthday. Eighteen felt more "grownup" than 16 or 17.
Tyler and I had been working on a list of people we wanted to invite. It’s amazing how our minds work because we picked almost the same people to invite. I don’t know how he did it, however, but he invited one person he hadn’t consulted me about and managed to keep it a secret.
Little did I know I'd be meeting one of the "first things next" at this party!
Tune in tomorrow (Meeting Brad, part 2) for what happens next.

24 comments:

  1. Aww, another cliffhanger... But I like your intro. And about your mum, she didn't meant literally lol :'P. Can't wait for the next part. C u tomorrow :)

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  2. Your mom sounds awesome. That was excellent advice. Looking forward to tomorrow's post.

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  3. You're inspiring stories in my head here, Matty! Much love to your mom, too. Brilliant lady.

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  4. You guys and your cliffhangers. ;-) I really am enjoying the back stories to you two meeting. Sounds like you have some wonderful people in your life, Matt.

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  5. How great for you that your Mom was so accepting. Very lucky indeed. Looking forward to your next post.

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  6. You guys are the highlight of my lunch hour now! :D Love your mom, Matt. She reminds me of my Grams with that acceptance and push to be yourself. Looking forward to tomorrow!

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  7. Your mom sounds very wise :)I'm looking forward to what happens next!

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  8. Looking forward to the next part! Your mom sounds very cool. :)

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  9. Thanks everybody! First an apology for the formatting of the post. There must be a Gremlin somewhere in this thing. I meant to separate the paragraphs out to make it easier to read. Brad is much better at this stuff than I am.

    Secondly, thanks for your enthusiasm for all this. It really means a lot!

    I was so excited to put what my mom told me when I came out to her. She really is one of the most special people in my life (and very wise, too).

    From what you've written, Thorny, about your Grams, I think she and my mom would make excellent friends! Isn't it special to have people like that in our lives?

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  10. Great post! Can't wait to read tomorrow's edition. And, your mom sounds a very loving and special lady! What a great birthday it turned out to be huh?

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  11. Matt,

    I'm right there with everyone else...I love your mom!! I adore that she is so supportive of you, and she gave you great advice. I can't wait until tomorrow to hear about your first reaction to Brad!

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  12. It sounds like you have a great mom, hon!

    Fantastic post. I can't wait to see more. :)

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  13. I'm with the others...LOVE your mom! I'm happy you have that support in your life.

    Can't wait for tomorrow for the rest of your side of the meet!!

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  14. Love hearing about how you two met from both sides. It's so fun! Yes, your mother sounds great, wish there were more out there like her.

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  15. I'm glad your mother is so accepting and cool. :)

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  16. Matt, you are, indeed, lucky to have such a loving and supportive mother. Great start to your story. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

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  17. Great post - sounds intriguing so far & agree that your mum sounds wonderful.

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  18. Love that your Mom was so supportive - and she had such wonderful advice for you!

    And the book they didn't have in the library - "The Gay Teen Boy's Step-by-Step Guide to Flirting and Dating" - maybe one day they will have one - written by you and Brad! :)

    Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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  19. Yep you sound like you have a pretty cool mom! Can't wait until tomorrow:-)

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  20. I hope you'll forgive me for leaving one comment, instead of four, because I just read through all the posts in one sitting. I came here via a recommendation from Thorny, and I'm glad I did.

    What you're doing is inspired and inspiring. You're right, there is no manual, no "how to", no "day in the life of" books for gay teens. It's hard enough going through adolescence, and to do it without the safety net that society provides straight kids (via books, magazines, movies) has to be doubly difficult.

    As a mom to three beautiful boys, I hope to convey to my kids the same self-respect and dignity that your parents obviously conveyed to you.

    Bravo to you both for doing this!

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  21. Ohhh! What a cool mom, Matt, so happy you have such a wonderfully supportive person in your life.
    I love the dual perspectives of your meeting, so tomorrow wont come soon enough!

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  22. Fantastic post - thank you so much for sharing it. And your mother sounds amazing!

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  23. All I can think to say, after reading everything above, is Thank You! I really mean it. This whole experiment in co-writing a blog with Brad is turning out to be more than either of us expected. Your guys keep saying how much you appreciate us, and all we can say is how much we appreciate all of you!

    Hehe, Debbie, yeah, maybe we will write that guide book!

    FarDareisMai, your boys are definitely lucky to have a mom like you. I can say that from personal experience. And, you're right that the credit for any self-respect and dignity I have comes directly from my mom.

    Matt

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  24. I read this at work yesterday and again had to hide the fact that I was reading this cliffhanger of a true story when I made a Homer Simpson "Doh" sound at the end and one of my work colleagues says, "what's up Carmel" to which I said "Hmm nothing;)". Loved your first part Matt, awesome!!

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