Interesting Times

The First Person I Came Out To

By Pat Gourley

Sage Story Telling
May, 2016
 

Strangely I find myself vacillating a bit on this topic. I assume I would ordinarily not consider the first person I had sex with since that would be a situation that would seem obvious to both of us. However in my case it was with a man I sought out initially seeking an answer to the question was “I gay or not”. More accurately what I was asking at the time was am I a homosexual or not?

The person I sought out to help clarify whether I was really a big homo or not was most certainly not an openly gay man.  This was after all 1965 in suburban Chicago and he was on the faculty of a Catholic High school. It was a diocesan school staffed by Holy Cross nuns and though several of those nuns were progressive in the extreme there was no Gay-Straight alliance as an option for extracurricular activity.

Initial contact with this man would have been in late 1965 or more likely sometime in early 1966. Though I am not totally clear about this I do think I was genuinely seeking him out, as one of my high school counselors and a person 20 plus years my senior, to help me answer this perplexing question with no pre-existing assumptions about his sexual preference. Even at age 16 I was not seeking a cure but would have probably been very reassured to be told it was just a phase and that I was actually quite a masculine straight arrow.

There had certainly been lots of enjoyable nude swimming with male siblings and cousins to say nothing of the nearly obsessive urge to see my dad and the occasional uncle nude. These preoccupations proceeded by several years my seeking out my guidance counselor for help and advice.  So I may have been drawn to him subconsciously hoping he really was like me. And of course his Old Spice shaving lotion and hairy physique I assumed, an assumption later validated, and his being bald may have all helped to create a situation I would often in future years find irresistible.

Minus the Old Spice aftershave, which thankfully faded from the scene sometime in the 1970’s, I think the hairy and bald aspects are quite accurate physical descriptions of both of my long-term lovers, both named David, and they combined to occupy 30 years of my adult life. Why I remain today still hard-wired to pursue the mature and preferably quite hairy older male is interesting and a bit of mystery to me. So many of my queer male peers prefer at least in their dream worlds something younger, thinner and less hirsute.

Some months into that year of counseling sessions before fruition so to speak I decided this guy was really on my side and very sexually attractive. Long story short we did it eventually and it was as I recall the Friday before Palm Sunday after school in the biology lab. I absolutely did not fall into spasms of guilt post orgasm but rather was on cloud-nine for days and spent most waking hours relishing the thought of our next get together. I guess when one has ejaculated all over another man you have then come out to them certainly as someone with homosexual tendencies if not as full blown GAY.

The coming out process for many of us though is a recurrent theme that we are required to play out repeatedly since the attitude of society in general is that heterosexuality is always the unexamined assumption. I have for years though preferred to always give everyone I meet the benefit of the doubt and assume they are queer until proven otherwise.

 

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