Hi everyone! I’ve been lurking in the shadows for a while trying to think of something that would be “first YOB post” worthy.

You can call me C. Marque.

For a quick intro, I’ll mention a couple of interesting facts about my life. I live in the flat cornfield lands of the Midwest. My family has Amish and Mennonite roots, which probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to most of you, but I’m hoping someone in our audience will be “blessed” by knowing that! I’m a carpenter by trade and work with my dad here at our home business.

I definitely don’t remember details from my childhood nearly as vividly as some of you do! I’m not sure if that’s a blessing or curse. There are a few memories permanently etched in my memory, though; here’s one for today.

It was summer of 2001, give or take a year! I was hanging out with my cousin for the day. He was about a year and a half older than me and twice as cool as I could have ever hoped to be: cowboy boots, BB gun, model train set, etc.

On this particular afternoon, we were “working” together on a remodel project at his parents’ house. We were working on some scaffolding when, for some forgotten reason, he volunteered this info:

“Did you know two guys can get married?”

This was said kinda out of the blue. I must have stared at him in silence.

I hadn’t yet discovered where babies came from at this point in time, and marriage to me was just something people did when they loved each other and wanted to live together. I had never heard of a man marrying a man though! What was the point? And why was it odd enough for my cousin even to mention it?

Said cousin continued, “Yep, if two guys get married, they’re called gay, and if two girls get married, they’re called lesbians.”

I was still trying to wrap my head around this new picture in my mind and seriously doubting my cousin’s sincerity. He loved to lie through his teeth, but then he said, “It’s illegal and wrong to do it, though.”

I asked him why, and he said, “It’s really gross.”

I remember thinking, What’s gross? I’m not sure if he actually understood what all that meant at the time, or if he was just repeating what he was told. At that age, I thought marriage was kind of mysterious, and I decided not to keep asking questions!

Looking back, I know I was experiencing same-sex attraction at that age, even though I didn’t know what SSA or homosexuality was at the time. It’s weird thinking about how my body was responding to sexual attraction before I even knew what sex was.

It wasn’t until I’d learn how to use a dictionary in school that I’d learn what “reproduction” was! This “research” was the beginning of a long slippery slope toward a gay porn addiction.

It took me quite a few years before I began to understand why other people thought homosexuality was “gross.” I still don’t see the grossness on the level that a perfectly straight person would, that’s for certain, but I did begin to realize that I was unique and other people had entirely different experiences!

I’ve often wondered how much this homosexuality conversation with my cousin impacted me. Is there a reason this scene is so vivid in my memory to this day?

Say hello to our newest blogging brother, C. Marque! And for discussion: when did you first learn about marriage and sex and homosexuality?

  • Hi, C.Marque! Love the pic!
    I don’t remember ever discovering what marriage meant, or being startled or curious about it, and marriage between same sex couples is only very recently on my horizon, in my latter years. Lol! Sex happened in the form of masturbation quite a while before puberty. I remember asking a friend who was a year older than me. He explained what was involved and that got me going for life. By the time puberty came along I was habitually masturbating on a regular basis and probably already jerking off to pics of studly men, though I was in complete denial about homosexuality. That was a taboo in my culture and I was not going to go anywhere near it. I just thought what I did must be what other guys did too (though we didn’t talk about it and I certainly wasn’t going to ask anyone), but dismissed my sexual activities as some kind of phase, perhaps accentuated by being at all boys boarding schools – for 12 years! We all masturbated so I didn’t think too much about it, just enjoyed it. Of course homosexuality was a subject of mockery and joking amongst us boys, and I was so in denial that I never gave my mocking it too much thought. I was extremely homophobic and well into adulthood, marriage and family when I first admitted to myself that I was SSA and came out to my wife at the same time.

    • What a great comment Jeremy. It got me thinking about the old days for me. I had never masturbated until a friend who slept over, which was the only of two times, he grabbed my penis and held on while pretending to be asleep. That was my first sign of attraction to boys: I was about 12. I was repulsed and curious. Not much later, my mother left a Playgirl magazine on the bathroom floor for some reason and I used it. That was the beginning of the end. So you brought me back to that and I kinda pieced it together better than previously, seeing the correlations better. I was abused when I was 8 though and repressed it so I always wondered if that had a larger influence than I wanted to admit, until recently. It seems like a nightmare now when I look back because it was such a horrible journey of intense shame.

  • Hey man, good job on your first post. I don’t know what makes some images so vivid years later, maybe because it was your first time even thinking about sex. Your question brought back this image/event as if I’m there now even tho I haven’t thought about it for years. Still picture our living room and the furniture and carpet and curtains. Parents left my older brother and me with this guy babysitter who was a college age neighbor kid, think I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. He had us play some game where you had to strip if you lost and remember having to run around naked. Still a vivid image, only other image of that night is of a closed door. Not a fond memory and glad it doesn’t come to mind often. . . sometimes not remembering things well can be grace. It was first time I remember being self-conscious about being naked and it screwed with my head later becoming a teen. Living brings home the fact that it’s only grace that we make it thru.

  • OH MY GOSH I AM SO EXCITED YOU FINALLY POSTED MARQUE YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!!!!!!! *cough* now that that’s out of the way…
    Seriously, so glad you’re here man. I love this post because it is such a poignant story that our cousin probably dismissed in his own memory. But because of your own story, this moment sticks out. Perhaps because it was the first time you had a name for something you felt? Perhaps because it set you up for understanding how you were different? Whatever the reason, the moment was powerful you and your post displayed that ever so clearly. Look forward to more from you!

  • This post was a long time coming! Thanks for being part of our brotherhood, C. I resonate with a lot of your “discovery,” secretly researching encyclopedias for topics like sexuality and reproduction since the Internet hadn’t yet made it to my little world. For the longest time, I honestly didn’t understand how non-married couples could have kids, let alone gay people. My road was a long one for understanding these touchier topics.

  • I first became aware of the possibility that I was a homosexual about a month before my twelfth birthday. We were at summer camp and our Scout Master demanded we take showers. It would be my first time seeing another naked male body. I had already undressed and walked into the shower. There were twenty other guys who were naked. I suddenly got very aroused and was mortified. I took the shower closest to the door and set a speed record for washing my hair and soaping up. I didn’t understand what was happening, but I wanted to see more. I just didn’t anybody to know.

  • I first formally learned about marriage and sex as a 9 year old. My parents took the time to have “the talk” with my younger sister and I just before my older Sister’s marriage and the birth of my Niece.
    Informally, I had already been exposed to homosexuality by an older boy from our church. From the ages of 5-7 he had introduced sexualized play to me. I now refer to this as a form of sexual abuse.
    When I was 12, I realized the abuse had manifested itself in same sex attraction. I was watching the cartoon “Alladin” and realized I was more attracted to Alladin, rather than Princess Jasmine.
    Having grown up in a conservative Christian home, I was mortified by this realization. I vowed I would die with my secret.
    Thankfully, God intervened and helped me move out of secrecy and into the light. He thankfully introduced me to communities of guys like this where I could know and be known and understood.

    • Hello Aaron… I’m glad to hear you found an open, honest and healthy community of guys that you could be vulnerable. God bless in your relationships and endeavors.

  • My intro to sex was at nine. I was totally innocent and oblivious-till I found my dad’s porn stash. A whole new world opened up. I learned about sex. Innocence gone. I found interesting that I just wanted to look at the handsome male bodies. Why didn’t they show any penises? That’s what I wanted to see, not the boobs. I knew something was different about me. Why? I have asked God a million times-how did I get here as an SSA sufferer? Why, when I was in 7th grade did I coax my cousin to let me feel his hard-on in the bathroom at school through his underwear? Why was I so enamored? Why did I masturbate to getting a hold of another boys member and seeing the c**? And so I went down that road thinking it was just teen guy stuff. Little did I know the huge ramifications for my life. I do have more questions when I sit down with Jesus face-to-face. I do that now with Jesus in my quiet times, but He has not told me exactly why I’m here. I figure He will have to answer me directly when we sit bodily together in heaven.

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