My fellow blogger, Tom, in his recent post described his longings for an older brother to love him and help him through the painful times in life. I’m sure many of us same-sex attracted guys can identify with these feelings.

I grew up the oldest of three children with a brother one year younger and a sister five years younger. I believe my own brother wanted me to be that kind of loving older brother — and to my deep regret, I seriously failed him. After learning from my failure, I have lived many years seeking to be that kind of big brother that my friends need and wish they had.

Brad and I were always together in my earliest childhood memories. We were also together when I watched him take his final breath. Years later, I can’t write this without tears.

Brad also experienced same-sex attraction, but unlike me, he went after gay sex with reckless abandon. I first noticed his sexuality when he was about 12 years old. He would stare at good looking guys a little too long and a little too often, and since I also felt the same attraction, I just knew.

We both kept quiet about this to each other and to the family. I saw him spending time with his male friends in high school, and I could tell he valued those guys above his “girlfriend” at the time.

I pretended everything was normal with my gay brother and acted like I didn’t notice his sexuality. I just didn’t want to deal with the trouble that would happen if the garbage hit the fan.

You also have to understand the environment at the time. We lived in the Bible Belt and went to a large youth group in a megachurch. Any confession of homosexuality would have brought ridicule onto the family and repeated public humiliation for us at school — maybe even worse.

So, Brad continued to “date” his girlfriend while sneaking around trying to get sex with guys. I kept my mouth shut — about both Brad and myself.

To be continued…

Do you have a gay brother or close friend who also experiences same-sex attraction? Have you addressed your common sexualities or kept this secret?

Photo courtesy eflon, Creative Commons.

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