It was a nice warm humid Saturday afternoon — June 18th, 2022, to be exact, and I decided to watch a gay film. In my sixty years, I have watched a total of eleven gay films, and eight of those were in that month of June.
I don’t know what caused a sudden interest to watch these kinds of films. I know it has nothing to do with Pride Month. I’ve been through what feels like hundreds of Pride Months and never once thought about watching any gay films, especially if somebody suggested one. I’d like to think being in this YOB community has something to do with it, but I truly don’t know if that’s the case either.
I think the biggest factor in watching these gay films is my age. Now that I’m 60, I’m at the point where I honestly don’t care what people think about me anymore.
I’ve experienced more than my share of people telling lies about me, rejecting me, and hating me for decades, which in turn has caused me anxiety, depression, loneliness, distrust, an eating disorder, and suicidal thoughts.
I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m both over it and them. I’m just gonna be me.
Now that I’ve done a little venting — on to the point of this blog. Parts of this gay film’s story reminded me of my past.
The film’s protagonist had a job he hated, and he only did it because his dad wasn’t able to do it anymore. When the son went into town, he found guys to have sex with, but he wouldn’t let anyone kiss him. He wouldn’t see anyone more than once, and he wouldn’t be seen in public with anyone. He was always the dominant one because “he wasn’t gay.”
For decades I was in such denial of who or what I was. The contributing factors were being raised in the South and in the Black community.
Though it was known in Black culture that their gay men were on the down-low, it was never talked about, and you definitely never talked about anyone in the family who was a homosexual.
Black gay men weren’t even invited to family reunions because they brought shame to the family back in those days. It wasn’t until the mid-80’s that I even told myself I was bi after having been with five women, though I never enjoyed any of them. I was only trying to convince myself I wasn’t fully gay.
Now, back to the film. The dad in the movie realized the job was becoming too much for his son. He was getting behind in his work, so he hired someone else to help. Initially, the son didn’t like this new guy. He even called him an ethnic slur a couple times. At one point, they had to spend a couple weeks together, and after a couple days the son used that slur again.
“Don’t call me that!” the new guy said, tackling him. And they ended up sleeping together.
That night after working, the new guy shows the son the gentler side of being together. He caresses the son’s face and strokes his hair. He gently kisses the son. It was the son’s first kiss with a man.
The son tries rushing into the kiss, and the new guy stops him by holding his head in his hands and bringing him in slowly. The next scene, the two of them talk fully naked. At this point, my whole outlook on the film changed.
All the other gay films I’d watched were nice, but this was the first gay film I watched and thought: I wish I knew what it was like to be in a relationship.
All the other men I’ve ended up with were only about sex. I didn’t care about them or their feelings, much like the son at the beginning of this film. I never even cared about the three fiancées I’ve had. When it came to those women, I just wanted to fit into society. But since I knew I didn’t love them and knew I never would, I decided not to marry them.
I always told myself I was perfectly content being single, and for the most part that was true because I wouldn’t have to call home and report to anyone, or rub anyone’s feet when I didn’t want to, or partake in any small talk.
This film brought up feelings I never knew I even had or wanted, for that matter. The more I watched, the more beautiful the relationship grew to me, and the more I wondered what it’d be like to have someone like that in my life — even though I’m celibate.
How could I hope for a relationship so tender, so beautiful, so meaningful, and so caring, and still be true to my beliefs with celibacy and serving God?
I won’t lie, I wanted to cry because I wanted to be one of the guys in this film, if only for a moment so I could know what it felt like to be loved, held in someone’s arms, and cuddled. To look in his eyes and see I’m cared for.
It’s true I have been content being single, but I also wondered for the first time what it’d be like to be in a true relationship with someone.
The world would love for me to go back to my old life and try to convince myself there’s someone out there for me, just like the guys in that film. But would that person really bring me happiness?
If I’m honest, I’ve never been more happy since coming back to God. He’s helped me find a great church, I’m a mentor, and I’m part of YOB, of course. None of this would be possible had I continued to run away from Him.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in Him.
1 John 4:16 (ESV)
Do you also yearn for a romantic or sexual relationship with another man? How do you channel those desires, and how has God blessed both you and others in your convictions?