Thursday, September 12, 2013
Bro Mail #1
I've receive a number of emails over the months from bros giving feedback or just saying what's up. Some are pretty cool, so I'll start occasionally publishing them with the sender's permission.
Chill to see Where in the World is Non Hetero. This one's in the Philippines.
I was going to make a work plan this afternoon for this project I'm working on but every time I pulled up Word to begin, I couldn't get your voice out of my head. I tried and failed, and thought, I just have to introduce myself to you.
First, I want to thank you for your blog. I've been reading blogs on all sorts of subjects throughout the years, was part of a blogging community way back when, and I have never seen one so intensely personal and unique yet public at the same time. You have a knack for being honest and down to earth without sounding forced or contrived. I'm a fan of authenticity, and you've nailed it. Much, much better than what others are doing. Cheers man. You're a talented, dynamic, incisive writer. It's a rare gift to read this among the zeitgeist of the internet. Don't give it up. Keep on writing.
I'm trying here to detach myself from the slew of fan mail you probably receive daily, because I can tell that your sentiments resonate with a fringe amount twentysomething gay men. I just want to tell you a little bit about myself, and hope that by chance you end up reading this.
I'm 26 years old and have been out for about 5 years. I have an identical twin brother who is not gay (people like to think that's interesting but I like to think that we are not a science experiment). I'm currently a Peace Corps Volunteer working in fisheries management in the rural Philippines and have about a year left before I return to the States. Oh, and I'm from Florida originally.
In high school, college, and graduate school, I always felt like a floater around social groups. There was always the core group of my guys, my brother included, and we have remained friends throughout the years, but my friendships have evolved and changed and matured over the years to include a large swath of people of all different ages that are open minded and lovely, of which almost none are gay. In fact, I'm friends with more lesbians than gay men. I've never felt isolated from the gay community, but never a part of it either. I hate the separation. I want the communal attitude of a bar where anyone can feel comfortable publicly. I absolutely loved your posts about that. So fucking true dude.
Anyway, I grew up in a conservative community that wasn't outright conservative. Homosexuality was never talked about at the dinner table, but it wasn't admonished either. My friends, with their offhanded, subtle comments that shed homosexuality in a darker light, made me feel embarrassed about myself, and so I hid. I quietly held it in for a long time, and never felt personally bullied by anyone. I was the kid that everyone wanted to be friends with, that all the moms wished for in a son, and what the girls hoped for in a partner. That sounds trite and full of platitudes, but I promise I'm going somewhere with this. Also, I don't want to lecture you on my coming out process or anything, just wanted to give you a brief picture of who I am and why I just wanted to say hi.
Reading about your experiences instantly transported me back to when I was exploring myself and guys intimately for the first time around my senior year of college and my first few years after undergrad (pre-PC) when I was working and getting my Masters degree in a college town. Having intense, intimate experiences with "masculine" guys that were in frats, only to be left out to dry when reality set in. I hooked up with so many closeted head cases to somehow fill the void of my own sexual frustrations, that it never felt right. Some of the guys were really nice, and felt something with me but just couldn't bring it to the next level because of their own sort of fucked up issues. Honestly? It hurt me a lot. It feels really shitty to feel pretty special and intimate only to have the door slammed in your face because they weren't ready to just let things be. Yet, continually, I found myself attracted to that same type of masculine, chill, athletic type guys. And they liked me. It just never morphed into anything of substance. I needed to not be distracted anymore, so I ran off with the Peace Corps to fulfill the other half of my dreams.
And so, after being in the Peace Corps now for about 14 months, I'm constantly having these thoughts about life and what I'm doing and relationships and just being, and you are so fucking right. We are just human. That is how I define myself. And if PC has taught me nothing else besides a lot can be said through silence and that pooping your pants is cool, it's that everyone matters. Everyone has a story.
I don't know where I'm going with this but I do know that I would value your friendship. Your points are sometimes so spot on. Your sensitivity and thoughtfulness is disguised within your authentic, sometimes blunt prose. And I like that.
I apologize for the long note but I just very much appreciate your voice. Seriously, you helped a brother out. It's refreshing to feel like someone else is out there that is a lot like you yet totally not like you :).
Take care and hope to hear from you.
My name is Andrew, by the way.
I do read these, and I do appreciate them. Makes me feel like I'm not just writing into a fucking vacuum.