Saturday, July 2, 2011

Endless Summer

Yesterday I visited Greece for the day. That’s the amazing thing about Europe - in an hour you can be in a different country. Sam and I took the ferry to Kos, an island about 1 hour from Bodrum. It was a beautiful summer day. The sun was out and the Mediterranean just looked amazing - like it does in the movie.

We decided to go bike riding around Kos - there is a large cycle pathway. I felt like I was 16 again. I had not ridden a bike in that long. I remember when I was in school, the summers were the most amazing time of my life. Those were the carefree days when the days were long - you could play until late and there was not need to wake up early for school. I was reliving my summer days again as an adult - and biking my way around a Greek island.

It has been a month since I left Sydney but I felt years away from that life. I have a sold tan and I feel like a kid again.

Sam needed this vacation as well. He just finished a three year course in the states and this was his first overseas trip in a while. He and I are very different but we travel well together. We’ve only had one minor argument - over our political views. Never discuss politics or religion.

So we end up talking about sex and relationships. We’re both romantics at heart but we have different views on gay relationships - based mostly on our gay life to date. I came out at 22 and have had two long term relationships. I’m pretty out in life - with family, at work and with friends. Sam really did not come out until after he turned 30 and he’s probably still somewhat in the closet. He’s not as comfortable in the gay..gay world. Many people would not believe he’s gay - he’s very masculine and butch. I feel like the girl in the relationship - and I think he brings out my feminine side. It’s like I need to balance his masculinity.

In many ways though, Sam is more “gay” than me. It’s a common dilemma with gay men. How to be gay without being too gay. “Straight acting” and “masculine” are generally seen as positive qualities in a potential partner. “Queeny” and “camp” and “girlie” are seen as negative ones. We all try to be butch..to be tough...to go to the gym and get big muscles. We fear being the camp ones who get picked on.

In high school, I survived by trying to be non gay. There was a really gay guy at my school. He always had a hard time. He dropped out before graduating as he was being bullied. He was just himself. He was not trying to be feminine. He was just the way he was...the rest of us gays were acting...straight acting....masculine acting. I wish I had stood up for him. In truth, he was the strongest male at our school.

Gays come in all stripes....butch, camp, feminine, girlie... sometimes opposites do attract...sometimes likes attract likes. Through diversity there is strength. Maybe that’s why I looked forward to summer so much...it was my chance to be free...to stop acting...to be myself. Summers were about being me - not worrying about being too gay or having to pretend to like cars, sports or beer.

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