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Dating Horror Story: How I Discovered He Wasn’t Out

I met for one night only One audition show I once went to. It’s called “you knew before I did it” and is based on friends and family, ex-girlfriends, ex-lovers, etc. who realized I was gay before I realized it myself It consisted of monologues. The play was a reflection of myself at the age of 23 and was done through my favorite way of processing life: acting and writing.

The audition didn’t give me a role. But the show’s biggest win was the most unexpected. I received an email from an elderly man who was a regular at the theater. “It was really great,” he wrote about the show. “At the same time cheerful and heartfelt.” Then he offered something amazing: a potential suitor. “Apart from that, but it’s kind of relevant, I want to introduce you to my friends,” he said. He thought we two would be fine.

I felt it was the only way to stay safe in the closet, so I didn’t want to be single 20 years after I suppressed sexuality and dated the opposite gender, so I thought we would do well. A few days later, I had a date at the bar. That date turned into more dates, which turned into encounters with friends, which ended up being folded together through various rainbow connections.

I’ve always wanted to spend time with him. We made each other laugh. This was important because we were both ambitious comedians trying to make a living. Making your loved ones laugh felt healing and recovery so that we could solve all the problems in our lives and the world.

Two months later, I thought it was time to officialize my relationship with Facebook.

We met for a brunch. Both returned to his house after indulging in a burger on Sunday morning. I thought I would keep hanging around, hugging and watching movies.

As we wandered in the sun, I asked him what he wanted to do that afternoon.

“I actually have to drive to see my parents later,” he said. “Supper with family.”

Seeing the plan disappear, I nodded and tried to laugh. I felt hot, as if the kettle was boiling. I had to ask him now because I was exclusive and wanted to be more serious. We were good and good for 2 months. He met members of my family, loved my dog, and screened “RuPaul’s Dragrace” every week. Given our goodness, it felt like we met all the steps needed to make this commitment to each other.

“I thought we could be exclusive,” I mumbled.

In response, I expected mirroring, nodding, and kissing (excited affirmations about the future). Smile and smile and smile.

“Actually,” he took a deep breath and began to pull everything around. “Don’t you know if you’re ready?” This was a question, not a statement. There was a room that moved in small steps here. He said it with a smile. It was like a joke, and I reflected a smile on my face. “What?” I asked with a growl and a laugh under my question.

He explained that it was his family. They couldn’t know about this — We —Because they didn’t know who he was and who we were. This was fun, but it wasn’t something he could commit right now. He wanted me to understand.

I needed my whole body and heart to stop by the sidewalk and focus on what he was saying: we are in a loved one relationship and our friends love us as those who love each other I knew, but this wasn’t how he identified himself to his family. He didn’t intend to take me back to his parents. Our relationship was good in the bubble of Los Angeles, in a siled life. But it couldn’t be official on Facebook.

He was very calm, gave birth casually, and spoke in a way that suggested that everything was going well.

“We were able to continue this,” he suggested. “But I’m not ready to take it seriously with anyone.”

He conveniently found a way to test his lifestyle, a vessel to contain all of his strange life, and a way to make his tastes and identities negligible or abandoned. I saw this as the newly discovered evolution of queenes, a way to amplify and celebrate being gay, and the transition from one show to two shows. This was obviously not happening: I was pantomizing without a scene partner.

We stood there. I folded my arms. He shrugged.

“I think …” I was looking at my hand. “I think you should think about this.” I saw him and his smile, and I didn’t see him looking at me. He seemed to be looking elsewhere, beyond, other plans, other times, and other people.

I was already working and wasn’t interested in going back. Coming out is a lonely experience and I had friends and support along the way, but my friends and support don’t work for you. I wasn’t interested in queer counseling.

There was no answer here.

There was no future here.

“Where did you park?” He finally asked. I pointed, walked in that direction, hugged me and said goodbye.

I cried while driving and told myself I would give him a week to call or text message. He didn’t. He had a family. He had a life. He had his process of being gay, and I had mine. We were on the same journey that all queer people are doing, the journey of finding and finding ourselves.

I told myself that there would be more men. He will understand it. We all understand it.

The author is a Los Angeles-based writer and can be found on Twitter. @ 1234kyle5678..

LA Affairs records a romantic quest for love in all of its glorious expressions in the LA region. We want to hear your true story. You will pay $ 300 for the published essay. Email LAAffairs@latimes.com. The submission guidelines are here.



Dating Horror Story: How I Discovered He Wasn’t Out

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