Thursday, October 30, 2014

Look Who Is Back!

After a long break, look who is back in the glow of his laptop and writing this entry!

It's me!

I know that it has been a very long time since I have written…so, I thought I'd write something tonight. As my life ontinues to settle a bit, I will start writing more frequently….I promise.

It certainly has been busy in "gay land". More and more folks are proudly coming out. Being gay is not as big of a deal as it once was. Gay marriage is spreading throughout our country…and thank God….saying you're gay does not rattle the rafters as it once did. Oh, if you're a celebrity and come out…it still makes the nightly news….but for the rest of the world, news of coming out is now a real yawner. My, how things have changed in the years since I began this blog.

I live in Northern Virginia. I'm totally amazed that we now have marriage equality. So many of my gay married friends are so excited. It's just totally amazing. We also now have gay marriage in my home state of West Virginia. I just never thought these big events would happen in my lifetime.

But here we are…and it has happened.

It's an exciting time.

Sadly though, I'm still single. I've joined a host of the dating sites. But there are so may gay men out there who love to play games. It's discouraging, so I've just backed away from it all and continue concentrating on my life. I am always working to be well and happy. And it really does work. In profound ways.

I've turned outward in ways to help people I know. I've been able to provide a safe harbor to a number of folks who have had tough things thrown at them -- mental illness….job challenges….financial devastation…and all other sorts of things. I actually have been able to see how my presence in their lives has helped them to become the best they can be.

I am very thankful for my job. I'm blessed to finally be able to acce[t and to finally like me. My self perceptions have vastly improved. I'm confident. I''m happy. When I review my life's journey, it has been filled with a lot of twists and turns. I've been very honest about my journey …the good and the bad.

But I'm still here to be able to tell you about it.

I've ramped up my church work considerably. I'm on the board of directors.

I now have two grandchildren and another set to arrive in February. That certainly has changed my perspective in a whole lot of ways.

Mom O'Lovey is still suffering from stage 4 lung cancer. She never smoked a day in her life…and here she is at age 84…fighting this disease on her own terms and making a valiant attempt to do so.

Even Lovey has re-entered my life. Some say that she is trying to return to me or to rewrite history…and is hopefully that I would consider taking her back. After all the water that has flowed under the bridge….all the hurt and all the drama, I think you all know what the outcome of that is.

So, here I am. A single gay man who is reasonably happy -- enjoying life.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Let It Go

The life of this gay man is quite boring…

Lots of people tend to think that gay folks have an exciting life -- generally centering on wild sexual escapades. But as I have made it to this side of the journey, I'm finding that my life is kind of dull. There's nothing swinging from my chandeliers other than perhaps some wayward particle of dust or a misguided cob web perhaps.

Yup, I've grown up quite a bit since my separation and divorce. The pain of that trauma is gone. I've worked to let my hurts and feelings go.

I have now begun to focus on my spirit. You see, in a lot of ways I let my spiritual life go during the trauma days. Oh, I acknowledged God's presence in my life. I could never have survived without that strong presence being there. When I look back, over the course of a few very short years I experienced the break up and dissolution of my long-term marriage. I had a long term relationship with another gay married man -- it also dissolved. I watched cancer over take my mother and then take my father. I worked to get their estates settled. I've seen Mom O'Lovey wage her valiant battle with lung cancer. I've lost a very dear subordinate employee to cancer. I lost my beloved dog to cancer.

On and on it goes…

But in spite of it all, God saw me through. I've chosen to release the pain…the hurt….the scares….the sorrow….to let it all go.

So about a year ago, I came to the realization that it was time for me to give back. To become a better blessing of my financial means, men talents and my time to my church. I was heavily involved in the pastoral search process. I was elected to the church board of directors. Now I'm trying to figure out ways to be a greater blessing to my church, and to those people who come from a similar background to what I am from -- struggling with their sexuality…looking for acceptance….unconditional love….and even affirmation.

Yesterday I went to a a regional church eating. There were over 70 people there from a host of churches in the region….and I walked out with a host of new friends that I had never known. I learned of their struggles…and I learned what brought them to my denomination (MCC). They each had stories very similar to mine. But through MCC have found a place in which they feel safe….a part….and they too have decided to give back.

Here we all are….we've survived and continue to march forward.

A song that I only became familiar with recently sums it up beautifully. It's the song that won the Oscar this year entitled simply, "Let it Go."

Enjoy!


Monday, March 31, 2014

On Being a Gay Man...

I have been keeping this blog for eight years now. It's amazing that I am closing in on 1,000 articles here. Over that time I have taken some long periods away while I grappled with a number of different issues that I just did not have the energy to sit and to write about. But the neat thing is that during these past 8 years I have done quite a bit of growing. Looking back at some of my earlier posts, I can see just how juvenile some of those postings were. I appreciate those of you who have stood by me as I have evolved. I've appreciated the kind words of encouragement. I've also been touched by some of the stories that you have shared with me about your own journeys.

My growth has shown itself in a number of different ways. Most notably, I realize that I truly like me. I like the gay man I have become. I'm more settled. I'm not focused on acquiring a mate as I had been. The sex drive is more under control. It feels like things are evening out for me…in all facets.

One of the things that triggered this is a wedding that I attended back in late August. The bride and groom had known each other for 3 years….had lived together for two years. They decided to make it legal.

As I watched them exchange rings…and I observed just how happy they were at the reception, something about it all rang a bit hollow. It didn't feel right. It felt empty. I tried to shake it off. But the feeling stayed with me. During these past 6 months I've checked in with them from time to time.

Well, as of this writing, they are separated. A divorce is going to happen. The groom has already found another woman. The bride, my relative, is heartbroken. But she feels they have such strong issues, a reconciliation is next to impossible.

I believe that it is best to not marry at all and be alone than to align yourself with the wrong person. In their case, I've heard rumblings of violence, alcoholism, verbal abuse, etc. So, for me, I'm so glad that I have me. That my life is full with good friends, a wonderful family. A grand child. Lots of other good things.

So it is just great to not have to worry about a bad relationship….or as Lady Gaga puts it, "A Bad Romance."

Not long ago I discussed the whole idea of relationships with a gay minister. It is his belief that when a straight couple is having troubles, they decide to have a child. In their mind this helps to cement the relationship together. But in all actuality, it does not help the relationship. It adds additional stress. A breakup finally happens.

He said that in gay couples, when there are problems, they decide to get married. Make it legal. But if they were miserable before they got married, the actual marriage just compounds the problem.

I know many committed couples who are in such relationships. They have been committed for decades. But for one reason or another, they have lost the love they once had. They decide to get married. Now many of these relationships are going down the hurtful path of divorce.

Being gay is hard enough. But being gay and involved in a loveless relationship -- even to the extent of getting married, is just unfathomable.

Yup I am a single gay man. Or I should say I am a happy, single gay man. Oh, I'm not giving up on finding love one day. But it's better to wander around a little bit lonely now and then than to be saddled with a train wreck of a relationship.

I'm blessed.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Families of Choice VS Families of Origins

Early in my journey of self discovery as a gay man, my identity and vision of the world, as taught by my parents was tossed on its head.  Back then I wanted to be Ward Cleaver of the old LEAVE IT TO BEAVER TV series.  I'd have the nice house.  The picket fence.  I'd be married to June who was always perfectly coiffed.  Perfect makeup with a string of simple pearls tastefully appointed around her neck.

I think all kids in that era assumed that was how life had always been, how life was at the time, and it was how life would be in the future -- until we take that next adventure beyond the veil of death.

Down deep I knew that I was very different.  I couldn't understand what that difference was.  But I knew early on that my view of the world was not what a lot of my other friends thought.  For example, one day in car pool, one of the boys in my Jr. High produced a pornographic magazine.  We sat in the back seat looking at the adults in all kinds of sexual positions.  It was the first time I had seen a naked woman with her legs spread.  My friend was going nuts at the view.  I found myself more arouse by the well built man who was with her.  His penis was magnificent.

It confirmed that I indeed, was a different sort of teen.

All my life I fought it.  I was told that marriage would fix me.  I threw myself into ihe relationship with Lovey wholeheartedly.  But, as I have written before….things have a way of catching up with you.   My gayness began to rebel.  My hormones began raging.  So I began acting on my long held desires.

Not only did I beome swept up in the things that closeted gay men do, I found myself drawn to reading materials that provided insight into my identity.  I read everything I could get my hands on.  I learned that I was not alone and that there were quite a number of other men just like me.

I also came to the point at wondering if being gay was only about hookups and getting off -- anonymously, furtively.  Over and over again.  I was frightened.  But at that time, things like I was experiencing were not things one discussed with anyone.  For the longest time, I worried.  The feelings of self loathing brought me to the brink of suicede a number of times.  It was an awful time.

Then, in the midst of my angst, the TV series, QUEER AS FOLK showed up on pay tv.  I was mesmerized.  I could not believe that there could be a group of 5 gay men…who were friends….who were loyal….and they didn't sleep together.  From my vantage point, I assumed that all gay men slept with each other.  I didn't understand how this worked.  I also watched SEX AND THE CITY.  Here was a group of straight women who were very close, who were friends, who were loyal…and they hadn't slept together.  I could not relate.  It made no sense to me.

Not until I finally began dealing with my issues in a more healthy way and that I began to develop healthy friendships did I finally "get it."  In my case, I had to become so broken and feel so useless, I realized that there were people who loved and cared about me.  The most amazing thing is that they didn't have to get naked to prove it.

Lovey was on staff at a very large church not far from our home in Suburban Virginia.  It had 1500 families who attended regularly.  I had been a member of that church for quite sometime.  I held many positions.  But she decided to tar and feather me.  As a result, the church turned its back on me…and I found that I only had the support of two straight men.  They let it be known that they cared about my well being and that they were there to watch my back.  They checked on me.  They helped me to get settled as a newly out, newly separated, gay man.

They taught me what the meaning of care and compassion really is.

So, after 9 long years of being separated/divorced.  I've experienced a lot of healing.  But I've learned that it is due to my family of choice --- the people I choose to have in my life.  The ones that know all about me and love me anyway.  The ones who do not sit on the sidelines and criticize.  These are the ones who have stood by me.  They have walked beside me.  The''ve checked on me.  They've taught me all about unconditional love.

I now work to me del this behavior to others.  I'm just sorry that it took such a colossal upheaval in my life to get me to this place.

But I'm soldiering on.

Yes, I finally understand the Queer As Folk guys and the Sex and the City girls.

Gosh I've come along way in the eight years I've been writing this blog.

Thanks for reading….

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Working on me...

So, I haven't written in a while.  Rather than writing about the same old tired theme of not having love in my life.  Having tons of mangled dates.  Meeting a host of game players and users.  I thought it would be best to remain silent, until I had something more substantive to write about.  

Today, I have several things to write.  

Here goes….

As I have spilled my guts in writing for this blog, you know my ups and my downs.  Rather than trying to come off as wonderful airbrushed gay guy, who has finally come to terms with the loss of his marriage, who is now living a perfect and happy life, and life is all peachy keen deluxe, it has been filled with lots of twists and turns.  

And I have not hid any of my feelings and I have worked to be honest and to be real, and let you see my life and all the rough edges.  

In taking this approach, I've received feedback from some of you -- mostly affirming and encouraging.  But, then there were others of you who accused me of lying or writing a "bunch of crock" -- probably because my life has not made sense to you…or it doesn't match your view of how a life such as mine should be.  

I'm far from perfect.  I hope that you see that in all my writings here. I'm still a work in progress.

Here goes my latest installment.

I had a boyfriend once.  I've written about him in this blog.  We met at a gay married men's support group in 1997.  He was married.  I was married.  His wife knew.  My wife knew.  My wife supported me in this relationship…  It lasted for 12 years -- until the day he spoke the words "Frank, you're now a single gay man.  We're out of synch.  You deserve someone in your life full time.  I can't be that someone because I can't leave my family and wife for you.  So, this needs to end."  

I hadn't made any demands.  In fact, I remember saying, "Well Gee….can't we keep this going the way it has been going.  I'm not ready and I don't want to have another relationship right away."  He refused. He would not be with a single gay man.

So it ended.  Much to my sadness.  l fell into a 3 month fling with another much younger and single man from my church.  It was a fling -- plain and simple.  He and I were only together 3 months and he ran off with my then best friend -- also from church.  

So, I have spent the last 5 years trying to fill the void.  It hasn't happened.

My former BF took up with an older and a single gay man.  He's still married.    When this relationship began, I have to admit that I was deeply troubled.  He had made such a big deal of the fact that I was single and he was married…and that we were out synch….when he began dating this other single guy….it hit me wrong….and I immediately ran to the place:  "What's wrong with me?"  

Still I soldiered on.  I put on a happy face.  I never let him see how much this has bothered me.  As time has progressed, I have healed very nicely.

But today was an unusually bad day.  You see, since I'm on the board of directors of my church, I here from the Pastor frequently.  He keeps the board posted on news affecting the church.  He sent an email this morning announcing that my former BF's mom passed away.

She had and I had a fairly decent relationship.  I visited her at the nursing home several times.  Her mind was going..but she was always happy to have me come by.  In fact, my ex-BF does not know all the times I dropped by her room.  It broke my heart to see her fading.

Today, when I got the news, I can't describe how I felt.  It tore open all the wounds of the loss of my parents.  It hurt that I had not heard the news directly from him.  I sent messages of my condolences to him.  My kids also sent theirs.  

But it left me feeling so empty.

And so profoundly sad.  

It wrecked me today.  But I was successful in going on about my day and not allowing my feelings affect my work.  

I know what it's like to have love.  I know what it's like to have a relationship that grows and grows….

I also know what it's like to be alone.

A single gay man.

Send positive thoughts and prayers in my direction.  While I could be selfish and request that you pray I find a new bf, I realize that I'm older.  Because I'm no longer in the youthful generation, my pool of datable men gets smaller each passing day.  I'm happy being me.  So, I won't ask for you to pray that I'll find a mate.








Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Thoughts on a Snowy Day

It is a very snowy and cold day here in the Washington, DC metro area. As such, I find myself at home -- office closed -- looking out the french doors onto my deck and watching the snow fall and the listening to the wind howl around my townhouse. Since it has been ages since my last post, I thought I would sit down and write of my latest adventures. My life continues to be interesting.

I am doing well. I've made a conscious effort to put myself out "there" and actively and aggressively dating. In this exercise I have met some wonderful men...but sadly, I've not found any who were of the bf variety. For whatever reason it appears that I only attract the following types:

1. Married men on the "down low". Although some of these guys are real gems, all they want is naked romps in the hay. I'm getting too old and too tired for this type of activity.

2. Married men, out to their wives. Wives hate them for it. Wives make their lives hell for the most part. They have allegiances to her. "I owe her everything," they say. But in the end, they aren't really willing to just end the marriage because one word from her and the childrem will be forever alienated from them. Still their insatiable sex drives compel them to seek out willing partners. This cloak and dagger aspect and the fact that I would be someone's dirty little secret also make me tired. Not into that either.

3. Gay men in loveless partnerships/sexless marriages or longterm relationships. They in essence can't commit to a new relationship, but like sex......see items 1 & 2.

4. The single guys who will send me the nicest responses to my ads on Match.com and other dating sites. They begin with all moonlight, roses, and warm puppy discussions. When I respond, their next question is: "Are you generous?" or "Will you be my sugar daddy?" Immediate switch off and block feature activated.

5. The single guys who spend time schedule meeting after meeting...only to have "the dog ate my homework" kind of moments. In other words these are the no shows. So, I've been burned a few times.

Given all that....I think I have given up on ever finding a man to truly love me.

Oddly after all this time. I'm pretty okay with this development.

You see, I've been on this journey for quite a while now since the divorce from Lovey. It has been long.....twists and turns. Think roller coaster, with twists, turns, euphoric climbs and stomach churning drops. I've explored. I've seen the seamy underbelly of the gay world. I've explored the sex clubs, the orgies, the three ways, and all the sex a guy could handle.

I've learned my likes and dislikes.

I've learned that sex without any emotional context is mechanical at best. Empty in the end at most.

The man that I have referred to earlier....my long time love that was with me for 12 years...and because of my divorce and who "loved me enough to let me go" because I was single and deserved a fulltime love, has now found love with another single man, who keeps checking out my match.com profile.

It's all rather disheartening.

However, in discussing my lack of love and the perils of gay male dating, I've been assure that what I am experiencing is not much different from that which my nearly 30 year old twin daughters are experiencing in the straight dating world. As I've told to them, their mother was the only person I ever dated....so my only context is the gay male dating scene.

So, here I sit, on this cold snowy day in Washington, D.C. -- contemplating my existence. I'm thankful for all my blessings. Hoping for a better tomorrow

In the back of my mind, I hope love finds me.

I'm tired of looking.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Settling as a Gay Man

Good morning you all.  Frank is back after a busy summer.  I've spent a number of days contemplating my journey and thinking about where I go from here.  Based on the last comment I received on this blog -- which by the way was quite negative, it was clear that the person did not get the purpose of this blog.  They also did not get the point that this blog has been about my journey -- good and bad -- unblemished.  It has been about things that affected me.  It was not scripted.  

It documents my struggles, my insecurities, my weaknesses.  

So my life has been far from perfect.  It is not a bunch of "croc" as has I have een accused of writing.  

The bottom line here is that I survived the journey from a heterosexual marriage.  The painful separation.  The divorce negotiations.  The finality of the ruling and steaming full steam into gay life as a single -- older -- gay man.

I have gone through having lots of anger...hatred....hurt...for a vairety of people.  But all those negative feelings have  setled.  I am truly happy.  I'm truly comfortable in my own skin.  I am gay, unapologetically so.  

As of this writing, I have joined a host of dating sites.  Not those hookup sites.  I'm not looking for a quick lay or hookup.  I'm looking for love, companionship over the long term.  I'm done with the sex parties...the promiscuous sex that early on I thought was a right of passage as a gay man.  I've since learned that this is not the case.  

I've receieved a number of great inquiries into my profile.  I've been on dates.  So, I may have what I have been seeking.  FINALLY.

I joined MATCH.COM not long ago.  I"ve had a number of views.   Met a lot of different people -- the majority of which have been far from what I would consider as my "match."

I met Ron on July 4 after he and I had been corresponding for a while.   He appeared attractive.  Although he spent the majority of our initial meeting trying to impress me with his accomplishments and his wealth, I agreed to meet him again.  At that meeting he kept looking at his watch because he had to be done by a certain time because his next date was due to start.  We parted company.  He then wroe to say that he and one of his other dates were off to the midwest and that they would be staying in a presidential suite....blah...blah....  Sorry that it didn't work out he said.  So that was that.

Kicked to the curb, I did some detective work about Ron.  Turns out that he lied about his age and circumstances.  So this worked out to my benefit.  A couple of weeks ago, he contacted me again to say that he wanted to date me.  I asked about his other "date" and he said that not everything is as it appears.  I agreed with him...and said thanks but no thanks.

A number of guys from thousands of miles away have expressed interest.  But for th elife of me, I don't think long distance relationships ever work out.  I'm not sure I want to expend the energy to try.

Then there wa the flight attendant based in California, but is moving back here.  Met him for dinner.  But I didn't feel the magic.  

Another candidate is a man that I have known for many, many years.  His husband and he have been going through a rough patch at the point of divorce.  I told my friend that we are adults....yes there is attraction, but I will not be the "other woman".  I will not be party to a divorce or the cause of a break up.  So I have left this situation alone.  Not heard  from these guys in three months.

So dating is an interesting proposition.  Especially for a an that has little experience in that realm.  I only dated my wife.  

So life continues.  But I'm definitely in a good place!