All of this talk of the “gay community” really got me intrigued. I’m not sure it was something I ever really wanted to be a member of or be recognized as a part of but eventually I would dip my feet in the water and the temperature was pretty cold so to speak.
Living and growing up in Kentucky being gay was really not ever an option. It was something that was not only frowned upon by parents and other very close family members but it was also something that was constantly made fun of by members of the community and so called friends.
So living in Kentucky I knew that I could never really ever be myself. I felt as though I was totally trapped with no where to run, no where to hide and no one to really ever talk to. Unless of course I wanted to pay a therapist $95 an hour to chat every now and then. that worked for a while but eventually I knew I had to deal with this on my own.
So one summer weekend I took a trip down to Fort Lauderdale for a few days. While being there I discovered the Gay Mecca of the eastern United States in a small community inside Fort Lauderdale called Wilton Manors. Wilton Manors has its own separate government and is very well known for being very gay. It wasn’t exactly my style but there was literally something for everyone it seemed.
In Wilton Manors no matter what your tastes are there’s a bar there for you. If you’re into sports there’s a bar there for watching games, playing pool, throwing darts and attempting to be and appear Butch. Maybe you’ll meet other like minded people here and avoid the swish that comes along with some of your other run of the mill gay clubs.
Then there are a few places for those that are into the burly bear scene. Yes if you like armpit stink and furry bellied guys with gruff bears and muscles then there’s a place or two for you here as well. There’s also a few S&M bars too. And by that I mean Stand and Model. This is where the pretty boys go and the guys that live them. Can be very clicky though so be cautious.
There’s another very interesting place where they have torture devices, dark rooms and lots of leather. Been there twice…the first time and the last time. Not for me.
But I did find a bar for the older crowd and those that admire them. An older younger bar that has become a south Florida staple and long standing establishment. That’s where I met a few people like me.
But one thing I noticed that made me feel both good and uncomfortable all at the same time. That’s the idea that all gay guys basically hug and kiss (on the lips) in every social setting when they run into one another.
At first I found it to be unhygienic and foul. But it started to grow on me and I just thought man, there’s so much support here in the “gay community” and we really must treat one another like real family. Let’s be honest here, most of us gays have had quite a journey and not all of us are on good terms with our families. So seeing that support in a place when I really needed it the most was encouraging.
But the more I was around “the community” the more I became aware of the backstabbing, the lying, the cheating and everything else nasty that goes with trying to establish a real loving relationship. It was just absolutely awful. Yes a nice facade is painted on the outside but all of these gays are out to get something. It’s either on your pants or in your boyfriend’s and they don’t care who they hurt and how they have to get there.
But when i first started going to Wilton Manors I was happy that I could finally let my guard down. That for once I just relax and just be me. That all quickly changed when I realized i was dealing with a bunch of queens who were only out for their own good and they really didn’t give a crap about me or anyone else.
I think initially many of them saw me as fresh meat. The new kid in town and an opportunity to try something new. Maybe they thought they could introduce me to some new things. They were all very nice in the beginning but soon turned sour as soon as they realized that I wasn’t interested in them sexually. Once they caught on to the fact that I liked guys much older than me I instantly got the gold digger status and the nasty words that I would hear behind my back would follow.
One drunken night I had one of them completely tear me apart because of the idea that I have a child and that i was dating an older man. I really can’t even recall exactly what he said to me or how he even said it but I know it cut right through me during a very fragile time in my life.
Fortunately that experience and a few others like it have honestly made me a much stronger person today. I always heard that what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger and i truly believe that today. I nearly thought I would die from a broken heart back then and I was so worried about what people thought of me and how I was perceived. I felt like I was always out to prove myself to everyone and that I had to verify all of my actions.
I don’t feel that way today. It’s been more than 5 years now and while I don’t claim to be this strong individual I do know that i am much more resilient than I was even two years ago. A lot has happened to me in this short period of time and that’s why I feel like I must vent it all on here.
Perhaps I waited too long to start talking about it publicly. Maybe it would have been therapeutic for me to blog about when I was going through all of the difficult times. Even now, looking back I just don’t know why everything would sting so bad. I made it out to be worse than it was. My situation was very different back then so maybe that’s part of the reason I feel the way I do today.
Maybe I’ve just grown up and matured. That’s part of life right? My main goal in recollecting my past is to helpfully help someone who feels now the way I felt back then. If just one person can benefit from reading here I’ll be satisfied with the time invested to post it on here.
If you need help sorting through some things in life and would like some advice you can always leave a comment in the comments section or feel free to personally email me. Thanks for stopping by.