The college bro's exploration into LGBTQ

It can be frightening to explore being gay or another gender.

I often thought of myself as a straight, good looking male in college. And that’s what I was, because I believed it to be so.

A little while ago, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about working out in the gym and feeling attracted to other guys. He was straight and said to me, “I know! It’s not like I’m trying to look at [another guy in the gym], I just keep catching [his] eye in the mirror and it’s super awkward!” Thats how my story begins. I didn’t want to be attracted to guys, and I didn’t know why I was, but I was. And it made me uncomfortable to be in situations where I felt it.

I was learning public speaking at the time and I had just read that being still in awkward moments during life could help overcome the fear of being on stage. I decided to try this out during the gay attraction moments that I had at the gym. Next time I was attracted to another guy’s presence, I just let myself be still, which led to eye contact with him. That’s all I did. Repeatedly.

Each time I did this, the connection lasted a little bit longer, and the scariness of being attracted to a guy became less and less. I increased my comfort level with guys, and it led me to telling my close guy friends “I love you” and touching them affectionately.

I was about to graduate from college in two months, and I still felt that as many small moves I made, the issue wasn’t put to rest. I wanted to resolve the issue before I lost the opportunity at college.

On a Friday night there was a small party in the house I lived in. My best friend was there with about six others. We drank and smoked. As the night wound down, I realized that I could do one thing to face the root of the issue. I pulled myself together and said to my best friend, “I’m gay”, and moved in to kiss him on the lips.

He said, “no” and waved me off. I sat down, for a minute, and then tried again. He said “no” more sternly and I sat down again.

I told the rest of the people at the party, and my mother, father, sister, and other close friends via cell phone that I was gay that night.

The whole world I lived in flipped on a dime.

My sister reacted courtly, probably out of shock, and my parents and brother didn’t talk with me about it.

I felt like I had no friends. I felt like I just betrayed my army on a battlefield.

I wasn’t able to connect with guy friends about judging girls. It was frustrating to turn away from their communal jokes and lusting. When guys acted that way around me, I turned my back, and eventually walked away. That broke me apart from them.

I was also foreign to connecting with girls about judging guys. It was a new world to get used to. Some girls I knew still hit on me, and I walked away when they were lustful towards me.

I put out a Facebook post to inform the rest of the people I knew about my change, and I risked my social reputation. Surprisingly, I got a lot of support. A friend from high school called to offer me help, and other friends messaged me congratulating my courage.

I still hadn’t hooked up with a guy though. So during the next month, I met up with a gay couple who took me to the famous Twist on Miami beach, and to a few gay bars in Ft. Lauderdale. On the dance floor of one club, I found a young Indian guy, and told him about coming out. We went upstairs and I made a move to kiss. We made out, but I wasn’t sexually aroused.

So I didn’t know how to label myself. I wasn’t into guys, but I didn’t have libido for women either.

Graduation came and I moved to San Francisco to meet a friend. She was working on a human rights campaign for the LGBT community. We went out for coffee and she told me that people identified as a male or female and were attracted to males or females and had bodies of males or females, and were attracted to the bodies of males or females and each piece was independent of every other. This opened up my mind.

I went home thinking I might be a woman. I told my friends I felt I was a woman. I identified as a woman.

Being a woman, I was concerned about my body being male. I thought about changing it into a woman’s body. It seemed like the last big change I needed to make.

I didn’t have money for an operation, so I held the intention in the back of my mind, and I found a place to live in San Francisco.

A few new roommates from the place I moved into planned a trip to Yosemite and I joined. On the drive there we played, ‘Who would you marry, kill, and fuck’. I said I didn’t want to answer because there was no one I wanted to fuck. One girl asked if I was asexual. That was the first time I considered that as a viable sexual orientation.

With sexual pursuits out of my life, I had no reason to change my sexual organs. With gender identity being a free choice, I felt fine letting mine rest as masculine character.

Now I look and act pretty much the same as I did a two or three years ago, when this began. I feel different though. I was uncomfortable loving another guy before, and now I am okay with it.

Today people might see me as straight, and they might see me as gay. I’m fine with it either way.

When a person wants to call me a woman, I’m okay with it. And when someone wants to call me a bro, that works too.

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