A Straight Man Remembers the Men He Loved: Starting with Frank C.

A Geriatric Journal Story

Ronald C. Flores-Gunkle
Prism & Pen
Published in
8 min readJun 9, 2024

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Frank C. on the beach in 1958 • Author’s Collection

Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know.

In my 2019 story Roads to be Taken, my character Julio asks his friend, the unnamed protagonist, “Could you ever love a man?”

His friend thought: It was obvious now this was where we were going and I was unsure if I could — or should — go there. Julio…is openly gay. I am openly…what? Asexual? Heterosexual? Bisexual? Pansexual? Don’t you have to do something to be something?”

You have to read the story if you want to know how it works out. In my case, although I may have doubted my sexuality (I was in chorus, class plays, and a theater group, played no sports, etc), I fell hopelessly in lust with a buxom schoolmate, one who let me run a few bases, but to my great frustration never let me score a home run. The experience ended my doubting. If you need evidence, dear journal, remember I just celebrated 61 years of happy married life with a cisgender woman.

Realizing you are straight does not preclude loving men, and I have been in love with three men in my life. I’d like to share the stories with you — although what I really want to do is remember and reconstruct them and recognize what I learned from them.

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Ronald C. Flores-Gunkle
Prism & Pen

An aged humanist hanging on to the idea that there is hope for humankind against most current indications.