I Knew I Was Gay When I Was Five Years Old

I knew I was gay

For as long as I can remember I’ve always known, but for the longest time it wasn’t a feeling of pride. It was a combination of fear, guilt, shame, unrequited desire, silence, isolation, and otherness.

I was five or six years old when I went to a girl’s house to play. I don’t remember if she was from school or one of the kids in the neighbourhood. From my little boy’s eyes her house seemed like a mansion. The basement was so large I felt overwhelmed by the number of closed doors I could see. We went into a playroom filled with toys. I remember wanting to play with the dollhouse more than anything. Something about that moment made me self-conscious. Continue reading “I Knew I Was Gay When I Was Five Years Old”

What Does “Living OUT the Best of Me” Feel Like?

Living OUT Membership

As a gay man, what would it mean to live out the best of you?

For me it’s about understanding if I’ve left the best parts of me in the closet, and which of those parts I want to bring out and enjoy living.

Let me give you an example from my own life.

When I was a teenager growing up in the early 80s, I loved watching figure skating, gymnastics, and contemporary dance. I never got to practice any of those athletic activities, but I watched — in silence and in secret. Continue reading “What Does “Living OUT the Best of Me” Feel Like?”

Shoving My Queer Agenda in Your Face — Take It!

For as long as I can remember it’s always been a man and a woman.

For as long as I can remember it’s always been about god.

For as long as I can remember it’s always been about fitting in.

I have never had sex with a woman.

I never want to. I have known I was gay since I was five years old, but I didn’t know the words.

I don’t believe in god.

The only thing that might come close is having faith in my potential. Continue reading “Shoving My Queer Agenda in Your Face — Take It!”

Kevin Spacey, #MeToo, And The Problem Of Gay Shame

“As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behaviour.”

The above is Kevin Spacey’s response to Anthony Rapp’s accusation of unwanted sexual advances by Spacey when he was 14-years old.

The challenging aspect of this article, for me, is to create an empathetic discussion about the potential “origins” of Spacey’s behaviour.

What I ask of you is to read through with an open mind. I am not condoning Spacey’s behaviour whatsoever.

When this news first broke I had hoped it would be a single incident. Unfortunately it wasn’t. Spacey clearly made unwanted sexual advances on men, underage men, and women; allegations which span decades.

The Upset Over His Coming Out

It’s good Spacey finally came out publicly. It’s good that he admitted wrongdoing.

But what I find extremely problematic and complicated is how people have reacted to his explanation and reason for finally coming out. Continue reading “Kevin Spacey, #MeToo, And The Problem Of Gay Shame”

By Fitting In Have You Left the Best Parts of You In The Closet?

fitting into boxes - ricardo-gomez-angel-355247

One of my biggest realizations from reading The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs was that my success in life is directly related to my experience of having grown up in the closet.

The truth is I’m not afraid of success. Rather, I sometimes shy away from other people SEEING me as successful! I have been successful in many areas of my life and I’m aware of the difference between success and accomplishment, which I talk about in, “How Does It Feel When You’re Living Your Calling?”

An Interesting Paradox

If I want to help people think more queerly, the think outside of the status quo, I need to be fully out, vulnerable, and take risks. But at the same time, the young Darren that once lived in the closet likes the safety of not being recognized. Continue reading “By Fitting In Have You Left the Best Parts of You In The Closet?”

You’re Gay, Out, and Successful – Is That All There Is?

open doors philipp-berndt-173197

The trappings of normality in the straight world come with a cost.

Fitting in requires an investment of false energy (you not expressing who you are). Do you have the things everyone else does, like a house, a car, 3–4 weeks of vacation per year, marriage, children, etc.?

It’s easy to get lost in your career, pursing one achievement after the other. You neglect your health and your partner, unaware you’re still trying to silence the pain of being gay.

There is nothing wrong with having any of those things, like possessions or a successful career. But they can be distractions showing up as external validation. Fitting in, being seen as a success, helps you deal with your gay shame. Your outward achievements help you feel good enough in the eyes of others, but they doesn’t make you feel proud.

Being out and unapologetically fucking PROUD is a huge act of defiance.

Often as a gay man we feel there’s got to be more to life, that something is missing. How do you see your way out of the box if you don’t even realize you’re in one? Continue reading “You’re Gay, Out, and Successful – Is That All There Is?”