I’m proud to be taking part in the Hop for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality (formerly the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia). which is an annual action by folks in the publishing industry that supports the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (#IDAHO) on May 17th.
This year as I fell over the hump of half a century old, I reflect back on my life. On what it was like growing up to become the author known as Caraway Carter.
I turned fifty-one this year and I’ve realized my life has had many ups and downs. I’m this way, no I’m this. I don’t want to even look at my body, I can’t get enough of your body. Hell, I can’t get enough of my body.
It took me a long time to accept me for who I really was.
I knew I was something different when I was eight. I didn’t know what it was exactly, I did know that I loved bodies; I loved feeling, touching, cuddling, kissing. It didn’t matter if it was the girl that lived across the hall from me, or my best friend, who was so important to me, I’d say his first name twice. By nine we would regularly meet up. She in the mornings before school and he after, usually in his closet.
Over the years, partners changed and girls stopped being of interest to me.
I tried to make my family happy. To make my mom not worry, I hid every partner. I’d show off my best girl friends all throughout Jr and High School. Always, in the back of my mind thinking about this guy or that guy. I was secretive about everything, probably because I grew up Catholic and my parents tried the tough love angle, to get me to not think about being gay. I was never sent away, but they did make me sit in my bedroom and watch a video about what happens to gay kids.
When I got to Jr. College, I made friends with out, proud gay men. Joined the Gay & Lesbian club. I was more sexually active than I could imagine. However, throughout the eighties, I was still depressed… I was angry, I hated that I was gay. I tried to have relationships with women, but nothing felt right. And I’d find that I chose women who were worse off than I was.
I finally decided to come out to my parents. It didn’t go well. I don’t want to bring back the pain from that time. It was tough, but I was living the life I thought I wanted. I was out, but still not proud. I had hate sex with people who didn’t know what I looked like or cared about me. I was risky and made choices that weren’t the best. I was the prize of “no one is ugly after two am.” And it might not have been true, but it was what I felt.
Then I hit my thirties, and I saw a woman in white stockings and got turned on. OH MY GOD! What the fuck just happened to me? Women, for the first time in a very long time, began to entice me. But, I still never went there. I admired from afar, but I thought back to my youth and remembered that bodies were delicious up close. The skin, the hair, the lips, the scent. I understood for the first time what a bisexual was. And– if I wasn’t fucked up before, I was definitely more screwed up. I found myself still being with men, only now using my youthful looks to flirt. I got over what I looked like and realized for me that sex was only a facet of what was important, now contact and touch were included.
Love? I still didn’t understand the concept of love.
Still, there was depression, still… pain. I was in and out of the gay closet and the bi closet that I finally decided to just not have sex with anyone. To get up, work, go home and lose myself in games and the internet.
Living with my parents, I chose to be what I needed to be, which for the most part was a heterosexual bachelor.
It took me till I was in my mid forties to get sick of sneaking around behind my parents back, just to make them happy. I would never be happy this way. When I met the husbear, I jumped at the chance to have a steady relationship. I was loved, I was loving and I knew this was the man who would save me. I listened to him, I loved him then and I still love him now.
I finally grew the balls to stand up to my parents. To tell them that I didn’t care what they thought or felt. I couldn’t give them the daughter-in-law they always wanted. I couldn’t give them grandkids. I could however love them unconditionally and I’d hope that one day they would learn to love me in the same manner. I shrugged and soon found myself living far away from them.
Over the years, we made up. When I got married to the husbear we had a very small, very beautiful wedding, and I wouldn’t ask for anything else.
Now In my fifties, after glancing back on my life, I find myself very lucky. I’ve read stories of men and women who could only dream of being with another person. I have had experiences, I had lusts. I’ve played the field, been with men and women over the years. While, there are still things I don’t share with everyone, little by little I’m letting more people in.
I’ve never thought of myself as exclusive to one or the other, I’m not fond of labels. I’m here for you no matter your sexuality. No matter your identity. I’m here to let others be aware of a life hidden, because it was easier and a life lived.
Drop a comment below and I’ll pick someone to win your choice of any e-book from my backlist, I’ll utilize the very scientific random number system to pick a winner on May 25th 12:00 AM EST.
Please check out the other bloggers through the hop to see some more posts and opportunities.