The Bottom Whisperer: Thinking About You
This week we’re getting things started with a follow up to a great question from last February! Special thanks to LOST for sending us the update on his dating life! You can read his original question here!
I thought since a year has passed since I asked my question to you I’d check back in and let you know how my dating life has gone.
I definitely went on a plethora of dates ranging from the ‘Incredible Time’ to ‘When-Can-I-Leave-and-Go-Home-to-Watch-Netflix??’ Last spring/summer, I participated in an LGBT Rec. Soccer league whenever I had time and met a lot of great guys there – still friends with some of them! I also played some beach volleyball and went to LGBT events ranging from Pride to Market Days to concerts to a book club.
I’m unhappy to report that I’m still single BUT I am performing in an incredible show and having a blast. Through this show I actually met an Illinois gay group who came to see the show and I’m spearheading a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids with our cast later this spring. The overall lesson I learned is even though I don’t have ‘Mr. Right’ in my life, I exposed myself to the gay community and what it could offer and met some incredible people and great friends. Right now, I’m content with my life and if ‘he’ ever shows up I will be even more content but until that day comes, I’m definitely enjoying the family I have made here in Chicago.
Thank you again for your response to my question. Keep up the great work!
Laughing Out Stress & Trouble
Thanks for the update! I want to say that I am really proud of you for putting your best foot forward in moving towards your goal of meeting a great guy to share your time with. The thing I really liked about your message is that you are making friends and meeting people who have had a positive impact on your life. As the old saying goes, you have to kiss a few frogs to find your Prince Charming. Thanks again for the update! Keep up the great work and happy humping!
Dear Bottom Whisperer,
I am a thirty-two-year-old gay man in a loving relationship with an African American man a few years younger than me. My boyfriend is not out of the closet and despite the fact that we have been together for almost a year he has never disclosed our relationship to anyone in his family. Recently his mother came to visit him for a few days and he told me he would not be able to see me while she was in town. I felt like I had been sent away because I was some dirty secret.
Now I know that you are going to tell me that I should leave him and there is no reason for me to be putting up with this kind of treatment from someone that I care about, but I care for him deeply and accept him unconditionally. A number of my friends have voiced their displeasure with our relationship but I am in love with him and feel very connected to him. When I discuss my feelings on our secret relationship with him he tells me that he doesn’t have any options outside of never speaking to most of his family again. He told me that his sister asked him last year if he was gay and he lied to her and told her he was not gay. Her response was “Good because I love you but I would not be able to accept you and have you in my life.”
I feel like it is unfair of me to ask him to recognize our relationship under these kinds of pressures. This is the sad reality that I live with being with my boyfriend. What do you think I should do? I am not sure I can put up with this for the rest of my life.
Thanks for being a reader of the column and for your great question. Questions like this always serve as a kind of about face. I forget sometimes living in my progressive little bubble that even today people are excluded by friends and family for being themselves and being true to their sexuality. Your boyfriend is in a very tough spot here and at this time he has rationalized that having his family in his life, even if that means not being honest with them, is more important than being true about who he is. This is a pretty bad situation because you can’t tell him to just walk away from his family. Are they in the wrong for thinking and feeling the way that they do about having a gay family member, no question. This doesn’t change the fact that he would be completely isolated from his family if he were to expose who he is. I have had friend in the past in similar situations and some of them even had luck waiting it out and waiting for attitudes to change.
In your question you told me that you loved your boyfriend unconditionally. Well this is certainly something a lot of people would not be able to deal with. If you do in fact love him unconditionally then you will understand and support your boyfriend in what is a very uncomfortable situation. Clearly he is feeling pulled in a number of directions. Your dissatisfaction adds another element to a very stressful dynamic. If you feel strongly that your boyfriend cares about you, that should be all that matters and while it might be difficult, you should support him in whatever direction he decides to go. It could take a week or years for him to come clean to his family about your relationship. It might never happen at all. But believe that the strength of your relationship and the love that you give him unconditionally will only strengthen him in the event that he decides to let his family know who he really is. Best of luck!