Faggot. Punk. Sissy. Queer. These four words – and probably some I wasn’t aware of – were all slurs used to describe homosexuality in the mid-1960s. As I recall, I didn’t hear the word “gay” until 1969 and, I dunno, the first time I heard it – some guy a bunch of other guys were talking about was said to be gay, well, um, the literal definition popped into my head – whoever the guy was that was being talked about was happy.
What was wrong with that? Oh, wait – that’s not what they meant and as indicated by another word flung out there that I did recognize: Queer. Phrases like, “He’s got some sugar in his tank!” and “He’s got some she in him!” were bandied about and usually followed by a lot of vicious laughter and threats of bodily harm and it didn’t make a difference whether the people discussing these “weirdos” were young or old.
But you just knew – learned, really – that being a faggot, punk, sissy, queer or gay wasn’t a good thing and among us youngster, tagging someone with one of these words was usually enough for a fight to start. Homophobia was running rampant and it was clear that any guy who dared to have sex with another guy – and someone found out about it – would face some shit that makes frat boy hazing look tame.
It just stood to reason that if you were bisexual – and even if you didn’t know the word existed – letting others find out that you had the nerve to go both ways could be rather hazardous and made for a treacherous period of growing up. It didn’t stop anyone from doing their dirt in this way but you took as much care as you could manage to make sure your secret didn’t get blabbed all over the place and this made good sense… except for those poor kids who got tagged as being queer… and they really weren’t.
“Am I gay?” This is usually one of the first questions a guy asks himself upon discovering that girls ain’t the only people he likes and gets his dick hard and I honestly and personally don’t know a single bisexual guy who hasn’t asked himself this question; the gay guys I knew, well, they knew they were gay – some flaunted it, some felt it was wiser not to. I used to wonder why this question would show up and more so when a guy who liked guys and gals, well, they’re not gay since it was very well known that gay guy might act like girls… but you’d never catch one trying to sleep with a girl.
I always thought it was odd that a guy who didn’t like pussy spent a lot of time acting like a girl and could usually be found hanging out with girls – eh, go figure. Still, a guy asking himself this question could count on the question standing right alongside a great deal of fear because, again, if you were gay, you were a magnet for all sorts of bad things that could wind up in your lap. Back then, there wasn’t any difference made between those guys who went both way and those guys who were faggots – it was all the same which, even then, didn’t make any sense and no more sense than such sentiments do today – some people are still of a mind that bisexual and homosexual are the same things.
The first question that a guy asks himself is along the lines of, “Why do I feel the way I do?” or “What’s wrong with me?” – stuff like that and, at some point, what they’re feeling becomes more… apparent and giving birth to the “Am I gay?” question and, yeah, that’s pretty disturbing and more so back in the late 1960s; you don’t know fear until there are five or six guys surrounding you, calling you a queer, and getting your ass kicked is imminent.
You fervently hoped and prayed that your answer to the question wasn’t, “Yes – you’re as queer as a $3 bill!” Now, a lot of guys figured out that, nope – they weren’t gay since, um, they were very busy chasing every girl they could and even catching them so they could, well, you know. But, hmm, if a guy wanted to do something, well, sure – I won’t tell if you won’t! Even more confusion in play, right? Not straight… but not gay, either; don’t know what this is I’m into!
Ah, I remember the day I had asked myself this question and it still embarasses me today when I think of the chain of events that led to me asking the question and the very well-known fact that before it even dawned on me to ask “the question,” I’d been happily sleeping with all the guys and gals I could get with.
I don’t really remember what put the question in my head other than to say I had been doing a “review” of myself, looking back at my past behaviors and taking note of how I’d changed, progressed, stuff like that. My then wife and I had decided to have a nooner and it was good, fun, and satisfying and I didn’t have a care in the world until that part of my mind that had been doing the review suddenly rained all over my post-coital bliss by asking, “Hey – are you gay?”
Instant internalized panic attack and one that got progressively worse as my brain faithfully cued up every single time I had sex with a guy and pushed the “play” button on me. I was totally freaked out and I actually had to sit down because I felt faint, my legs were shaking, and my blood pressure had to be triple digits top and bottom.
Let’s keep in mind at this point that I knew what bisexuality was and that I was bisexual; also keep in mind that this landed on me after I’d just had a great time screwing my wife, okay? Not like a day later – like ten minutes later. So, yeah, perhaps you can see why this is rather embarrassing because I already had the proof that I wasn’t gay but it’s also the “perfect” example of how your mind can just fuck with you and, in this case, unnecessarily so.
But wait – it gets worse! Instead of me coming to the understanding that, nah, there was no way in hell that I was really gay and instantly so, the question plagued me for almost two years and as I continually overlooked the fact of the many, many times I was gleefully screwing my wife… but I couldn’t stop thinking about all the dicks I had and to this day, I just do not know why I was so focused on this aspect of my life but, yeah, I was while totally overlooking the obvious.
Gets even worse! The “Am I gay?” thing was still bogarting my thoughts and I recall standing at the window of our apartment, looking out and pretty much staring – seeing stuff without really seeing it – when my mind said, “You’re an idiot, you know that, don’t you? You can’t be gay! Here – let me show you something…”
My mind took me back to the day I asked myself the question and what took place before the question… and, yeah, I’m not just an idiot – I’m an even bigger idiot, perhaps the king of the idiot world to finally realize that I should have known the answer to the question a split-second after it had been asked… and it shouldn’t have taken me all this time to get it through my apparently thick skull that, nope, I wasn’t gay…
I was bisexual and very much so. I felt so foolish and was pretty pissed with myself. But something came to me that I felt was important: I wouldn’t be able to understand the turmoil “Am I gay?” can cause someone if I’ve never experienced it, right? I mean, how many other guys (and a few gals) had I talked to and had listened to what they went through when “Am I gay?” landed on them like tons of bricks? And I realized that in those times, I really didn’t understand their pain – but I understood it now, didn’t I?
Still worse – well, kinda. Not too long after I’d answered the question, I fell in love with a gay guy and it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had and more so when I – and like so many bi guys – had sworn on a stack of bibles that there was no way in hell I could ever fall in love with some dude. It’s a reminder that one should try to stay on Karma’s good side, huh? And despite the torrid, emotional and, yeah, sex-filled moments of this “impossible” relationship, my sexuality was never in question.
I was bisexual and always had been. While my moments of peril with the question still makes me feel pretty silly, it did give me some experience and enough that when I see bi guys asking if they’re gay or talking about their own cluster fuck moments with the question, I can tell them with a great deal of certainty that chances are pretty good that they’re not gay because they have this… interest in men.
Along the way, I learned that some guys would ask themselves the question and discover that they really were gay and on the Kinsey scale, they were anywhere from 4 to even 6; the “6 guys” were usually ones who proved to themselves that being intimate with women just didn’t work for them. I could now listen to guys asking if I thought they were gay because visions of cocks were dancing all over their heads and tell them that, nope, probably not – but this dick thing is pretty exciting as much as it can be troubling, huh? I was able to get a lot of guys to figure this out way faster than I did just by asking them a simple question: Do ya still like pussy?
I’d feel – triumphant? – to watch them process this question and could see the answer written all over them before they verbally responded by saying that they did and very much so, thanks a lot for asking but, yeah – that dick thing was still a lot of fun to partake in even if they were on the verge of taking the plunge for the first time.
Then they’d ask – and as I did – what the fuck made them think that they were really gay when all of the evidence said that they weren’t… and that was a question I couldn’t answer except to state the obvious: The question just shows up to fuck with you. Was it some sense of guilt knowing that one is even thinking about going both ways or remembering any time where they spent an “inordinate” amount of time having sex with guys and more than they were screwing gals?
Or was it really a matter of a lack of information? Ya knew about being straight and ya knew about those gay folks and the way they handled their business… but going both ways? Being a switch-hitter and batting for both teams? It’s one thing to hear stuff like this and it’s referring to someone else… but when it’s you?
Yeah… it’s pretty disturbing to be something that no one really talked about except as some kind of joke or to just push someone’s buttons about how they liked to get their rocks off. It is to note that women did not really escape this… hazing but they handled this better than guys did; I’ve heard a lot of women who were accused of swinging both ways look at the accuser and say, “So what if I do? You’re just mad because you ain’t getting any of this pussy!”
If they had any inner turmoil going on, most girls were good at keeping others from finding out. Sure, some girls I knew would admit to liking other girls as much as they did guys and wondered if that meant they were really lesbian but I always felt that they answered this question about themselves better than I had… and a lot of guys as well.
You just get to a point where you don’t even concern yourself with the possibility of being gay – you are what you are, you do whatever you’re doing, and that’s that – and if anyone suggests to you that you’re really gay, you roll your eyes, laugh at them, and pretty much let them know that you’re not gay while not giving a single hint to the fact that you’re not straight, either.
I know I’ve had decades to observe all of this and I understand why this cluster fuck continues to fuck with people while seeing at the social level why not being 100% straight was a bad thing and, now, not being 100% straight or gay is being perceived as a “bad” thing…
Because we don’t understand it; we can’t accept that sexuality isn’t black and white. There are folks who continue to believe that gay folks have zero interest in opposite sex stuff but the truth is, um, some do. They wouldn’t say that they’re bisexual and insist that even though they occasionally cross the line, they’re still quite gay, thank you very much. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to explain to people that, yes – I have sex with men and women and because I do, I’m not gay and if you wanna get nitpicky about it, I am only gay when I’m doing something with another guy so, at best, you’re only partially correct but you’re overlooking the fact that I will get with some coochie, too… because that’s how bisexuality works.
Am I gay? Not even. Am I straight? Nope, not really. I’m both… and neither all wrapped up in one package… and if you can’t understand that, well, that’s not my problem; it’s not my fault that you’re operating with a lot of faulty information or that what you believe is keeping you from seeing the truth of things.
Gay men have insisted that I’m really gay and I should admit it and have gotten pissed when I’ve replied that for me to admit something like this would be a bald-faced lie… because I’m not gay… but I’m not straight, either. It’s flattering – well, now it is – to be told that I’d be a good gay guy; the first time a gay guy told me this, I almost punched him in the face. It surprised him… and surprised me, too, because I understood that I was still holding on to feeling some kind of way to be called gay – but, I guess that makes sense in a weird kind of way because no one likes to be called something that they know they aren’t. So to keep from punching people in the face about it, I just learned to ignore all those suggestions that I give up women and be the gay man I know I am.
Yeah… let’s not and say I did. Give up women and stop sticking my cock in their pussies? You done gone and lost your mind, haven’t you? I know I’m not gay; I asked myself the question and, yeah, okay, it took me a while to answer it – but I did answer it and I’m quite good with the answer.
Even if there are people out there who wants to keep thinking that being bisexual and being gay are one and the same. How does one go about answering this question for themselves?
Ya gotta get all up inside yourself; you gotta look at your thoughts and feelings as well as taking a very good look at anything you might be doing and, yeah, even thinking about doing. And you do this in some very deep and detailed ways. This very introspective examination could take a few moments to figure out or it can take years – it just depends on the person and their ability to really think about this. Just because a guy may find that he likes dick more than he likes pussy doesn’t mean that he’s gay… since, um, he still likes pussy but these days?
That doesn’t mean a whole lot because, as I said, there are some gay guys who like pussy, too, and, yep, there are lesbians who like some dick when the mood for it hits them. What we are learning is that all of those lines previously drawn along the sexualit spectrum are starting to blur and to the point where asking yourself if you’re gay doesn’t – and shouldn’t – mean anything unless you determine that things opposite sex just ain’t working for you when it comes to love, sex, and relationships.
We are learning that people do change their minds about their sexuality and sometimes more than once. You get to understand the angst over the labels – straight, bi, gay – because at the end of the day, they don’t mean a whole lot when it comes to your boat floating and being attracted in ways that the labels kinda insist you can’t be attracted to.
People are always asking themselves if they’re gay and they eventually get the answer to the question and the answer – whatever it may be – shouldn’t be so much of a problem – you are what you need to be. We just assume that if you’re straight, you’re always going to be straight no matter what but, um, straight people do become bisexual; shit, gay people become bisexual to some degree and in whatever way it suits their purposes.
Am I gay? Was I ever gay? Nope – I just am what I am… and what I am is bisexual and I’m good with that because to not be good with it just does not make any damned sense at all. If the shoe fit, just wear it and be proud of being able to wear it.
Sigh. People will ask themselves this question and the message is to not worry yourself sick over it and if you find that you are, then you are and, if not, you’re not. Accept that you can feel some kind of way about both men and women and if you do something about it, fine – but if you don’t, that’s okay, too.