I admit I have been a homophobe almost my entire life and I felt disgusted by gays, their habits and their way of life. Looking back, this behavior may have been influenced by my father, because he was the one responsible with my education, since my mom had a more crowded working schedule. He hated gays and I grew up hating them myself. Especially their disgusting sexual habits. In the same time, I grew up disgusted by sexuality as a whole, but I never took the time to understand why. I just thought girls to be sexually unattractive and it all had to do with the sexual aspect. I mean I still viewed them as beautiful, I could admire objective a woman for being handsome, but I could not accept the idea of sexuality towards women. It does not seem appealing to me. In the same time, when thinking about men, a feeling of disgust would take over my mind and it would make me sick just to discuss about it. Soon I hated homosexuals and I have even participated at anti-gay rallies and I have been charged with assault after I took part in beating up two gay men one night.
Also, when I hit 24, I was a racist aside from being a homophobe, strongly convinced that those of color are intellectually inferior to white men. I can now see that my life was filled with rage and hate and soon after that I began feeling depressed and lonely. I have gone through two suicide attempts. There was no love in my life and I began growing tired with all the hate. I wanted someone to love, but I did not know where to look. I could not find girls attractive and men seemed repulsive and I felt like there was no purpose for me anymore.
Then my father died and I have gone through a serious identity crisis. I did not know how to behave anymore, like I have lost my moral compass and I was stranded in a world I could not understand anymore. That is when I realized that I had no close friends. All I had were acquaintances, obsessed as I was with denigrating gays and black people and I was tired with this lifestyle. I wanted some light in my life, but it just seemed like I was doomed to never find it.
I soon started to drink a lot and my life seemed bound to end in a bar somewhere in a forgotten neighborhood.
Then, one night, a guy joined at my table where I was all alone, drinking, and asked me if I needed some company. On other occasions I would have told him to piss off because he was an African-American, but on that day I could not care less. In fact, I was happy somehow I had someone to talk to. After a few drinks we began feeling more comfortable with one another and one thing led to another and I told him the story of my life. I felt like it was something that was pushing against my chest like a huge weight I was hoping I could get rid of by simply sharing my story with another man. It happened, as I began feeling a lot better after some time and that is when I started looking at the guy closer. He was quite an intelligent man, funny and smart and I realized I really liked his company. And his smile.
That was the moment when I realized that something was happening with me, something that I had feared my whole life, but never had the courage to admit it. I found him attractive and I immediately felt that impulse of disgust towards him and myself as well, but there was something else that was overcoming that feeling. Something that was warming my heart and I soon let go of any hateful feeling that was darkening my mind. I was just talking with a handsome man and I could not find anything wrong with that. He was offering me comfort and appreciation and he was holding my hand telling me: “But you are a different man now, Dave, aren’t you? You lack love in your life and it seems to me like you have never experienced true happiness so far.”
I knew he was right and for the first time I wasn’t afraid of admitting it. I craved for love and affection and he was there, offering them to me.
I felt like all my life’s principles crumbled all at once and I felt like I was born again, free to do whatever I like. Free to experience love and happiness. I kissed him right then and I refused letting him go. He grabbed hold of me and I could feel his warm heart beating and I knew it was beating for me. We became lovers and I have never looked back it since.
I know now I am gay and it took me almost 20 years to admit it. I know now that my father was responsible for my homophobic behavior and I know damaging my behavior has been. There is nothing more important in life than love and happiness and being constantly full of hate and denial will throw you in a world that cannot permit you to be happy.
It is the first time in my life when I am not ashamed of myself. I am in love with a man and I proudly admit it.