Springtime is here again, and I find myself vacillating between tears and smiles at all points. This is the time of year that is renowned throughout the world as a time of fertility and of relationships, of beginning love, and of broken hearts.
Sometimes I wonder if perhaps gay youth feel the pain of heartbreak and the joy of love more intensely than our straight counterparts. Our love is no more or less sacred than "straight" love, love is love after all, but it seems as if we cling to it more closely than our breeding cousins. I love the notion of love. I adore the notion of love. My whole life I've wanted a story book romance, and a boy who brings me roses and sweeps me off my feet. I want a Prince Charming, Prince Valiant, or Antonio Sabato, Jr., but often times I've discovered my desire for love translating into a vulnerability of emotion.
I've found that a large number of gay men are more emotionally sensitive/vulnerable than our other brothers across the sexuality divide. Of course, our sensitivity enhancement is a general statement and by no means is true across the board, and our sensitivity should not be viewed as a weakness. But, I've found that when I begin dating someone I general start out slowly, but soon find myself entangled emotionally with them, and yearning for more. I also find myself hypersensitive to comments and remarks made by my partner. It is particularly noticeable since my group of friends has a distinctive caustic sense of humor that I encourage and am of which I am one of the perpetrators, but when my boyfriend makes similar comments in jest I find myself stung by them more often than I ever would be if the same comment came from a friend. I've noticed this same laceration of the soul in other gay men my age, so I know that I am not alone in this phenomenon.
My question is where does this sensitivity come from. Is it a left-over core of emotion undealt with or resulting from our coming out process? Is it some sort of celestial blessing/curse that we are given at the moment of our birth? Or is it a psychological emotional imbalance caused by socialization and visual bombardment of heterosexual propaganda? Who knows. I don't. That much is obvious. I don't view the empathy I have with others as being a curse or a burden, until it works in reverse. By reverse I mean when the person I've become emphatically linked to hurts me inadvertently or otherwise. Normally, I carry, as do most people, a protective shield around me that acts as an ozone layer to filter out most of the harmful emotional backlash that comes my way, but with my boyfriend that layer doesn't exist, or it does but it has become victim to the CFCs of love.
I really don't have an answer to the semi-rhetorical questions that I posed, but I think it fitting that they be discussed at this most hormonal time of year. If any person who reads this article happens to have insight into the questions posed above please email me your thoughts and ideas.