Matthew Page

December 1998

This is going to be my coming out article. About a year and a half ago, I finally came to the realization that my feelings for guys weren't entirely platonic. All through my life I have looked at boys and realized that they were attractive. I never once considered myself gay though. I just figured that I was jealous of their bodies.

In high school, I didn't have many male friends. I hung out with the cheerleaders. I went out with a lot of girls, and we always had fun. I even slept with a couple. For some reason the relationships all seemed to end the same way: "you are a good friend and a very caring guy, but I just can't go out with you Matthew." I should have had a clue. There were other gay stereotypes that I fit into. I never questioned any of them; stereotypes are usually inaccurate. I was in a couple of sports, and really enjoyed them. Of particular interest was the locker room, where I got to see boys naked and sweaty. In high school my attitude was: "I can't be gay, I only want to look at the boys to compare -- just to see where I stand."

All this changed. While I was in the Navy I became good friends with one of the most gorgeous guys I have ever seen. We did a lot of things together, and shared some intimate details about our lives.

After the first year and a half of knowing him, it hit me one day. I found him sexually desirable. I can still remember that day. We all slept on top of our sheets; the only privacy was a little curtain/blind. It was very hot in the berthing compartment (sleeping quarters), and because of the heat, all my friend had on were his briefs. This particular morning I woke up before him--unusual. I opened his curtain to awaken him. I sat there for about five minutes and looked at this beautiful boy asleep before me. I didn't wake him up, instead I ran into the shower. There I cried for about 15 minutes.

For weeks I was withdrawn, and nobody had a clue why. I felt so ashamed about my feelings, I hated myself. Six months later, I finally accepted the fact that I was attracted to a man. I figure you can only hate yourself for so long. At that time I identified myself as bisexual, and I guess I was. I continued to date women, out of interest, not denial. There was just always something not quite right with the relationship.

I could never put the feelings for my friend aside. It was more than just his body though. Our whole friendship was beautiful. The more I thought about my feelings, the more our friendship fell apart. I realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this guy. I became very absorbed with him. I was in love with him; unfortunately he wasn't in love with me. The tension increased between us.

During a vacation period that we shared, we were alone together in a hotel room. Through bad judgement on my part, I made my feelings known to him. As you can suspect, we no longer speak to each other.

Now, several months later, I have realized that I am really not bisexual. I am gay. Although I enjoy sex with women and could still sleep with them, it is just missing something. Emotionally speaking I am more attracted to guys.

This is exactly why I dislike the labels so much. I am certainly not straight. I find women attractive also, so I am not purely gay either. I don't identify myself as bisexual, because I do have a gender preference. I don't really think it matters. All too often we emphasize labels when we should be more concerned with that person's personality. After all, our sexuality is only a small part of who we really are.


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