Hello world. I'm a brother, guncle, GBF, bestie, and most recently have been dubbed "The Playboy". I must say "The Playboy" seems kind of fitting given that I'm the only gay male of the group. I don't know if I would consider myself a playboy these days, but if you knew me 10-12 year ago, I was definitely living the life of a twenty-something gay playboy.
Now for some back story...I was born on the west coast (too young to remember). I spent my adolescent and young adult years in South Carolina with a few stops in North Carolina and Georgia during my pre-pubescent years. I spent my pre-high school years as the "teacher's pet" and the "cool white boy nerd" that everybody liked. I was fortunate to not be that nerd that everyone picked on. I had an afro and spectacles which I ditched the first chance I got freshman year. Freshman year was also the year that I gained resounding popularity through sports, ROTC, and numerous other student organizations. Insert long list of pre-baccalaureate accomplishments.
A lot of people ask me when I first knew I was gay. If you must know his name was Dean and we had gone to school together since 5th grade. It wasn't until high school that I began to realize that there were certain "feelings" there, although, I did not know what the were at the time. He was a football player and ironically enough, I was a cheerleader. Every girl wanted to date him and every guy wanted to be him. One summer day during cheerleading practice, he ran into our practice session - shirt off and dripping with sweat. Even though I spent all four years of high school dating girls, breaking hearts, stealing girls from their boyfriends, etc.; that will always be the moment I knew I was gay.
College was a time of exploration, experimentation, random hookups, and the occasional threesome. During my freshman year I struggled with my identity. Online chat was a great way to connect with others like myself and "test the waters". I came out to my family and friends during my Sophomore year and the rest is history. I joined the local LGBT group on campus to meet friends and my social life took off. I also became a Resident Advisor in hopes that I would make a difference by mentoring others like myself who aspired to do great things academically.
Coming out was not as hard as most people think it to be given that I grew up in the south. I kind of lucked out in the family department. They are my biggest supporters and encourage me to be the best me I can be. My mother and sister of course replied, "Duh...it's about time." I always felt comfortable introducing my boyfriends to the family. I know for most of you that's a huge step, but for me it's more of formality. My family is an integral part of my life and I need to know that potential husbands can charm their socks off!
Dating in a large,transient city like DC is intimidating. Add in the fact that I'm a gay male and it's like hormone overload. Everyone wants to have fun and not be tied down. Don't get me wrong, I like to act on my urges. However, there comes a point when it all gets old. I've slept with people not knowing their name. I've danced and drank until my heart's content. I went to Southern Decadence in New Orleans, twice. For those of you who don't know, Southern Decadence is basically a gay Mardi Gras combined with every white party, red party, or any other circuit party you can think of. It's 3 days of alcohol, dancing, casual sex, and debauchery. I threw in some touristy things as well! Nowadays it's all about connecting with people and hopefully meeting someone that is worthy of spending and sharing my life with.
My last few relationships took a devastating toll on my life. In the last 4 years, I've attempted suicide 3 times with the latest attempt landing me in the hospital and subsequently the psychiatric ward. Like a lot of you, I suffer from a lack of self-esteem. For me, hearing the words, "you did nothing wrong," is gut-wrenching. I couldn't see how someone could say that I did nothing wrong and leave you without an explanation. I've spent every month since then successfully focusing on my career, education, friendships, family, happiness, developing plans for my future, and learning how to take things as they come. I'm finally in a that place where when I meet the ideal partner will seamlessly fit into my life and I, his.