Saturday, December 1, 2012

Gay and In Love - Marc's Story

Gay and In Love is a new mini-blog series focusing on gay men in love. We are collecting stories for a book too. This series came about from a conversation where a gay man stated that people tell him all the time that they don't think gay men can be together in a committed relationship for a long period of time. I want to strike down the myth that gay men can't form lasting attachments. Gay couples are just as capable as straight couples in forming lasting bonds because we're all human and all deserve the same rights.

Today we hear from Marc. Marc's story gripped me. He's an exceptional fellow and I'm thankful Marc found Phil.

I hope you enjoy Marc's story.

When I came out in the late 1980’s it was like the world fell apart.  I was 15 years old, living in a small town and my stepfather couldn’t get rid of me fast enough.  I dropped out of high school and worked odd jobs for the next couple of years.  It was a really crappy time, I had nowhere to live, and I did a lot of things that I’m really not proud of now.  At the time it seemed like I was running from one disaster to another and that things were never going to get any better.

Then one night I called into a friend’s place (I was actually on my way to kill myself by jumping off a cliff-face on the coast) and there was Phil.  Phil was an acquaintance and an ‘older man’(!!!) – I’d met him several times over the years, but we’d never really had a conversation.  That night, we talked for HOURS – it was pretty rude actually, our host gave up and went to bed, but we sat there talking until 4 in the morning.  That first night together, he saved my life without even knowing it.

Unusual for me at the time, we didn’t just fall into bed.  I was used to doing that, because it was all I felt I could offer.  The next day, Phil tracked me down mid-morning and we spent the day together talking and watching a moto-X competition. We had dinner together that night, but still no sex – I figured he just didn’t like me in that way.  Turns out he DID like me that way, but didn’t want to be brushed off as just another screw – we saw each other every day for several weeks before it happened.  There was no pressure, no expectation and it was awesome!

I moved in with him pretty quickly, and his friends tried to warn him off – telling him I was using him for free accommodation.  It wasn’t true, and he trusted me based on what he knew of me, rather than the opinion of others.

We had our trials:  I met his children - Phil had been married and had 3 kids - and thankfully they were really nice to me, and I met his ex-boyfriend who was pretty much the most evil person ever (but I’m biased).  The kids and I get on really well, the ex is out of the picture so that turned out ok!

I got a job in customer services and over the years worked my way into senior management.  Phil was supportive, and my employers always knew us as a couple.  We bought our first home, renovated it sold it and upgraded neighborhoods.  Everything was awesome, but I had mental health issues and spent time in a Psych ward – it was a terrifying time in my life, but Phil never left my side.  Phil has had some poor health in the last couple of years, but we’re getting past it.

As a result of my breakdown, I realized I had fallen into a career I didn’t enjoy.  Phil has been my number one cheerleader as I stopped work and started studying for my Social Work degree.  The lack of income has been tough, but as usual, Phil has been supportive.

So as I write this, we have been together nearly 22 years.  We’ve had a few crappy moments, but we have had so many more great times.  We get teased about being monogamous and boring – monogamy is something that is important to both of us, and I’d rather be boring with Phil, than exciting with anyone else.  The important thing is that we talked to each other and decided what values are important for us.

I get annoyed when people are ‘amazed’ at how long we’ve been together.  Those 22 years have flown by, and I know we have more than another 22 years left.

No matter what people tell you, and no matter whether or not they let you get married, your love is as significant and substantial and enduring and IMPORTANT as straight love.

I loved Marc's story and like I said, I'm so happy Marc found Phil. Do you have a story to tell. We'd love to have your true life story.

Are you in love and in a relationship? In Love is a set of stories, showing that love, no matter the gender, is love. If you have a story to tell, we'd love to hear it. Stories of how you met, funny stories about your life together, something that has kept you together and made your life better or an obstacle you've overcome. Tell us how long you've been together in the relationship, giving inspiration to others.

Submit your story of love to Sara York or Seymour James  Submissions from 500 words up to 5000 words in English only. Submission due February 1, 2013. Names can be changed to protect your privacy. We are looking for gay, bi, lesbian, transgender, and straight stories of love and relationships that work to give inspiration to others and to show that love is love.

All proceeds will go to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project operates three core program areas in order to provide life-saving and life-affirming resources for LGBTQ youth and to create safe, accepting and inclusive environments for all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.


pat nelson said...

Lovely idea! :)

Sey James said...

A beautiful story, very heart warming. Thanks so much for sharing Marc <

Will said...

Beautiful and affirming!