Saturday, July 17, 2004
I wasn’t always so comfortable with my body. My family was ultra-conservative and very repressed sexually. PDAs were strictly verboten and commented on with contempt when viewed in others. I remember as a kid, my mother would walk across a room during a family or other public event and ostentatiously button the second button of my shirt if it happened to be open, right in front of everyone, and then go back to where she had been like the triumphant guardian of public morality. We won’t even talk about the indoctrination in Catholic School concerning how dirty and shameful bodies were, particularly boys’ bodies, of course, because boys have penises. Catholic nuns have a pathological fear and hatred of little boys and what they carry hidden on their persons. Needless to say, my self image and sense of my own body, let alone my own sexuality, were down to just about zero.
It was a terrible, hateful thing to do to a developing human being and while it affected me deeply, I didn’t buckle under to it but fought for years to correct the problem. I’m beyond it now but I’m still not a person who moves easily and gracefully. I often have no feeling for the amount of space I take up. I’m still rather clumsy, tripping over or colliding with things like table corners frequently. I could and still can dance for hours if it is rock but Fritz is an old Romantic and loves to slow dance. I could never for the life of me feel comfortable doing that. Blessedly, he has been making inroads and I know we’re going to dance at the big wedding party in August, but the rhythm of it is just something that I have never been able to feel in my body; I stiffen up and never know just where my feet are supposed to go next.
It was being gay that saved me. Kicking all the applied and enforced homophobia out of my system, coming out to myself, and beginning to experiment taught me some extremely valuable lessons. I really wasn’t all that bad looking. I could be loved wanted for my body, not just my mind. It was a big rush being cruised (still is) and my score card became respectably full. I became who I was meant to be. And I wound up with the wonderful life and love I have now.