Crossing Boundaries

My transition to accounting has begun. I’m still officially in sales, but I’ve been shown a few things and been given a couple accounting responsibilities already. My sales replacement is starting next Wednesday. After I properly train him (not sure how long that will take), I will officially move out of sales and into the accounting department full time.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working really late all week (the earliest I went home was still after 8pm); I haven’t even had dinner with my parents once. My mom apparently started getting flu-like symptons on Thursday, and I didn’t even know about it until this morning!

I’m never “required” to stay past 5:30pm every day, but I’ve probably only left work that early maybe twice since I started my job. Usually my end-of-the-day meetings with my boss/friend don’t even start until after 6pm.

Earlier in the week, my work crush warned me about not setting boundaries with work. He doesn’t want work to become my life (like it has for him). I’m the only non-manager to stay so late. Sometimes, I feel that if I want to become a manager, I need to put in the extra time and effort. But honestly, I shouldn’t have to stay late to do that.

Oh, and I talked to my boss/friend a few days ago in a strictly non-work related conversation (it’s been months since we did that), and I told him that I liked my work crush (it’s a long story as to why I felt the urge to talk to him about it on that particular day). He said he knew a long time ago, probably only a few weeks after I started working there. Apparently I’ve very readable.

There are days when I stay later just because I want to chat with my work crush, but I’ve decided (for now) to try and limit the amount of time I spend doing that. My boss/friend always stresses the need to separate emotions from work, and he’s right (as he often is). Crushing on a straight guy is bad news in general, but crushing on a straight coworker is even more complicated.

Proposition 8

For those who don’t know, Proposition 8 is a California initiative that, if passed, would amend the California Constitution to say “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The California Supreme Court overturned the state’s ban on gay marriage back in May, declaring that the ban was unconstitutional (which it is). Proposition 8 would negate the victory the California Supreme Court made. After all, how can a ban on gay marriage be unconstitutional if it’s written into the Constitution?

I’m so frustrated by Proposition 8. I can’t believe there are still so many people (possibly a majority) who oppose gay marriage, and so fervently. I always thought California was progressive and liberal (maybe it’s because I grew up in LA), but I’m really scared that Proposition 8 will pass. I hear the Yes On 8 ads on TV and  the radio all the time (even a Chinese language one), yet I’ve only seen the No On 8 ad on TV once. One of my neighbors down the street even has a Yes On 8 banner stuck into their lawn.

As part of researching this Proposition, I’ve tried to see things from other perspectives different from my own. From the legal perspective, the Yes On 8 group argues that banning gay marriage will not take away any rights that gays and lesbians already have. In particular, they argue that the benefits from a civil union or domestic partnership have the same legal rights and benefits as that of a marriage.

The question that I have with that argument is why define one set of rules for one group of people and another set for everyone else? From Wikipedia: “Separate but equal is a set phrase denoting the system of segregation that justifies giving different groups of people separate facilities or services with the declaration that the quality of each group’s public facilities remain equal.” Will we end up with restaurants that only serve heterosexuals? A drinking fountain only for homosexuals?

A different perspective (the “moral” one) is that gay marriage (as well as being gay in general) is “wrong and disgusting.” I read that phrase somewhere and I keep thinking about it. When I try to think logically in their shoes, my only explanation for this reasoning is that they cannot see outside their own eyes. I suppose for a straight guy, visualizing himself marrying another guy just doesn’t make sense. It feels wrong to him. Therefore, since being straight is normal, same sex marriage must be wrong (and somehow disgusting).

Being on the other side of that, I can’t imagine marrying a woman. It wouldn’t make sense to me. But that doesn’t mean I think straight marriage is wrong or disgusting. It’s just not for me. Being attracted to guys (emotionally, not just physically) is what is normal for me.

(Side note) Along this same logic is the notion that homosexuality is a choice. If people just took a step back and saw things through another person’s eyes, they’d understand that it’s not a choice. Personally, being gay was never my choice. When I was growing up, I prayed and cried so hard not to be gay. I wanted to be normal. What took me years of guilt, self hatred, and doubt to figure out is that I am normal.

I also don’t understand why so many people are against teaching kids acceptance toward gay people. In the same way that growing up in a heteronormative society didn’t turn me straight, a few conversations about and interactions with gay people are not going to turn our society’s youth into homosexuals. If your kid ends up being gay, wouldn’t it be better to have a society that accepts them? To have a state Constitution that protects all the rights that they should have?

In the end, I truly think Proposition 8 isn’t about gay marriage at all. Rather, it’s about everyone’s right (not privilege) to love and be loved. Voting NO on Proposition 8 would protect that right, which is certainly what I’m voting.

Different

Vaguely continuing the topic from yesterday’s post, lately I’ve been thinking about the concepts of self confidence and self identity. My work crush is very confident with himself (that’s a huge understatement). The few gay guys I know (two of whom I met through work) are also comfortable with themselves. They all seem to know who they are.

Meanwhile, I feel like I don’t know who I am or who I’m supposed to be. There are so many days when I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere. For example, I have a master’s degree but I work as a peon at Target. I like my fellow team members, but I’m very different from them. I come from a different world.

In my (almost non-existent) personal life, I act too straight to identify with gay guys and I’m too gay to identify with straight guys. I don’t go clubbing or pick up random boys at bars. I don’t mack on the ladies or pal around with the fellas. I don’t dance, and I don’t watch sports.

If I’m in a one-on-one setting, I’m usually okay. I can find something to talk about and something with which to connect. But if there’s a larger social setting, then I’m at a loss. I stand back and watch the conversations in front of me, unable to offer anything of value. I don’t know enough. I haven’t experienced enough. I haven’t done anything.

Some might argue that being different is good. Different means unique, and I can express myself. But what’s the point in being unique if it keeps me from truly relating with other people?

I Never Learn

I’ve been feeling pretty crappy all day today. I think I might be starting to get sick, but that’s not why I feel bad. I tried to avoid admitting this situation to myself (which is why I haven’t said anything about this on this blog), but my feelings today made it pretty unequivocal.

For a few weeks now, I’ve vaguely liked this boy at work. He’s young (but legal), straight, extremely cute/hot, and a total ladies’ man. He was the first person at work to ask me if I was gay and subsequently was the first person at work to whom I came out. He’s pretty nice to me, in a strictly platonic (friendship between boys) sort of way.

Over the last couple months, we’ve become pretty good work friends. I’m fairly certain that our social circles would never meet outside of Target, but I like to think we’re friends. Unfortunately, the more time I spend with him, the more my feelings for him are developing into a crush.

At the same time (though it started earlier), I also developed a small attraction to one of my high school friends (he’s also straight, of course). Technically, he’s a friend of a high school friend, but we all went to the same high school. We didn’t hang out together very much until I moved home last August. I like to think we’ve become friends in our own right, but I find it difficult to have conversations with him. He’s really into watching sports of all kinds, but I know very little about them.

I also find it hard to talk to my high school friend because he’s incredibly cute. He’s more cute than hot, which is why I’m not calling him cute/hot, but he has really nice muscles (and abs), so he’s pretty hot too. I get intimidated by his attractiveness. Whenever I talk to him, I feel like my attraction to him shows (he knows I’m gay too, by the way), so I get really shy and awkward around him. If we’re in a group, I tend to avoid eye contact with him but take in glances when I can.

My high school friend was in Las Vegas with me this last weekend. Because I know in my head that my attraction to him will never be reciprocated, I got mildly depressed during parts of the trip. There were a couple times when I had to walk off by myself to clear my thoughts. Sometimes I felt better, but other times I didn’t.

So that was the setup for what’s been going on in my head all day. Neither crush will ever be reciprocated, and that recurring (almost incessant) thought made me want a comforting hug. Unfortunately, I really wanted a comforting hug from one of my crushes, which clearly will never happen. Knowing that just made everything all the more painful.

My work crush noticed that I looked a little depressed today at work, but I never got a chance to sit down and tell him why. I’m not sure if I should tell him why, though I don’t think he would start avoiding me or something. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

It’s amazing how much I don’t learn. Straight crush after straight crush, I never learn not to fall for straight boys.

Sin Without Action

I hung out with a friend from college today. We went shopping for video games, played multiplayer games wirelessly on Nintendo DS, and went out to dinner. It was really relaxed, light, and fun. Good times.

This friend of mine is a Christian, very firm in his beliefs. I was a Christian when I met him, and we became good friends through religion and video games. It hit him hard when I came out to him. He still believes that homosexuality is a sin, but he didn’t want to lose our friendship over it.

I didn’t want to lose his friendship either. So even though he knows I’m gay, I don’t talk about boys or dating with him very much (usually only vaguely and briefly). We’re still close in other ways.

All these thoughts about religion and homosexuality got me thinking. I don’t have much experience with dating and relationships, and I’ve basically lost all hope that I ever will find a boy who will love me. I’m starting to be okay with that. So here’s my question. If I never actually find someone to love and “be gay with,” then how different am I from a straight guy who never finds love? In particular, does the church frown upon a celibate (not by choice) gay boy?

I know some Christians denounce impure thoughts as sin too. But honestly, I don’t have that many of those. My fantasies are about holding hands and hugging (usually with clothes on). Is that still a sin? Is just being gay enough to send me to hell?

When I was a Christian, I felt really guilty all the time. When I was alone, I used to cry because I was gay. I prayed that I would be normal. I thought about hell and homosexuality pretty often. But now, this whole discussion doesn’t really bother me anymore. I’m just curious.

Straight Crushes

Work was fairly uneventful. My work friend has Tuesdays off. While I did think about him a little bit, my heart didn’t have that sinking feeling I usually get when I miss a crush. That’s a good sign; I really don’t want a crush on my work friend. I’ve had crushes on many straight boys in the past. While some crushes ended up being very good friends, most of them only caused me pain.

All the crushes start the same. I become obsessed with the boy, trying to find every opportunity to be around him. I think everything he does is fantastic, every annoying habit is cute, and every moment I have with him is precious. It’s euphoric when I’m around him and it’s painful when I’m not.

Then, after the crush becomes really bad, it also becomes painful to be around him too. “Loving” someone so much and knowing that he will never reciprocate any feelings is excruciating. But even knowing that in my head, I still feel the urge to be around him, regardless of the pain I feel in my heart. Just being around him is worth all the pain.

My crushes sound a lot like love, but it’s not, even when I like to think it is. Love should not be masochistic (unless you and your partner are into that), and love should never be one-sided (no matter how masochistic you are).

Not All Gay

I had coffee with a good friend today. Like me, she just graduated with her masters and is figuring out what she wants to do with her life. We sat in a coffee shop and talked for nearly three hours. Every time I chat with her, we always have things to talk about. There’s never a lull in our conversations, and we almost always talk for hours.

It’s very rare for me to have conversations with people, even close friends, without some silent periods. So when I do meet someone with whom I have that much to say, I wonder if there’s something special going on. If I wasn’t gay, I would say we could have a perfect relationship with no drama and no arguments. If sex wasn’t such a big part in (an ideal) marriage, I would think we could be a great couple.

No one is 100% gay or straight (supposedly). I would say that I’m 99% gay. There have been only a handful of girls (two come to mind) for whom I felt something “more” than friendship. The feeling is like a crush but with no sexual attraction. I can’t explain it very well, but I know that it’s a stronger feeling than when I usually interact with girls.

If people didn’t need sex to be in a lifelong happy relationship, I would still choose a boy in general. That being said, there are a couple girls who I would also seriously consider.

I used to be confused by these feelings. Being a little older and a little wiser now, I realize that you can’t control what you feel. If a straight guy feels a certain affinity toward a boy, it doesn’t mean he’s gay, much like a gay guy like me who occasionally feels an affinity toward a girl doesn’t mean he’s straight.

Sexual identity is very personal. It took a very long time for me to call myself gay, even in my head. I had to be honest with myself and admit that identifying as gay is more truthful than identifying as anything else. The feelings I have toward boys is much stronger than the feelings I have toward girls. And even with girls for whom I have stronger feelings, the attraction is not sexual in nature, which I can’t always say for boys.