More and more, I am finding myself less attracted to gay men with eyes focusing on the straight ones. I gave up chasing after straight guys in college after one left me with a broken heart. But I am finding myself fantasizing about walking down that road again and reminiscing about the one that got away…
“Jeff” stood in the doorway and held his hand in mine. He pulled me closer and gave me a gentle kiss on the lips. I looked at him and said, “I want more,” and he kissed me harder before returning to his dorm room across the hall. In that moment, everything was perfect. The young man I desired for two years was mine – if only for a fleeting moment.
The next day, he avoided me. I understood, but my heart was crushed. I had never been in love or had anyone I cared about feel the same. Now that I had experienced it, I had to let it go. He was graduating in two weeks and was set to marry his long time girlfriend.
I first spotted “Jeff” on a typical snowy day in the art building on the SUNY Oswego campus. He had an athletic build, olive skin and the most beautiful crystal blue eyes. It was love at first sight. Fortunately, the art department was small and getting to know each other would be unavoidable. We shared a night class and slowly became friendly.
The following semester, I studied in London. While I was away, “Jeff” began to hang out with one of my girl friends. I was filled with jealously, but when she wrote he had asked about me, I melted with excitement about returning to campus. Being somewhat of a stalker, I got ahold of a floor plan and moved in a few doors down the hall from where “Jeff” would be living. I was determined to get to know him better. I wasn’t aware of his sexuality and I didn’t care. It was about what I wanted.
Soon enough, we become buddies. As we grew closer, my feelings deepened. I was a shy virgin and could not express my longing. It killed me to learn he had a fiancee. While I wasn’t sure what our relationship was, we clearly had chemistry. People began to notice how happy he would act around me – almost giddy.
The night of the kiss, he drunkenly whispered that he had kissed a boy once. I said, “I’ve kissed a girl” too. With that, we laughed. I asked him if he loved me. His response “I lust for you!” I wanted him to love me, but his admission of lust was validation for what I had suspected. I said, “You don’t love me just a little?” – He nodded “yes”. We walked home from the local bar silently that night, until we reached my room and shared our first and last kiss in the doorway.
18 years and numerous heartbreaks and disappointments later, I am still looking for love. I thought moving to West Hollywood would be an opportunity to throw myself into a new dating pool, but I am seeing only the same stereotypes I found in New York. When I walk down Santa Monica Blvd., go to gay bars or cruise online, I am again confronted with the bear, the otter, the muscle head, the steroid queen, the fashionista, the coupled, the partnered, partiers, leather daddies and self proclaimed “pigs.” I may get heat for making such generalizations, but I am turned off by the options available.
Recently, I’m finding myself again increasingly drawn to straight men. I perceive straight men as being self-confident without trying hard to fit in. Straight men seem to have it all and appear able to do what they want. These days, straight men can be sensitive, sport a man bun, get mani/pedis and be fashionable without forgoing a sense of sexuality identity. Perhaps it’s simply the forbidden fruit syndrome? Maybe we should just stop putting labels on ourselves?
I’m not giving up. At the end of the day, you never know when love will strike – it just happens and it could be with anyone. Love does not discriminate. As for “Jeff”, last I heard he got divorced. The struggle is real.