Failing as a Man
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Would I long for feminine guys if I didn’t identify as masculine?
From my first personal ad:
Androgynous / masculine seeks androgynous feminine
(My androgyny was all internal as it were.)
As a man I hope to be the woman my mother was.
I.e., offering unconditional support to one that I love.
The personal ad I remember because it was unusual for me to refer to myself as masculine. Not that I aspired to femininity. I felt more comfortable with neutral words like fellow, guy, male. I didn’t want to be that man’s man: my father.
Funnily enough I had no problem referring to myself as butch. But that was with reference to the desired opposite the fem (as in “no fems or fatties). Hard to believe but the pairing was common among gay men as it remains among lesbians.
Feminine gay men evoke masculine gender performance in me. Women don’t. As I’ve said before I can be a somewhat heterosexist gay man.
Charles was one of the nelliest gay guys I ever knew, far and away the most visibly effeminate that I was involved with. Even a Geiger counter would probably have registered something if Charles had been in the room. I loved this is him: the implied pixie dust, watching his wrist go limp.
That queer erotic gender glue was a strong element in the mix that lead me down the self-destructive path of putting up with every outrage, sacrificing whatever was necessary to be a good provider. The more I fought to cope the deeper I dug into the trap of coping when I should flee.
Even after the crack cocaine finally sundered my life with Charles I still loved him. (Indeed to this day I love him and hate him.)
It wasn’t until a few months after his death I came to see that it fell darkly across my days. It was as if something inside me had died and proceeded to rot. The misery made no sense at all.
Finally I realized that I blamed myself for not being able to save Charles from himself (yes, yes I know). That I had - amazingly - had failed as a man. The disease of masculinity that I’d always held myself immune from had got me.
After the components fell in place understanding seems to have banished the curse. I’m at peace with Charles death. Finally.