It has been a long time since the last time a shared a “story”, Yet, so many things have happened in my life (mostly good), that I have decided to once more sit down and share.

Truly 2012 was a blessed year for me. I had my social “coming-out” as a gay man…and to be honest with you, I never expected it to go as good as it did. It’s success, however depended completely in the communities that embraced me just as I am. The first of those communities was the community of the Experience Project. Here it was that I found the encouragement I needed to be able to take the first steps to rejoin life after a year spent in hiding, drowning in regret and self-loathing (just read the first story I shared, “I am“, and you will see exactly where I was). Here I felt encouraged to be gay and still be a great dad. It was through this community that I discovered that it was ok to be gay and be Christian…and through a friendship developed in here, I discovered a wonderful church, gay affirming, that embraced me and gave me the loving community that I needed to live again. In that church I have found a brotherhood (or sisterhood! lol) of people just like me and straight people who truly love me and have encouraged me to shine. It was in Church that I also learned of the Miami Gay Men’s Chorus, and I became part of yet another community of awesome gay men who come together not only to share their awesome talent with one another and with the world, but who also are there for one another through our “gay” trials and tribulations. Like I said before, I have been truly blessed.

In the area of love, as in finding a boyfriend/husband, I can’t say that I have not been lucky, though I am still single as I write this story. I had two relationships in 2012, very short-lived (about 2 months each one). Even if they were not “successful”, they did provide me with an invaluable experience. Coming out of a 22 year marriage to a woman, I did not know what it was to be in a relationship with a man. I never really dated…I had met my wife in college, we became best friends, we married…I never dated anyone but her. So, through these two relationships I started learning what I like and what I don’t, what I am willing to sacrifice and what I am not. I have been dating here and there…but I can say in all honesty that I am at peace, for the biggest lesson I have learned is that I don’t need anyone to make me happy. Actually that is nobody’s responsibility, but my own. If I can’t be happy on my own, nobody is going to ever be able to make me happy. And happy I am. I am at peace. Each day I am more comfortable with who I am. Each day I like myself more and more…and I use the word “like” and not love, because love implies forgiving yourself and encouraging yourself to keep on going even when you mess up…that part I have down packed!!! But like implies a choice…and I choose to like myself, I am a pretty darn handsome, talented gay man! I am a great friend to those who have opened their hearts to me. I am a good father. I am good person, not a bad one. And this is not being proud or arrogant…this is simply being kind to myself and loving myself, looking at me with the eyes of those that look at me…and getting what the fuzz its all about!!

So, here I am, at the beginning of a new year. Beginnings can be scary, because of the uncertainty of what may come. But whatever does come my way, I will face it with my head held-up high, because God loves me, my kids love me, my ex-wife loves me, my friends love me…what else can I ask for? A cute, hot, loving boyfriend? That will come too!! And if it doesn’t, oh well!!…I will still choose to be happy and content.

So, for you out there reading this post, whatever your struggles may be, know from this battered, broken man to you, that there is hope!! And I do wish you all a great 2013!!!!
Ralphsnt69 Ralphsnt69
51-55, M
Jan 19, 2013