During my childhood, I have been lucky enough to grow up in a rather wealthy family, with a lot of education and rigor, in which signs of tenderness and love were rare. I have often been in search of contact, affection with my family and unfortunately often hidden or stealthy. It had a strong impact on me, with a rising need for acceptance.
Considered too mannered, I was quickly called a “queer” at school. Different from them, a feeling of rejection arose very quickly. I have often asked myself whether my attitude and way of doing things were « ok » or not, trying to fit. But one size definitely does not fit all. Then I realized that I was indeed drawn to men.
I quickly took the plunge. At the age of 14-15, I had my first sexual relationship with a man, whom I obviously kept hidden for years. Then I wanted to test a lot of things, let myself be guided, discover porn and dating sites early on. I quickly felt a certain belonging and acceptance which made me feel better about myself and allowed me to assert myself and sharpen a character that was a little too kind. These men, more mature than me, would meet me in their car, at their work, in parks, or even parking lots. We found secluded corners, isolated enough to be able to have fun without being seen.
I was surely taking risks which I was unaware of at that age. Fear sometimes made me accept things without worrying about what would happen next. It all sped up by the end of high school. I started college, got my first scooter, and had more freedom. But having the first STI at 18 quickly made me understand the risks I was taking and the importance of protecting yourself in all circumstances.
My sex life intensified during my year abroad. Newly arrived in London in January 2015. I was able to take advantage of these 6 months to live and discover myself without hiding. Away from my friends and family, I was able to explore without fear and discover my sexuality. It took me 3 more years to take it on and announce it to those around me, ending the pressure at school, and a lot of judgment that blocked me for a long time.
Since then, I gradually opened up, accepting more who I am, my desires, my needs, and taking much more pleasure. It was a long journey, started in 2007 and which took me ten years to finally fully accept it. And a totally different life since January 2018, much more in harmony with myself and totally assumed in the family, friendly, and professional environment. For sure, some acceptance problems persist.
Even though the LGBT community helped me to know myself, it came with negative things too. Body image has become a huge issue and stereotyped! The “gym fit only” can be so toxic for some of us, and I felt sometimes rejected because of not being fit enough. Physical care has become dangerously important for most of us. Talking with my straight friends, I had to explain to them the struggle of “You can be straight thin, but gay fat.” Standards are not the same and it has not helped my demons. The intense pressure to have a “good body” has been so harmful to me. I know I only post a gym selfie when I’m bored or craving attention. A thirst trap to arouse interest and feel accepted and desired. But behind every gym pic, and it’s a torrent of fire emojis. There’s a person fighting their own demons.