It took me quite a long time to realize that I was in fact gay.
Until I met my best friend in college (who was gay himself) I was « straight » for everyone. And honestly for myself too I think. Of course, deep down a part of me was probably already boiling to let my true self shine. But still, for many years I did dated girls. And at that time, I was sure I was doing the « right thing ». After all, throughout my all childhood, my big crush was the actress Alyssa Milano. It had to mean something! Well, what I forgot, is, that at that time I was also playing « witches » with my cousins and that If I recall I was playing by the name of Phoebe. Well, now we know what this means… The Power of Gayness did set me free after all !
Eventually, I did come out to my Portuguese mom who *shockingly* was not surprised at all!
She could not be more open, understanding and caring about it: « You will always be my son, and I’ll always love you no matter what », she said. That felt like a relief. However, I did not want to tell my dad yet. They were divorced, and I was really reluctant to break that news. In 2011, I met my soon-to-be boyfriend: Eduardo. He was from Brazil. Quickly I moved out to his place, a small flat in Paris that turned out to be our little cocoon. That was the start of something beautiful. And some years later: a wedding.
However, I did not had the courage to come out to my dad yet, and did not invited him to the wedding. Several days later though, my mom could not not keep the news to herself. She told him. Surprisingly his reaction when we met did leave me in shock. « You little prick » – he started. « How in hell could you think that I won’t be ok with that ?. You got married and didn’t invite me. Do you realize all those years we have lost? You better introduce me to your husband! » he finished.
« Happily ever after »?! Not quite… Eventually, in 2018, the year of my 30th birthday, I lost both of my parents.
You think shit, ends here? Flash forward to 2020. That year, I find out that I had testicular cancer. As Miley Cyrus would have put like this: I literally had to wreck one of my balls if I didn’t want that shit to spread throughout my whole body! Luckily, testicular cancer has a really high recovery rate : more than 98%! I had no choice though. I had to do chemo. Obviously, those were the worst months of my life. I was the slave of my own body. I felt like shit all the time. Like my little cancerous nut, I was a total wreck! But even in my worst moments, somehow, I managed to stay positive. (I won’t lie, therapy did helped a LOT). And writing also. Throughout my all journey with cancer, I wrote. Again and again. It was like I was the narrator of my own life. I KNEW things will be ok because I was the one and only scriptwriter of my life. F***ck cancer! I’m the one in charge here. That’s how 6 months after my diagnosis I learned that my cancer was already in full remission. Thank you, next!
Summer 2020: For the very first time, with Eduardo, we had booked a gay hotel in Portugal. A small boutique hotel hidden in the lush nature of Costa Vicentina with a magnificent clothing-optional swimming pool. The perfect spot to recharge batteries. It wasn’t the first time that we did naturism but that year felt different. I wasn’t exactly confortable with the new scars that I had from my surgeries. Took me several days to fully accept my body in front of complete strangers. But again, was probably the best therapy! The men there definitely didn’t care about my scars when they were looking at me swimming naked in the pool. Felt good to feel desirable. Everyone there was in a couple but the sexual tension was obvious. Eye contact was ubiquitous. Eduardo was being hit on by a beautiful Portuguese, who was playing footsie with him in the water. And through the water, we could clearly see the « tension » growing as well! Definitely felt good to let loose for once. Especially after the last 6 months, we had.
On the night of my B-day we went to see the sunset at the beach of Zambujeira do Mar. There was some music playing in the background. It was « I don’t want to miss a Thing » from Aerosmith. I remember thinking that this was a purely magical moment. I wasn’t thinking of what had happened in the past, wasn’t thinking about the future either: I was just there, at the moment. In the present with Eduardo. That is when I finally made peace with myself I think. Thanks to a « simple » sunset… Silly thing.
We used to say that « if life gives you a lemon, make lemonade ». But what if life doesn’t give you shit? What if life takes you things instead of giving you? Well, I have learned that you need to make your own lemonade instead. And it’s fine. I don’t like lemonade anyway. I’m French, baby.
Our lemonade here is called fucking wine. And I drink it directly from the bottle.