The problem is, I soon realized that Pete was still acting like a married man who was sneaking around on the side.
In his old school way, Pete was only openly gay to a certain extent.
Having lived a pretend-hetero life for so long, he wasn’t exactly going to be the Grand Marshall of the Gay Pride Parade.
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I had welcomed him into my life and introduced him to virtually everyone I knew, while he kept me behind stained glass, not wanting to acknowledge me to anyone he worked or dealt with.
This despite the fact that we ultimately broke up because he wanted me to be his life partner, and I wasn’t looking for that at all!
Perhaps understandably, middle-aged Pete was still taking baby steps into being out, and I have to say I was touched when he grabbed my hand one day when we were walking around uptown and said, “This is the first time I’ve ever held a guy’s hand in public.” It was also lovely when we went to clubs and acted demonstrative with each other, Pete’s awkwardness dissolving in the woozy, gay-friendly environment.
I’ve been out from day one, unless you include my messy attempt to have sex with a female, way back when I was a college student.
Barring that embarrassing stab at “normalcy,” I’ve not only been openly gay, but I’ve forever been screaming that everyone else should join me in the wide open spaces of honesty, where dissembling can be shed and progress can be made.