(Originally posted on Chicks & Dicks blog.)
I joined the Marines at 18 not really knowing what my label was. Girls were OK, guys were better, and I just didn’t want to go crazy analyzing every little thing. For the first three years maybe I was too busy to do a whole lot of analyzing anyway. Eventually I just sort of evolved into understanding that it was more like girls were safe, but guys were where I wanted to be. My closest buddies knew and helped keep me safe from others finding out.
I told my parents three years ago when my mom tried to set me up with her friend’s daughter while I was on leave. I didn’t want to pretend anymore. My parents were surprised and confused and we had the “maybe it’s a phase discussion”.
“Did the Marines make you gay?”
That’s my favorite question from my dad. “Yes, Dad, they did. There were classes and I signed up for all of them after that first one, when I got issued my dildo. Hoo-rah, grrl!” LOL!
Months before the repeal of DADT, I was discharged back into civilian life. Free of all those restrictions and needing to have one less thing stressing me out, I decided to just live my life as myself. My parents already knew, so I came out to old friends and guys I’d served with, and let it all hang out in my everyday life too.
Everybody was/is surprised and confused, pretty sure I’m just confused, and most ask for “proof” when I tell them I’m gay. But I get it; I’m “passing”. Maybe having to fake it/hide it taught me to act really straight, and maybe that’ll fade the longer I’m a civilian. I have no idea. The last time a buddy of mine asked for proof, I stuck my hand down the front of Carter’s pants. Carter thought that was hilarious and my buddy choked on his beer before saying that didn’t count. Pardon? Carter kissing me was better proof. Then there’s the question from guys about who fucks who like somebody’s going to lose their MAN card if you answer wrong. Carter and I couldn’t decide who bottoms more and my buddy went back to his grill, sorry he’d asked.
One problem was that I wasn’t ready to come out to the rest of the family, but my mom accidentally outed me. I don’t blame her; I just wish it could’ve gone down differently since there was a lot of shock, some anger, and a whole lot of intolerance. In the two months since then, a few members of the family have come forward to ask questions and try to understand. When they ask if I’m seeing someone, I answer affirmatively, but I’m not ready to share Carter with them.
I expected less stress when I came out, and that’s mostly what I’ve gotten. Anything out from under DADT is an improvement.
Maybe since I was a teen I’d been “looking” at guys. I’d had “oh, he’s cute” kind of thoughts before, always been accused of being a touchy-feely kind of guy, and just never really acted on an attraction to other guys. Then my girlfriend dumped me, tossed out some crap about how I’d have to be gay to not want to be with her more, and I just let myself wonder a lot more. I mean my brother’s happy with his husband, nothing about seeing them weirds me out, what if? I was straight, then I opened myself up to being bi, and now I’m gay because I’m committed to a man. I’m seriously shrugging here because it’s like whatever! It works for me and I’m happy.
My family was a little thrown when I came out, but since my older brother came out as bi around 10 years ago and is now in a gay relationship, they weren’t upset at all. I’m good with identifying as bi myself, though I’m in a gay relationship now too. My family loves Alec a lot and has pretty much adopted him and his parents right into our clan.
I came out because I met Alec. Before then, it was just a handful of friends who knew I was seriously interested in dating a man and seeing what happened. I didn’t have anyone in mind, but I was open to the possibility. Then my brother-in-law introduced me to Alec, and we just clicked so great I didn’t want to keep anything quiet after that.
I’m honestly not sure what I expected when I came out. I knew my family, friends and coworkers would be OK, since there were already gay men and women in my life as family and friends and coworkers. Maybe I expected a little more surprise? Several people have said they always wondered, though.
Meeting Carter was like reuniting with a friend you haven’t seen in forever. We clicked almost immediately. I admit I was hesitant to date, not sure if I was ready to be serious even though I wanted a real connection. He’s hard to resist, though.
Something that struck me recently happened when we went to Cleveland for Marine Week. Carter gets into a Humvee and leaves the door open, just leaning back and looking at me as I stand there watching him. I start tearing up behind my sunglasses because it suddenly hits me how very fucking glad I am that Carter has never, and will never, know the things I know about serving, but especially about war. He gets in that Humvee with innocence and curiosity, looking around, while I stand there remembering the last one I got out of and what happened next, and just being so appreciative of the fact he wasn’t and will never be anywhere near such things. I would move the earth to make sure he never knows war.
Love at first sight is real. I saw Alec and I knew.
I’d move mountains to make Alec blush and do that smile where he looks at his feet but peeks at me. He’s so sweet and I know it embarrasses the hell out of him but I love that he’s so adorable inside that kick-ass, devil dog1 body. Everything he’s seen and done and there’s still this squishy baby in there for me. Like he’s missing his leg and he’s got scars, they make him really self-conscious, but he’s a warrior and he’s supposed to look like that. Every chance I get I worship that thigh and hip that he’s worked so hard to get back in shape. He does that smile when I tell him he’s beautiful and I definitely mean it.
Living Out Together
Doesn’t matter if I’m in a restaurant in Cleveland or a co-op market in Amish Country, if I feel like holding Carter’s hand, I’m doing it. Mostly I think it’s the confidence I feel in knowing I can handle myself and whatever might come up if someone wants to get ignorant.
There’s nothing like having a Marine by your side! Seriously though, people have said we’re both “passing” so I’m guessing strangers assume we’re just friends until we do something that outs us. Alec might get swishy to make me laugh, or I’ll put my arm around him just because it’s natural for me, and there we are. I’ve seen people look shocked and do double-takes, watch us a little closer like they’re waiting for the punchline. Only one time did someone really cause a problem and I don’t think it would’ve mattered where we were then.
After a few months of me playing house with Carter every weekend, I moved in on the 23rd. It’s a big step for both of us since neither of us has ever lived with someone like this before. So far, for me, it feels like a long weekend. Nothing’s changed except that I’m here when he gets home and I see him off every morning. Every night together too. I came home over a year ago, but now it feels like I’m here.
I love you too, Alec! :*
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1 “Devil dog” is slang for Marine like “jarhead” is.