Every Day People

Earlier this week I was at my gym working out (well not using weights or anything but on the treadmill to get rid of my bowl full of jelly). There was only me and one other guy. I stepped onto the treadmill and started pressing the buttons that would create the work-out that I wanted to do. I also noticed that instead of the regular gym music,  there was different music playing.

The other guy came over to my treadmill and asked if the music was bothering me. I told him no and explained to him that the artist singing was also on my iPod. He smiled, thanked me and went back to using the weights. When I was done with the treadmill, I made my way over to the slanted board thing to do some sit-ups. The guy started talking to me again. I can’t remember what his opening line was, but the conversation turned to something about bars.

I had not recognized any of the places he had mentioned and told him I didn’t know about them. Looking away he explained that it was because they were gay bars. He then went on to tell me that the reason his marriage had ended was because he was gay. I don’t remember at what point during our conversation he had told me he was married, but apparently he told me. He told me that he was closeted for the majority of his life and he recently came out. He was in his mid-forties when his marriage dissolved and he finally admitted to himself that he was gay. Since then (he is almost sixty) he has lived his life the way he felt he should always have lived.

I was quiet for awhile and maybe that made him uncomfortable because he turned around to leave. I took a deep breath and said “Well since you are admitting that to me, than I can tell you that I’m gay too”. I felt my stomach drop through my knees and into my toes. I explained to him that I was extremely closeted and that very few people knew that I was gay.

I asked him why he started a conversation with me. I was wondering if something in his gaydar told him I was gay. He told me that he knew that I was a pretty friendly person. He said he always saw me with other people, talking and laughing. He also said he could feel that friendliness (which I still think was a bleep in his gaydar) when he asked if the music had bothered me.

He invited me to go out for dinner some time and to meet some of his friends. I may take him up on the offer. All this time, someone I could talk to face to face was right in front of me.


10 Responses to “Every Day People”

  1. Jim Says:

    Excellent! Meeting people is pretty easy when isn’t pre-meditated! 🙂

  2. Lemuel Says:

    I hope this friendship can continue. He sounds like someone with whom you can be yourself and that should be a positive outlet for your life. Good luck!

  3. Matt Says:

    John, that’s wonderful … I know that must have been a scary yet defining moment for you. I hope you do take him up on his offer and get to know him and his friends.

  4. Frank Says:

    John….this is so cool that at last you can have someone to talk to in person. Many times people right in front of us are the ones who can be the greatest resources.

  5. Steven Says:

    The possibilities opens to you while you open up. You might not realize that You have been unlisted from the very closeted for a while.

  6. beartoast "Joe" Says:

    Go for some friendship. Get to know some folks. Bravo on you courage!

  7. urspo Says:

    that does sound good; notice how the world did not crash on you? good for you!
    and have fun on this ‘date’.

  8. Steven Says:

    “I felt my stomach drop through my knees and into my toes.”

    The perfect sentiment to be said. After reading your blog for some time, I know exactly what that feeling was like. But at the same time that you felt your stomach drop, I bet you lost about 25 pounds, feeling as though you got this weight off your shoulders. There will be more moments when your toes will swell, but it will stop. So will the feeling of losing 25 pounds, so don’t quit the treadmill just yet. Congrats! And if dinner comes around, enjoy it! 😀

  9. Robert Says:

    Maybe because you were wearing your pink unitard? KIDDING! 🙂 I only joke because I like you! ehehe!

    Stuff like this NEVER happens to me! Then again, I’m a bit oblivious when I’m out and about, or that I go to the gym! haha!

  10. Daniel Says:

    What a cool encounter. And how great that this possible friendship can be based on openness and candor. That’s really powerful.

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