I was a young man having a hard time accepting I was gay. Due to my bipolar disorder I already acted strangely, felt outside the rest of the world and felt lonely. I didn’t feel shame, but didn’t one more thing that would make me different than everyone else. God knows, I already felt different enough.
I decided I needed to start fresh in the world. I was living in North Carolina, which isn’t known for being the most open minded state in the Union. So where did I end up? The wonderful farm state of Nebraska. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. I was lonely there. I went back to having sordid affairs which just made lonelier. Each one, I swore, would be the last. Finally I made the decision to come out and then something changed…I met her.
She must have been crazier than I am because she was very attracted to me. I loved how she made me feel. Finally, someone who didn’t want to just get it on. She was fun in a child-like manner and I could talk with her about anything. Finally, it was going to be easy to overcome my gay feelings and change me once and for all…Yeah, right.
A year later we married. We had nearly a story book marriage, but there was always that one thing hanging over me. The one thing that was eating at my very soul. The one thing that kept telling me this wasn’t right. I hadn’t overcome being gay at all. I had fooled myself. After 5 years and a child later, I couldn’t do it any longer. I didn’t want to be one of those that tears her heart out if she discovered 30 years years later. It was time to tell.
She laughed at first. Probably a gut reaction, but after much hurt and sorrow we agreed that since we had a daughter together that it was important for us to remain friends. Later she told me that she now understood why I put my hand over my mouth when I giggled. She also was a beer drinker so she told me she now understood why I like fru fru drinks…hmpf. We divorced and went our separate ways.
I went through a couple of relationships that didn’t last and then I met Maurice. We had chatted online for sometime but both of us were always in relationships. Finally we agreed to meet for a friendly cup of coffee. I suggested we go to the beach and it was on the way that we discovered we were both single.
We laid on the beach under a full moon. We talked for 5 hours and haven’t stopped talking since. Here I’d finally met someone who I loved and could be who I am. Maurice and I had a simple marriage ceremony in June of 2007. He is my heart, my soul and my best friend.
Today, I still struggle with my bipolar disorder, but I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’m finally completely out of the closet and don’t feel so lonely and empty anymore. Sure, my bipolar disorder makes me feel that way, but I don’t feel so because of fear that people will find out I’m gay.
For me, coming out was the best decision I ever made. My only regret is I didn’t do it sooner, but we all have to choose our own way.
25 comments on So Pretty, and Witty, and Gay – Part III The Conclusion
Hi, i like your blog and your story, thanks for dropping your ec. I can relate a bit to your struggle as I have a learning disablity. I like how you are not afraid to just be yourself and you don’t care about what people think, otherwise you wouldn’t be writing this. Thanks very much for sharing.
I also would like to thank you for sharing. What a great story Bradley. Straight, Gay, Bi whatever, you have a boatload of personal integrity.
Darn you! Now I have to go back and read parts I & II! ;-)Glad you've finally come to terms with who you are.
I’ve never heard of anyone ever regretting coming out of the closet.It’s amazing how many men are still IN it isn’t it!!!
@jess Yes, some say I’m open to a fault, but being so open is cathartic for me.@bigd Thank you my friend.@angelika I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.@alan the only person I heard say he regretted it was a man who says he destroyed his wifes life after being married to her for nearly 30 years. That was one of the deciding factors for my coming out when I did. Being in the closet is sad indeed.
What an awesome story…I’m very thankful that you shared it with us. I got goosebumps towards the end. I’m glad that you found true love…you’re a great guy and totally deserve to be happy.
Wow, what an amazing story. My cousin married a very good friend of mine…knowing he was gay. He had been married twice before but with the previous marriages he had not really come out. Years later after suffering bouts of depression and almost committing sucicide, he finally let the world know he was gay. Those of us who truely loved him were not surprised and we stood by him as we watched his family rip him apart. To make a long story short he tried living the gay lifestyle and because of the rejection of his parents and not wanting to disappoint them he met my cousin and married her. Thing is, he really loved her and will tell me to this day “I loved her more than anyone on earth, I just couldn’t be the man she wanted me to be.” He was a good husband but he just was not happy pretending to be something he was not.
@dani I get goosebumps everytime I think of our first evening. It was pretty magical. I know, I know…sappy me. @les I’ve heard of gay men and/or women choosing to be together even though one knows the other is gay. Never heard of one working though even if there’s lots of love.
Bradley, thank you for writing your heart and soul here, i have to admit, you’ve made me cry.
Bradley keeps telling everyone that he is the lucky one. While he likes to think that the world revolves around him, I'm part of this world too, and I tend to think I'm the lucky one.One addition to this story that Bradley didn't mention is, I was totally rude and answered my cell phone several times during that 5 hours on the beach. I'll let him post on this another time though!Peace & Love, Y'all!I love you with all my heart and soul, Bradley! Thank you for being my husband, and so much more!
@Stephany oh my, I didn’t mean to make you cry. At least it was in a good way.@mchevalier I love you
Thank you for sharing your story. i was married briefly to a man who claimed he was bi, but I think (and of course, this is just from someone watching from outside…) that he’d be happier living as a gay man. I hope he gets some kind of clarity at some point.
Wonderful story, Bradley. I’m kind of overwhelmed, so I’m not sure this will make sense. I learned more from your 3 part tale than in any class, or book, or TV movie of the week. While I usually joke around, I’m so serious when I say that. May you be blessed with all that is good. You deserve it.
An absolutely GREAT series of blog posts. I loved every minute of reading them. I think you should expand them into a book.My divorce was devastating to me, but having a daughter and coming to grips with being gay would’ve made it so much harder.Congratulations of surviving all that, and congrats as well on finding your soul mate.
Bradley -I loved each part of your story. You write with such candidness and I would be the first to buy an expanded version. Seriously, I hope you consider it.You and McB are so lucky to have found each other. And, ultimately, I suppose it was meant to be that way :)Cheers to all that this crazy life brings us. Yours has been an amazing journey that I know will have helped many as you tell it here.Kim
Such a beautiful, poignant story told with your wonderfully clear vision, Bradley. I reckon you can be proud of the decisions you made. I love a good happy ending too, I must say =)
well told, powerful story.Thank you for sharing.
@elle I’ve been advised my counselors in the field that the number of married men finally out of the closet has grown dramatically, so your story comes at no surprise. The world is changing. @old man Wow. Great praise. Now I’m overwhelmed. You know educating is my primary goal here. I’m glad I was successful. @rooster My husband is stating I should write a book also. I’m seriously pondering it now. Hmmmm
@Kimala Thank you for the good cheer. I am candid and some would say to a fault, but naaah@CK I agree. Happy endings are the best.@debbie Thank you. Happy to share.
Great life Bradley!Few people have the guts.Don’t regret not deciding it earlier.It’s all part of living.Good to know you!And YES!It’s hard to looks sane when we are on a mental institution.The best thing is that psychiatrist also looks crazy too when around there.If it wasn’t for the suit…
Bradley,Just found your blog, but a mutual friend had told me a week or so ago to read it. Glad I did. It’s good. Been reading your articles and enjoying. And just added it to my RSS feeds. Take care and thank you.
Wow. Thank you Susan. I look forward to reading your blog.
Proud to be your friend. As Ringo says: peace and love!
I haven’t finished reading all three parts…life got a bit rough and I wasn’t reading much. But, before it gets too late, I wanted to tell you how much I really appreciate you sharing yourself so personally in this manner. You impress me all the time.
Some of the most sensible, talented, intelligent, and compassionate people I have met are gay people. I truly envy them and sometimes i wish I were gay myself, but then again I’ll be the first to admit that for the life of me, I do not have the COURAGE to endure the kind of heartaches that almost all the gay people like you go through. Your story is truly an inspiration.