I never thought I would tell you personal stories of myself, but today I feel different. I feel a bit unhappy. I want to tell you about my summer before I moved to San Francisco. It was a summer of exploring, and man did I explore (literally and metaphorically). I was still in the closet, just turned 21, and pretty nervous about moving away from my family. I had never traveled outside of Orange County because I never had much of an excuse to venture out. I did all my traveling in my head and I was okay with that.
I was originally going to move out with three friends, but in the end all three couldn’t go and I was left to move out by myself; I got scared. I didn’t want to tell my family because I never told them that I was planning to move away. I felt lonely, but a different kind of loneliness. I was talking less to my family and friends, and more to a guy. My family never knew about him, and I doubt they ever will. I find that sad. He meant a lot to me. To tell you the truth, he still does.
I met him that summer on an online dating site. We met and hooked up that night. As much as I would like to change our first date to be on a beach under the stars hearing the waves, I know that I can’t. That doesn’t make me like him any less. I think he liked me as well because we would text all day and talk all night. We would talk about what we liked and what we wanted out of our futures. I was surprised that I could relate to all the cliche summer fling stories I heard about, and I was happy. I will never forget that summer. I was living in a movie and I didn’t want my summer to end. I was naive and in love. He was seven years older than I was, but he made me smile, a happy smile, a real smile.
Before knowing him, my only interaction with the gay community in Orange County came from sneaking out at night with men I had previously chatted with online. I was a random hook up to older gay men, a mediocre at best a lousy one at worst. I was new and would get nervous before every encounter, but soon those dark alley ways, dimly lit parks, and car seats were beginning to feel too familiar.
My ex-boyfriend changed my view of the gay world. For once, I was being taken on dates to restaurants and hanging out in public places. Being gay felt normal and something that I didn’t have to hide. I loved every moment spent with him and soon I started to love him. I didn’t want to leave Orange County; I thought he was my reason to stay and soon asked him out. Till this day I don’t know how I got enough courage to ask him if he would be my boyfriend, but I will never regret my decision.
We continued talking. I told him my fears and how scared I was of moving away (I forgot to tell him how much I feared losing him). He reassured me that San Francisco was the right move and that I should go. That made me feel good, and perhaps I used him or perhaps he used me. I still don’t know. He was there to drop me off at the train station and it felt like a scene from a movie.
And that’s how my summer ended, full of promise and hope. Soon after I would learn the full story of my first boyfriend, and the drama that followed changed me completely. That’s a different story though and for a different post. I would like to end this post telling you how I loved that train ride to San Francisco. I was excited to move away and be independent. I wanted to explore the gay scene in San Francisco and learn more about myself. I remember looking out the window and thinking that this was the best decision I ever made.