kybearfuzz: (Me_2ndGrade)
It is that time of year again. While I never remember the exact day, I know it was mid-January of 2003 that I looking into a mirror and finally admitted to myself that I was gay. I'm surprised that I don't recall the exact day. You'd think something so monumental would have branded itself in my mind. So, I'm thirteen years gay, I guess.

326 - BracesThere are days I look back on things and I often wonder how my parents or my siblings didn't figure it out first. I wasn't great at hiding it, as evident from the teasing I encountered in junior high and high school. Often I wonder if I wasn't the invisible kid in my own house, the teenage antics of my sister and twin brother, both good and bad, garnering so much of parents' attention that they didn't have to spend much on me.

There were many instances of my admiring the hairy and/or bearded in TV shows and movies. I sometimes drew such men, but made sure to rip up and discard them before anyone else saw them. If anyone paid close attention they could have figured it out. I tried hard not to make any public demonstrations of my desire for these guys, but there was one good instance I recall where I slipped up.

I was the 5th grade and my mom and sister loved to read horrible rags like "The National Inquirer" and their ilk. I admit that I enjoyed reading them at times too. One such "issue" had a story about a pencil drawing that was being circulated publicly of Tom Selleck, that he supposedly didn't want seen. He was in all of his shirtless glory, chest hair for days, and that wonderfully wry smile front and center. From an artistic perspective, it was absolutely spot on (I tried to find it online and couldn't... drat). I used to stare at the drawing with the intensity of a stalker, admiring every curve, every shading, every nuance, getting a pre-puberty boner in the process every time.

Pride 2015 - Final DesignOne day in class, our substitute teacher was giving us a biology lesson. It basically was talking about how animals tend to have fur, which thickens in the winter time and thins in the summer. She was explaining how the fur helped keep the animal warm in the winter time. In the midst of the discussion, the teacher had said this didn't happen in people.

As if on cue, I raised my hand, asking "What about Tom Selleck? He's pretty furry!"

I felt it was on honest question, but I recall wishing I hadn't asked it almost immediately. The class turned and looked at me with this "WTF" stare and the teacher stammered that she didn't think it was the same thing. I clearly caught her off-guard. It seriously embarrassed me, which is why I remember it so vividly.

At least now, I can openly admire such furry beauty and make these comments without worry for the most part. And obviously, I draw what I like and post them publicly.

It's a good place to be.

Twelve

Jan. 14th, 2015 10:53 pm
kybearfuzz: (Thinking)
This month marks my twelfth anniversary of coming out of the closet. In many ways I'd thought certain things in my life would have developed by now, but other things have exceeded my expectations and some unexpected things have been grand surprises.

This year I thought I would write about something that quickly became a constant after coming out and that would be my online presence. I can't imagine how coming out would have been if the internet had not been available. I often wonder if I would have come out earlier in my life if the internet had been so developed during my college years. Having access to so many gay-related things online gave me the ability to explore and research things in a safe way without any significant risk. Don't get me wrong, I did a fair amount of looking around online when I was in the closet, but it bolstered my courage when I finally felt the time was right.

Silly as it may sound, one of the first things I gave myself as a gift was a paid profile on Bear411. It was a safe social outlet while I was still getting my feet wet in the local gay bar scene. It was fun chatting to guys both local and far away, including the handsome fellers overseas. In fact, one of guys I still chat with is a Canadian bear who was then at university in Germany. One day he was lamenting that it was difficult to get peanut butter. So, as a gift, I sent him four jars of peanut butter in the mail. We've been friends ever since and I have yet to meet him in person. That's something I hope to remedy this summer.

The year of 2003 was also the year I started Livejournal. I was preparing to take my first trip overseas for work and another online friend suggested that I start this journal to document the experience. So I did. Not only was this a place to document my domestic and overseas trips, but also my thoughts, my cartoons, and my experiences. It's also a place I made and continue to make good friends, including those that still read this and those who have had closed up shop on their journals. Before most everyone jumped ship, I bought a permanent account, so I'm not planning on leaving anytime soon.

Of course, the next evolution of meeting people was Facebook. I was hesitant to join it at first. I didn't like the idea that my gay life was going to be so public, but I then realized that that "public" was the point of "being out." Facebook has its good points, I admit, but I could never write something like this entry on Facebook. Facebook is like reading the headlines of a newspaper. Livejournal allows for reading the details of the story. It's one of the reasons why I'll keep my journal going.

Of course, Bear411 has changed to and there are other options available now. iPhone apps like "Growlr" and "Mister" are out there and it allows for chatting with handsome bears from all over at the touch of a icon.

Oh, how far we've come. How far we will go. I admit that I'm happy to have come out in such a time.
kybearfuzz: (Lick-Em Bite-Em)
January 2013 means I have been out of the closet for ten years. While so many things have happened, it still doesn't feel like it's been 10 years. I remember the frightening feeling of admitting it to myself at 30, but things have certainly gone far better than I thought it would have.

10 Years Out
Looks bright, right?


I was wondering what I'd post for this anniversary. On the drive home today, I heard an Aerosmith song on the radio and it came to me (and no, it wasn't "Dude Looks Like a Lady"). It was "Rag Doll" and it reminded me of something from long ago, the first time a guy hit on me. It was surprising and nerve-wracking at the time, yet funny in retrospect.


I was eight years old.

Hey, don't freak out and call Chris Hansen! I wasn't molested or anything like that! This is not a dirty story, I promise.

When I was eight years old, the annual JLA/JSA team-up came out in late 1981. It was a fantastic story, drawn by the always impressive George Perez. This team-up in Justice League of America #195-197 brought out some heroes and villains from the Golden Age. One of the great ones I read in the comic was a villain called Rag Doll, a triple-jointed bad guy who dressed up like a giant rag doll and fought the Golden Age Flash. I was amazingly taken with the Golden Age comic characters because they were new to me.

My dad was a truck driver, who had a regular, daily route between my hometown of Corbin, KY and Lexington, KY about 90 miles away. He drove the local mail to the sorting center six nights a week and brought the Corbin mail back. On occasion, the twin and I would accompany him. On this particular trip, it was just me.

In Dad's truck was a CB radio and we'd chat away on it often. On this particular trip, we had arrived in Lexington around 11 PM. Dad was inside the sorting center getting the necessary paperwork fixed up and left me in the cab alone. I knew better than to touch anything that would cause the truck to move, but the CB was fair game. So I started chatting and came up with the CB-handle "Rag Doll." Anonymity was fun and I thought it was a neat handle.

Some unknown trucker started chatting with me. I don't recall his handle, so we'll just call him "Hairy Trucker." He started telling me that I had a nice voice and asked me what I was up to tonight. I told him I was just passing through Lexington as soon as the truck was ready. He told me that he was breezing through the area on I-75 himself. After about four or five minutes of talking, he asked me if I knew where a certain hotel in Lexington. I said I didn't. He told me what exit it was on and asked me if I wanted to meet there for a drink.

Naive and confused to what he was hinting at, I just blurted out to him something like, "I can't, my dad will be here in a few minutes and we need to get home."

Somewhere in the next few questions, I honestly told him I was a boy and 8 years old. I thought that it was obvious. I can't imagine how freaked out this guy was. He did ask something like, "Why would you use a handle like 'Rag Doll'?"

I told him that it was a comic book character that I thought was cool. He educated me that it was a girl's handle.

Mortified that I had done something wrong, I signed off and stayed away from the CB for the rest of the night. It wasn't until years later that it hit me what Hairy Trucker was asking for. I can definitely see the humor in it now. I often wonder what the trucker told people, if he ever told anyone he propositioned a lady that turned out to be an 8-year-old boy.

Obviously, I was good at chatting and ironically practicing for something I do regularly these days. :D

kybearfuzz: (Cincy Pride 2010)
There was a day nine years ago this month that I looked in the mirror and admitted to myself that I was gay. It's hard to believe it took so long and so much effort to say such a thing, but it was. After that, it got easier to say. I wish I could recall the exact date, but oddly that date got lost in the excitement of things.

Nine Years Out
Nine Years and Many More to Go
"Born Gay" shirt by
[livejournal.com profile] chrisglass


Yesterday, I was talking to a coworker and friend. She told me that during lunch her boss had remarked that it took her a long time to "figure Mark out." They were talking about past employees and had somehow come to employees they knew or suspected was gay. She said she wasn't derogatory about it, but just curious.

I'm not upset by this. Realistically, I have worked in this office for years. Most people are curious enough of everyone's lives that they realize they've never heard me talk of a girlfriend or a wife. At my age, I think it's natural for people to wonder if maybe getting married to a woman isn't really my thing. So "figuring Mark out" shouldn't be difficult to folks who pay a bit of attention.

One of the great perks of being out is doing things that I would likely never have done while in the closet (And I ain't just talking about the secks). Friday night, I'm going to see Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown, a play about the spirit of a southern debutante finding herself trapped in the body of the thirty-year-old gay man on his way to Provincetown, Massachusetts for a birthday vacation. Someday, I'll hope to visit Provincetown... sans the possession by a Southern belle.

Luckily I'm one of those already. :)
kybearfuzz: (Glasses)
I've been thinking about what to put on here for my eighth anniversary from the closet. Normally I post some event from the past, but nothing specific has come to mind this year and I think that, in itself, is post-worthy.

Go Team!No, I haven't lost my mind. Well, okay, that's subjective to some.

When I came out of the closet eight years ago this month, it was quite a personal event. Now I'm guessing I'm starting to mellow out a little bit on the idea of being out. Before it was something like a secret I was revealing to the world, allowing a little bit more of myself to be known to friends and family. It was exciting.

The road has been a good one, mostly full of acceptance with only an occasional disappointment. Am I out to everyone? No. Do I care if others find out? Not really.

Last night I drew this cartoon to describe a happy mood, a kilted cheerleader. Imagine an entire squad of them. If there were such squads, I'd watch sports happily.
kybearfuzz: (Default)
Opening Credit
From Family Guy's "Something Something Something Darkside"

January 2010 marks my seventh anniversary for coming out.

More Stuff -- Cut for the Uninterested )
kybearfuzz: (Me in a Hat)
Catching glances...
Admiring the Non-Standard Beauty

The above toon really has little to do with the entry directly. I just doodled it last night for fun (and after a visit to the gym yesterday).

It is difficult to believe it's been six years since I decided to leave Ye Olde Closet. It doesn't seem that long ago and yet it seems like forever. So many experiences, so many yet to have.

Getting Long Here -- Cut for the Uninterested )
kybearfuzz: (WOOF!)
Not a bird, not a plane...Big warm birthday hugs and smooches to [livejournal.com profile] susobear, who is absolutely adorable! I hope it's a great one :)

This January marks my 5th year anniversary of coming out of that darn closet. It's been a great ride so far and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

I usually recount some single event for my anniversary, but I can't decide on just one and it seems like just being out by itself is a big deal.

More Stuff, Lengthy Post, Cut for the Uninterested )
kybearfuzz: (Opus Flying)
On the drive back to my office today, I had time to think about my last entry about coming out to my sister. I shouldn't have cliffhangers, I guess, as I'm likely to forget to continue things for next year's anniversary. So, just for the interested parties, here is the rest of the story with my coming out to the twin.

Cut to save space and the uninterested... )
kybearfuzz: (Good Catch)
It's amazing how fast the time can go when you're having a good time. This month marks not only my birthday, but also the day I let the closet door fly open. Birth and rebirth so to speak. My only regret is that I didn't mark the exact date when I admitted to myself that I was a flaming 'mo. While driving in the snow today, I pondered what story I'd recall for my fourth anniversary. I had quite a few to choose from, but I picked the first time I ever told someone I cared about my dirty, wonderful secret identity.

And the rest of the story... cut for the uninterested )
kybearfuzz: (Singles Paired)
I wish I had recorded the exact day when I looked into the mirror and accepted the fact I was gay. I remember it was January 2003, but the day is pretty much lost to me. In looking back it seemed so much was going on at the time that the days blurred together. And of course, I didn't have LJ to document it all. Too bad, I think I would have enjoyed having that on record.

I think for this year's anniversary, I'll recount my very first date. I don't mean my first gay date, specifically, but rather my first date.. EVER... at age 30, that just happened to be with a guy :)

Cut for the disinterested )
kybearfuzz: (Default)
I'm in a pretty good mood despite the crappy winter weather and questionable driving conditions.

I was chatting a bit on line last night and someone asked me how long I've been out. It dawned on me that it has been exactly two years this month. I'd forgotten as time seems to go so fast. It's a decision I've never regretted, in fact it lifted a huge burden of oppression from shoulders.

Set the Way Back Machine to January 2003 -- It gets long from here )

It's been a steep learning curve over the two years, but a journey well worth doing. I've made some grand friends, in person and online. I enjoy movies more, like certain comedians or singers or books I wouldn't have admitted to before. Life, despite it's current crappy weather and idiots out driving around, is pretty good.

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