Then there are other things that I remember...Like how I used to make my G.I Joe's have sex lol theres not much straight about that.
OMG...never thot of that with MY GI Joes. Excellent. Did they ever invite Ken? Jus' askin'...
You bring up your heart "skipping a beat". I think that was my first clue...when I was in fifth grade and had a crush on a guy who sat in front of me in class. It continued into high school where he had some hot friends - like the T-Birds in "Grease" without the grease, but with ambiguous sexual orientation - and I desperately wanted to be part of that clique, but I was too nerdy. But, I knew.
My CSA was partially the result of abusive parents who wanted to "fix" me. In my desperation to have someone know about their abusiveness and to connect with other gay kids I was referred to the guidance counselor perp who abused me for a year. But that was decades ago...and, no, my CSA DIDN'T make me gay. However, being gay and abused made me a target for the perp. All the more reason, imo, for gay kids today to have the resources available for their protection.
As a young adult, yeah, I TRIED a couple relationships with women (even went to bed with one). But it didn't feel as though I connected. With one, she complained I never shared my feelings (go figure)...while she was also fucking one of my friends. Another was on a ship where I worked, but I was also messing around with "straight" passengers. Later, one boss commented he understood I was "sensitive". At the same time, though I enjoyed being around gay nightlife, I felt I never really fit (again). I recognize that some of it, too, was typical 20-something angst.
What finally connected in my late 20s was joining a group of gay-oriented 12-step meetings. I think what happened was I started to feel a sense of community with people who were...people. Today, many years later, one of 'em is still a best friend. I became completely comfortable in my own skin.
If I had to summarize, Irish, I'd say it wasn't just one man on which I was focused. It was a community and, yes, variety of people in that community. I could be as "gay" as I wanted to be...or not. But it didn't matter to them. They accepted me as I was. Took me a while, but I learned it was okay to jettison the facades I'd built up and even talk about the facades. As the facades came down, I used them less and less...even in the outside world. I cared less about what others thot of me because I knew I always had the support of a community "the others" didn't know about and didn't understand. My ace in the hole.
It felt like, "You can put me down because you have the perception I'm a 'typical' lonely and isolated fag, but I'm not. I have friends. So THERE."