Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Memoirs of a Gay Leather Elder 04: Coming Out To My Family

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Author's note:  In order for me to progress through my history, some bad experiences will be revealed.  Please do not be discouraged.  It is my goal to tell how, when challenged, I prevailed, and how I did it.  Zero drama is my goal.

The Angry Fucking Leather Rebel Comes OUT

I knew that I had to blow up my old life.  I wasn't my mother's good little Catholic "heterosexual-ish" favorite son any more. I was ready to renounce the despair I had suffered as my father's "Designated Sick Person" in the family.  I wanted to cut Mom's apron strings and to leave no doubt about it, forever. All of the pain, shame and fear was at its end.

I wanted to come out of the closet, and fucking nail the door open.

I had no gay-male role-models for coming out of the closet, except for far-off celebrities such as Charles Nelson Reilly, and Liberace. Those men were ridiculous, faggotty caricatures to me, and I wanted nothing to do with them, style-wise. Like so many gay leathermen back then, my pendulum now swung HARD against the larger society's popular stereotypes.

I wanted to run away from my old life, and I knew that it would be the end of all that I had known before. Old ties, old, useless assumptions about sex, religion and how to live my life… they needed to GO AWAY!  I had no idea what would lay ahead, and I didn't care any more.

I had no way to know what was the "right" way to come out to one's family, but my heart told me what to do:

By this time, I was dating Mark Of The Large Penis, (who I have mentioned here, before). Christmas Day 1977 had arrived.  Mark and I dressed in full, head-to-toe leather gear, and drove to Mom's house on Mark's motorcycle.  We came in the front door, and I handed my mother a present. I said "Hi, Mom!  Merry Christmas!  This is my boyfriend Mark, and he'll be sleeping with me tonight."

I then started socializing with my sisters, who somehow didn't seem as shocked as I thought they would be. About five minutes passed, and Mom started freaking out, just as I had expected. Among many other hateful things that she said, she disowned me, and emphatically told me that I was never to show my face around the family, ever again.  I am surprised that there was a roof remaining on the house. She was maximally furious.

Mark and I left, and I was full of joy as we left the San Fernando Valley, and headed home to San Diego.  My new life was finally beginning, clean and clear without negative attachments.

What About Dad?

My father actively hated me, every day of my life, until his death in 1989.  My only relationship with him involved terror, contempt and beatings… broken left arm, broken eye-sockets, broken fingers, hundreds of deep bruisings, and lost weeks of school as a result.

My mom would leave the house, and it was the time to rock out on the youngest son. If I was washing the silverware before the plates, or if he detected one of my hairs on his favorite hairbrush, it was a great excuse to beat me up. It was never the same reason, each time, because I was a good boy and strove to please him.

I am not saying this for pity, or sympathy.  It is what happened.  It is my history.  I would never have chosen that life intentionally, but decades later, I chose it anyway.  My stress-filled childhood formed my character, and forced me to develop DEEP emotional intelligence and empathy, beyond nobody else that I have ever met.

Right away, starting at age 22, I started fixing my damaged life, with over 200 hours of therapy, and hundreds of days worth of work with men's groups, group therapy and self-help workshops over the decades. As I will relate, I sought out mentors.  It was not an easy process, and my demons still live within me.  They simply don't rule my life any more.

I've done what it takes to grow, and be a better man, as a conscious result of my violently, physically, emotionally and mentally-abusive childhood.

The best thing that I can say about my father is that he provided a perfect role-model of what NOT to be, going forward at this pivotal point.  I came out to him, in Texas, over the phone, and received an indifferent response. He was a commercial artist, and knew a bunch of homosexuals in the art world. Big whoop.

Choosing the Path Ahead

Ask two children of a hypothetical alcoholic (one of them who is a drunk, and the other who NEVER touches the stuff), "WHY are you the way that you are?,"  They will both tell you "I am the child of an alcoholic… how ELSE can I be?  One child will be "That", and the other will be "Not-That." They are two sides to the same coin.

I chose at this point to be "Not-That," compared to my father.  

I chose to be responsible for how I interacted with everyone around me.  I chose to be a good man… a "mensch".

I stopped perpetrating "Anxiety Transfer," where I would freak out at the server at a restaurant, to make their life hell, just because I was in a bad mood. That's abuse, and I now had a strong allergy to that.  Instead, I chose to treat all other folks like my favorite sister or brother. As someone worthy of respect.  As a result, I get treated like a king, wherever I go.

I consciously chose to be sweet, affectionate, emotionally available and happy, every day for the rest of my life.  Happiness is a decision that we make, every day.

Out of all of those thousands of hours of religious training, I chose to retain only ONE thing:  The Golden Rule. That suited me fine, so I kept it.  Everything else went right into the mental dumpster.

When I came back to my family later on, I convinced all nine of my siblings that we had to break the generational cycle of abuse, and NOT pass it on to the next generation.  They agreed, and my nieces and nephews still bless me for that.

My Nephew, My Son, My Boys, My Protégés

Yes, they allowed facial hair in the Navy in the 1970's. 
This was the day that I began to be a father to my nephew.

My sister got knocked-up by a married man at the age of seventeen, and she struggled terribly with raising her son, all by herself. I was very successful connecting with him on every level, so I took him on as my son (to full adulthood) from that point onward.  I make this proud declaration, decades later:

I never slipped into my family's generational cycle of abuse, with my nephew, or any of the younger men who followed him in my life.  Physical, emotional, sexual or mental abuse were all off of the table, permanently.  These younger men gave me solid, powerful reasons to be the best-possible male role-model. I will go to my grave with that as my proud legacy.

This has also applied to the many collared leather-boys, slaves and hundreds of mentees that have blessed my life in the forty years since then. I have never done Verbal Abuse or Physical Abuse kinky scenes, and I never will.  Why?  Because I would be too GOOD at it, and the self-recriminations afterward would be endless.  I know the cost of abuse, and, as a hyper-responsible man, I choose not to even start.

Understanding the Cognitive Dissonance

How does all of THAT work, when I am also a sadistic, slave-owning Leather Master?

Easy enough.  I am nobody's cartoon stereotype.  I declare that I can take any scene as far as any human being can endure.  I can chuckle with pleasure as I whip a pain-pig bloody, to the point where we have to scrub the walls afterward.  This happens very, very rarely. The sub has the rare ability to transform pain into pleasure, and he thanks me lavishly, every time.  I have taken him to a powerful, life-transforming space.

The vast majority of my scenes are designed to be transcendent, ecstatic, respectful and affectionate, as I explain in this one-hour video.  Each scene involves constantly-changing stimulation, up to the right point for each individual, based upon keen observation and intuition.

"I may hurt you, but I will never harm you."

The difference is, I only do extreme scenes with somebody who THANKS me gladly, afterward.  The pendulum of my life swings easily between hardcore play, and giggling together like children at any point in the scene.  I am comfortable with that.

I am serene in the knowledge that I can dance with the dragon inside of me, and will never go past the proper, glorious and welcome ending-point, for that individual.

I can look in my mirror, and see a good man.

Does One Thing Always Lead to the Other?

For many years, I have assumed that my sadistic nature has its roots in my abused upbringing.  That may be true, but only for me. I have asked about this concept during several of the hundreds of Leathermen's Discussions that I have hosted over the decades.  In my experience, the vast majority of sadistic Tops, Doms, Sirs and Masters do not share my experience.

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