Finding myself in this big gay world
Coming to terms with being gay has been a roller coaster ride for me. I've experienced the highs, the lows and pretty much everything in between. The best place to begin is at the beginning.
I come from a village on the Southern East Coast of Ireland. Growing up wasn't bad for me. I had great friends, was relatively popular and life was pretty good. I used to throw the best parties. Sports was and still is a big part of my life. My friends and I would go to the pubs on Sundays to watch the football and wash down a few pints. We were your typical lads. Needless to say I felt a huge void inside me which probably caused me to overdo the drinking. Many days I had a hard time thinking straight. I started to think maybe it was better to be out of my head than to deal with the feelings inside of me or think about where my life was headed.
I knew a hot girl when I saw one and I wanted to be attracted to them. It would have made my life a lot easier. I knew I was attracted to men, but I still also believed that I was attracted to girls. If I was watching porn, I would force myself to watch straight porn. When I looked at gay porn, I would try to get through it as fast as possible. I would tell myself it was just a phase. One day I discovered manhunt and gaydar. These were the go to sights before Grindr and Scruff. I remember meeting my first guy. I wasn't nervous. It was something I wanted. The worst part was afterwards. I would have a huge sense of guilt, emptiness and I would feel ashamed of who I was. I felt cold. I felt like I had committed a crime.
But those feelings would always disappear with time and I would need that relief again. I hated being so secretive, the sneaking around, the guilt, the shame. Coming from a small village I felt my choice in men was very limited. I needed to get away. I was graduating from School and knew going away to College might help me. Most of the guys I grew with did not go away to College and still live in the town where I grew up.
I was pretty stubborn growing up. I've always had my own ideas, stuck to them and never felt I meshed with the small community I was from. I thought if I got away I could make something of myself. Now I realize that feeling was not that I needed to make something of myself, but rather I just wanted to be myself . I had become so good at covering up who I was, that I actually forgot who I was.
I moved to Dublin for college, it was just me and the big city. I was so excited. It was a fresh start. I could be whoever I wanted to be. Unfortunately, I fell back into my old routine quicker than expected. Girls, parties drinking etc need I go on. I also discovered that Dublin had plenty of men for me, making it very exciting and dangerous for me. I discovered Grindr. I began to live a double life, one gay and one straight. I was still good at getting girls but I always managed to pass out or fall asleep before the performance.
Days I was the straight college boy and evenings I turned into the gay party boy. I mean for someone that wasn't out I was not scared to go to the gay bars, have my picture on Grindr etc. For the most part I did not hide my escapades as very few people knew me. I did however have a bank of excuses ready if any of my straight friends saw me,.
I started to get more and more comfortable with my gay side even though I was still leading two completely separate Iifes. The strange thing was, I was happy in both of them. It was a lot of work. I understand why so many people in the LGBTQ community make it in Hollywood, I should of been an actor. I played my roles so perfectly. I was 20 different Aaron's all rolled into one. I knew if I wanted to feel good with myself, I must somehow become one Aaron who could move with all the different groups of people I wanted to.
I did this for three years. I thought I was in a good place, but my life felt like it was caving in on me. I fell into a trap of going round in circles, . I was just going through the motions. Waking up, going to sleep and lying to myself to keep myself from thinking too much. As. a result I started putting my party face on and taking it a level up, not in a good way. I was partying every chance I got. My life was getting out of control.
Then I got the chance to go to New York to work for a summer. Yes, another chance to reinvent myself. I was in the 'Big Apple' and there were men galore, perfect picture men, The type of men I had dreamt about. It only took a day for me to do what I knew best and the party began.
I was scrolling through the apps one day, and I saw Mike. I mean he was so my type from his pictures. I actually got nervous from chatting on Grindr with him. (Yes, if you didn't realize, I am into older men). To me, he was like something out of porn. I was fascinated. I mean from the first time we met, he was the only man, I'd ever felt so relaxed around. One of the first things that slipped out of my mouth was, "you are the only man that I would ever consider marrying". I really didn't expect to get married to anyone at this stage. I was living some sort of a gay fairytale when I was with him.
Unfortunately, I had to go back to Ireland. My head was messed up from partying. Yet it was also a relief that I actually found men out there that I would like to be with. When I got back to Dublin I felt so messed up from living the life, ie partying and escaping that I took a year off from school and went back home to get my head straight. I tried to come out back home but it didn't work. When I told my mother she was like are you sure? I don't think you are.
People actually somehow managed to think I was to 'straight to be gay' yeah trust me I know they don't think that now anyway. Being at home was as close to being in a nightmare as possible, I was told I should go to rehab. I didn't. I couldn't have packed my bags any quicker. I was going back to Dublin to work and finish college. I was going back to a city where I thought I could be happy and be myself.
Even though I was alone, I felt I was still the closest to what I thought was happy or what I deserved at least. I slowly started to get my shit together. I finished college, I dated, .At this stage I was pretty much living as close to being out without actually properly outing myself. I didn't feel l I had to declare to the world I was gay. I was just happy being me and getting on with things.
Then Mike came to visit from New York in January and my heart exploded. He made me feel so comfortable. My anxiety disappeared and all of a sudden things were good. It still feels strange sometimes when I feel good. It was a feeling I had to become used too. He came here again just as Covid was starting. This led to us spending every second of the day with each other. One day he suddenly proposed. I was floored. I can honestly say I never expected to get married,. He lived halfway across the world. For something that was such a big and huge moment in my life I never expected to say yes so quickly. I knew I would have to tell people something. I always dreaded having to tell people but loving him made it the easiest thing in the world to do. With no hesitation I told my mother, my family, my friends, everyone and anyone it didn't matter,. I was with a man I loved and I wanted everyone to know.
To this day I am still shocked how well everyone took the news. To be 100% honest with you, a part of me always knew people would accept me and the other part didn't really care that much. Everyone has accepted Mike and I with open arms.. I have realized that my friends are my friends. I don't think they will ever know how much I really do appreciate them. I would do anything for them and for my family. They have been more supportive than I ever imagined. I'm actually now closer to my family than I have ever been before. What was a strained relationship with my family has become one to celebrate and be thankful for. I've grown to treasure every second. So that's my story. Life is tough but finding out who you are is so important. Once you find out who you are you open the door to happiness. This is something everyone deserves.
I hope you guys enjoy our Blog. I will be sharing many other details of my life and the life Michael and I have made together. I thought it was a good idea for you to know who I am from the get go. Keep reading. Stay with us. There will be lots of posts from highs to lows from funny to explicit and everything in between and much much more!