My Homoerotic Youth
by Dan Gleason

In the early chapters of most everyone's life story, there are certain pages that are more difficult to reflect upon than others. We all have portions of our past that do not fit in with the framework of our positive self-image. Many anecdotes from my autobiography reveal diversions in this path to supposed, 'enlightenment.' Items that some how fell by the wayside in the creation of my adult character. Looking back I often wonder, for example, on the formation of my sexuality. Was I once a young gay male, I sometimes ask myself- or no- I ask myself this quite often, in truth. For as a child it appeared as if I was bound for a future lived in the company of men.

Now, I don't think it is all that unusual for me to admit here that, during my formative years, I rarely spoke to girls. Many young lads fail in this way, perhaps out of shyness, or hatred, maybe infectious disease, or something else that psychologists would be much more equipped to discuss than I. But my male friendships were always quite intense, whether this be with my brother, my neighbor Chris, Jeremy, or whoever. Too intense, one might say- definitely worthy of suspicion. For instance- when Shanta, the next door neighbor girl, beat me up next to the site of The Great Mudfight Of '78, I did not even try to defend myself. No- I merely ran behind my brother Jay and hid, until he would avenge me. He yelled something at her like, "Listen shortcake, you leave my brother alone," or some variant of this, to defuse the situation, and preserve my honor. Still, this was hardly the masculine stance on my part. Chris and I would draw lying on the floor of his garage on large reams of paper for hours at a time, talking endlessly about D&D, Indiana Jones, Boy Scouts, or something of the like. His brother Mike would occasionally try to speak to us of Alicia Carman, the buxom young woman who lived a couple of blocks away, but we wouldn't have any of this. No, no girl talk for us. We were two young homosexuals lost in our worlds of creative fantasy/play. Only difference is that Chris is now married, while I, well, I'm still and extremely eligible bachelor. And with Jeremy- I can't really think of any examples here. Other than the fact that I was pry just friends with him to fulfill some sort of dormant youth struggling with his man-love need. Once again, though, I'd have to refer you to the psychologists for more information there.

Chris and I would play with Star Wars figures often, but we never owned a single Princess Leia between us. Yet the sexual undertones of the films figured heavily in our games. We spoke often of who Luke and Han were with when Leia was preoccupied. As far as Luke was concerned, we were unsure- but we knew for certain that Han was spending his spare time with Lando. So occasionally, when quarrels between The Darkside and our heroes occurred, we would lay Han and Lando off to the side on top of one another, as if to suggest they were involved in coitus. Eventually, I developed a song to accompany their love trysts called, "Let's make love tonight," which featured only the lyrics in the title. Let me just say now that this whole paragraph has been conceived in a state of unconscionable embarrassment- I must go to the lavatory promptly to splash water on my face, in hopes that this act will allow me to continue.

My brother and I were strangely enthused by urinating in the toilet together, as one. The pee would start to flow, and either of us would cry out, "sword fight," which commenced unruly stream crossing, and occasionally resulted in urine on the floor. By the time, 'don't cross the stream,' became an en vogue thing to say, post Ghostbusters, we were far too old to be crossing the streams. But that doesn't mean I wasn't thinking about it. Even more difficult to explain though, is why Jason Jones and I snuck into his brother's room one evening to check if he slept in the nude. Jason lifted off the covers and said, "Look, there's his penis," which made me quite uncomfortable. It was dark beneath those sheets though, so I could not see a thing. Then we were busted in the closet for playing with the Masters Of The Universe toys he was to receive that Christmas. And truly, this was just desserts- thought I always felt quietly that God in fact had punished us for eyeballing that genitalia.

Oh, and the penis talks we had! Chris and I, watching Cinemax, HBO, or the wavy Playboy channel late at night, discussing the, 'Eiffel Towers,' or, 'Sears Roebuck Towers,' in our pants. Right in front of the guy's mother too- it was misogyny and sexual perversion intertwined! We tried to skateboard down hill together, he on front and I, of course, on back, and we toppled over on each other. Skinned our asses badly, and I claimed that my cock was broken. Was this an artful attempt to get my friend to tape me up? Hmmm- difficult to say. Probably yes.

There were more subtle manifestations as well. I was constantly getting injured as a youth- scars upon my cheek and skull, abrasions around my eyes and fingers. Slipped on a hot dog at the mall and bludgeoned my eyebrow- had to get a bunch of stitches after that. Got a stick in my eye, and a board of nails raked across my face. Hand smashed by a manhole cover. And I ran into a light pole, shattering the spectacles I wore into my eyelid. All awful occurrences, undoubtedly- but could they have quietly meant so much more? Were these misfortunes actually cries for help, vague insistences that I had something inside of me begging to get out? I don't know. Reflecting on some of those injuries though, well, it still makes my pee pee hurt to this day.

My brother, Chris, Mike and I created what I believe to be the sexiest male-on-male competition invented since greco-roman wrestling, a sport called, 'Bucking Bronco,' which I will tell you of now. It's the old three against one, will the lone man prevail? sort of contest that forces every on-looker to root for the underdog. The game combines hog-tying, cattle roping, rasslin', and ungodly amounts of good old-fashioned homosexual chicanery. And it is more fun than shooting craw dads in a bucket with an air gun. I played bronco, bucking around wildly until the others threw a blanket on me, attempting to rope me in. But I bucked out like a true champion, and the boys were forced to pursue me anew. They blanketed me again, but I suddenly lurched forward and hit my head on the corner of the stair well. I then commenced to bleed on Chris and Mike's carpet. Got sent to the hospital with a partially cracked cranium. Truly though, this injury was achieved in pure unadulterated latent-homosexual fun. So I have no regrets whatsoever.

You may now wish to ask me, wherever you may be, "So Dan, uh, do you yourself believe you were once a young gay fellow?" And to this question, I would have to answer yes, for I am quite sure that I was. But I've snapped out of it now- I am among the supposedly, 'sexually healthy,' as of this day. As a matter of fact, I have already had intercourse with two different women this decade, so I'm obviously as straight as an arrow. Oh, the extreme virility. What I wouldn't do, though, to recapture those close friendships from my youth- so many good companions lost over the years. And I would absolutely love to re-play those games from the past, and to regale myself in all of that filthy talk again. Even the hospital visits were not that wretched, in truth. Still don't feel okay about the Star Wars stuff though. But with all of this said, if I could do it over again, and all I had to do was simply come out- well, then I would not repress my youthful feelings for a moment. I'd go into the streets, I'd scream, "I'm a young gay male, and I'm proud of it, damn it," and I would frolic and play and get beat up by all of the girls. And I'd cry. Because upon reflection, my homoerotic youth was worth that, and so much more.