Somewhere along the way, I lost the thread.
I let the other side frame the debate, making my identity all about sex.
I forgot that my identity as a gay man didn’t rest on sex, or sexuality, and it took a beautiful song to remind me.
I was scanning through my Mastodon feed and ran across a video from 2021, made during the heart of the pandemic – a song called Boys Who Like Boys by an openly gay singer named Eli Lieb. Intrigued, I clicked on the link.
I’d never heard of Eli Lieb before this. As I watched the video, something about it connected with something deep inside of me, making me happy. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Over the next couple of days I watched it a number of times, trying to figure it out.
The video set-up is simple – the singer in his studio, belting out the lyrics, intercut with dozens of gay folk and supporters singing along with him, as was common when we couldn’t be together during the pandemic.:
Then it stuck me. The video wasn’t about sex or sexuality. It was about gay joy. The pure, existential joy of being a gay man and finding your place. And of not giving a fuck about what anyone else thinks about it.
I’m not gay because I like to have sex with men. I’m gay because I’m a boy who likes boys. Who loves men. Who finds daily joy in the man I call my husband.
All the rest is just smoke and mirrors, invented by people with too much time and narrow minds who want me to be defined by what they think I am. They don’t have the slightest idea who I really am.
So I’ve found the thread again, as Eli says at the end of his song:
And a little joy.