I received an email from a reader of this blog, where one of my previous posts prompted him to share some thoughts about a situation that he was dealing with. That’s a different story, and will remain private. However, what he closed with is something I want to discuss for a bit: “… thank you for your willingness to publicly discuss personal matters/issues on your blog. I do feel that by writing about your own personal experiences, you have dispelled some gay myths and made ‘gays’ to be normal.”
Wow, thanks man. As I have said before, I never really know who I touch with what falls out of my head.
I know this is not the ordinary “gay man’s blog.” I wonder sometimes what IS an “ordinary gay man” but that’s another issue.
I consider myself an ordinary guy; a regular Joe; a neighbor, friend, colleague, biker… whatever labels like that one may wish to apply.
I read some other blogs written by gay men. Those blogs have many more public followers than this one. A low number of public followers on a mature blog used to bother me a lot. I would ask myself, “what are they looking for?” or “what do other gay bloggers blog about that attract more public followers?”
As I analyzed it some more, I realized several things.
First, this is MY blog, where I express my thoughts, feelings, ideas, oddball humor (or lack thereof), likes, dislikes, interests, avocations, and such. I am not writing “for” anyone but myself. I do appreciate that others are interested in what I have to say. Ultimately, though, the blogging experience is a catharsis of sorts for me, and is a way for me to get things off my chest, or describe some knowledge, or express ideas (within limits.)
Second, some gay men’s blogs with many followers write a lot about politics. I choose to avoid that here because everyone has different opinions and I do not want this blog to turn in to a venting post for the masses. I respect that everyone has opinions, and I know that I may disagree with some of them. But I’ll fight for the right for people to express their own ideas, as long as they don’t hurt anyone. However, I do not want this blog to become an exchange of rants, which so often happens on blog posts that are political in nature.
Third, some gay men’s blogs with many followers represent a huge gay social circle that the blog writer has developed. The writers receive many comments to posts, and often the comments include witty remarks and humor.
I do not have a huge gay social circle. Honestly, (chalk it up to living with the world’s #1 recluse) I don’t have much of a social circle at all, because I do not go out to socialize (such as to a restaurant, bar, club, or to friends’ homes) and I have lost all interest in attending gay events such as MAL or IML. I get my “social jollies” (that is, fulfill my “need for human interaction,”) through other methods, like helping my senior pals, participating in community meetings, going to tons of family get-togethers, and riding with my motorcycle club from time to time.
Fourth, WYSIWYG. Read on.
Back to the comment that I received via email, I affirm that what I choose to write about is reflective of a personal life that is stable, solid, active, and totally integrated with the wider community in which I work and live. I am not “the gay neighbor”; I am “the civic organization president.” I am not “that gay guy with an electrician’s license”; I am “that nice young man who can fix this for me.” I am not “that gay biker with all that leather”; I am an appointed officer in the club who enjoys, like everyone else, riding his motorcycle while geared properly. Finally, I am not “the gay family member”; I am a brother, uncle, cousin, nephew.
I got over worrying about how many public followers this blog has when I looked at my data logs and realized that I have many more readers who choose to remain anonymous. Now that this blog has matured, I am seeing about 500 – 600 unique visitors each day from all over the world. Okay, most of them choose to remain silent; I can live with that. Heck, I read a lot of blogs, too, and there are very few that I follow publicly — so “I get it.” No biggie.
I also realize that some readers are still wrestling with their own sexual identity, and part of their struggle lands them on this blog from time to time as they seek information about what gay men are like — particularly masculine gay men who don’t… well… act and behave “gay” (i.e., whatever stereotypical behaviors you want to apply, but for me, one of those stereotypes is that I am not effeminate.)
Summarizing point: I am a regular guy. I have activities that I like to do. I have clothing and footwear that I like to wear (and some clothing and footwear that I don’t.) I am head over bootheels in love with one man. So what?
Follow me or not, WYSIWYG.
For visitors who do not know what “WYSIWYG” means: “What you see is what you get.” It is a commonly-used acronym with many computer software applications, but equally applies in this case.