Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mitchell Gold, Charlie Rose and "Faith in America"

If you possibly can, please treat yourself to the Mitchell Gold-Charlie Rose interview. The interview focuses primarily on Gold's new book Crisis, but Gold also talks about his growing up gay in America during the approximate time I did. He reveals his crush on Richard Chamberlain as "Dr. Kildare" at age 12, a crush he shared with me and probably thousands of gay boys of that era. (How many of the boys in junior high wore "Dr. Kildare" shirts?--unfortunately I wasn't one of them.) The book, consists of essays about the pain involved in growing up gay by a diverse group of people, famous and not so famous. Gold mentions that several people he approached about writing for the book told him that they really couldn't write in the book, as being gay was not really a "big issue" for them and that there was no "crisis", conflict, or struggle involved.

I guess I like to think of myself as conflict-free in this area as well. Obviously, that's not true. At eleven I was concerned that I was a "faggot" because I stunk at athletics. My excellent singing voice and competency at dance made me a prime candidate for female roles in plays at my all-boys summer camp. Although, I loved these roles because I often got to play opposite Scott, the boy of my dreams, the teasing that accompanied them did little to enhance self-esteem. Late puberty, accompanied by adolescent gynecomastica , engenderd feelings that something was wrong with my masculinity while arousing my curiosity about the growing adolescent penises and secondary sex characteristics of other boys.

Sexual play with my friend Fred during several sleepovers (mostly after going to Bar Mitzvahs) fed this curiosity, peaking after the first time Fred produced a few drops of cum for me. I don't think I was all that troubled by the sexual play per se. After all, sharing Fred's developing sexuality was just part of sharng between friends (we used to get naked together when we were five). However, I was increasingly troubled by my slow development, wondering whether somehow God was punishing me for an early sexual interest which started at age eight when two girls at school told me where babies really came from and I began checking out books from the library such as "The Stork Didn't Bring You", "Your Growing Body (for boys)", etc., and stealing peaks into copies of "Tropic of Cancer" and "Lady Chatterley's Lover" which we had in our house.

Fred and I sort of drifted apart after we were fourteen. We were in different grades (I had skipped two--putting me at least three years behind in my development with my classmates), and both of us developed new friends. Finally, at age 15, masturbating on the bathroom floor, I produced my first drops of cum. A few weeks later, I began jerking off regularly, usually humping the bed, fantasizing fucking Marjorie, a girl I was attracted to, but really more concerned in my fantasies with my penis, what is was doing, and what it was producing.

New Years Eve 1966 brought my first full-blown (no pun intended) homosexual experience with my friend Michael, who was only five months older than me, but who was already shaving. After a night of partying where, I believe, I made out with Susan S, we went back to Michael's house. No one at Michael's house was expected home that night, and so we had the house to ourselves. My recollection is somewhat vague, all I remember is eventually being naked with Michael, humping and jerking each other off, but I don't remember how we reached that point. I think we were both passionate (we really liked each other) and I remember Michael telling me that I would be a "great husband" someday, a comment on our lovemaking. I felt wonderful. Michael's acceptance of my naked body was real important to me and we repeated the experience whenever we could. We were concerned about other people finding out, but we weren't concerned about being homosexual ourselves. After all, we didn't kiss (at least not at first) and you were only queer if you did "it" after you were eighteen. We were only sixteen. Therefore no problem. Q.E.D.

No comments:

Post a Comment