Thursday, September 24, 2009

Today on Bilerico: "Queers Who Surrender Their Lives to Needful Parents""

You will have to go to Bilerico this morning after 10:30 to read my response to the following:

Dear Father Tony,

I find myself on the cusp of a personal reinvention. Or, a mid-life crisis, if you prefer. I believe both are apropos descriptions.

When I graduated from college in 1985, I reinvented myself by moving to the opposite coast. I became an up-and-comer at a high-tech company that served me well. I experienced my first relationship and later came out of the closet into an open and diverse community that offered the ability to become any type of queer one wanted to be.

Twenty years later in 2005, I left a relationship and returned home to the house I grew up in. This time my reinvention was born of personal and familial necessity. I became the full-time primary caregiver to my mother who was increasingly affected by the ravages of Alzheimer's disease.

This summer, four years after I arrived, my mother was moved into an assisted care facility to provide her with the proper amount of constant attention and medical help that I was unable to deliver. My reason for being has disappeared, and I find myself a middle-aged single gay man whose life stands before him as a blank canvas.

What of a relationship? I spent several years in my previous relationship with his AIDS-related maladies at the top of my mind. The following four years have been spent with an Alzheimer's diagnosis as my focus. After so many draining years, do I really want to be with someone else? How will I ever find someone here in this small town where the gay community is practically invisible except for gay pride day?

Trying to find a date has been nearly impossible. It was a friend that gave me a bit of eye-opening counsel when I was bemoaning my plight. Asked where I was trying to meet people, I replied, "In the chat rooms." He raised his brows. "That's your problem,' he declared. "You're too old for You need to get a profile up on" And that's when it hit me. I had been unceremoniously moved from one gay demographic to another and no one, until now, had bothered to notify me!

Reality has slapped me in the face and the need for another personal reinvention has become clear. So here I am. Directionless. I feel like a boat sans rudder; a swimmer treading water. Where do I go from here? I wish I knew. Sure, that would spoil the fun of the journey, but it would also assuage the fears of the unknown that lurk around every corner.


Update: It's up. Get on it.


Mike said...

Sounds like it's time to sell the house and move again, frankly. But what a great letter.

Anonymous said...

The writer of the letter to Tony faced many severe obstacles. Many of us face troubled waters when sailing through life's, emotional, personal, financial and relationship waters. My mother use to quote an old Irish saying:
" life is like an onion you weep as you peel it, and the days are long but the years fly".
Tony gave him a heart felt response and always say's it well.