Around 6 years ago, I came out of my closet just because I felt that enough was enough. I endured more than 10 matchmaking attempts made by my mother, and those meetings with young women only reminded me again and again of how much I am disinterested in girls. I am not just drawn to masculinity; I sexually desire and crave for it, and I should have known that sooner, considering that my eyes were often drawn to the photographs of beefy bodybuilders even during my childhood years. When I saw a certain little moment of sexual awakening involved with Jean-Claude Van Damme in Oscar-nominated animation documentary film “Flee” (2021), I said to myself with amusement: “Oh, I know that feeling.”
The immediate consequences of exposing my homosexuality to others around me were pretty mixed to say the least. In case of many of my online friends and acquaintances, I got much more support and congratulation than expected, and I felt good about that. In case of my co-workers, they accepted me without much problem. In case of my parents, they were quite angry and disappointed as hurting me a lot with all those painful accusations tinged with bias and prejudice, which I still cannot forgive or forget at all.
And I still remember how angry, depressed, and devastated I was during that hurtful time. Suddenly, I felt like having no one around me to support and love, and I even considered suicide as struggling with all those emotional upheavals between me and my parents. To make matters worse, my younger brother did not provide any emotional support at all, and that made us more estranged to each other, though we had not cared that much about each other for years since I went to university.
Anyway, I survived this traumatic moment, and I have tried to move on during next several years. After concluding that I had no future in academic research, I decided to work in a small but solid biotechnology company founded by my graduate school advisor, and I felt a bit happier because I could be more separated from my parents in Jeonju. Although I still had to visit them every two weeks, I was glad to start a little private life of my own in Daejeon, and I could have much more freedom in exploring my sexual desire and preference.
Actually, I already had a sort of boyfriend before moving to Daejeon in June 2017. He was a graduate student from Guatemala, and I am still grateful to him for giving me the first gay sex since I had with a distant cousin of mine in 1997. I was pretty nervous during our first meeting, but everything went well in his little residence once we got relaxed a bit, and that was the beginning of our long relationship. During next several years, he often came to Daejeon whenever he had time, and I felt good and happy as spending time with him.
However, there came a point where our relationship became less intimate and exciting after he eventually graduated. After working in Jeonju for a while, he moved to Busan for his new teaching job, and, mainly because he is frequently busy with his work, he did not come to Daejeon that often. While he was willing to pursue his professional career in South Korea, I came to have doubts on whether I could be more serious about our relationship, and that was one of several reasons why I came to distance myself from him bit by bit. We are still friendly to each other as sending texts and photographs to each other from time to time, but we are more like friends instead of lovers these days.
Meanwhile, I kept searching for any dude around me via Grindr and several other online gay dating applications. As a matter of fact, I met more than 40 guys, and I had sex with most of them just because I wanted to clarify my sexual preference. After my so-called research, I concluded that I am usually drawn to big manly dudes, and I also found that anal sex was a cumbersome business I prefer to avoid as much as possible. In fact, after several attempts of being top or bottom, I sort of came to appreciate the physical flexibility of gay porn actors. I have no idea on how they actually prepare, but all those acts of theirs look pretty effortless as far as I can see.
Anyway, many of guys with whom I had sex usually disappointed me. No, sex was usually okay or good, but I could not go further than that as failing to connect with most of them. As an awkward guy who was not only diagnosed to be on autism spectrum but also turned to have a depression problem, I am not so good at approaching to others, and I even had a couple of pretty bad experiences. In case of one of them, this dude stole my laptop after we had sex in my residence, and the only consolation was that I had actually been considering buying the new one sooner or later. In case of the other dude, he tried to cling onto me even though I made it clear to him that we were totally finished, and he still sends me texts at times although I simply ignore and delete them without much care.
In last year, it looked like I finally came to have a serious relationship with some other guy, but, alas, I only found myself more frustrated and disappointed. I was actually willing to let him more into my life, but he frequently disrupted my daily routines involved with movies and books just because he wanted to have more of me, and he also looked increasingly creepy and annoying to me as days went by. Besides, my sexual experience with him was rather unpleasant, and he even attempted to have a half-forced sex with me when I was tired and drowsy during one afternoon.
Yes, I should have thrown him out sooner, but it was not easy for me at all. I actually attempted to leave him in last December, but I accepted his emotional plea later. Although he often made me feel like a bad person, I thought I had a fair share of faults, so I decided to try again with him, but we only ended up having a breakup several months later. I made it clear to him that I did not like him enough to tolerate him, and that was the end of our relationship.
After that point, I felt lonelier and more miserable than before, though I did not regret at all about leaving him. I subsequently met several other guys, but they all came to me for nothing more than sex. At least, one South African guy seems to really like me, but we remain to be mere friends meeting for sex and fun, and the same thing can be said about a young Botswanan guy, from whom I did not expect much from the beginning because he will leave South Korea around the end of this year once his school semester is over.
In the meantime, my parents still hope that I will change my mind someday. My mother often suggested that I should meet a woman recommended by her matchmaker, and I simply responded to her with detached disinterest while also trying to suppress my growing annoyance and exasperation. You see, they are still in denial while disregarding who I am, and they still do not apologize to me for how much they hurt my feelings at that time. Sure, they did feel hurt to learn that I am a gay, but I cannot be changed at all, and they should have accepted that earlier.
At least, my younger brother will finally get married around the end of this year, so my parents are certainly delighted, but they still want to see me marrying any good woman sooner or later. When my mother told me that my father lashed out at her less frequently than before thanks to my younger brother’s upcoming marriage, I was reminded again of how much he has emotionally abused her during last several years just because both I and my younger brother remained unmarried. According to my mother, he often blamed her for raising her two kids in ‘wrong’ ways, and that certainly made me resent my father more than that. I respect and appreciate him for how much he worked for supporting his family, but now he looks like a pitiful and cruel old man who hurts others around him just because things do not go as well as he wants.
Anyway, I feel mostly right about myself and my life and career. To my little surprise, I have stayed in the company for more than 5 years, and I have worked a lot in addition to spending lots of time on books and movies. In addition, I already told my co-workers about my sexual identity, so they do not ask me about when I will marry, and I am comfortable with that. So far, I think I can continue to work here for 10 years at least, and I will move to a bigger residence in 2024, though I should receive some financial support from my parents while maintaining our relationship on the surface without talking much about my sexual identity.
As the possibility of being alone and lonely for the rest of my life grows day by day, my parents are still pressuring me toward a heterosexual marriage even at present, but I will stick to my sexual integrity nonetheless. I may be bound to permanent bachelorship, but I promise to myself that I will not bend myself to my parents’ will no matter what will happen to me during next several decades. Now my mind goes back to the very last shot of William Wyler’s “The Heirless” (1949) – how resolute its heroine played by Olivia de Havilland looks in that memorable shot. She will be probably alone for the rest of her life, but she is not afraid at all as being in the full control of her life at last, and I can only hope that, in addition to loving and knowing myself more, I will be able to take care of myself well just like her even without any chance for real relationship in the future.