SaintBear.Org- Saint Bear himself: Dennis
Welcome to my page. I hope that it is informative and entertaining.
I am a thirty-two year old male who responds to the question "Are you gay?" with "Yes, very happy." I am very out and very proud. I will be the first to admit that it is NOT an overnight process and I am still on my journey towards healthy self-respect and wholeness.
I grew up in a family of six kids from the conservative Mid-west so it figures that the percentages were there that one of us would have ended up being homosexual. Being gay or homosexual was never really mentioned or brought up during my childhood or adolescence. I don't really know when I heard either term first used although I can remember using the term 'fag' to alienate someone when I was in sixth grade even though I didn't know what it really meant. How I wish I could reverse time and fix my mistakes.
My journey towards opening the closet doors.
Many people talk about growing up and knowing that they were 'different' from the other guys. Being born with congenital heart defects, I was purple from cyanosis and therefore different at the get go. It wasn't until I was in the eighth grade that I knew I was different in that I liked boys. Due to my health problems, I was not required to fully participate in PE so to earn my grade I had to assist with unlocking the lockers for the guys before and after they changed for gym. Irving schools required that everyone shower after gym. This is my first experience with the nude male form and it was heavenly. I was confused about what I should do about it and unfortunately like many others in my situation, I had no one to turn to for answers. Because I didn't know what to do, I kept my true self hidden in the back of my mind all through my high school and college years. I dated and even slept with women during this period of time to try to prove to myself that I could not be gay.
Going off to college was the first step towards facing my inner turmoil. I was able to see that there were other ways of living than what I was used to in conservative Irving. I had a gay professor as my faculty advisor. Although we never really delved into either his or my sexuality, we did discuss the prejudices that people have towards people who are different whether from sexual orientation, skin coloration, or social status which opened my eyes even farther. I was a music education major in college and had the option of joining either the honorary band or honorary music fraternity on campus. I joined the band fraternity as the music fraternity had many openly gay members and I was worried about being labeled.
I returned to Dallas after two years of college a changed, but not openly gay person. For the next few years, I continued to struggle with my sexuality. It wasn't until I started working at a major consumer electronics company did I come to terms with myself. I started to work for obviously gay assistant manager who decided that the best thing he could do for me was to 'out' me at work even though I had never discussed my sexuality with anyone (especially him). I knew I was gay as I was 'seeing' this guy. I put 'seeing' in quotation marks as both of us were very closeted still and did not discuss our lives with each other. Neither of us knew where the other one worked or lived.
During this time, I had become very close with this woman from work. Janis was the bookkeeper at the store where I was the music supervisor. One day, my 'boy-friend' walked in and saw me. I was shocked and horrified. I turned tail and ran to the bookkeeping office to hide from him. I was worried that he might give me away. My friend knew something was wrong and asked if she could help me. I told her no, but thanks. I left the office after I knew that he was gone. I went to lunch with Janis that day as was our usual routine, but she asked if the two of us could go alone. I said sure and knew she wanted to know what had happened earlier in the day. On our drive to Red Lobster (it is amazing how you can remember that first kiss or the first time you admitted to being gay), I decided that I was going to come out to Janis. It was a very difficult thing for me to do and I ended up writing it on a napkin and handing it to her instead of telling her aloud. I cannot accurately express that experience of openness that I had achieved with her. It was like a weight being lifted off of my shoulders and the beginning of a very rewarding, but long journey towards dignity.
Over the last few years, I have come out to all but one brother in my family. Both parties had many surprises. Each time one comes out, it gets easier. I have come out in various ways to my family. I told one of my sisters first right before I moved to Houston five years ago and showed her pictures of the young man I was seeing. I told my mom over the phone. I wrote my dad a letter two years ago after he had a heart attack and I was worried that he would die not knowing the true me. At Christmas a few years back, I formally told one of my brothers and his wife as well as my other sister and her husband. Basically my lifestyle has been accepted (in some cases enthusiastically) by my friends and family. I know that this is not usual, but I have yet to lose a friend by my coming out to him or her.
I am currently at the stage in my life where I am actively looking at ways to be out. I still admit that there are times when I am ashamed to explain to someone why I have an American flag on my shirt with rainbow instead of red and white stripes or what the rainbow bear shape means on the back window of my truck. I admit that I may not always be totally open to the world, but I am striving to be as open as I can to change the current world we live in to make it a better place for all.
I have discovered the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (via Cathedral of Hope and MCC-Austin) - a church with a predominant openly gay and lesbian membership. With newfound faith and fellowship, I can hope for a better world instead of cope with it.
I am a proud father of two cats- Debbie and Dallas. I did not plan on naming them after an infamous adult movie. I had originally named Debbie from quoting my secretary in Houston. Back when people used to say "You go girl.", Stacy would say "You go Debbie." When I first got Debbie, I brought her to my office until I could take her home. Debbie was running all over the room. When I got Dallas, I wanted to name him with a "D" name like Dennis and Debbie to continue the issuance of the initial "D". I had thought of Denver, but a co-worker said that naming him Denver might upset this really cute assistant manager in the San Antonio store. They suggested Dallas since I was from Dallas and I thought it was a good idea.
In September of 1998, I moved to Austin, Texas due to a job transfer. I find that living in Austin has its ups and downs. It is easier to be open here in liberal Austin, but unfortunately trying to find someone to develop a long-term relationship is hard to do. All but three of my closest gay friends in Austin are either "married" or in a relationship. Check out my "Friends" page to find out more about my life in Austin.
I am currently working at the University of Texas at Austin. I am an administrative assistant for the parking garage system. UT has a fantastic "zero tolerance" policy on harassment & discrimination which includes a sexual orientation clause.
Currently I am in a wonderful relationship! I found a charming, loving guy when I least expected it. All of my friends and family are greatly impressed with Tom and how loving and caring he is to me. There is not a week that goes by that I do not here "You guys make a cute couple." or "You guys are such a loving couple." Check out info about Tom and I on Tom's page. Contact us if you want to join us in any social activities or have questions about how we are doing.
Have a Gay Day!
If you have any questions or comments for me or about this web page, please email me! If you want to get to know me better, write and I'll be more than happy to respond!