Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Real Buddy Bear, Part I

My wife and I  have seen each other several times recently and another encounter is happening tomorrow.  "It was the best of times;  it was the worst of times."  Sorry to be so cryptic, but I can't comment right now about our most recent little drama;  maybe in the next post.   

These recent events were a bit of an eye-opener for the kids and we  have had some extremely honest conversations about it all;  another step forward!   The kids and I are cautiously optimistic that things will be calmer by tomorrow evening.

A while ago, blogger buddy Jim in Dallas did a great post about his online versus real-life personality. Numerous bloggers such as Nice to See Stevie B  responded with thoughtful posts on the subject.   Now, it's my turn!   This post is all about me, me, me!!  Please believe me:  in my real life, I am nowhere near this self-absorbed and narcissistic.

My main goal is to be as honest and true-to-life as I possibly can on my blog.  Otherwise, what would be the point?  I hope that my real-life personality matches my blogging personality and for the most part, I think it does.

For privacy, I must limit the amount of specific detail provided while still providing a fundamental understanding of the situation.  I'm also finding it a challenge to blog my story without  revealing too many details of the other players in the story. 

I don't show my face and name on my blog and probably never will.   I admire the courage of  the many bloggers such as  Tom, Cubby, Sean, Kelly, Dr. Spo and Jim who use their pictures and names online.  If I revealed my identity online,  my blog would require serious editing, both in the pictures used (especially of myself!) and in my thoughts and stories that I tell.  My blog would have to become "G-rated"; that would be no fun at all!  

My personal situation would become infinitely more complicated if it was known that I was blogging my coming out, separation and divorce in real time.  If my blog became known to my employer and to those I serve in my job, it would be extremely embarrassing (to say the least.)  As well, this likely would result in a written caution from the organization which governs my profession.

My real-life personality which (I think) emerges in my blog:
  • On the job, I am viewed as being extremely serious and diligent.  I am known for providing the clearest possible explanations and assessments of  any situation. I'm pretty sure that I am a very good writer.  When I'm with a receptive audience such as my closest colleagues, I can be extremely funny and even outrageous on a daily basis.

  • I am not at all shy or self-conscious and spend my day speaking in front of large groups of people.  My largest audience was about 1,300 people who I addressed with no trepidation at all.  In most respects,  I am the least self-conscious and least self-aware person that I know.  Maybe this is why I don't mind posting half-nekkid pics of myself;  I just don't give a hoot what anyone else thinks!

  • I am normally very positive, rational and optimistic with the strength to persevere through extremely difficult life situations.  I take the adage "Don't sweat the small stuff" to the extreme.   I was very lucky early in life because I was forced to learn that everything is small stuff, except for our health.  Everything else will work itself out;  eventually.  Throughout my adult life,  family, friends (both real-life and online), colleagues  and even casual acquaintances have constantly commented on this aspect of myself.  This character trait, I think, shines through in my blog.  

To be continued in the next post:  how my online and real-life personalities differ. Topics to include:
  • my reluctance to reveal moments of anxiety and despair
  • my online exhibitionism 
  • my online ogling of hot guys
  • my (future) descriptions of  hookups, assuming I ever have any!


  1. Patience is the most difficult thing.
    We'd like just to come out and everybody would be fine with it. Let's high-five... Slap! All is good!
    It take time. Lot's of time...
    But in the end, things get better.
    We just need to believe and be patient and not try to force results.
    I admit, it's more easy to say than to do.

  2. Insulation from your professional associations is unfortunate, but many of us have to go that route to stay securely employed, including myself. Where I live, I can be fired and evicted for my sexuality. My life destroyed for merely existing. I'm fairly certain that kind of thing cannot happen where you live (Canada is superior in countless ways), but there are other ways for bad people to harm us. It's better to be safe than sorry.

  3. That’s the great thing about blogging. You can reveal as little or as much as you want. It’s yours to control. I’m excited that you’ve invited us to accompany you on this journey. I can’t wait to see the great place it leads.

  4. On the subject of your wife and your interactions:
    It's unfortunate, but I imagine it will have many ups and downs, even if all is amicable in the end. Keep hanging in there.

    On the subject of a double-life of blogger vs. real life: Yeah, I always wonder what to do with this too. I don't need to be outed personally, professionally or any other way. I don't think anyone faults you for staying anonymous while pouring your heart out online. Wouldn't it be nice, though, if we could just be ourselves without these boundaries?

  5. Deep Blue: thank you for your words of support and your wisdom. Yes, much time will be needed for acceptance and healing.

    Cubby: There is no way that I could be fired just for being gay. This was ensured by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, enshrined in the Constitution in 1982. This resulted resulted in anti-LGBT laws being struck down across the land. While it is not perfect, Canadian LGBT folks enjoy more rights than exists in any other country in the world.

    If my blogging activities became known in my workplace, it would be more of an embarrassment for me, but especially for my kids.

    StevieB: I can't wait to see where it leads, either! I can’t imagine ever being free of all this tension. It's been a mixture of happiness & euphoria alternating with dread & extreme anxiety. At this moment, I'm experiencing the latter but I can't blog about the reasons.

    Mack: Thank you! One day, I expect my personal situation will allow me to be less secretive online.

  6. It's good to have a blog - but I might be totally on the wrong track here - but it seems you might be trying to reach out to "the family" (as in fellow gays) to relate your story - it's therapeutic.

    I know it's hard-my partner is in the same boat - two teens, and a struggle to be whom he is! He's from Scotland but spent a huge junk of his life in Winnipeg - we are both in professions where we need to be a bit discreet about who we are and what we say.

  7. SteveA: You are exactly on the right track! The support and advice I get from other gay guys is overwhelming.

    Especially valuable are the contacts I've made with gay guys who are the most like me: fathers who are married/divorced/gay/bi/closeted or not. I would never meet that many gay dads like me in my daily life.

  8. Thanks for sharing online. Whatever you choose to share will be beneficial to yourself and others. I discovered your blog last night and was amazed to see how much of your life is paralelling my own (but I think I`m about 4 years ahead in my journey). I think it`s awesome to be a gay father and it`s something that I`ve learned to celebrate. I look forward to following your blog (and may be inspired to create one myself).

  9. Mike: thanks for commenting! Very cool! Yes, I see so many parallels in other blogs written by gay/bi/married/closeted/guys with children... some farther along. Some of them are myself, 12 years ago!

    E-mail me for full details! And by all means, create a blog yourself. Think of it as a service, acting as a role model to guys who are struggling with some tough decisions.


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