he is gay but just “can’t be in that lifestyle”

“I just can’t be in that lifestyle…” he said.

the other night,
i had a conversation with an older friend i haven’t heard from in years.
he was actually the first male i came out to when i figured out who i was.
it was right after my mother’s death and we attended the same church.
during that time,
he admitted to me that he has had sex with males but “he can’t be in that lifestyle”.
he came up in the 60s and 70s in new yawk.
you read the stories of how being gay was back then.
he told me he thanks his lucky stars he never got any diseases but he watched many die.
during the conversation that we were having…

he noticed how much i’ve grown over the years.
checkmark for me.
he could sense in my voice that i’m stronger now.
another checkmark for me.
he was scared i would be in relationships with males and getting physically abused.
i told him i’ve been mentally and emotionally abused by other males,
but i think God and The Universe ended things before they could get physically abusive.
i thank my God for his protection.
he admitted that he may need to go to therapy.
see…

He is an older male with no identity besides the church.
He had a wife and kids,
but it couldn’t curb his gayness.
He has had sex with other males,
while being married,
but refused to be in any same-sex relationships.
He has these moments where he would like to be in a partnership with another man,
but he quickly snaps out of it and says “I can’t be in that lifestyle”.
It seems like it’s just sex but you can tell he craves intimacy.

He is in his 60s.

i’ve encountered a shit ton of males like this in their 20s and 30s that will be him in their future.
the ones who have played the most games with me.

“I like Jamari,
I want Jamari,
but I can’t be gay/bi.
I can’t see myself being in that lifestyle.
My friends.
My parents.
My career.
My life.”

this is why they are such a headache.
once they age and lose their looks,
they are divorced and lonely,
suddenly they want to accept themselves but it’s oftentimes too late.
they could have just accepted themselves at an early age.
being “straight” and having kids rarely ever solves the issue.

I think it makes the hunger stronger.

every male,
including the younger ones,
all shine like disco balls from the past lives of males they once had brief encounters with.


from the time i met him way back,
he was living in torment then and now.
i’ll font about what he said that i had to check him on soon.

lowkey: we should consider ourselves really lucky.
we were able to accept ourselves so we didn’t have to live in torment.

Author: jamari fox

the fox invited to the blogging table.

17 thoughts on “he is gay but just “can’t be in that lifestyle”

  1. I came out in my early 40s. Glad I did. I’ve enjoyed life. Now I’m in my late 50s and still enjoying it, despite the ups and downs that come with gay life. It’s sad. I have friends in their 70s who are married and living and a lie and creeping with men.

  2. It’s so sad that the ideologies of so many toxic standards in our community has led to people dying while keeping their secrets about living alternative lives. I can only imagine that also with his train of thought he probably thinks some people passed because they were ‘in the lifestyle. However that wouldn’t make sense because if you’re sleeping with Men you are gay. A sexual orientation isn’t a lifestyle. It’s one aspect of your identity, not all facets.

    1. ^110.

      i think males put too much on their sexuality than who they are as people.
      you don’t have to be out.
      you can live a very private and discreet life where you are happier than one in secret and torment.

      i hope i can make others feel comfortable within themselves through this platform.

  3. once they age and lose their looks,
    they are divorced and lonely,
    suddenly they want to accept themselves but it’s oftentimes too late.
    they could have just accepted themselves at an early age.

    ^^ this is the same way I feel about people with anti black mentalities I know so many guys who are Black but just found out (Hispanics) and they used to say negative things about Black people bc of their families or whatever now they’re “taking what they can get” or coming to the acceptance of their own racial identity which is a huge insult bc they’ve given many Black men chips on our shoulders and issues with acceptance in this gay community and now it’s like “ok! I’m down with the Blacks”

    I also see this push to accept and be in relationships with people living with HIV/aids I def don’t think they should be ostracized but i think this community sometimes performs acceptance bc they want good karma. They don’t genuinely accept people with dark skin or big build etc.

    We live in an era of social media activism and people will try to appeal to ego to sell a product and curse you in the next breath

    Sb: I was 17 when I officially came out irl but used to be on a gay message board and met a guy who was about 25 from New York he taught me everything about lingo to ballroom to how to stay safe and I never met him once i moved here I recently contacted his cousin who I also knew and he said he’d pass along the message. The older millennials and gen x seem to be over social media now and I can’t blame them but I really think I — and many others could use their guidance rn

    I think tiktok has made its first self governing generation kids aren’t asking or talking to OGS anymore

  4. He’s traumatized. Not to sound insensitive but it’s nothing “new” so many men have, do & will live like this, it’s getting better for the younger ones, but can you imagine the things a gay adult man living through the 70s & 80s heard & SAW! Shit I’m traumatized just from seeing the HIV/AIDS epidemic played out on “Pose”! So I really can’t “blame” him, and in his 60s he’s probably stuck in his ways & imagine him trying to get out, date & navigate “the life” now…it would jus be too much 😔

  5. If you really think about it, there’s no bigger punk than a man who marries a woman and has children with her, while stepping out with men. Imagine diving in vagina when it grosses you out, because of what people think?

    I thought alpha males led and didn’t follow?

    I cannot relate. I wish I would live a life in misery to make my parents “proud”. I may be a fggot, but I’m not a dead fggot and not dealing on the corner, raping, killing, molesting or disrespecting a Black woman and that’s something for them to be proud of.

  6. Can you be homosexual and not live a gay lifestyle and still have healthy relationships? I’ve been to therapy and have struggled with this question. What is a gay lifestyle?

    1. Jay I think you can. For instance, if you aren’t vocally political and aren’t into the parades and the commerorative aspects of the life, I think you can.
      Just be happy with who you are in love with, live life discreetly. Be respectful to yourself and others. Even if you are femme or masculine; nobody knows or should know what is going on in your bedroom. The turn off with the Old and New School Snow Queens and the Dinge Queens is, they think you’re not supportive if you are not encapsulated inside of and defined by a plethora of rainbows and activism. In addition, someone is always outing others and spilling tea about men who they have allegedly slept with.
      When a gorgeous well off wolf decides to be vulnerable and let guard down, these messy punks run and tell. Remember Ms Peanut and Kerry from the NFL? The world gave that Dummy fairy dust and her whole world fell apart. Whatever is authentic for you is how you should do it.❤️🌹👁️

  7. Just glad I came to accept myself because I never could see myself living a while lie like that. That’s gotta be suffocating af…

  8. I think you are putting too much on it Jamari. I also fall into the same category as that guy. I will probably marry a woman and have kids one day MAYBE. But the truth is there is nothing worthwhile in the community. No good honest people. They say they want xyz then they slut around.

    I’m 32 now and this been happening since I was 20. Whether they were my age or a little older. It’s all games, gossip, unprotected sex, drugs, alcohol, negativity and it’s not cute. I’ve become religious for my sanity. It’s a better way of living honestly. Maybe you should take an objective look at what’s happening in the community and decide if you want those games until you’re old and dead.

    1. John
      I get what you’re saying. I came from a Pentecostal background. I think if I had not felt so condemned and on trial for things I had never even participated in, I would have stayed. I thought I would be a missionary in Central America by now, at my age, with a Nicaraguan wife and kids. I was a virgin when I got to the West Coast, all up in the church. The distasteful parts, which you enumerated; I was a part of and participated in, so I wasn’t a Saint, but it is hard to find love and real companionship. For some, not all. The only standard required is to be desirable or fuckable tbh.
      If I had a son to lecture, I would say, just find happiness where you are best suited. If a wife works, preferably, please do that. Gay life is hard. Some would vociferously disagree, but I would say stick with the wife. If temptation arises, steal away and just jack off. Stay away from dudes, it’s just too much to handle.

    2. ” But the truth is there is nothing worthwhile in the community. No good honest people. ”

      This mindset is so odd to me. How all of your problems go away playing “straight”.

      Putting too much on it?

      The real question John is if you’d be okay with your daughter or son being a lesbian or gay man?

      Or is your answer “I wouldn’t want that life for them?”

      I assume you’re Black. It’s hard out here for Black women, dating. Have to wonder if other Black men even want them. It’s hard being a Black man dating as the expectations are so high.

      It’s hard being Black, period. And we all have another qualifier. Black and _____. It doesn’t have to be gay or lesbian.

      My point is if you want to get married..do it for you. Not because you think every gay man is a slut.

      One thing I find fascinating are the places gay men look for gay men. Imagine going to a strip club…and wanting to find an Ivy League graduate. I meet upstanding men of substance. Charity events. Volunteer events. Where do gold diggers go? To political fundraisers to hook someone that can set them financially for life. Instead of saying there are no good, honest people, stop looking for good honest people on apps and in the gay trashcans of society.

      1. I do like the idea if connecting to individuals through engagement of core values. I lost site of that on the apps. I like to volunteer, mentor, service and lost site of those things trying to chase men on the apps who don’t won’t me or can’t offer anything beyond dick or ass.

  9. I couldn’t live the life of your friend, Jamari, but I get where he’s coming from. I came out in my early 20s and have lived as a Black openly gay man. It has not been easy but there are many, many people like me and one of the most beautiful things to see is that there are generations of Black gay, bi and trans people who are out, love each other and treat each other with respect, and provide support systems for each other. It’s not the world of the clubs and bars (though that was part of it when I was younger) or social media (which as you point out presents facades, when the depths of who people are and live they live are always more complex), but it is a huge, amazing world out there. I would say to anyone who does not believe it, just start paying attention to some of the Black LGBT people, not the super-fab ones online but the everyday folks, and you’ll see that it is possible to live as an out Black gay person, with another Black person (or BIPOC person). But really, people should do what works for them, and if that’s a DL life, go for it.

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