Monday, December 6, 2010
In Rick R. Reed's Out on the Net, Ray Tolliver has bad timing. Cold feet? It doesn’t get much worse than accepting you’re gay twenty minutes before your wedding to a woman, yet that’s just what happens.
Join Ray as he recounts in his blog the hilarious and touching events that lead him on a journey toward true love. Although he goes looking for love in all the wrong places, will he eventually find another man who wants more than just quick sex? A man who appreciates romance, hearts, and flowers? Or will he find that self-acceptance and bliss do not always go hand-in-hand?
And what of Alice, Ray’s lovely, jilted fiancée? Will she find it in her heart to forgive the man who left her at the altar?
These questions and more are answered in this unique love story, told in the form of blog entries. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but you’ll come away from Out on the Net with a renewed appreciation for the power and difficulties of loving not only others, but yourself.
Out on the Net
Amber Allure (2010)
ISBN-13: 978-1-61124-017-7 (Electronic)
Blog Entry #2: An Explanation
Before I get any further into my little tale of woe, it’s only fair that I tell you a bit about myself, aside from the “about me” crap you can read to the right of this blog. First off, I am a gay man. I am thirty years old, now single, and as far as sex with men goes, I am still a virgin (if you discount the groping my next-door neighbor Keith and I did that one summer in the abandoned shack in the woods when we were twelve). I am considered good-looking by some, average by my own estimation. I am five feet ten inches tall and weigh 165 pounds. I have dark brown hair, green eyes, and an olive complexion I inherited from my mom, who is of Sicilian lineage. I work in an industrial pottery in the small Ohio River town where I live, seven a.m. to three p.m. every day. I use a hose to guide liquid clay into molds that eventually become things like vases, urns, and decorative decanters. I have a high school education and two years of community college. I have lived in my small town of 12,000 all of my life.
Why am I writing a blog? Why am I baring my soul on the Internet? To get attention? Because I’m a fool? Because I’m a frustrated writer? Well, all of those things have some validity and they play into my rationale. But the real reason I wanted to put this thing up for public consumption is really pretty selfless—I want to help other people like myself not make the same mistakes I have. So if you’re out there and reading this on your Mac or your PC, I want to help you. If you’re hiding from who you really are, I hope to shed some light on that person buried in the back of the closet. I want you to know that it might be hard to come out, but it’s not impossible.
And the air out here is actually a lot easier to breathe.
I want you to know that being gay is not a choice. I had once thought that. I thought if I dated girls, got married, and did all the things society told me I was supposed to do, I would be okay. Those dreams and fantasies I had about guys would fade away as I became more entrenched in the world everyone seems to consider “normal.” Ever heard the advice: ‘fake it ‘til you make it’? I did. I thought it would work for me.
It didn’t and doesn’t.
So if my little chronicle here of my painful odyssey out of the closet gives you some pause and maybe prevents you from making one wrong turn away from being who you really are, then maybe this blog isn’t such a bad idea.
It’s simple, really. We are all who we are. Nothing more, nothing less. If you’re religious? Hey, I can relate. I was brought up in the Church (and in my family “Church” means only one: Catholic) and know a little bit about guilt and “sinning in one’s heart.” But in spite of all the dogma I absorbed growing up, I still stick with the credo I saw on a bumper sticker a few days ago—“God loves everyone. No exceptions.”
And if God can love you, you can love yourself.
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