David – My Story

Pablo – My Pride Story
June 13, 2023
Pablo – My Pride Story
June 13, 2023

David – My Story

My name is David. This is my story.

When I was in third grade I started to notice that I was not like the other boys. I was teased and made fun of for the differences that the other kids saw in me. Looking back, I definitely understood that I was gay, but I didn’t understand that word well enough for it to feel like it applied to me. In my limited world view, at that time, it was an insult and something to be ashamed of.

Those early formative experiences ensured that I grew up as a terrified and confused child in the suburbs of Houston, Texas. I closed myself off from the world (including closing myself off from my own family for fear of disappointing and bringing shame upon them). I also tried everything I could to eradicate the difference between me and my peers. This included attempting to strangle myself to death in front of my elementary school bullies in the school cafeteria, which caused me to end up in In School Suspension for 10 days.

After that failed, I resorted to religion. As puberty kicked in I would plead with God through countless prayers to save me from what I had been conditioned by the culture I grew up in to believe was wrong – to rid me of my abnormal sexuality. My family never made me feel that homosexuality was wrong but I was so afraid to let them know I was gay because I didn’t want them to be disappointed in me and/or be shamed by the community at large.

In 2001, as a junior in high school, I began dating a female friend. I had been told by some mutual friends that she had a crush on me so I assumed that my prayers had been answered. This bright and charismatic young lady filled my life with love and acceptance, but I still couldn’t be honest with her or anyone else. I knew if I just tried hard enough, I wouldn’t be gay.

In a similar way, this woman had secrets of her own that she kept bottled up and hidden from light. But what we both had with each other was love and a rock-solid support system. Eventually she confided in me that she was bisexual, but in the safety-net of our monogamous relationship, she would never have to act on it.

We graduated from high school in 2003 and as luck would have it ended up attending the same university. This felt like a sign and before long I proposed to her. We got married in August 2008 with a fabulous beach wedding on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

This trip was a big deal for me because I was born in Honolulu but as the child of two people in the military I left when my family was reassigned to a base in Great Falls, Montana when I was only eight weeks old.

After years of feeling safe and loved by this woman I discovered my own value and worth. This was something many of my peers had constantly told me I lacked from an early age. Finally, in October 2013, I found the strength to bare my truth to her and told her that I am gay.

She was never angry with me. Hurt, yes. But never angry. She also confided to me that she felt she may be a lesbian. Yet the most beautiful thing about this was how we accepted and supported one another once again without hesitation. We knew we had saved each other and that the love and support we had and still have for one another is real.

After coming out to one another we made the decision to live our dream of living and working in New York. In 2014 I landed a job with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and that June we moved to Jersey City, NJ. We did the whole “Will & Grace” thing, but my Grace was a lesbian.

By June 2015 I was out to my most of my family and a large portion of my friends. On June 25, 2015, just one day before the SCOTUS ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, I proudly owned every aspect of myself and came out publicly on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Ever since that day, through the ups and downs life has thrown at me, I have continued to chase the dreams I always had for myself. I can proudly say that I am gay. And even though it didn’t always feel like it would get better, I feel that it most certainly does. Not overnight. Not even in the span of a week, a month, or a year. But, in its own time, it does get better.

For me, it got better when I really worked on healing myself. That made me ready to date as an adult. And unlike many of my peers I had no experience with dating, as I was a closeted youth that only had two relationships. One in junior high, with a female. And the one that started when I was in high school. And, this is an understatement, dating as an adult in New York City is bumpy and tumultuous, at best!

Luckily, on July 6, 2021, I had my first date with my partner. He and I share an apartment together in Brooklyn and are co-parenting an adorable Chihuahua rescue. I truly feel that I have attained the life of my dreams, and now I can only do the work needed to maintain it all while also giving myself the room to continue to grow and evolve.

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