A Note from Craig in North Carolina…

“To say I was fortunate when coming out as gay would be an understatement. My friends supported me, my parents still loved me, and I never had to suffer any physical abuse and next to no verbal abuse from people I encountered. In a bible belt state that continues to be scrutinized for its backwards policies and in playing a sport that’s notorious for being rough and overtly masculine, I’m counting myself lucky. My uncle was told not to come home by his father, one of my boyfriends was “relieved” of duty and the benefits that he deserved — I’ve seen what intolerance can do to people I love and it blows me away to see how far we’ve come.

But telling friends and family I’m a bisexual member of the bear community and dating two wonderful older men that have been married for two years to each other? That hasn’t been the cake walk I’d previously experienced (for some obvious reasons). I met my boyfriends at a rugby tournament last summer right around the time that I had broken up with the most wonderful girl I’d ever had the pleasure of falling in love with. They started out as friends helping me through a really tough time but quickly became something more. None of us went into it hoping for a triad (a new term for me at the time), in fact one of my boyfriends and I actively tried to keep it from happening, but in the end we each fell in love with each other. It’s just tough to explain that to everyone else sometimes, for many reasons.

“Gay” and “straight” are just easier for most people to understand, you like one or the other. But “bi” raises all sorts of questions that sometimes confuses me just as much as the person asking them. Then people look at a triad and inevitably ask “Which one are you more attracted to?” or “How does that work?” I guess it’s just felt so natural to me every step of the way that it’s hard to explain to someone that it’s the same as any other relationship, there’s just three of us. We each love each other and take different sides in different arguments and do all the same things couples do. Sometimes the initial shock just keeps people from realizing that love is love no matter the situation. The feelings you have for your boyfriend or girlfriend? They’re the same that I feel for two people and it’s just that much more special because they feel it for each other too and I love to see them love each other.

You just have to remember that no matter what you come out as — be it sexually, politically, or religiously — it doesn’t change who the person in the mirror is. But it’ll probably change how much you can love that person for who they are.”

photo provided by Craig
photo provided by Craig

5 comments

  1. Jem

    Wow! What a great pic! What a great bunch of guys! You are one very extraordinary guy (as are your mates) and one amazingly blessed guy. Thanks for sharing your wonderful loves.

  2. Luiz C. Souza

    One question: should we assume that you, Craig, is the one between the two bears? And what are their names?
    And one suggestion: read the book “When we were three”, by Anatole Pohorilenko, an antropologist of Ukranian ascendence who lived in Philadelphia – a dear friend who has just passed away (on March 31) defeated by a cancer.

    • Craig Maxwell

      Yes Luiz, that is me in the middle of my two boys Jeff (left) and Brian (right). I’ll have to find that book and take a look at it. Thanks!

  3. Mattea

    Very well written. I have never had the pleasure of meeting you, but I love the two men you are with and know that you must be as wonderful as they are.

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