Scott, in his own words: “Being openly gay to me means that I’m honoring something within my soul that wants to be expressed. It means I’m being authentic. My awareness of my attraction for men may manifest physically, but like all things that are born of love, it comes from a much deeper spiritual level that too often gets lost or ignored since most religious institutions are/have been slow to recognize that love is love.
I’ve been blessed with a supportive family and amazing network of chosen family in friends from all over. Interesting work and a creative spirit have allowed me to experience parts of life I never really imagined growing up in Kansas just a mile or two from Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, otherwise known as his family compound and a major tax scam. As a writer, I’m also challenged by my creativity, but for good reason. Each of us has something important to contribute to those around us and that creative spirit will keep nudging us until it is fully expressed and we’ve given what we can from what we know to help others along their journey.
DC has an interesting gay life that is still challenged in many ways by class and race. This always amazes me for a community made of people seeking their own rights and recognition. Our ability as gay people to divide ourselves within our own community has been a constant source of curiosity. Even with that, it is amazing to see the progress we’ve made and DC is a great place to be for the history that is unfolding. And away from “official Washington” DC has a wonderful community that most tourists never see made up of people and families that have been here for generations who have a vibrant culture all their own. Development, rising prices, and the condo-ization of every available inch of real estate threatens to change that. With people coming from all over the country and world to do business here, it makes for an eclectic mix. But losing that mix would change DC in ways I hope we avoid.
My first experience with a man was with a good friend from high school but we were home from college over the summer, after a long night out with friends, back in my basement room of my parents house. It was sweet, silly, romantic –everything you’d want as you come into an awareness that what is within you is shared by others, his first gentle touch, the exhilaration of finally feeling like something is right, not wrong, his lips on mine so natural and perfect, I felt different. For the first time I felt like me, like who I am supposed to be. And for the first time, I understood what all the straight guys I knew were raving about when it came to sex, which up until that point, had been okay, but underwhelming for me. As for family, I started coming out to them, and a few friends, over the course of the next few years as the idea of being gay grew more comfortable for me. I really claimed my sexuality fully when a woman I loved very much was contemplating a life decision about her career based on my move to Washington. The moment I told her to make the right decision for her not based on me because I was working through these issues, she reached for my hand and said words that ring in my heart to this day, “I love you, I’ve always loved you, it appears it will just be in a different way than I’d hoped.” Like I said above, I’ve been blessed with amazing people in my life.
(Advice I’d give to my younger self) Find out who you can trust and start talking to them about how you feel. Come out sooner. Adolescence is a phase of life best lived when it is supposed to be lived and is wholly unattractive on much older men. That is advice I’d like to give to some people my age and older now who haven’t figured that out yet.”