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Do you want to know how I know who has listened to me on Bagged and Boarded? It’s really easy. I know who has listened to me on Bagged and Boarded because those are the people who know I am gay. I came out on the show 3 years ago during the second episode I hosted. If you didn’t know I was gay until just now, then you didn’t listen to my show and that bums me out a little but I understand because we cussed a lot on that show and I guess that makes some people uncomfortable. I know many people might not understand, especially if you’ve known me for a long period of time. I don’t have all the answers you guys. I just know a few things. First, I know that I first thought I was gay when I was very young but I remember my dad telling me that was bad so I put it out of my head. I also didn’t know anyone who was gay until high school so it was easy to think that all gay people were bad people. Then I became a Christian when I was 13 and that made it easy to think I wasn’t actually gay since I was taught no one was really gay, it was a sinful choice they made and they were all going to hell unless they were celibate forever and even then it was kind of a gray area. So I lived with that for years. Always thinking in the back of head that maybe I would be more happy if I could be myself. No, I didn’t want to go out and have gay sex. I still don’t really want to go out and have gay sex. Sex period kind of freaks me out you guys but that is a whole other thing.
I feel like I’m dropping a bunch of bombs right now on my friends and loved ones and I am sorry. I’ve been so scared to share this with anybody, let alone you guys so I hope you can forgive me. I love everybody and I don’t want anybody to be mad at me but I know that’s an unrealistic thing and I just have to get over it. So what changed? So much changed. I could write a whole book about it and in fact I will once I finish the book I am working on right now. When I got back from China in 2005 I was a mess. As I slowly rebuilt the pieces that were once a Christian leader named Brendan, I realized that guy wasn’t really me. I wanted to still love God, I wanted to follow Jesus but I had done that all the way to China and I only found pain, emptiness, and misery. Again, that is kind of a separate topic so I’ll move on from that since this isn’t about religion or anything like that. This is about a guy who was trying to figure out who he really was and one day his friend got him a job at Disneyland, the happiest place on earth. I loved it at Disneyland, for the most part. My favorite thing to do was work guest control during parades because I got to talk to people and walk around and I got to watch the parade. It was great. One day on my parade shift I met this guy named Greg. We started talking and realized we had a whole lot in common. We had pretty religious backgrounds that we were both trying to move on from, we both never really dated, and we had a passion for life that most people just didn’t seem to understand. We quickly became best friends.
It was probably a few months into our friendship that I realized I was falling in love with Greg. While our relationship was never physical and we were both afraid of what our relationship meant given our backgrounds, it was more intimate than any relationship I’ve ever had. He was the only person I’ve ever felt I could truly be myself around, that I could truly be vulnerable. He was the only person who knew everything and he never judged me. The more we talked, the closer we came. If that’s not intimacy, then I don’t know what is. I knew it was different than a normal friendship because I already had a best friend, as most of you know. Phil is my best friend. But as Jay always says in Kevin Smith movies, he is my “hetero-lifemate.” While Phil knew me pretty well, better than most people, there were still things I kept from him. Both out of the fact that we were two friends and I respected our boundaries and also just because it’s really hard to show your full self to anybody. Greg told me he loved me, and I know he meant it. No one besides my family and some very close friends had ever said that to me and not in this way ever. It was the happiest I have ever been in my whole life but the whole time I still was so conflicted with my own sexuality that I tried to be straight. I tried dating women. And don’t get me wrong, there are some beautiful ladies out there and I’m still not 100% sure I’m completely unattracted to them, BUT I know I don’t want to date them really or have sex with them. I think women are cool though and my female friends are awesome. So please don’t think I hate the ladies. I just know when I’m with a girl I have to force it and even then it is awkward at best. Every girl I have ever attempted to have a relationship with can definitely attest to this. Any of my friends who have ever witnessed me try to date a girl or woo a girl can attest to this. The main reason is because I was playing a part the whole time. Doing what I thought was normal, doing what I thought I had to do otherwise I would be labeled UNCLEAN or god forbid a “faggot” a word I had heard all too often when I was younger. So I would make attempts to date girls, they would fail, and I would be angry single guy for months on end. A lot of that anger came from the fact that I had no idea who I really was or what I really wanted. That all changed when I met Greg. Then it all went to hell.
As most of you know, Greg killed himself in 2007. Aside from the death of my father, that day was the worst day of my life. The worst thing about it was that I had to hide my true grief since I couldn’t tell people the love of my life had just abandoned me. I could only say my good friend died. And no one knew the truth. Nobody. I fell back into a depression that would last for years. I also thought I had gotten my answer about whether or not it was OK to be gay. It seemed like that was a big no. So I just withdrew from dating period for over 3 years.
Then some other stuff happened and I ended up on a stage on a Friday night at Smodcastle, telling my story in front of a bunch of people and for thousands of listeners of our show. I told some friends, I told my brother, but that was it. I was too scared to tell anyone else. I was kind of out, but not really. That all changed today. Due in part to the recent supreme court hearings over Prop 8 and DOMA and due in part to the facebook postings of some of my less tolerant friends, I decided I can no longer ride that fence. I am standing by my fellow gay brothers and sisters with my head held high. As I wrote on my friend’s facebook wall just a few minutes ago:
“I'm tired of being afraid of my own friends, I'm tired of hearing people I respect say stupid things about fellow human beings. I'm just tired man.”
That’s basically what this all comes down to. I’m tired. I’m also sorry I haven’t done this sooner. I love you all. Thank you.
Nothing but love for you and admiration for your bravery in speaking openly and honestly. I’m really, really sorry for your loss. I know what it is to carry a loss with you all the time without other people really being aware.
In so many ways I wish I could replay the time I had in California, and the time I had in college for conversations like this that I wish I could have had in person - a chance to listen to real people instead of just caricatures that people use when arguing with each other.
You’ll always have my respect and my friendship.
Thanks again for your courage.
Really glad you wrote this… I don’t know when I first found out that you had come out, but it wasn’t from Bagged and Boarded.
But I am glad that you have gotten to a place where you can write about it on here, and hopefully you know that I fully support you. I can’t imaging the conflicts and tensions and just complete bullshit that you have had to go through and deal with.
We love you, man.
You are an amazingly beautiful person, B! I completely admire your passion for life, the courage you’ve discovered, and I feel blessed to count you among my friends.
i feel lame for not reading this sooner. i just dont hit the blogs as often anymore but still glad this one is up.
i’m glad you’re my friend and i’m glad we met. you are one of my besties, bar none.
it’s interesting to see how we’ve evolved over the last decade isn’t it?
i’m proud of you. i’m super appreciative that you are my friend.
if anyone ever gives you shit, i will drive over there and karate chop them in the mother fucking neck.
just know that how ever many times i fuck up as a friend, i’m still your friend and i’m not perfect. i love you and can’t imagine my life, my college experience without you. i’m glad i met you.