This post comes in celebration of LGBT History Month.
Hi, my name is Rodd Klever. I am 34. I am an open black gay man. I am born and raised from the DC Metro area. I am one of eight, an uncle, grand uncle, and friend.
In recent months I have started contemplate my place in the gay universe and where did I exactly fit in. I know that I prefer a romantic and sexual interaction with men exclusively, but what does it mean to me to be gay exactly?
Being gay can be so many things in this day and age, but is so confining. I think because I have learned tolerance on all ends of this lifestyle. I remember when I started going to my first gay clubs and I was only eighteen. I was terrible afraid of everything. I remember the guys that would come onto me; I remember seeing my first drag queen, then my first transsexual. I remember feeling so awkward especially because I hung out with a lot of dom lesbians and lesbian clubs (those were the days). I do remember meeting my first best gay friend and hanging with him at clubs Thursdays to Tuesdays during the warmest times of the year and wearing half naked outfits and cowboy hats and fishnet tops with leather pants and properly placed safety pins. I’m sitting here smiling now because I remember how innocent those times were. I remember going to the club and dancing the night away with no alcohol in my system. I was off pure endorphins and the lovely fun factor. Life was so good.
Then things got weird.
Friends fell out, I haphazardly lost my virginity at 21 and 9 months (LOL), friends became HIV positive, and I was a victim of a vicious prank that had guys thinking I was an escort and calling me all hours of the day and night. Then the sex parties, the black gay prides, and several lovers. I even experienced my first break up around 24. My mid-twenties were like some backlash to balance out all the fun I had. It wasn’t fun anymore. I disappear for years like around 26. I made seldom visits to the club; I didn’t keep many gay male friends. I couldn’t sustain them for two reasons, either they were too competitive and insecure or they had their own set of friends and it was no room for me and I wasn’t in the mood to audition to be a friend either. Just as I formed my own niche I found myself to be more out of the loop and an outcast. Then around 27 I moved out on my own and no sooner I started a three year relationship with a closeted bi gentleman. He was my world and the valid, if not necessary turning point in my life, I owe him for who I am today. He helped me to find the balance between my sexuality and person I was before I was gay. It’s like I amalgamated the best of my past and my present in this awesome guy.
Then it got better.
I started to develop friendships again. I didn’t have the need to socialize at gay venues, but I came out the house more. I found joy in simplicity. I uneventfully and amicably split from him, but it’s not a day I don’t think of what he did for me. We split on the eve of my 30th year on this year. I had cut my locs off and was moving again to save and work on my finances. I worked out, built this blog and identity and fast forward to 4 years later I am asking the question of all questions now. Who am I?
Being gay is lot deeper than sex, friends, clubs, prides, or lovers. I have experienced and seen a lot and loved it all. Being gay only minimizes who I am in the world. I prefer to associate myself with being LGBT. I love all aspects of the gay community and we all a necessary part of it regardless of how we want to be identified. Whether if we are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, pansexual, queer, masculine, feminine, Male to Female, Female to Male, dom, studs, butch, or non-identifying. We are all a part of this amazing world and undoubtable movement. We have to stand by each other and affirm that we belong and regardless of our race, gender, or geographical location we all are important.