Back in August, I wondered why it is that I'm bothered by the need for Clark's and my relationship to be a secret. "Do I feel a sadistic need to shove my gay relationship in the faces of my socially conservative acquaintances?" I asked. "Do I want others to be jealous of my awesome boyfriend? Or am I just an exhibitionist who gains pleasure from displaying himself before the world?"
At the concert last week, I realized that I was being just as affectionate with S-Boogie as I would ever want to be with my boyfriend in public. While walking around Temple Square we'd held hands, and in the Assembly Hall she snuggled up against me while I had my arm around her shoulders. Obviously I felt no need to shove our father-daughter relationship in the faces of the people around us, because no one would be shocked by a nine-year-old holding her dad's hand. It would be silly to think others would be jealous of my awesome daughter--most of the others there were also parents, who are no doubt under the mistaken impression that their kids are every bit as awesome as mine are. As for exhibitionism, I wasn't displaying anything that anyone would even notice.
I was just being a dad who loves his daughter. I display my affection for her not because we're in public, but because that's what comes natural to me, no matter where we are. When I'm with someone I love, I tend not to notice the people around us. If I were in a relationship with someone who could be more open about our relationship publicly, I wouldn't indulge in any more PDA with him than I do with my kids. I have no desire to make out with my boyfriend in public.
|See? The Justice League isn't flaunting anything. They just love each other.|
None of this changes the fact that I am in a relationship with someone who, for many reasons, is not comfortable with any level of PDA. I'm at peace with that. I know I'm not going to change him. But for my own peace of mind, it's nice to understand why it took me a while to come to terms with this. And nice to cross one psychosis off the long list of ones I really do have.