I should have known I was Gay in 1979

I should have known I was Gay in 1979

Black students at FDR High School in New York City in the late 1970s. Yep, I used to dress like this when I was a young teen.
Black students at FDR High School in New York City in the late 1970s. Yep, I used to dress like this when I was a young teen.

His mother and my mother were best friends for years so it was natural we saw each other alot.

I would spend weeks in the summer with his family at his grandmother’s small house nestled in the farmland and pastures of Montgomery County.

And he would come to my home in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and go see Trouble Funk and the Barkays and The Jacksons at festival concerts at the Capitol Center.

“Barry” and I were like night and day. He was average height but muscular and strong and a star athlete on the football, baseball and basketball teams.

And I was the tall lanky geek who made good grades and could answer alot of the questions on trivia game shows.

But we got to be fast friends. Almost inseparable.

I still had an Afro, which was going out of style in 1979.

“You should cut your hair Manny and wear it in waves.”

“Okay cool,” I said, eager to to fit in and look hip.

First the barber did it but Barry had clippers and would touch up my hair.

Alone in his grandmother’s dark basement.

And he would lean over and  would rub his crotch against me, his thick dick hard and hot against my arm.

And my heart would beat faster and I would move closer to him and put my hands in my lap to hide a burgeoning erection.

But we never said a word about it.

And at night we would sleep together and he would lay his thigh against mine.

At first I would pull away, embarrassed. But each time he would put his thigh back against mine and I would relent and let it stay. And we would snuggle closer.

I am 50 years old now but I can still close my eyes and remember how his muscular thigh felt against mine.

Smooth. Hard. Hot as an iron in a fire.

But we never spoke about it and things never went further.

Years later we are still friends but mostly on Facebook.

Like alot of former athletes he has gained weight and is pudgy. He got a couple of women pregnant and had to move back home with his mother to make ends meet.

So we are still like night and day.

Some of his cousins are gay and know me. So I know he knows I am out now. He has said in so many words he doesn’t care and accepts and loves me.

But we don’t really talk about it.

So I still wonder. What if we had taken it further? Way back in 1979.


  1. Jmz

    I can relate to them feelings, when Moms friends would have there kids over and we’d experiment. I knew then at 6-7 I had those desires. I guess in my humble opinion Immauel, that experience helped shape who you have become. I run into childhood friends occasionally that I “Played “with but we never speak either on the past, guess it’s just an akward discussion. Idk

      1. Jmz

        Yeah I believe we got a taste of something we liked early, but society and the Aids epidemic scared people. I feel as though my coming out was meant for the era we live in, I love feeling liberated that I can express myself now, I’m sure you do as well bro.

      2. Jmz

        Me either I don’t wear a banner I still haven’t told my Bros in the band, I don’t act effeminate, have nothing against those that do, we’re all diverse. My sexuality is just a part of me so I agree Immauel and Damonjay my first real encounter was between 14-19 and I tried to put it on the shelf, who were we kidding….

  2. Damonjay

    I grew up in a neighborhood that had several boys my age. We would go in the woods near our homes and grind with each other. I think it is natural to be curious and experimental. I had my first kiss by a boy in First Grade….(don’t hate, lol) I still remember it over 50 years later.
    I knew I was different back then, I did not have a ‘real’ sexual encounter with the same sex until I was 18. The rest is history!!

  3. Kevin

    Hi Immanuel,
    My name is Kevin and I just found your blog about a month ago. Your posts are so interesting! I am a first-year graduate student, and I am planning to do a study on how formerly married DL men manage their relationships. As most research focuses on the sexual identities of people on the DL, fewer studies investigate how former DL men manage their relationships with their exes, their children and their current lives. As reading your blog, I feel that you have some really helpful insights on this topic. I sincerely invite you to participate in my interview and my research. All your information will remain confidential if you decide to participate. I will leave my email here. Please contact me if you are interested, need any further information, or have any questions and suggestions.

    Thank you in advance.
    My email:

  4. marcus

    Very interesting and can certainly relate. When I fell in love with my first girlfriend in 1976 I thought my problem was solved. After we had sex for the first time I jumped for joy. I was thinking I’m normal; I’m not gay!!!! Needless to say the urges were still there. I was still checking out guys and having sexual fantasies about them. I wrestled with this for years and years but wouldn’t act on it because I was scare. My father was crazy and very religious and I was thinking he would kill and dis-own me if he found out so I set aside those urges… I didn’t have my first sexual experience with a guy until I was 28 years old. A white guy (total stranger) gave me a blow job in a locked booth at a adult book store. It was awesome. After It was over I felt so ashamed. I rushed out of the book store, jumped in my car and cried all the way home vowing never to do it again. I was a nervous wreck……After about 3 days I returned to the bookstore. …………….

      1. SpeakingTheTruth

        Damn that was def your era. We had a guy who lived across the street from us in the 80s who died of aids. He had a wife but DL shit wasn’t exposed yet. Everybody still thought only flaming men were gay. I herd it was needles though. Back then in Philly they use to come get you in a big ass health center truck. The guys who came and got you wore yellow suits covered from head to toe. We were all outside playing the day they came and got him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.