Writes of Passage: Christopher Harrity
Dear Kit (because you are not going by Christopher yet),
First of all, I can’t begin to tell you how many things you will do right! The other things? Well, they won’t kill you.
Coming out to your parents before you came out to anyone else was good. And it was nice that Dad came out to you first—that’s the way it should be. They will support you for the rest of their lives about this in ways you can’t imagine. You will even ignore the stuff they said that wasn’t so helpful (Mom: This might just be a phase. Dad: Don’t let me ever catch you in a dress.) You always knew what you were.
The blond fullback you will have sex with all through high school is not gay.
I know, I know—trust me. It will be easier on you to let go of all that. You will read Kinsey. Don’t be hurt that he will not talk to you in the hallways. You don’t have much in common anyway.
Plus, Kit, it’s 1968. Even though you know what you are, you will continue to date girls because you like them so much and because you are so damn cute. There’s nothing wrong with this. Your dad did the same thing and, well, you should be grateful he did. Besides, in the future there will be a thing called Facebook and you will reconnect with all those girls (especially Jamie Piper) and they will tell you that they had fun.
OK, about the other things. Let’s not pull punches. You will be getting into way too many cars with strange men while you hitchhike throughout the greater Bay Area. At night. Barefoot. The thing you ignored that your dad said about no guys over 18? That wasn’t so good. But, hey, you won’t die.
More not so good news: You have a long career as a teenage alcoholic and drug addict. Sorry. It will even be cute for a decade or so, especially during your debut at the after hours club in San Francisco, the Big Basket. I do wish I could tell you that the guys there are not entranced by your sparkling personality. It’s that you are fourteen, drunk and on speed. But cheer up, you will hit an incomprehensibly demoralizing bottom when you are 26 and your father—who has now been sober for 10 years—will take you to a meeting in the Castro. (Remember what I said about how helpful your parents will be?)
You will, at that point, begin your journey to real adulthood. You will begin to care about other people, and not just what they can do for you. You will have a few awkward relationships with very cute guys that seem to point to some unresolved issues. You will spend the equivalent of a nice Jetta on therapy. It will work because of the hard work you will put into the process.
After a long and rewarding career in gay porno, you will begin to work at a place that you will love: The Advocate. Knowing that the product you work on is a beacon of hope to confused kids like yourself will get you through the rough patches that come with any job, and you will really find a home, as well as many deep friendships.
And now the part I know you want to know the most: Yes. You will meet him. He will be unimaginably beautiful, and he will want to share his life with you in the same way you want to share yours. Be patient. This won’t happen till your early 40s. This relationship—the thing you have been wanting since you first realized it was about the boys, not about the girls—will not be perfect. That’s fine. You are a grown man now and know how to roll with that. But it will bring you joy beyond anything you have imagined. Well done.
Oh, and the blond fullback? One day you will also find him on Facebook. You will look at the pictures of him with his grandkids and smile, happy for him—and happy for yourself.
Christopher Harrity has been working in gay media for 35 years, and currently as a web producer for The Advocate. He lives with his partner and three pugs in Burbank, California.
Read more letters in our National Coming Out Day section on Gay.com.