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I Figured it Out! Finally!

My fantasy about what might happen! Yeah, right! :)

Please bear with me as I pound this topic to death. Every time I write about something difficult it seems to help. And this whole Prom business will be over Saturday and I plan to write happy things about what happened, I'm sure. Right now I think I'm almost working it through, so here goes. Thanks for your patience with me!

A lot of things about my reaction to this whole thing are sorta surprising me. On Monday this week, Matt wrote that thing about us holding hands at the mall and getting called a name by three guys about our age. I'm still trying to figure out why I had about 5% anxiety over being so visible and "out" in such a public setting, even after the "incident." Then I think about the anxiety I've been feeling about going with Matt to the Prom and I have about 80% anxiety some of the time. I mean, I didn't know anybody at the mall but I know just about everybody in my senior class. And they all know I'm gay and I don't get harassed anymore by anybody there. You would think those percentages would be just the opposite. I can't figure it out. It makes no sense to me.

Why would I feel less nervous among total strangers where for all I know the majority of people there might be homophobic? And why would I feel more nervous being about people I know and see every day and have about as "normal" a relationship as you can have?
The only thing I can figure is that, even though some of my close friends have met Matt and have seen us together as a couple, the vast majority have never seen me as part of a couple. Ever. Maybe I'm worried about them seeing this side of me they've never seen before. I've always been "just Brad" and have never been seen as "Brad and Matt," if that makes any sense. I never dated anybody in high school and I don't think people have ever thought about me as being a "couple" with somebody. For some reason this is making me totally self-conscious.

So maybe that's it. I'll be showing up at the Prom with my boyfriend. Except for a few friends, nobody has ever see me as part of a couple. I know once they see Matt and talk to us, everything will be fine. Matt is good at conversation, even with people he doesn't know. And he knows I'm nervous so I know he will be there for me in every way possible.

I think I have it now! People know how to relate to me as "Brad," or as "Brad and (name any of my friends I hang with)." But nobody has ever related to me as "Brad and his boyfriend,"  or as "Brad and Matt" because I've never had a boyfriend. I wonder if I'm going to act any different? I wonder if how people see me is going to change in some way?
So, yeah, people will see me "acting" different than they've ever seen before. I mean, I'll be dancing with my boyfriend, for God's sake! They will be hearing me introduce him to others as, "This is my boyfriend, Matt." They'll see this whole other side of me that's never been there. I think I'm just having trouble adjusting to this idea. I know people will be nice (or at least not say anything), but it's sorta like I won't be controlling any of this.

Matt suggested last night that I go back and reread all the comments all of you made when I first wrote about going to the Prom. I remember when I wrote that post and read your comments I was on this high with confidence.

Warning! What is about to following is pure, unadulterated bragging. I admit it and will allow myself that indulgence. So here goes: 

I'm proud of myself for going to the Prom with my boyfriend. I'm proud of myself for figuring out what all the anxiety is about. I'm proud of myself for working it all the way through. I'm very proud of myself for not backing out. I know we will have a good time and have no regrets. And, most important of all, literally, is I'm so lucky and proud to have Matt in my life.

You, Matt, mean the world to me. Will I still have some anxiety when we show up together? Probably. Will I be happy to have you at my side the whole night? More than you know, my love!
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