To The Exchange Student Who Had A Lasting Impact

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One of the joys of being a student is that you get to meet people from all kinds of places and one of these people had a lasting impact on me. When I was in my third year as a undergrad, I matched with an exchange student on a certain gay-dating app (that infamous one with the Black and Yellow logo).

Me and him starting chatting on the app and instantly hit it off. After a few days, he suggested that we meet-up and hang out. I wanted to play it cool, but I immediately accepted — I mean he was stunning — tall, toned, all-round handsome. My only concern was that he was expecting it to be a hook-up. I’ve been in that situation before — when you meet a guy for what you think is a date, but it turns out all he wants is sex. With this guy, it was very different to anything I had experienced before.

I met him pretty close to where his student accommodation was for the term, mainly because he didn’t know his way around the city yet. We walked around and chatted for a while, he even asked me to help him pick out a plant pot (he was pretty obsessed with plants) and we bonded over that. He then invited me back to his, there was a thousand thoughts going through my head — I was asking myself all kinds of questions — the most persistent of which being “does he just want sex?”

When I was at his place, we carried on talking and talking. Hours passed without me realising, we spoke about everything from what he wore at halloween to how to tackle climate change. The short version of this is that he wasn’t looking for a ‘hookup’, which actually made me like him even more.

Sadly, he was only in the country for three months. However, they were an amazing three months. It made me realise that I could actually find a guy emotionally attractive and that I could genuinely have a guy that was way more attractive than I am be interested in me, for real.

To The Exchange Student Who Had A Lasting Impact I firstly say thank you for being a guy in the area who isn’t just looking for a hookup and wanted to actually build a connection (we still stay in contact, even though a year has passed), but at the same time, I find it frustrating that the only guy i’ve been serious with for such a long time was only in the country for three months and went back home, why do exchange students have to go back home!? — it’s so annoying. If you’re familiar with the city in the illustration, you will likely know where he is from (and if you’re not, you can just click the link underneath the image and find out where it is).

I’ve since moved on from this guy. However, I will always remember how great those months were. . . however short it was.

To The Straight Guy Who Doesn't Know I Like Him

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One of the most difficult things about being gay is that the pool of people you can date is smaller and one thing that straight guys do not usually understand is that even if you meet a nice guy, there’s a chance both of you are going to be tops or both bottoms, making you sexually incompatible. The worst feeling is when you fall for a straight guy and this is currently what is happening to me.

It all started when I started at a new university, I was finding a way of socialising with more people, so I decided to take up tennis again. I was on my way to the courts, unaware of which way to go, when this guy who was also going to play stopped and started chatting to me. I’m a naturally nervous, and slightly socially awkward, guy so this made me more assured. We started chatting and it turned out that we both knew some of the same people, we carried on talking for some time.

After we had finished playing tennis, we both walked the same way and carried on talking again. I revealed in a roundabout way that I was gay, which was responded with “I have a girlfriend”. That response didn’t shock me, i’ve heard it all before. But it made me feel like “ugh, not again. Another hot, caring guy who’s straight”.

Honestly, I thought it was a bit of lust, like i’ve had with many other guys in the past. However, week after week, I kept seeing this guy and talking to him. The more I spoke to him, the more I liked him. I have not had this feeling for so long, after i’ve spoken to him, I still feel something — he’s really unique, but in a beautiful way. I really don’t know what to do or how to tackle this. I’ve been in a similar predicament before and totally ruined it by letting my feelings known. I really don’t want to ruin something that could end up being a pretty good friendship.

My biggest problem is that I cannot get this guy off my mind. He’s the first thing I think about in the morning, he’s the last thing I think about at night. I’ve told my friends about this guy. He’s slightly taller than I am, he’s the same body build as I am, he has a smile that is both handsome and adorable and he wears these cute tortoise shell glasses. Every-time I see him and talk to him, I can’t help but smile, I feel so good when in his company.

My message To The Straight Guy Who Doesn’t Know I Like Him is firstly, i’m sorry for feeling like this, I can’t help it and I wish it would go away and solely be platonic, but as it currently stands I can’t see that happening. I really wish I knew how to diffuse this situation, but I have no way of doing this.

Should I tell him? Should I just wait and see if it subsides over time?, I don’t know what to do. Am I deluded enough to think that the whole “I have a girlfriend” response was a defence mechanism, am I completely crazy? As it currently stands, i’m not going to tell him and i’m not going to act on it — i’m enjoying feeling so good about a guy (something that hasn’t happened for such a long time), i’m just going to go with the flow for a while, at least that way no one will get hurt in the process.

The person I envy most in this process is this guy’s girlfriend, she really does have it good.

To The Guy Who Made This Happen

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This is going to be hard to type. Sometimes someone enters your life and they have a lasting impact, whether they are aware of it or not, and it’s the starting point for a new trajectory that follows and stays with you over time. This post is about that guy, my first ever proper crush. The Guy Who Made This Happen.

When I say The Guy Who Made This Happen I mean it in the literal sense as he was the one behind the inspiration for this blog, but also because he is the person who shaped me into who I am today, which in part I like, but at the same time I hate the fact that a single person has shaped and defined me so much. However, after many years of keeping it to myself, I finally feel ready to tell the story about this guy. For the purposes of this post, the guy will be referred to as Taboo, this is because its a way of concealing his identity, as well as it being the nickname I gave him when I had my crush.

It all started when I was a fifteen year old, I was in my final year of school and was confused about my sexuality and who I was. This had been going on for about a year or two at the time, however it had finally started to materialise. I was going about my normal day to day routine and it was just a normal Wednesday when I had English first period. The class that day consisted of us rewatching a film of the book we had been reading in preparation for our exam later that year.

I was instantly bored, I mean we had already watched the same damn film three times over my time at school and I was not going to get anything else out of it. My eyes started to wonder around the room, one of my favourite things to do is people watch. Around me I saw people starring at their phones, starring at themselves in their phones, as well as those, like myself, who were just starring into space — probably in despair of having to rewatch this film.

However, there was something very different this time. Someone caught my eye in a way that someone of the same gender had never done before. . . I could feel myself starting to develop feelings for this boy in my class. A new side of him appeared, a side I really liked. The way I felt about this guy manifested over the coming months and it become stronger. At first, I just thought this was going to be something that lasted only a couple of days, however it grew stronger and stronger, beyond what I ever thought it could have.

I started feeling something for this guy in the October of that year, by January I could not keep this news to myself, I had to find a way of letting it out to someone. By the end of January, I had told one of my closest friends about how I felt about Taboo. The response from my friend was not negative, but at the same time it was not overly positive either. At that point, I realised that I was starting to lose control of the situation.

I had to find a way of taking back control of the situation and letting the news come out on my own terms, rather than letting it be heard through a third party. By coincidence, one of the people who I had revealed the news to was going to be tutoring Taboo that weekend. I had a lightbulb moment when I asked my friend to reveal to Taboo that I was into guys, rather than women — without revealing that I had a crush on him. My friend instantly accepted and I started to get the confidence that I previously had back, I finally felt more in control. However, this did not last for long.

The next week Taboo came up to me and started talking, he had found out that I was sexually into guys, he was really friendly and supportive. However, my friend had revealed to him that I had a crush on another guy in my year and he started to quiz me on it. I regret not just saying at the time that I had a crush on him, at least it would’ve come straight from the horses mouth, however I just played it cool and successfully deflected the conversation onto another topic. After the conversation with Taboo I actually felt very confident, he was really positive about my sexuality and he dealt with it in a way that was better than I could have ever imagined.

The next morning. . . everything changed. I was waiting outside my class like normal, when Taboo walked past, he briefly spoke and gave me that smile that instantly made me feel so good. This crush had become so intense and I honestly had no clue where it was going to lead. I carried on with my day normally, however I overheard a conversation in my first class, the cat was out of the bag. . . everyone knew that I liked Taboo.

I was panicking, I was confused, I had no clue on what to do next or how to react. I did not show any emotion and just carried on with my day normally. On the way to my next class, I walked a different route, I did this as normally I passed Taboo on the way and I didn’t know how he was going to react. As I was walking, I had abuse hurled at me — the classic homophobic tripe of “faggot”, “bum-boy” — you get my drift. I carried on, like normal, I knew everyone was talking about me, but I just tried to block it out and get through my day.

In the days that followed, every time I saw Taboo he went the other way, when we were both in the same class, he moved further away from where I was sitting (which didn’t help when literally everyone else in the class was looking at what was going on). Some of his friends said cruel things, but overall things weren’t overly bad for me. The aspect that hurt me the most was that he didn’t even seem to react, he didn’t say a word to me.

Even in the years that have since passed, Taboo never spoke to me again, I can’t blame him, my crush did not just impact me, it impacted him as well and I will always respect the fact he never directly said anything mean or cruel to me.

There are two things I would want to say to my first ever same-sex crush, the first is sorry. I’m sorry for involving you in all of this, I regret it so much. The other thing I would say to him, if I got the chance, is thank you. Thank you for being the first guy I ever had a crush on, thank you for being the person who made me feel good for so long. Thank you for just being you.

Even though the crush subsided as time went on, this guy is always going to be a part of me, he shaped who I became in the years that followed and I know that if it was not for that crush, I would not be the person I am today. Although this took place many years ago, I felt the need to finally let it out in a different forum. Even if no one else reads this, I feel like I can finally let go of that chapter in my life.