And we mundanely trade aspects of our daily lives through texts.One of the unexpected joys that I have of being a gay man is sharing it with my brother.
I’ve done many things that would make any parent proud.
I’veparticipated in sports, church and school events, but I ammost proud to be a good big brother.
It’s an ongoingaccomplishment; I am second oldest in a family of six.
Thereisn’t too much out there I wouldn’t do for my siblings, asannoying as they can sometimes be.
Growing up in different households, we did not get the opportunity to see each other regularly.
Perhaps, that is why I did not know right away that he was gay too.I embraced my queerness while I was in college, 200 miles away from home.When I came out to my parents during my senior year I gave them the space to come to terms with my sexuality, which consequently meant we did not talk about it for a few years, including with my brother.Whereas for me and other gay men I grew up with, we had a delayed adolescence and often had to experience our first sexual encounters in secret and often with shame.A part of me is a little jealous of him and his cohort.As he tells it, he knew I was gay since he was in elementary school, but it was something that we did not discuss until he came out to me in 2013, when he was still in high school. The revelation did not catch me off guard, because my friends who observed us at home would say over the years, “Your brother is just like you, James.” What was most surprising, however, is how he came out with such certainty about who he was and what he wanted for his life. He knew he was gay and was presently in a relationship.Comparatively, I came out at a much later age than he did, and when I did, I said what many gay men say at first when they are scared, that a part of them was still attracted to women.My brother Marcus and I are separated by eight years, and we’re almost complete opposites. He has his own unique edgy style, whereas I’m a preppy cutout from a J. On family vacations, he’s the adventure seeker, climbing unknown heights in a parasail, while I’m on the ground exploring a local museum and learning about indigenous cultures.But in other ways, we are not that different: We share the same dad, are devout members of Beyoncé’s Bey Hive, and we both are gay.For his 21st birthday this year, I got to take him on an introductory tour of the Gayborhood, where we shuffled between a half-dozen bars.We have gotten much closer since we have both come out.