1. Hello. My name is Patrick.
  2. I'm a cisgender male who is attracted exclusively to women.
  3. And when I tell people I'm straight, it feels like I'm lying.
    This is not something I've ever written or spoken about publicly. I've barely spoken about it privately. But it's been on my mind lately, so here we go.
  4. Growing up, I felt...different.
    I remember learning what "gay" was, and while flipping channels, I came across a group of shirtless men running on the beach. "Do I like this?" I asked myself. It felt like I should. But I didn't. Not even a little bit. Still - I knew I wasn't like the other guys. Even though I was.
  5. I'm a pretty sexual guy.
    I like sex a lot, and I'm attracted to most of the women I meet. I think sex bonds people, even if it's just in friendship. Some of my best female friends are women I've slept with, and I don't think we would necessarily be as close as we are if not for that.
  6. I like women. Only women.
    On paper, I'm straight. When I masturbate, it's always been to women. When I get crushes, it's exclusively been on women. When I hook up with anyone in any capacity, it's been with a woman.
  7. I'm not bisexual. I'm not even bi-curious.
    Once, in a night of heightened horniness/desperation, I turned on the "Men" option on my Tinder app. It only took about a dozen swipes to realize men weren't for me even in a no-stakes theoretical way.
  8. I get asked if I'm gay a lot.
    The way I carry myself is not unlike that of a stereotypical gay man. My interests often align with that stereotype. So the question of my sexuality, while potentially rude, is not invalid. I get it.
  9. When I tell people I'm not gay, that feels true. But if I say I'm "straight," it feels like I'm trying to pass.
    It comes out as a lie. My eyes are lying. I can feel it. I can see that others can see I feel it.
  10. I don't like talking about this at all.
    I hate this. I hate having these questions, because I don't feel like I've earned the right to have them. I never grew up being told it was wrong to love who I loved. I was never discriminated against by my peers, my family, my government. I'm a non-gay white cis male. No one discriminates against me. Acting like I am part of a group of people who have overcome so much to get where they are...that's really gross to me. I don't want to do that. I don't want to be that guy.
  11. What am I?
    For now, I'm straight. Even though that feels wrong. The other night, I jokingly told a friend I'm a "gay man trapped in a straight man's sexual preference." While this was said completely in jest, it actually describes who I am better than any other label I've heard (I am not claiming it as an official title, because again, it feels like I'm co-opting the "gay experience" and I never ever want to do that).
  12. Any insight would be helpful.
    I'm comfortable with who I am and who I love. But for once, I would love to be able to tell people "I am ______" and know I am telling the truth.