The Day I Feared Came Yesterday and all I Could Do Was Smile

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

I have several gay cousins in this area who don’t know I’m gay. It’s been pretty easy to avoid them.

They are all in their 20’s so we don’t circulate in the same crowd or the same clubs. In fact, one time I was at The Mill a few years ago and one of my gay cousins walked right past me and didn’t even notice me.

You see, I was just another ancient dude in the crowd, so I probably wasn’t sexually attractive to his 20-something self, and I was out of context.

What I mean by out of context is that he was used to seeing me at family funerals, weddings, cookouts and Thanksgiving dinners and not gay clubs so I probably didn’t even register as Cousin Immanuel in his mind.

The same thing sometimes happens when I see white co-workers on the street or at the Target on weekends. I can walk right past them and they don’t notice me until I say something because I am out of the context — I’m just a black man on the street and not Immanuel from the office.

Well yesterday my family anonymity ended…kinda sorta. I knew the day was coming.

One of my cousins hit me up on Adam4Adam. Thank God I have a private face pic that wasn’t open. But he put his face pic out there so I knew it was “Kip.”

“Wassup,” he texted.

I just ignored it. In fact, I deleted the message, turned off my laptop and pushed it under the bed.

And I called my partner “Van.”

“Look Van if you get hit up on by a guy with the profile ChocolateDrop555 don’t answer — it’s my cousin,” I said, laughing.

“Oh, I think he has hit me up before,” Van said. “Let me check the profile.”

Van was quiet for a few moments while he checked his web browser.

“Yep Immanuel, I have seen him before.”

“Look Van, what if we have a sex party and he shows up?”

Van was calm.

“Look, if he hits us up I will just ignore him so don’t worry.”

Kip is my second cousin once removed. He grew up in a middling size town near Cleveland but decided to move to Washington, D.C. where his grandparents live.

He is big, tall, dark-skinned and very gay. I mean flamboyant. You just can’t miss it. Kip couldn’t be down-low if they paid him a million dollars and 25 cents.

His grandmother once called me and asked whether my son, who is a few years younger than Kip, was “normal” because they suspected Kip is gay. I guess she wanted to know whether that shit was genetic and ran in the family.

Little did ” Cousin Irma” know I was already living the gay life.

“Well, Irma my son is okay as far as I know.”

“Well, is he masculine Immanuel,” she asked. “Because we are worried about Kip.”

“Yeah, as far as I know,” I answered, almost choking in my effort to stay calm.

I’m friends with Kip on Facebook and last night I almost messaged him “Stop hitting on me on Adam4Adam.” I need to reach out to him in some way and give him some support because I know he gets grief for being gay from certain family members.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

21 thoughts on “The Day I Feared Came Yesterday and all I Could Do Was Smile

  1. So Immanuel I’m guessing the rest of your family doesn’t know about your transformation into ” The Life”? The reason I ask is because you could be what he needs a strong black gay male figure in his life, these young black gay brothers and sisters are on a whole other playing field. Sometimes to
    An advantage sometimes not. I’ve met a few on Adam4Adam, one was a co worker of mines son….wow!

  2. Just imagine if you and Van decided to invite ChocolateDrop555 to a sex party without exchanging face pics. The thought of cousin Kip getting his back blown out by cousin Manny’s friends and acquaintances in Manny’s presence. *cringe*
    What does “once removed” mean?

    • LOL. Okay once removed means the child of a cousin. The children of your first cousins are your first cousins once removed and the children of second cousins are second cousins once removed.

  3. I urge you to support him and be the big cuz that he needs. I applaud you for how you handled it though. Sometimes family can be a real trip and a half

  4. I see your concerns about him showing up to one of your sex parties, but in reality he’d have as much reason to keep that quiet as you do. Somehow I just can’t imagine him saying to a family member:

    “Oh my God, y’all – you’ll never GUESS what happened! You see, I was at this sex party last Saturday night……no Granny, not a Tupperware party – a SEX party! Anyway….I was on all fours servicing any and all cummers and I look up to see whose dick I’ll be sucking next. Just GUESS who it was Granny! Why, it was cousin Immanuel !! Lord have mercy – I just about died! I know Gurl – I didn’t know he was gay EITHER! But I deep throated him just the same! He’s HUNG and he’s good to the last drop!”

    Really? I don’t think you gotta worry ’bout that happening.

    Obviously Kip has as much incentive as you to keep the details of his sex life on the down low from the rest of the family. It’s none of their business what he does, who he does it with or whether “he’s the man or the woman in the bedroom” as straight people so often wish to know. If you feel he needs someone that he can talk to, or someone who can help guide him – have a discreet talk with him.

  5. “What I mean by out of context is that he was used to seeing me at family funerals, weddings, cookouts and Thanksgiving dinners and not gay clubs so I probably didn’t even register as Cousin Immanuel in his mind.”

    You know Immanual…….that could go both ways. One (or more) of the cousins may indeed have seen you and heaved a big sigh of relief because they think you didn’t recognize THEM since you weren’t seeing them at a funeral, wedding, cookout, etc. The twenty-something gays in the family may all know about and discuss “closeted cousin Immanuel” – they’re just keeping it under their hats.

    That conversation with Kip (if you elect to have one) could be a real eye opener for both of you.

    • You know PDQ you may be right. However when u saw my cousin at the club it was in a crowded darkemed dance floor and he was,walking in the opposite direction parallel to me. I was in the corner of his eye. I don’t think he focused on me. But hey I could be surprised!

  6. “The children of your first cousins are your first cousins once removed and the children of second cousins are second cousins once removed.”

    I knew that the children of your first cousins are your first cousins once removed. But what exactly is a “second” cousin?

  7. Wow Immanuel. Thank you for sharing something, uh, so personal. (Like you don’t do sharing enough of that already in this blog, pics, etc). If you have a blog on the world wide web showing your sexual exploits, what should it matter if anyone find out about them? If you make yourself visible on a website or a hook up site and you have many sexual partners you are bound to run into someone you know. (Current or former) Co-workers. People from high school. Even relatives.
    As for being a role model to the young people, gay or straight, there is always wisdom and life lessons to share, if they are receptive to hearing such things. And of course there is the sound advice about how to blog, how to post full monty photos, and sex party etiquette.
    (Your comment about white co-workers who don’t and more than likely wouldn’t notice, recognize or acknowledge you on the street made me smile with recognition. Blacks are oftentimes not a part of white peoples world and life, so we don’t ‘register.’ )

    • Wow, Kenny don’t know whether to be flattered or insulted by your comment. It comes across a bit sarcastic. But since I post a small portion of my private life on the Web and don’t censor comments I gotta roll with the punches. And I will! Have a great weekend.

      • Well as you know, at your age, what is done in the dark often comes to the light (at some point. Ask Bill Cosby). If you were a man of discretion, you would close your bedroom door, and keep private (read: sexual) matters private. When people on the world wide web can COUNT the # of sexual encounters you have in a year, in age of AIDS and HIV and other STIs, and you take PRIDE in them, then it seems you wouldn’t care who KNEW about you sexually. I think that deep, deep down in your heart that you BELIEVE that you will never contract an STI regardless of how many sexual partners you have. And you are playing a numbers game. The more sexual partners you have, you REALLY DO BELIEVE you will beat the odds of contracting a Sexual Transmitted infection. You just DO BELIEVE that you will never be ‘unlucky.’
        Having said all that, I appreciate you posting your journey, particularly in the mid- September 2009 blogs where you speak about your previous marriage, your efforts in that relationship, it tensions, and why you needed to end that marriage. It helped me see you in a different light, and deepened my understanding and appreciation for your journey. Keep blogging because there is someone out there in this world who is now where you have been.

  8. Hey Manny,
    I read your blog on this subject and read all the comments everyone had to say and here’s my take on this. I think you did enough. You called Van and told him to beware. Forget all that confusion about 1st cousin, 2nd cousin once removed and all that bull… You got some peeps on here all in your business lol…….Based on the age difference and today’s sociological acceptance when it comes to sexual orientation I would do exactly what you did. Sit back and SMILE…….:-)

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