By Eder Díaz Santillán
That’s right, let’s talk about pornography in December. Why not? The first time I saw a naked man was in the pages of an adult magazine that I found. I cannot tell you where, I can only assure you that it was not mine and that I would be at most 14 years old. For the next four or five years that man was the protagonist of all my fantasies. I imagined him coming to high school to pick me up, arriving at the store where I worked to buy vegetables, or simply arriving at my father’s ranch where I spent many weekends, and well, the rest you can imagine it.
Then, it was the Internet, poor of our home’s computer. The good thing is that neither my dad nor my mom knew how to see the browser’s history, if not, forget it. I still watch porn from time to time. I mention it because where I come from those things are not spoken. It would be as embarrassing as anyone could admit, and the truth is that I am not ashamed of it. As a kid, nobody told me about sex between a man and a woman, much less between two men. For many years I thought that two men could only have oral sex, and that was gay sex. It was a high school friend who clarified the situation, and left me with my mouth open… Can you really do that? I asked. “If you want I can teach you,” he replied. “Leave it there,” I said.
Everything I learned from sex after that was through pornography and my first experiences. Poor me, the truth is that I am very happy I didn’t get a disease, because the first few times I did everything wrong. In fact, I suspect that I still don’t know how to navigate what is intimacy between two men.
Recently, another friend left me with my mouth open again,when he clarified that sex between two men does not always imply penetration. Go figure! Eder Díaz, at 34, well traveled, with a university degree and openly gay, did not know that in a stable couple having intimacy does not always involve penetration. Why do I talk of this? Why in December? Because these are dates to be with our family. They are beautiful dates in our culture, and for me being a Catholic, these are dates of much prayer and giving thanks. But these days I think, who is really our family? Do we really feel confident with them? I really do not. With my uncles and cousins I have superficial relations, with a few exceptions.
But I also have another family. Friends who do not judge me and hug me at all times. With whom I can talk about the type of pornography I see, when I had a hook-up and when I got Grindr installedon my cell phone. People who have always shown me that I have a safe place in our talks, and that in the endwhen necessary they tell me, “Eder, take care of yourself”, “nothing happens, I go with you to take the exam”, or “Eder, you’re worth more than that, that’s not how it needs to be. ” I want to thank that family on these days for not judging me, for supporting me, for loving me and especially for protecting me. For opening my eyes, and for letting me know that I am not the first one to have had that question, or who has made that “mistake.” Thanks to those friends who have even scolded me sometimes for not trusting them. Thanks to my friend who told me “for that you have us, don’t be silly, we are here to help you, listen to you and we will always love you”.
I once read this in a book and it got etched on me, “in life there are no wins or losses, you only live”. In these days that always invite us to reflection, I leave that phrase, which is one of my favorites. Within being gay I have always found many reasons to feel ashamed of myself, and within the LGBT community we always make others feel bad. In the community, the “masculine”, the “active”, the “fit”, the “young” person, etc. are glorified, and correct me if I am wrong, but the opposite happens towards the “feminine”, the “passive”, the “chubby”,and the one who is already in an advanced age. I want to stop judging myself, and I invite you to also stop judging you and rate you, especially when it is comparing you to others.
Let’s live our lives in the best way possible for everyone, and try not to hurt anyone. I think that with these bases we can all be happy, without shame on who we are and what we like. Thank you for reading this column, thanks to those who listen to me on the radio and thanks to all of you who have supported, listened to, and shared the episodes of my podcast “De Pueblo, Católico y Gay”. We will continue in 2020 discovering more of ourselves, and if God gives us license, we will continue to live this beautiful life. From the bottom of my heart I hope that every day, you get surrounded by more love and less judgments.