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Hi Project,

you have often spoken of undue pressure on gay boys, pressures like: "Do you have a girlfriend?" "Are you engaged?" "Let's go out tonight, so I'll introduce you to a splendid girl, a friend of mine ..." and so on. Who reads the posts you published might think that these undue pressure are addressed only to very young boys, more or less 16-18 years old, but instead it is not so, these pressures are often very heavy even after. I am 31 years old, I have a boyfriend for more than two years and I feel deeply satisfied with him. 

My parents know my situation perfectly and not only they have never hindered me, but they have helped me giving my life that aspect of normality it needed and that made it really beautiful, but what seems really incredible is that my boyfriend, who is practically as old as I am, lives a situation exactly similar to mine, he has spoken clearly to his parents, who know everything, his parents know my parents and they also know some of our gay friends, with whom they perfectly agree. All this happened spontaneously and it was really very nice. So, with our families things could not get any better. 

Both my boyfriend and I have no brothers or sisters, but we have uncles and cousins, and here the troubles begin. My uncle, every time he sees me starts with stupid questions, just as if I were 16, so, by survival instinct, I always keep away from him, when my parents go to lunch at his house I never go there, officially for work reasons, because luckily I have a job, but actually because I don’t like the idea of undergoing the usual interrogation. With the cousins it could be better because they are more or less my age and they should have a more open mentality, but either they have family and children or they have a girlfriend, and for them there is only one normality, that is their normality. For them, even if they are between 23 and 33, it is inconceivable that there are ways of life different from theirs. 

As for my boyfriend, things are easier because he has no relatives in the city where we live now and for him the periods of torture are limited to Christmas holidays and a fortnight in summer. Last year he didn’t visit his relatives either at Christmas or in the summer and it was great! 

One thing I cannot stand, which is nevertheless traditional among my relatives, it is the combination of marriages. Today there is the internet and I don’t see what sense it can have to get in the middle to try to put in contact a guy with a girl, and yet my relatives do it, obviously only on their own initiative. Last year, at Easter, one of my aunt, traditionally quiet and not meddler, put me more than once in embarrassment, making a girl believe that I had fallen in love with her. The girl was nice to me, she is a smart girl, and I had talked about her to my aunt and she deduced that I was probably in love with that girl and didn’t have the courage to declare my love. The girl, probably, was half in love with me, she believed my aunt and began to come forward insistently with text messages, e-mails and phone calls, as she had never done before. Of course I replied in a very nice way but also very cold without encouraging her in the slightest. I saw my aunt only a few months later, when I was permanently with my boyfriend. I had on my finger a ring given to me by my boyfriend, and I had not the slightest thought that for my aunt that could be an important thing. When I went to her house, she immediately noticed the ring and asked me if I was engaged, I answered yes, which is actually very true. Through my aunt the news arrived to the girl who disappeared altogether (I never saw her again and I’m sorry for this fact).

Another critical point: work colleagues, some are older than me and have children and therefore are absorbed by family life, others are younger but have a girlfriend. They often propose to go with them on Sundays or even if there is a few days of vacation and I scrupulously avoid going with them for two reasons, first of all not to put myself in embarrassing situations that is not to raise expectations in any girl and then because I want to spend my time with my boyfriend. The idea of not being next to my boyfriend to go for a trip with my work colleagues would seem to me a form of betrayal. I feel happy with my boyfriend. Our parents treat us just like a couple, so many times he stays to sleep at my house or I at his house, such a thing no longer creates any problem. When other relatives saw us together we said that we were friends without further explanation and no one asked questions. 

In practice I started living at 28, before I had my experiences but frankly I didn’t feel at ease. I met only good guys, but this is not enough to fall in love, then I found “him” but it was not love at first sight. We spent months to trust each other. The first time I went to his house I felt really embarrassed, I didn’t know what to expect, I went there because he cared a lot and told me it would be all right, and that's exactly what happened. His mother had prepared the fettuccine in the house, the father was a talker who no longer stopped, they did not ask questions of any kind, there was no need to explain anything, they already knew everything. With me they were expansive as if I were one of the family. 

When he took his parents to my house to meet mine, they were a little embarrassed, but it lasted a few minutes, then things melted easily. Of course, even our parents have detached themselves from all the other relatives but I don’t think they really suffered it. Now we are something similar to an extended family, we are six and are fine. At work I have no friends, that is, I don’t have people with whom I can really talk about myself. All my colleagues now think that I have a girlfriend and no longer go out with them for this reason and sure I will not explain to them how things really are. 

A few days ago, a fact happened that made me think. I have a cousin, let's call him Mirco much younger than me (he is 17), he has always been a good boy, he has never joked about girls nor has ever spoken with sexual allusions of any kind, it will seem strange but I believe that Mirco understood something about me and my boyfriend. There is some form of strange solidarity between me and Mirco. It all started when in a dinner with relatives, uncles have embarrassed him with the usual stupid questions about girls, etc. etc., I intervened and hushed my uncles energetically, they looked at me a little perplexed but the embarrassing questions were over. 

On that occasion I exchanged two very communicative looks with Mirco. Instinctively I am not led to believe that he could put me in difficult situations and he never did. In short, I think Mirco can be gay. I talked about it with my boyfriend, because I would like to try to have a more serious dialogue with Mirco, but my boyfriend is hesitant, he does not know how much Mirco can be trusted, and if Mirco was not gay it would end up putting him in trouble, apart from the fact that Mirco is very young and my uncles tend not to leave him even a minimum of freedom. But if what I think was true, that is, if he were gay and he felt even oppressed by the family, the fact that two gay guys can be together very well and that families can consider it absolutely normal, could be very important for him. I’m aware that with my aunt and uncle I could create huge problems and that even my parents could be involved in a lot of gossip, but if we could really trust Mirco, in the end there would be no risk.

Sometimes he could even come with me for a walk in the countryside, no one would know that my boyfriend would be there and all this could have an important meaning for Mirco. I have never seen Mirco with a girl, nor has he ever talked about these things, for the moment he only thinks about studying. He wants to start scientific studies and is very motivated. He had asked me to look for a book of genetics in the city and it was not a book of a popular nature. 

Things are at this point. Project, I don’t know what to do, I'd like Mirco to understand a little more closely which kind of life I and my boyfriend live but I'm also afraid that the whole thing could end badly. In fact I know very little about Mirco, I hardly ever see him, but I have to underline that when I meet him there are undoubtedly some strange forms of complicity. And then, if he were not gay, would he be able to understand the meaning of life of a gay couple? Or would he be upset, or would he feel almost soiled? Frankly, I think that gay or hetero, he has all the credentials to understand and the temptation to let him know my real life is very strong. One thing I would like to emphasize, Mirco is a nice guy but he is not really my type of guy, I have never had plans or fantasies of any kind about him. My boyfriend never even saw him, not even in photography, even though we talked a lot about him. What do you think, Project?

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