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LGBT Stories: Burning Man, The Love Story

Black rock city

NATHAN MANSKE

GuestbloggerNathan Manske and Marquise Lee just finished a 4 month, 50 state tour of the United States collecting stories for their I'm From Driftwood site. We'll be sharing some of the stories they collected along with some of the insight into what they saw. They're still encouraging people to submit their written stories via IFD.

Driftwood A lot of people ask me what my favorite story is and the answer is never the same. But I do have a consistent favorite type of story: “The first time we met” stories. Whether you’re LGBT or straight, everyone knows that excitement or nervousness of meeting someone for the first time. I like how it’s such a universal topic, yet every story is so unique. Kevin and his boyfriend, Nick, were our hosts in Seattle and it was sweet hearing Kevin talk about their first encounter. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Previously in this series...
'Heterosexual Transgender Lesbian' Talks Transition [tr]
Houston Mayor Annise Parker Shares Personal Story of Young Love [tr]
T.C., Living with HIV, Recalls the Early Days of AIDS [tr]
A Gay City Councilman Moves His Family to Higher Ground [tr]
Deaf, Gay, Bullied, and Fighting Back [tr]
A Survivor's Account of an Unbelievable Hell Called Home [tr]

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  1. It disheartens me to read so much vile coming from judgmental and anonymous people. It really is hypocritical. How can you call us "trashy" when the venom you are spewing is baseless, ignorant, and downright foolish? How are you to judge one person's love? How are you to decide how one person can find happiness? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!?!?

    Remember Prop 8? Have you heard of Westboro? People out there are trying to deny our RIGHT TO LOVE WHOMEVER WE CHOOSE. We are fighting for it EVERY SINGLE DAY. And you come on here and make snap judgements on someone else's love? Shame on you!

    I am engaged to marry this man. This is THE love for me. No one "stole" anyone. I am not an object to possess, but a being with free will. I have choice.

    Yes, feelings were hurt. Yes, I ended the relationship with my previous boyfriend. Yes, it sucked and tears were shed. And yes, shocker, things are much better for everyone now.

    I have never been happier. I have never had such direction, poise and heart-filled joy.

    I have never let what other people think get in the way of my happiness, and I will not start now. You will not judge my love just as I will never judge yours.

    For those of you out there that think you know us, you don't. For those of you that would like to get to know us, please do. We are online in all of our glory every single day, running one of the fastest growing LGBT websites in the world. We would love to get to know you, and show you for real about how our love informs every single moment of every single day of our life. You can email me directly, tweet me, Facebook me, or call me. I am here, ready to talk beyond all this anonymous crap.

    Love has a circuitous path, but when you find it you will never let go.

    Love for all,

    Nick Vivion
    Unicorn Booty

    ----
    PS - I feel compelled to answer some of you individually:

    @PeterParker: We have been to Burning Man collectively nine times. Thanks for calling us "repugnant." That's really amazing that you would anonymously comment on a blog as a Burner, using Spider Man's alias even, and call strangers' names. Sadly, it sounds like you didn't learn much in your 7 times at Burning Man. Who are you to judge me with this "easy fashion" nonsense and then call my fiancee an airhead?

    @Rowan: Thank you for your insightful, intelligent and considered response. It's impossible to know a whole story in 4 minutes!

    @Chad: Check out http://www.unicornbooty.com. This is what we have built together in less than one year.

    @Adric: Thank you for understanding the subjectivity of anyone's life experience. Apparently our brethren forget that everyone's life is unique, with it's own motivations, decisions and realities. Love is intensely personal, and thus so powerful. It shocks me to see so many reactionaries when it comes to how we fell in love. We found love, and I hope everyone on this planet can too - no matter where it comes from.

    @Rowan: You cannot force anyone to leave, and I left of my own volition. That is something forgotten here: no one "stole" anyone. I am not a piece of property. Thank you for pointing that out. Also, it does seem as if we are surrounded by a bunch of crotchety old farts, doesn't it?!? : p

    @Trashy: Your chosen trolling moniker is perfectly suited for you.

    @Pinky: The only one being judgmental is you. The fact that you came to that simplistic conclusion after a superficial 4-minute video speaks volumes.

    @Ben: Your comment makes me ashamed of gay men who question the love of other members of the same persecuted minority by being harsh and above reproach in their anonymous web commenting.

    @Chad: Burning Man is way way way more than "just a party." It has elements for all kinds of different people, and its an incredible experience that changed my life like nothing else I've done.

    @W.T. Door: There was no acid involved in the making of this love story. And there is nothing wishy-washy about this relationship. We are engaged to be married and we will do so when we legally are able. The law won't acknowledge our love, and apparently neither will some in the gay community!

    @EveryoneElse: To quote some of our favorite LGBT supporters: "Judge not lest ye be judged." There is a lot more to our story, and I don't care if you care. I do care when strangers try to pass judgement on my relationship. I didn't like it when the Mormons did it while we were fighting against Prop. 8, and I don't like it now, when fellow gays take a 4-minute look at my relationship and pretend to know it all.

    @Kevin Farrell: I love you.

    Posted by: Nick Vivion | Feb 21, 2011 3:47:31 PM


  2. Fair enough, Nick; and the picture you paint may well be true... It is, I'm sure, a fair articulation of your experience and pov. The story that video shows is of a vapid young man who had no compunction against aggressively going after a partnered man, even after knowing it was his anniversary. Unwilling to wait, he persevered. Per the video, the object of his affection was so taken by our protagonist that he pushed to accept this "date" on the anniversary he and his current partner were about to recognize.

    So, to boil it down, the video shows a man with perhaps a skewed perception of reality and deep-seated need with no respect for the relationship of another aggressively stepping between another partnered man and his partner. Meanwhile, the target (per the video) reveals little respect for his partner-at-the time, accepts the date and ultimately leaves his partner as a result.

    Neither one of the two men depicted as the resulting couple should be surprised when the same thing happens to either of them.

    This, from the video, is pretty much all we know. You are in a position to know more; and what you see as misconception may be merely the result of editing: we hear of this all the time, with reality shows.

    It is admirable that you step up to defend your actions, those of your partner, and y'all's relationship. Things may be as you articulate, they may be as the video depicts. I hope for y'all that it is the former.

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Feb 21, 2011 4:07:04 PM


  3. Preach it brother!

    Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 21, 2011 4:08:23 PM


  4. Originally I never went to Burning Man because I hate being dirty. Now I have a multitude of other reasons and this guy is probably 4 of them. How utterly, morally bankrupt his story is. When the current boyfriend told him, twice, they were in a relationship no matter what the other thought Stab Wound should have taken the hint. Let those two break-up, if that was what it was to come to, without the help of the lastest empty headed, vapid prince to come along.

    If there is Karma, this man deserves to waller in the bad kind for years.

    Posted by: Toutwest | Feb 21, 2011 4:23:08 PM


  5. @Nick Vivion - I was stunned to see how you and your "new" boyfriend came out of that story looking fine. Now let's get a full tell all from the man you so unceremoniously dumped. Will his side be as rosy.

    I never had much use for my Dad's little sayings throughout my life but this one seems true. "The guilty will yell and justify their deeds the loudest and longest"

    Posted by: Toutwest | Feb 21, 2011 4:31:35 PM


  6. If he's still telling this story in a decade or two, I'll give it a great big "awwwwwww". In the meantime, while I can muster a bit of praise for the forthrightness with which he describes events -- it's preferable to similar stories I've heard about poaching in hetero relationships -- I'm gonna go with "cute but tawdry", sort of like a gauze loincloth.

    Oh, and $5 that the interviewer has "Your my captain!!!!" running through his head.

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 21, 2011 4:58:43 PM


  7. Yes, "your" because he's like me and his grammar goes all to hell when he's aroused.

    :-)

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 21, 2011 4:59:49 PM


  8. PS on what love IS

    One thing that can help define the indefinable "LOVE" is

    BEING THERE! being there when the chips are down. Sticking it out when your lover has snot running out of their nose from a cold and are not all that sexy at the moment while being gassy and throwing up.......and you make them something to eat and help nurse them back to health.

    Tweeked out of your mind is not love

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com | Feb 21, 2011 5:00:57 PM


  9. Lotsa heart broken people here, apparently...projecting hither and thither about nothing...so sad. Le weep. The way these two star crossed party boys met is the least problematic part... And it all could have been avoided if you (the projection)...

    Treat relationships like investments (your money), and if you're any good at investing, you won't be so torn up when things go south (you'll have jumped ship before you feel the bite)...and that's about knowing yourself and the risk you can handle. The cheater cheats (don't let emotion interfere with your investment--people that cheat or, separately, that are into open relationships are fairly easy to spot--especially when they negotiate terms of openness!)...these are types of people despite their "specialness", and those surprised by such behavior later on have let emotion interfere with an objective appraisal of actual value, which changes over time. So if you want a relationship, research that investment...with a fine tooth comb (it's not stalkerish...this is your investment, and you expect a reasonable rate of return). And whatever you do, don't listen to your investment, because the investment's job is to paint as nice a picture as possible about its potential profitability. Unless you lose your shirt due to the inevitability of risk assumption despite your best analysis, and then full panic mode can set in and you can spend a month or two in the bottle, fighting and swearing. Lose your shirt too often, and perhaps relationships aren't for you, day trader. Does it work? Who cares. It's fun to inflict unsolicited advice, because it's a drag for others. And if you don't like that (too gimicky), how's the alternative working out for ya...and there are seemingly quite a few unprincipled investors here--no offense.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 21, 2011 5:19:27 PM


  10. If his boyfriend is that "stealable", what makes him so different that his boyfriend can't be stolen from him?

    I wish the best for them, though.

    Posted by: allan | Feb 21, 2011 5:24:08 PM


  11. damn TANK

    that was pretty wise

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com | Feb 21, 2011 5:35:19 PM


  12. "Treat relationships like investments (your money), and if you're any good at investing, you won't be so torn up when things go south (you'll have jumped ship before you feel the bite)."

    And there, in a nutshell, is the difference between an investor and a business owner and a small window into why this country is so utterly f*cked.

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 21, 2011 6:18:26 PM


  13. these things happen. it's cool.

    Posted by: gregg | Feb 21, 2011 9:15:58 PM


  14. Right on, bobn. Because we all know that business owners don't invest in those businesses to make as much money as possible from them...rather, out of business former owners. Complete lack of regulation and competent oversight, criminally greedy moronic speculators and a dead available line of credit have nothing to do with the decline of entrepreneurship in this country.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 21, 2011 9:57:38 PM


  15. How may light years were you into the " solar system" before either of you took note of how the soon to be Ex was enjoying your date?

    Imagine not much further than Mercury.

    I am sure you both are not as vapid as this paints you out to be. Perhaps in your pursuit of self promotion for your website you should have thought how this would sound to you potential clients.

    best of luck with unicornbooty.com

    Posted by: howard | Feb 21, 2011 11:52:32 PM


  16. So I think most of the comments here are way overwrought. Kevin and Nick found love one special crazy night at Burning Man. But like a lot of stories, it's complicated. Particularly so since there was another guy involved here who probably wasn't on-board with their love connection. But this interview with Kevin is obviously a snippet of information that left me with lots of questions - i.e., I wanted to know more Kevin being a foster kid and how that has impacted his ideas about love and relationships. And i wanted to know more about Nick and the ex-boyfriend. Kevin comes off as young and inexperienced a bit awkward and maybe a bit guilty - but also excited and joyful and sweet and charming and well, delicious. Good for him that he found love and he's declaring it to all of the world. I wish Kevin and Nick the best of luck in life and love. All you angry queens - go take a hit of X and chill out.

    Posted by: Prancer | Feb 22, 2011 2:33:13 AM


  17. I found this story disturbing and was saddened that someone at Towleroad thought it was "sweet." Could you imagine a straight man walking up to your parents on the day of their anniversary, asking them both on a date, breaking up the marriage and then bragging about it? Not sweet.

    Posted by: PeteP | Feb 22, 2011 11:00:48 AM


  18. omg. What a disgusting fag this guy is. Why would they bother to broadcast this human debris like it's some kind of love story?
    @Marquise Lee - do the gay world a real favor and pass our comments on to this f*ckstain.

    Posted by: Shane | Feb 22, 2011 11:27:13 AM


  19. This man should get to read what people are thinking.

    http://www.imfromdriftwood.com/

    Leave a comment

    Posted by: Toutwest | Feb 22, 2011 12:01:13 PM


  20. Nick - thanks for the response. However, I hate when the inequality directed toward the gay community by society becomes a scape goat for immorality and lack of fidelity. Own up to it.

    Posted by: w.t. door | Feb 22, 2011 12:39:57 PM


  21. Over the years I've seen lots of couples - gay and straight - have an ah hah moment on meeting someone new - resulting in a previously existing relationship coming to an end and a new relationship forming. Sure, someone is usually hurt on that reconfiguration and that's too bad for that person - but if everything was perfect in that old relationship - the new one wouldn't have had a chance no matter the circumstances of its inception. Usually these new relationships form against incredible odds of location and personal life logistics - but they do form and usually stick cause the commitment and love expressed is truly profound and abiding. I think the many nasty comments directed at Kevin [and also implicitly at Nick] are much more disturbing than any supposed unexplored subtext conveyed in Kevin's interview.

    50% of all straight couples get divorced. Relationships are hard. I'm noticing that as the fight for gay marriage gains traction more gay voices are taking on a conservative moralistic tone about the sanctity of relationships. If all relationships existed in this pristine picket fence kinda way, there wouldn't be any interesting literature or art because it wouldn't reflect true human experience which has always been a complicated story. Hearts are wounded and sometimes kingdoms have been lost....Think of Lancelot and Guinevere and Arthur. Allen Ginsburg loved the married Neal Cassady then on the rebound met and fell in love with Peter Orlovsky whom he spent his life with. I think Kevin's interview is so great cause it has generated all these visceral reactions. How many of you have never known love or are threatened in love? I hope Kevin and Nick have an awesome time in life and last a lifetime - if that's their destiny.

    Posted by: Prancer | Feb 22, 2011 4:27:42 PM



  22. YOU ARE NOT A NEVADAN!!!!! If you can not say the name of the state correctly, you can not claim to be a citizen of it. Just saying.

    A native Nevadan.

    PS- Really glad to hear your positive story!

    Posted by: AgBoiNV | Feb 22, 2011 9:32:22 PM


  23. Or not.

    Posted by: AgBoiNV | Feb 22, 2011 9:33:17 PM


  24. what a bunch of bitter judgmental bitches

    Posted by: Grover Underwood | Mar 9, 2011 5:36:20 PM


  25. Or, Grover, maybe we have a moral compass that works. And hypocritical much?

    Posted by: Shane | Apr 6, 2011 11:10:37 AM


  26. « 1 2

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