My guest, David Bellamy, came out at an earlier time in life. But, for most of his life, he lived with the motto that “It’s none of anyone’s business.” As a result, he didn’t let most people know who he really was. He states that it was mostly a fear of rejection. Now, in his 60s, he has realized that the motto that he so strictly lived by, did not allow him to have the genuine and close relationships he desires. Being a guest on the podcast was a major step in letting the world know him for who he truly is. This is a very delightful and heartfelt conversation with some of our dialog being about attracting an ideal mate and embracing the belief that you’re never too old and it’s never too late.
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Coach Maddox 0:02
Hello, David Bellamy, and welcome to The Authentic Gay Man Podcast. It is great to see your face. Great to have you here.
David Bellamy 0:10
Good to see you too Maddox very good to see you.
Coach Maddox 0:14
Well, let's see, before we jump in, I always take a minute to tell the listeners how we know each other. And I haven't had an opportunity to say this in a while, in the very beginning, I said it quite a bit. But it's been a while since I've had somebody that I that I met the way I met you, which was We met through an organization called the gay man thriving. And that's been a while now. And here we are reconnecting.
David Bellamy 0:42
Yes, indeed, it was a wonderful time then. And it's wonderful to reconnect with you. Now I've been I've been a fan of the podcasts ever since it started. Listen to listen to most of them, actually. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm very glad that I can participate in this time with you now
Coach Maddox 1:00
That that means a lot. David, thank you very much. I feel very honored. Thank you very much. So let's just jump right in. And I'd love to know what how you define or what it means to you to be an authentic gay man.
David Bellamy 1:15
Authentic is being true to oneself, but as well as being true to others true to others about who you are, and what you're all about and where you're going in life. And I think I have learned over the years that being authentic is much more than just being true to me. I need to be true to others as well. I need to tell my story. I need to share my concerns. I need to share my joys and my sorrows. And that's something that I don't think I've done well over the years.
Coach Maddox 1:51
Hmm, I love that as as a goal. You're aspiring to put yourself out there. You're by telling your story.
David Bellamy 1:59
It's about time. It's about it's an interesting story. It's a good story, I have nothing to be ashamed of. And even though I live in a world where Yeah, being gay is sometimes considered to be something to be too proud of. And I've done a disservice to myself by doing that by saying, Oh, well, you know, your life is not going to be what it should be because you are gay. You know, you're not going to have the happiness that everyone else can experience. I mean, I bought into all of that. I believed all of that for so long. And I think we all did. Yeah, yeah, unfortunately, yes, we do. It's, it's time to step out, step away from there. You know, there's new generations, there's new people, there's new experiences, you know, there's so many things
Coach Maddox 2:53
and things are definitely changing. And for the better. They are yes, for the better. I love it. I love I love the way you called out, putting yourself out there and and being not just only true to yourself, but true to others. That's that's beautifully said David. Beautifully said. So I want to call out to the listeners, if you hear a little bit of background noise that's not some static that is, uh, that's David's bird in the background. And you know, you can't really tell a bird to be quiet. So please bear with us. It's just a friendly, friendly pet.
David Bellamy 3:30
It is he's a great guy.
Coach Maddox 3:32
What's his name?
David Bellamy 3:34
His name is Raz Arese. And he's got a raspberry coloration in his head. And I adopted him almost 20 years ago, almost 20 years ago from a rescue center in Georgia. And he turns 29 In a few months, so most of his life has been with me. But he is kind of a special needs bird. He's not particularly friendly. He doesn't particularly like people. So we get along great. I guess. He's what's known as a fearful bird. He just has not had good experiences with people in his earlier years. And that's unfortunately probably not going to change. He just doesn't trust people.
Coach Maddox 4:20
Yeah. I've been there. I get it. Okay. Well. Let's jump right into our big, big topic of the day and that is what has been your biggest challenge in this lifetime that you've either gone through or are continuing to go through.
David Bellamy 4:39
So I continue to I don't think I doubt myself anymore. As to the kind of person that good person that I am. But I do doubt and I do fear what others feel about me. I tend to think about what But others are thinking about me a little bit paranoid, I suppose in some respects, but in a lot of ways, it just hasn't, hasn't served me well. And while in the past few years, I have made great strides, I still am concerned, I still am worried, I'm still feeling that I will never find the right relationship, I will never have the kinds of totally open friendships that I can have with other people. If I don't put myself out there more, I don't allow my story to be told, if I'm not as upfront about things as I have, as I think I am doing now. I always felt it was nobody's business that I'm getting. It was nobody's business. But at the same time, what you're saying when you say that is that something is not right with me. Something is not right. I have allowed I've allowed the world to tell me that and convince me that I don't deserve that same degree of happiness, I won't get the acceptance that I will that I deserve. Because of something as silly as a preference. You know, when when it boils down to it, it's a preference. That doesn't affect anybody. But the persons that you are dealing with that you are expressing that preference with, let's say, yet. I mean, even something like as simple as my relationship with my parents, and I'm going back years and years and years. So as a teenager, I vowed to never have a conversation with them about who I am. I vowed, I said, I will, I will let them go to their graves without ever telling them that I'm that I'm gay. And that's sad. And I succeeded. Unfortunately, I succeeded. I never had a conversation with them about who I am. I never gave them a chance to love me for who I am. You know, I always feared that one day, of course, the fear of rejection. That's the number one thing. And then, as I, as I sometimes tell people, I never wanted them to feel like my being gay was their fault. You know, and that's terrible. When you think of it, you know, it's like, wait a minute, why is it somebody's fault? That Well,
Coach Maddox 7:45
I think that's the natural place that parents go to. I know, that was the first thing. The first place my parents went to, when I told them was, you know, what did we do wrong? And it took me a little bit to convince them that you can do anything to do with anything they did or didn't do. You know, and they finally understood that, but it was the quick. And I think that's human nature, when even when any relationship ends, or when there's conflict in the relationship, I know that I have to really monitor myself, even when my boyfriend and I have a little bit of a spat, or he pulls away a little bit, I immediately think, Oh, what did I do wrong? I have to really match that and say, You're making this about you? And it's probably not about you.
David Bellamy 8:30
Very true. That's not I have a question
Coach Maddox 8:33
for you more. When you said, I've just had this kind of lifelong thing of just being a little too invested in what other people think. Is there a distinction between people that you know, and people that you don't know?
David Bellamy 8:52
Is there a distinction meaning? Well, one, people that I don't know, I'm, I'm less likely to care whether or not they what they feel. But I think people that I do know, my friends to be to be judged negatively, because I'm gay. for that. I think that would that was just hurting me to no end, it would hurt me to know. And I've often said to myself, that, you know, if I was ever rejected for being gay by one of my dearest friends, I just think I would hate them. You know, and you can't hate your friends. I love them to no end. But to be judged in that way. would hurt more than I think I would want to deal with.
Coach Maddox 9:43
So yeah, I think for me, that would indicate that they weren't really my friend. And
David Bellamy 9:48
that's, you know, that's what that's what we tell the kids that's what we tell everyone. Well, they really weren't your friends, but and it's never happened. It's never happened and
Coach Maddox 9:56
it's painful to realize that somebody that you thought was your friend And isn't your friend is painting?
David Bellamy 10:02
It is it's it's, and I just never wanted to go there. I never wanted to deal with that reality. So I think that's one reason why I just didn't tell people. I always figured, okay, it's none of your business. So I just won't, and I was good at it. I wasn't good at it, Max, I was really good at passing the whole. So are you seeing anybody? So is there anyone that you like? Is there anyone? Are you gay? It's like, well, you know, that's not a question that you asked someone. These are people who I've known my whole life. And I've just I've always been good at just not saying anything.
Coach Maddox 10:39
What what has been the result of that though, David.
David Bellamy 10:43
They never got to love me for everything that I am. You know, there's perfectly there's great reasons for like, loving me and liking me. But not because of being gay. That's never been an I've never been an option that I gave people until recently, within the last couple of years, is when I finally after my parents were dead. After I left the classroom teaching. I always figured, okay, well, there's just no reason not to let people know, there's no reason because I always felt, you know, I'm a teacher, I was I taught most of my years in Georgia, Georgia is one of those states where you don't have protection for being gay, they can leave, you can be fired all up to your principal to most part. So when I was in teaching school in teacher College, the first class that I took, the professor said, you know, if you're gay, just keep it to yourself. You know, and that stayed with me, you know, I'm not an Earl, I wasn't an early life teacher, I was a late life teacher, I didn't start teaching until my 40s. But to hear that, in what was I believe, about 2001 2002. It just seemed wrong. Wait a minute. I've known teachers who were openly gay. But at the same time, they were taking a huge chance, a huge risk in a place like Georgia, because they couldn't be fired, just like that. And I guess I never wanted that to happen again, same fear of rejection, I would have hated to be rejected as a teacher, because I'm gay. You know, I think it's a yet another fear, you know, that I've had over over life.
Coach Maddox 12:38
What do you think has enabled you to move beyond some of those fears, because you are out there now. And I know that a school thing is, is over. So there's not that risk anymore. But what has enabled you to step through that fear and begin to share who you really are with people.
David Bellamy 12:58
I think, learning about me that are again, my experiences in gay man thriving my experiences with having a group of people to, to share my thoughts and to share my experiences, it gives you confidence. Again, you feel like you're alone in this world. You know, we all know that. You grew up gay, you feel as if you are the only one in the world that is gay. And we know that's not true. But that doesn't change the fact that you grow up feeling this way. And as an adult, you continue to feel as if you are alone in your in your abilities to do and to share and to experience all that there is to experience in this world, especially if you don't have a tribe. I think
Coach Maddox 13:45
you're right. I think we know that there are we're not alone. There's other gay people out there. But we convince ourselves that but but my situation is different. And I think that is some of the biggest feedback that I've gotten about this podcast is. So many men have come to me and said it was so comforting and freeing and liberating to realize that there were other people out there that were going through the same thing. They were going through that and it was so similar that they they kind of had to give up that Yeah, but my situation is different. We always tend to think that. And while it may have some subtle nuances, there's a whole bunch of people out there that are going through what you're going through.
Unknown Speaker 14:40
Of course, of course, and you know, we live in a world now where people are a little a lot more forgiving. And even as for example, I'm no longer a classroom teacher, but I am an AmeriCorps member. I now work with AmeriCorps in a school in an elementary school, actually the same elementary schools that I taught at had for eight years. And I'm a media coordinator, which basically just means I teach some of the library classes, you know, they come we read them a book, we, you know, let them check out books, that kind of thing. It's a lot of fun. I love it. But recently, I had a, we had a week of transportation was our was the theme. And I had all of My children, the whole, all 400 of them walk through my camper van throughout that week. So we had a little tour of my camper van I showed them, you know, you know where the composting toilet is. And I showed them the batteries and told them all the cool things. Well, my my license plate now has a rainbow sticker on top of it. And one child, one child, it's like, Oh, Mr. Bellamy, are you gay? And I for the first time I like I said, Yes. I didn't say anything. All I said was yes. I didn't say it's not your business. I'd say I'd rather not discuss it. It's like, and believe it or not, that was a huge moment in my life that all they said was yes. And the child said nothing and event the child said nothing. It's like, oh, really, that's all I said was really, it was a fifth grader. And you know, they're more likely to be coming of age and all that kind of stuff. But it says a lot. You know,
Coach Maddox 16:24
it says a lot like that. Well, you know, what I know, in my own experience is when you just said yes. You made it a no thing. Air quotes, I'm doing guys. thing. And when we make it a no thing, like then the rest of the world kind of, they see it as a no thing. Very nice. It's when we've got it all built up in our mind that it is a thing that then everybody else, right? Whatever's going on here is usually just like emanating out there. I mean, I certainly know that there was a huge shift in my life, when I finally made it to that place where there was full self acceptance. Then I found the whole world just didn't give a shit. Who I was sleeping with. As soon as I really got cleared, I was like, Okay, I'm cool with this, then I It's been decades since I've run again, as anybody that had an objection with my sexuality. It's just, and I think it's because I came to that place of just being comfortable in my own skin.
David Bellamy 17:37
Yeah, you made it a no thing which I love that line. That line I have to deaf, I definitely have to write that down and make things a no thing because again, I made it a thing for too many years. For 60 years of my life, it was a thing. And in reality, it wasn't a no thing. It was nothing at all for so many years. And I like it this way. I like it this way.
Coach Maddox 18:03
You know, I I love your story about the little boy asking about your little girl. But anyway, still, just but what a beautiful story.
David Bellamy 18:16
It was very, you know, I just answered it, you know? And it's like, Fine, I'm glad you know, you know what the little rainbow sticker means, you know, dentures, it's interesting, I will tell you to add to your story, which is something I posted a few days ago on Facebook. I had I was reading a story. The book was a boy like you, it was a lovely little children's book, you know, first grade, second grade, third grade, a boy like you. And basically the theme of the book was the reason why the author wrote the book was basically to say that, you know, boys who are raised feeling as if you have to be physically and emotionally strong, are are fine. But that is not to lessen those of us who are not physically strong or emotionally hard. So the book preceded you know, we need a boy who is kind we need a boy who's friendly. We need a boy who the world needs boys that do this and that and that, you know, it's not all about sports, and some of us are cooks some of us are do this. Yeah, it was a lovely story made no reference to any type of sexuality or anything. Absolutely nothing. After this after I read the story, this was to a fifth grade class. A little boy raised his hand and said Mr. Bellamy Why is the author trying to make boys gay? This is what came out of this kid, you know, and, and I put it on Facebook. I mean, I was pressed for time. So I didn't go into you know delving into so why do you Feel that why do you didn't know, if I had an hour, I would have said, Why do you feel that, but the whole class was very surprised by it, it came out with just one little boy like, Why? Why is it that the author wants us to want to all boy wants boys to be gay? Meaning, I'm assuming he meant because of the whole, you know, being in touch with emotions and not being good at sports or not being athletic, that type of thing. So I basically said, you know, you, we live in a world now I told a little boy, we live in a world where, you know, you just can't see that anymore. You know, we don't live in a world where, where that's necessarily true. And I left it at that, but then I put it on Facebook the rest of the day for, you know, for others just think, what would you have said? And a lot of people said, Well, clearly, the boy was parroting something that came from his parents or something that you heard somewhere else. I would have done this that the other thing, but it was again, very moving. That, you know, once upon a time, you could have said stuff like that. Yeah, that's what the author wanted to do. Because boys are not supposed to be soft board. Boys are supposed to be athletic. And boys are not supposed to be this that the other thing. But again, it's a different world. Now, a different world
Coach Maddox 21:21
is a different world. And it raises the question for me, perhaps he was having some of those feelings. And then it was making him very uncomfortable. Hmm. You can oftentimes imagine,
David Bellamy 21:36
yeah, I imagine how uncomfortable some of the kids who may be potentially growing up gay. Imagine how uncomfortable it felt for them to hear that coming from that boy, as well. You know,
Coach Maddox 21:50
David Bellamy 21:51
You know, I'm like, Well, wait a minute. I mean, I didn't go into well, I'm gay. i The author wasn't telling me that I had to be gay. I can't you also can't make me gay. So it was it was it was interesting. It was interesting that you, I did get that from somebody. But at the same time, I didn't make it a thing. I just continued on.
Coach Maddox 22:18
Well, you know, you need to take one hand and reach back and pat yourself on the back right now.
David Bellamy 22:24
It that's exactly what I took.
Coach Maddox 22:26
That's an achievement. That's a massive achievement that you made it a no thing.
David Bellamy 22:31
I made it a no thing. Thank you very much. It was important. Important. And I'm glad that I did. I'm glad I did. There's so many little little instances of that in life. You know, I remember. And just tell me when I'm talking, talking too much. I remember when I was student teaching, and this was in 2002, or 2003, I think I was working with a fabulous teacher, she was just a fabulous, she was a fifth grade teacher. She was reading the kids a story. You know, she had them on their car carpet. And she was in a rocking chair was very beautiful. Just just the kind of teacher I want to be. She was reading a book a story. I'm not familiar with the story at all. But there was a gay character in the story. There was clearly a gay character. And the story was pretty obvious from whatever she was reading. She lived she she put the book down. She looked at the class. And she said, Well, you know, kids, that this is, and they all said in unison, wrong. The fact that she taught them this is the power of education, power of teaching, somehow or other at some point in time, she must have told these kids that being gay was not right. And, and my head just dropped. I mean, this woman was on such a pedestal. And she fell right through the ground to that moment, that she would have that kind of power over children. And she had that whole class say that being gay was wrong.
Coach Maddox 24:12
Well, and imaginary students in there that were gay, which is how mortifying that would be. And we've all been there. We've all been. We've all been there. Wow. That hurts.
David Bellamy 24:26
It's so vivid in my mind that day, that moment. And now,
Coach Maddox 24:32
you know, I'm very visual. And as you set that up the carpet and the rocking chair, I mean, I You told that story. Were in the moment that you said that. I felt it David.
David Bellamy 24:44
I felt it. I felt it too. I'm like, what, what is this woman telling these kids? What has she been telling these kids?
Coach Maddox 24:52
Well, because they all said it in unison you know, she's been programming them
David Bellamy 25:00
seeing little just like little boy, but whoever told him that parody that that line about, you know, what is he doing making them gay? Incredible, incredible.
Coach Maddox 25:12
So what has what has come about in your life, you've said in the last couple of years, you have been opening up a little bit more letting people know who you are and letting them know that you're gay. How has that changed your life or what what was opened up, I'm assuming that there's some things that have opened up what has opened up as a result of that it's more sharing, it's more
David Bellamy 25:35
of an individual comfort in knowing that I'm, I'm doing well, you know, I I'm much more confident in myself, I don't do things like putting myself down anymore, you know, oh, the reason why I'm alone is because of this reason. The reason I don't have someone in my life is because I'm, I'm I don't share I you know, I just don't put myself down anymore. Something that that came to Tibet to pass with the game and thriving and all this other stuff, is I discovered a new term, which I didn't know about. And that term is a side side, not a tongue out a bottom, not versatile, OSI high definition. And there are pros. There are, you know, groups on Facebook that you can join and all this kind of stuff. But I discovered that I remember in a, in a call that we had with GMT that, I guess a topic of, you know, why is it that I'm unsuccessful in relationships? And I said, Well, you know, I've often said, one of those reasons is because I don't engage in anal sex. It's my choice. I'm not alone. I know, again, I'm not alone in the world. But I didn't know there was a term for it. I honestly didn't know, there was a term for it. And I found out that, I think it was 2013 or 14, a, a sex therapist named Joe court, coined the term side. In the United States, the term actually exists in other languages, in French, you're going on. I don't know what it is in Spanish. But it starts with a G. And it basically means that for whatever reason, by definition, it is a gay or bi man who, for whatever reason, does not enjoy and therefore does not engage in anal sex. giving or receiving anything else is just fine. Just about anything else is just fine. For most, most, most people who call themselves sides, could be physical reasons. It could be traumatic reasons. I am a child of the 90s. I came of age in the 90s, when AIDS was quite prevalent, and it was killing people. I tend to associate a no sex with death. And unfortunately, I'm not Ms. In many cases, that was the reason you know, so. You know, again, it's a personal choice. It's it is what it is, but at the same time, it doesn't make you less gay.
Coach Maddox 28:26
Oh, not at all. But I had forgotten this. But in this moment, I'm realizing that you taught me that term.
David Bellamy 28:35
Oh, am I because of that? Yes, I know, you and
Coach Maddox 28:39
I, at some point had an interaction. I had posted something on Facebook, it was, I don't know, it was national penetration day or something like that. It was national top day, I don't remember what it was, you know, which I thought was very funny. And I posted it more for shits and giggles than I did for anything else. You made a comment about? Well, what about us sides? You know, and, or something like that. And I was like, that's about you know, so I started Googling and researching and I found out it was a real thing. And I was like, Oh, okay. Yes, you were and then I started to hear others use the term. As soon as I understood what it was, then it kind of began to show up not in in droves or anything, but certainly I heard others mentioned it. And I do think that sexuality, whether it's straight sexuality, or gay sexuality, it can show up in so many different ways. I can remember and this is, I don't know, this may not pertain or not, but I can remember, many years ago when my father was still living, he was just, you know, kind of brokenhearted that he he was amputated. He couldn't, couldn't have interaction any longer. And at one point, I said, Dad, there's a whole lot more to sex than just bucking. You know, there's a lot more to sex you, there's all kinds of things that you can do to pleasure a partner that don't require hard penis. Now, would I be upset? If the pink part didn't work? Well? Of course I would. But would I give up sex because it didn't work? Hell no, you know, I would be learning to express that beautiful thing that we share with another in any other form that I could share, if I was no longer able to participate in something that requires an erection.
David Bellamy 30:49
Very true, very true, it is a very, it has been very edge, both educational and just being able to share with 1000s of other people from all over the world, that it is just, you know, call it a type of gay person, I don't know, just a subset, or whatever. I mean, you tend to want to label each other constantly?
Coach Maddox 31:15
Well, you really saw something earlier, you said, it's just a preference. And this is just the sexual positions are equally just preferences. Yeah, it doesn't separate us or make us different than another person, it just means we have a different preference when it comes to being in the bedroom.
David Bellamy 31:39
And that's, again, if you are in the know, but again, put yourself on social media, put yourself on Adam, for Adam, put yourself on Grindr, or all of these other places, and all of a sudden it becomes you are not as gay as you could be. You aren't, you know, and this is what you owe, you just haven't met the right guy yet. Or you just haven't had you guys just haven't felt my peace yet. You know, all of these things are what? won from people who are not in the know, or who just don't perceive a being side as being a a preference as simple preference. You know,
Coach Maddox 32:23
I think it's really sad that it's this way, but I think humanity in general, we are a little bit threatened by something we don't understand.
David Bellamy 32:32
To che, tu che, we share our you know, there's no reason to again, if it doesn't affect you, then why? Why are you concerned?
Coach Maddox 32:42
I heard, and I can't remember who this was. Now. It was some class I was in it was a teacher, we were talking about. Diversity, I think I'm not sure. And what they said was compassion before comprehension. You know, soak so often, a person who is having a hard time accepting another, their eighth reason for not being able to accept them is I just don't understand. And you don't have to understand. It doesn't matter whether you understand or not, everybody deserves acceptance. And I love this term of compassion before comprehension.
David Bellamy 33:31
I like it too, that says it's a good thing. It's a good thing. It just sort of handle it just makes the matter less
Unknown Speaker 33:43
Coach Maddox 33:45
Just relax. You know, we as a community that the gay male community, the LGBTQ male community, I can't speak to lesbians at all because they have a whole different thing going on when it comes to sex and all the way they relate to that. But we, around every corner are judging somebody that's different than we are. I've lost count on how many times I've been in a social setting where I would overhear somebody say, Oh, she's just a bottom what does that mean? She's just the bottom, you know, I mean, okay, so if you're saying that you're obviously like, representing yourself as being a top she's just the bottom now. Where would you be without those bottoms as a top where would you be without those bottoms? You know, I it doesn't make sense.
David Bellamy 34:43
No, it doesn't. No, it doesn't. Yet. Yet. It is yet
Coach Maddox 34:48
we are so invested in that. So invested in somehow twisting whatever thing we're into as being the superior thing. You know, I hear bottoms do this. Same thing, you know, why where, you know, where would the tops be without us? You know, it's just it's weird.
David Bellamy 35:10
Yeah. So I seek a role free relationship, I really don't acknowledge either or I suppose whatever you like I should, like we should like, whenever we should like what we like. And we should be willing to do these things to each other. So I always will say, you know, on I think my my Adam for Adam profile is something like, you know, no roles or role free, you know, open, honest, authentic, you know, I use all those wonderful buzzwords, unfortunately, understanding that, for the most part, when people say on those types of services, you know, when you say be authentic, and vulnerable, they don't know what you're saying. They haven't taken the course yet. They haven't listened to your podcasts. Right? And, you know, so how do you get people to understand you so that you can move forward? How do we get each other half is our community that understands what it means to be authentic? How do we reach out to a world that is not authentic, or doesn't know what it means to be authentic?
Coach Maddox 36:26
David, I think you're doing it right now.
David Bellamy 36:29
This is my this is my issue, you know, this moment,
Coach Maddox 36:33
right down to, you know, you know, what, what I learned when I really started to lean into the authenticity and vulnerability piece, I had gone through the better part of four decades in a fortress, I had this whole gay men are not safe thing, stay, Buck away from me, you know, you stay over there. And when I started to take the fortress walls down, and begin to show people who I really was, and I began to show my feelings and my emotions and my sensitivity and that vulnerability, it was the most magic thing that I've ever experienced in my life. It was, I found that I didn't have to really educate anybody or tried to lead them into a class of what authenticity means.
Unknown Speaker 37:29
The people that
Coach Maddox 37:31
I've said all along, vulnerability in particular is a polarizer. It sends people either to two things, they either screaming around in the opposite direction, or they want to come and sit right next to me. And I celebrate the ones that scream and run, let them go celebrate them because they have just vacated and created a space for those who do get me to come and sit right next to me. You know, it's, the more I lean in and have that authenticity and just be my vulnerable self. I, it's just created magic, the boyfriend that I'm with right now. We met for dinner. Somebody had introduced us over the telephone. And it wasn't a setup. It wasn't about trying to set us up. He was connecting us for a completely different reason. And we agreed to have dinner to get acquainted. And five minutes into dinner. He had something just really come up. And and I could tell he was having I'm an empath. I could feel it, you know? And I'm sorry, okay. And you said, Well, he told me what was going on. And I just, I reached over and put my hand on top of his hand. And I see a stranger with lunch there five minutes. And I said, it's okay. Whatever you're feeling right now. It's okay. And tears just streamed on his face. And in that moment, I knew this man was going to play a significant role in my life. I didn't know what it was going to be. But you remember the scene from Jerry Maguire? Where he is she says You had me at hello? Yeah, had me the moment tears stream down his face. He had me and we're in a serious relationship. Now. We're, I call him my boyfriend. But to be honest, at this point, he's my partner. We haven't done any wedding vows or anything like that. But at this point, it's, I say the word boyfriend because people can really relate to that. But he is. He knows me better than anybody. And he tells me every day you know me better than anybody.
David Bellamy 39:54
I have half what you're having. I would like to help it. I would have liked what you're having. That's what I want. I Know what everyone wants.
Coach Maddox 40:01
And I want that for you. And, and people say that to me almost every day now as I share this relationship that I'm in, women say it to me. I was talking to 70 year old woman that today who lost her husband in 2018. He died 40 years they'd been together and he died. And she was like, I want Harry Met Sally, I'll have what you're having. And I said, Honey, just keep being who you are, and he will show up. I believe with all my heart. What attracted this man to me was the fact that I just got vulnerable. After 40 years of living in a fortress, I came out of hiding, I came out of the fortress, and I just got vulnerable. I I'm a very emotional man, I don't hide that anymore. I had coffee with somebody brand new in my life. The other day, we had met at a party. We had coffee, and we're sick. We don't know, each we're strangers. And we're sitting there and something came up for me, and, and I just teared up. And when I teared up, he looked at me, he goes, Oh, my God, I'm gonna cry. And he teared up. Well, instant friendship, instant friendship, we're now hanging out together. He's an artist, and I just bought a piece of his art. Excellent. And we've agreed to I've started hosting parties. And I talk about this in some of my Facebook Lives. Yeah, I started hosting parties. And he and I have agreed that we're going to co host a party. And we had, we had coffee last week. And then I went over to his studio to look at his art of the day. And we're already very clear that we're, we're friends. Like that vulnerability takes you in quick. You know, if you don't do the vulnerability thing, friendships to build a friendship can be really a slow process. And sometimes it never hits like the plane that never got enough momentum to lift off the ground. But when you get vulnerable instead of an airplane, it turns up, right. And it's like a, it's like a rocket sitting on the launch pad. And it just takes off. I've seen it again and again, in friendships. I only have one relationship. And that's the one I'm in now that I've really tested this with, but in my friendships, that getting vulnerable and giving them the opportunity to get vulnerable. It it's like being in one of those ads where it says this sports car can go from zero to 60 miles an hour or in point three seconds. Yeah. It's amazing.
David Bellamy 42:47
I want it I want it I you know, I again, it's and sometimes I think it's it's, you know, some of it is work. Some of it is magic, some of it is luck. I'm wondering how much of it is luck and magic? Because I do so want that in life.
Coach Maddox 43:09
I think there is such a thing as magic not in the way that it's depicted in movies and TV. I know that there are definitely times in my life when I experience magic. And this this meeting this man has been and continues to be magic. It's magical. It's it's just like, oh my god
David Bellamy 43:34
maybe I'm too hopeful I at least maybe i i when there's an attraction or when I feel something good about a person. Sometimes I think I go too far right? I get ahead of myself. And my expectations become too great. And and I immediately want like what you're what you're experiencing. And sometimes I think that's what chases them away. Or oh, and it's on myself anymore. But at the same time I'm also trying to be honest in this discussion.
Coach Maddox 44:15
I had a couple of friends at one point tell me Oh, you scare him away. You come on so strong. And I listened to that for a period of time. And then there was a point when I realized this is who I am. If that scares them away. They're not my person. Yeah. They're not my person. Stop. Where did you say? Did you say I'm gonna go maybe I'm too old. Did I hear you say that?
David Bellamy 44:40
I might have said that I sent I sent I think that time wise. I might be running. I'm running out you know.
Coach Maddox 44:50
I'm glad we're on Zoom because I can't reach through this. slap you right now. I want you to stop. I want you to let go that I'm
David Bellamy 44:58
trying so hard to But you know, it's got to be. I think that by nature, I'm more critical of myself than I should be a lot of us are. I mean, it's part of my nature. And I remember what there's a saying like, so what's the common denominator in this? In this situation? Let's say, Okay, I'm unable to find love. What's the common denominator? Me, I'm the common denominator. Now, I don't say that to others anymore. But I think I still say to myself, why
Coach Maddox 45:34
nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with that we have to look within you got to look at what you got on. There's many times when I've seen a pattern through relationships, and had to step back and you have this tendency to make it about them. But then there's this point when I was go, Well, really, you're the common denominator. It's me, you know, and I had to get real with myself and realize that there was something that wasn't working, something that needed to change, not to change to make anybody else happy to but back may make my life better change so I could allow
Unknown Speaker 46:10
Coach Maddox 46:13
You know, I think we spend a lot of time searching for the man, when we should be taking that same amount of energy, and preparing, stop friggin searching for him, and just prepare for his arrival.
David Bellamy 46:27
Coach Maddox 46:29
Prepare for his arrival, do your work, and keep putting yourself out there and being vulnerable. In this last two years, as I started to draw all these wonderful friends to me, I said, I looked in the mirror one day, and I said, Maddox, you're onto something here, you're drawing some pretty cool friends and, and I said, you know, it's just a matter of time before one of those people are going to walk through the door, and they're going to want more than friendship. It's just a matter of time. And that's exactly the way it unfolded.
David Bellamy 47:06
And maybe the post that I'm going to post next on Facebook, it's just a matter of time, time. And I like that. I know, when I first was in game and drive, I remember bringing this up to whoever the host was the thing that, you know, like I said, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm 60 years old, I'm, you know, I'm not getting any younger, you know, all of these things. And I remember, I was supposed to keep saying and saying over and over again. Yes, there's, there's time for the Dream relationship. There is more than enough time in my life with a dream relationship. You know, and that was four years ago. And now I'm thinking there's still enough time for the Dream relationship.
Unknown Speaker 47:52
Like, yeah, it's time. There's always
David Bellamy 47:54
time yet in the back of your mind, one of the greatest fears in life is the whole dying alone. So true, true, true. True. True. No one has ever I've never had in my life. Anyone a man, a man, I've never had that relationship. I've never had someone say, I love you. And I fear dying without ever hearing that said romantically from another man.
Coach Maddox 48:23
You know, I, I get it completely. I don't fear dying alone. Because I think that's a distinct possibility. But I, somebody said to me recently, you know, what is? What is maybe one of your your things and I said, you know, I don't really believe that I've ever experienced true love. I've been in multiple relationships. I had a wife and I've had four serious male partners. And I look back and don't think any of those work what I would classify as real love. And I'm, I'm, it's sad to me to think that I may live my life out and die without experiencing true love.
David Bellamy 49:10
In that, that exactly
Unknown Speaker 49:11
what you're saying.
David Bellamy 49:12
And again, without the relationships, I haven't had the relationship, but I again, I believe it's as possible I want it to be. But I can't guarantee there's no,
Coach Maddox 49:27
no, there's no guarantee. But you know, I mean, I just hit the jackpot. And I'm 66
Unknown Speaker 49:33
Seriously, good for you. 66.
Coach Maddox 49:37
And my you know, and I'm going to share this because I think this is really important, not only for you, but for anybody out there and listener land. When my mom passed away, my dad was 77 years old. And within well, before she passed away, she had Alzheimer's. She went into a nursing home she didn't even know who anybody was was six months after she went into the nursing In home, my father met a woman and she became his girlfriend. Mom was still living still in the nursing home. My dad felt really bad about that. One day I was talking to him. And I said, Dad, let me remind you that you promised mom that when she got bad that you would put her in a nursing home, you go on with your life. You promised her so I'm gonna hold you to that promise. And I said, Dad, this woman has come into your life. God is giving you a gift. Don't fuck it up. Kopi with this woman, you you still take wonderful care of mom. You visit her three times a week you you take care of her. You love her. Go be with this woman. He was really lonely. And they were together for I don't know, four years, maybe something like that. Five and and then her health went sour. And lo and behold, he met another woman. Now by this time, he's 82. Oh, and she was his next door neighbor. They had lived next door to each other for five months. It had never or no, it was longer than that it had never met. And one day they were out in the yard and they said hello. And he invited her over for lunch. And then the next day, and boom at 82. Now he's in another relationship at 82. And it turned out to be she stayed with him until he died. And in that moment, I said to myself, Okay, Maddox, I want you to remember this forever. And always, that has just demonstrated you that you're never too old. And it's never too late. So put that shit to bed. That I'm too old and it's too late to bed. Because you've just had somebody show you that that's bullshit.
David Bellamy 51:50
Wise. Excellent. Yes, yes, I'm inspired. I'm hoping I'll always be. I'm always hoping I'm always hoping it can happen.
Coach Maddox 52:00
It can happen. And the more you lean into that vulnerability, the more attractive it's going to make you I mean, to me, the vulnerability is the it It trumps anybody's physical looks. It trumps anybody's penis size. I you know it? Yeah. Yeah, the vulnerability thing is the thing that draws me in the most and that's why I'm with this guy, you know, five minutes went into dinner, which was not even really a date we just met. Because there was another reason that this guy had introduced us. And five minutes in he gets vulnerable and poof, you know, I'm just like, Okay, you got me. What do you want me or not? You got me? Oh, Lt. It's a superpower.
David Bellamy 52:54
Super fun. I like that. Yes.
Unknown Speaker 52:57
It's a superpower superpowers
David Bellamy 52:58
are important. Yes. And I've
Coach Maddox 53:00
learned to wield like a sword.
David Bellamy 53:04
Unknown Speaker 53:06
It's good stuff.
Coach Maddox 53:07
You're on the right track, my friend.
David Bellamy 53:10
I know. I know. I'm on the right track. I just have to stay on track. Stay. I
Coach Maddox 53:14
know. We have not been in each other's presence. Like on a one on one like this ever? I
David Bellamy 53:20
don't think No, I don't think
Coach Maddox 53:22
so. Now we've seen each other all on Facebook. We have maybe been in some group calls. But you were quiet back then. You didn't speak up in those group calls very much. So I didn't really have very much to go on as to who David Bellamy is. And today, you know, we've been talking for over an hour now. And you you have a very light and playful personality, you have an amazing smile. You bring lots of good stuff to the table. You're great.
Unknown Speaker 53:57
Coach Maddox 54:00
But I will say that the man that I experienced in those group calls where I saw your face in Tollywood squares on Zoom. And the man that I'm seeing today are not the same man. Really? You were still kind of withdrawn and kind of hidden then or that's my experience.
David Bellamy 54:22
No, I I would probably have to agree with you. I mean, it's it's a journey. And I'm moving forward in the journey. You're farther
Coach Maddox 54:32
along on the journey and it shows
David Bellamy 54:35
shows. I like what I'm doing. I like where I am in life. I like that I have my summers to travel I have. I have nothing. I don't want. I have everything that I want. And I suppose the demand is on his way or the man is it's to come
Coach Maddox 54:58
in this last couple of years. says you have kind of leaned into that authenticity and vulnerability. How have men responded to that?
David Bellamy 55:13
I want to say positively. Again, I am not, I don't subscribe to any one of these dating services or anything, I still have a very small circle of gay friends. And unfortunately, most of my circle is on Zoom or on Facebook. Meeting people, I'm not a club person. Unfortunately, I was a chat line person back in the 90s. And the 80s, which wasn't good. I regret that now. But again, it's meeting the right people, it's finding the finding common interests, you know, I thought it would be great. And like for the RV Life, My camper van and all, I thought it would be great. So I joined the gay GL LGBTQ camping association or something like that. And I reached out to people, I think I did a good job of reaching out to people, but basically, it was mostly couples, married couples who see me as a threat or something like that. It's like, No, I don't want to meet you. I just want to you know, you know, see who you are. And this kind of stuff. No, I'm not after your man. I'm not after any of that kind of stuff. I just want to meet people.
Coach Maddox 56:42
Well, that's unfortunate that people feel threatened by you. But you know, sometimes the way we meet the man that we are waiting for, is through through a couples sometimes. I'm good with that, you know, couples, couples, all couples have single friends. You know
David Bellamy 57:00
it? You know, it's so I'm hoping for all types of possibilities. I believe I you know, I'm on Adam, for Adam. And yeah, most people say that's bunch of trash and all this kind of stuff. But it's a way if I'm on it, and I'm a good person, then I should be able to assume that there are other good people who are on it. Just don't want to pay an exorbitant amount of money for these date lines and things like that, that basically just you run into the same people over and over and over again. Yes. So being back in Georgia is a great thing. Atlanta is a fantastic place for gay men. It's like a haven for so many people. So far, so many gay men. So I think that's much better than I was in the DC area, which is also not bad. But just sheer numbers of 55 plus men. It's it's much larger in in this area. So I think I'm in the right place. I have the time to invest in relationships, I'm no longer into what my my career my career for the most part is. He's on his way over now. I'm wanting to enjoy life. I started collecting Social Security last month. And I'm like, Yeah, you know, so now like that aspect of life is is is progressing well financially, I'm fine. I can go where I want to, I can do what I want to I can buy what I want to for the most part. So, you know, I'm not in need of anybody to take care of me or anything and I'm not looking to take care of someone else. I'm looking for a partner. Just like just like we all are. I'm looking for a companion
Coach Maddox 58:50
a confidant. Exactly. You know, mark my word, David. It's just a matter of time.
David Bellamy 58:56
Matter of time, I'm marking your word.
Coach Maddox 58:59
I learned stop searching and start preparing.
David Bellamy 59:04
Loving it loving it. Definitely. I will listen to this podcast just so I can hear it again and again and again. Can't wait, wait.
Coach Maddox 59:13
You know, you have brought some really good stuff to the call to the conversation. You know, some things that any GP TQ man we've all like some of the things you're expressing. We've all experienced. This has been a very rich conversation and I've really really enjoyed it. I've really enjoyed it. You are very easy to talk to. And if you ever come through Texas, you better drop by you better reach
David Bellamy 59:42
out. Certainly will rob Are you in?
Coach Maddox 59:45
I'm a Dallas,
David Bellamy 59:46
Dallas. Okay, so I was in Dallas in 2018. I think that was when I was last there Dallas just for a couple of days but but now I have reason. There's a few people in Texas that I Want to see? So I don't know how far Dallas is from Atlanta. But I can see myself swinging that ways when I
Coach Maddox 1:00:07
don't know how far that is either. I've only been to Atlanta once, but I couldn't tell you offhand how far away it is. But yes. Now you brought some good things to the table. And I honestly, I'm not just saying this, I think you're on a good trajectory.
David Bellamy 1:00:21
Thank you. I'm, I feel that way. And, again, coming on this this podcast, I feel as if I'm, I'm validating it, I'm hearing it from you. I'm hoping that I will get the same thing from people who listen to it. Feedback. That, you know, I don't think I'm doing anything wrong. I think I'm doing the work. I'm think I'm, I'm keeping myself out there. I think I'm being vulnerable. I believe those things. So it's just a matter of time.
Coach Maddox 1:00:53
Well, and you know, he can show up from anywhere, I would have never dreamed, you know, it was a about I don't know, 35 or 40 year old straight man that introduced us for reasons that had nothing to do with sex or relationship. And what there it is, is they all sound goes, I just You could have knocked me over with a feather knocked me over with a feather. But yes, I'm gonna hold an intention for that to come through for you because we all deserve. I don't believe God put us here to be alone. Every creature on the earth pairs off. And we are no different. Yes, this is true. We all want this. And we all deserve to have it. So is there anything through all of your experience, and all the stories that you've shared? Is there any wisdom balm that you would like to leave the listener with something that you've learned in your journey?
David Bellamy 1:01:57
Something wise that I've learned in my journey it's never too late to tell, it's never too late to share. It's never too late. As I told you, I think before we went on air, you know, I vowed to my parents, while I vowed to myself to never have a conversation about being gay with my parents. And I saw them to their grave, and I succeeded. And I hate the thought that I never did them a chance to love me for me, never gave them the chance to accept me or reject me, I assumed rejection. And I think throughout life, I've always assumed rejection. And I think that assuming rejection rejects, you know, a self fulfilling prophecy. It does. It does. And and I don't want that to be so anybody out there who feels as if they can't accept themselves? Try, because you can you What
Coach Maddox 1:03:10
would you advocate for instead of expecting rejection, expecting acceptance? If life is a self fulfilling prophecy, and if we expect rejection, it draws it to us, then it makes sense that if we expect acceptance, it would do the same, correct? It should,
David Bellamy 1:03:28
it should most definitely, you know, it's, um, I was in therapy for years and years, I was a major depression sufferer Long, long ago. And it led to just horrible experiences in life. But I remember a therapist telling me that, you know, he can't be miserable forever. And you always need to leave the possibility open, that everything's going to be just fine. And I think I stay there in my in my head. I always, I want that to be true and it is true. You really have to keep yourself open to just the possibility that everything is going to turn out exactly the way you want it to. Yep. Hold on to that. I always hold on to that. I need to remind myself of that quite often.
Coach Maddox 1:04:17
I love that. I love that. So how about some rapid fire questions?
David Bellamy 1:04:24
Fire away, fire away.
Coach Maddox 1:04:26
All right, first question. From the viewpoint of a man of color. What is the one thing you wish would change about the GB TQ male community
David Bellamy 1:04:42
that we all have to have color, I suppose would be it. Let's just take that away. Unless it's something that's important to you. But if it's not something important to don't make it an issue, by all means, don't make it an issue.
Coach Maddox 1:04:58
Beautiful. Live and let live.
David Bellamy 1:05:01
Coach Maddox 1:05:03
Beautiful. What's the most important lesson you have learned in this lifetime? Wow.
David Bellamy 1:05:16
Friends are the greatest gift that I think the world can give you, your true friends are the greatest gift that you can give you that you can be given. I have a family that has been most part rejected me over the years, not because of being gay, but because of having mental illness. And my friends never rejected me for those reasons. You know, there's just I think that I cherish the people who have been with me for so many years. We're talking high school, my best friends in the world, our high school friends. Wow, it was a long time ago. I suppose.
Coach Maddox 1:05:58
That's amazing. And what a valuable lesson learned. What matters most to you and why
Unknown Speaker 1:06:10
matters most that's being me,
David Bellamy 1:06:17
being me, being all that is me and all that I can be. That should matter at this stage of life. That's what matters most. I've given the world the best of me. You know, I've given away that in so many ways. It's time to put me first and get my get mine. I want mine, you know, said. Well said. And I love my bird. You he's noisy, but I love you. He can tell.
Coach Maddox 1:06:55
Well, this has been awesome. I've really enjoyed this. And I can't imagine that the listeners won't totally enjoy it too. It's just been delightful.
David Bellamy 1:07:03
Loving it, loving it. Loving it. I'm so glad I did this. I'm so glad. I remember, like the first podcast that you had. I'm like, let me sign up.
Coach Maddox 1:07:12
You did way back there. And
I was like, Okay, be patient. He'll
come around, baby. I was already.
David Bellamy 1:07:22
Thank you so much Maddox.
Coach Maddox 1:07:24
Thank you, David. And, I mean, one thing that I definitely want to reflect back to you is that you are indeed an authentic gay man. And I clearly demonstrate that in in word and deed.
David Bellamy 1:07:38
Thank you for saying that. Thank you for sharing that with with everyone.
Coach Maddox 1:07:43
It's been a pleasure and an honor.
David Bellamy 1:07:44
Okay, thank you.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Van-lifer, semi-retired educator, sapiosexual and a side. I am a 62 year old gay man who until recently, dismissed himself as "just not being good at being gay." Proficient at meaningless hookups in my twenties through my fifties yet utterly unsuccessful at negotiating a loving relationship, my life journey took me through a multi-year depression and a total life re-boot. I survived. In many ways I now thrive. Still I find myself alone with zero prospects for a dream relationship. I've done and am doing "the work." What's next?