Sebastian Fortino Author

A Gay Man Remembers Taking Risks to Appear “Straight”

As I approach my 40th birthday as an out-and-proud gay man, I find myself thinking about the years I spent as a closeted teen, including some of the ridiculous things I did to fit...

He Found Me 20 Years After We Met in Gay Youth Group

Thanksgiving makes me think of the people we gain and lose along the way, in particular a long lost-friend from a gay youth group who promised to keep in touch and did – two...

Did I Understand Consent as a Young Gay Man?

In light of recent high-profile allegations of sexual abuse, I can’t help but wonder if I even understood consent when I was a young gay man living in 1990s New York City. You...

Saying Farewell to Summer at a Gay Nude Beach

As fall approaches, I can’t help but marvel at the sights, sounds and stories I experienced this summer at a local, clothing-optional stretch of the water’s edge that the...

Can You Throw a Big Gay Dinner Party Without the Dinner?

I decided to shake up my party-throwing routine, and the result was a culinary catastrophe. I love the feeling of being a host, but perhaps it’s easier to love when you...

This Gay Man Went Camping and All He Got Was Hope for the Future of America

We thought we had packed almost everything for our visit to a gay-owned campground, but one of the best moments of the trip came from something we forgot. There was an ad campaign...

The Stations of My Gay Divorce

On the day my divorce was finalized, I accidentally ended up in the neighborhood where I took so many of the steps which led me to that moment. As I shared in an earlier column...

Once Upon a Time in 1990s New York City

As spring finally teases us hello with the first warm weather, I can’t help but look forward to summer, a subject that invariably gets me thinking of my 20s in New York. I’m...

Do I Have the Right to Mourn My Friend’s Father as Though He Were My Own?

He was like a father to me, but when we lost him, I had to ask myself whether I had the right to be so sad. Last spring, as my fellow Portlanders were shaking off the slow drizzle...

A Gay Man Wonders, “When Will They Stop Calling Me a Boy?”

As a shorter guy, I accepted it would take longer to be called “a man.” At first, I thought it would definitely happen by 30. Nope. Well after that, I had certain friends who...

Did I Really Give My Ex-Husband the Best Years of My Life?

It’s an oft-repeated phrase. It’s so ingrained into the culture of relationships and breakups, that it’s become a cliché. I remember when I first heard one of the...