John has a somewhat similar situation when it comes to Pride, so I've seen it happen first-hand with him - although the best of the GLBT community comes out at Pride, so does the worst, including the shallowness of both physical attraction and lack of appreciation of mental acuity. Me, I'm used to it and am able to ignore it for the most part (I'll even admit there are times when I'm just as shallow), but when it's not something you're exposed to on a regular basis, nor are you able to overlook (as John is not on both counts), it gets to you, and can, in those predisposed to it, really depress you, especially when you start comparing yourself to others, or comparing yourself to their standards of what you "should be" as a GLBT person. (Damn, I really hope cd332 reads this!) John has come home from the past two Pride festivals and been horribly depressed for days afterwards, so although I don't understand it as I am not able to experience it to the depth he does, I acknowledge that's who he is and how he feels, and I respect his decision to skip it this year - it sounds like the most healthy thing for him to do. Am I disappointed he won't be there? Of course I am. But at least he's made a couple of attempts to overcome his anxieties, and is in a frame of mind to know he's not capable to handle it this year. (And John, feel free to clarify or correct any of that if it's inaccurate.)
So now I have Daniel, only I need to switch "Quincy" with "Pride," and it's the same net effect.
Am I disappointed with the situation, that Daniel has these feelings and is having problems dealing with them? Yes.
Truth be told, I'm a little disappointed in him as well, for three reasons - one, I see him using the situation as a justification to climb back into his shell; two, I see him not using the situation as an opportunity to confront his feelings (after all, he's been saying he wants to be able to hang with me and Q, as it's obvious Q isn't going anywhere); and three, I'm feeling more than a little let down that in an hour of need (and getting this parade contingent together is most assuredly a NEED for Gaylaxicon) I can't depend on him, which I always thought I could.
As I told him, I recognize and acknowledge that his feelings are his feelings and he has no control over them, and that perhaps he's not ready to deal with them just yet, so I am mostly disappointed in this being the situation, and I am going to focus on that for now as it's a larger and far more important issue. I want Daniel to get better in dealing with this, or he'll end up turning out like his ex who can't even go to an airport because of his anxieties.
I hope, however, that he will soon change his response to his feelings and confront them and deal with them, because if things don't change, I will certainly be in a quandry. Both Daniel and Quincy are extremely important to me, and if they cannot coexist in my life, I will have a problem. (And no, Daniel, that is not your excuse to cut and run so you don't cause me any problems, so don't even say it.) I have been trying to give him space since the 4th so he can concentrate on work, but I wonder how long this will continue.