I was having dinner at The Canal Club in Venice with my ladies when I heard over my shoulder, in a deep southern accent, “Jim, is that you?” I turned around and standing at the table was an old roommate. I barely recognized him. His once toned and buffed body was now chubby and bloated. As I looked at him standing there in front of me, a slew of old, dark emotions come whirling back. I lived with him when I first moved to California back in 2003. This was during the loneliest and darkest period in my life—I was so deep in the closet that I kept all relationships at an unhealthy distance. The 6 months I lived in Irvine, I didn’t allow any of my roommates to get to know me, especially Willy. I believed he was also a closeted homo and instead of treating him as an ally like I should have, I treated him as a threat. It’s one of the ugliest things gay men do.