And when I say "explain away," I mean to yourself. I know that the first time I felt those really good feelings looking (well, staring, really) at another guy was also the first time the other guy (or guys, in this case, about 15 or so of them) noticed me staring. And a few of them made it very clear to me and to the others that I was no longer part of their group. Bad deal. Anyway, I wanted to still be "one of the guys," so I explained away my feelings to myself in such a way that I wasn't this "gay" thing those other boys kept calling me. Maybe what I really wanted was power or aggression, to win against them, to dominate, that kind of thing. In the language and thinking of my own macho world, that was at least a plausible framework for me to use. But of course, it wasn't true, at least with regard to my sexuality. I definitely wanted to make them stop ostracizing me, and I definitely wanted to get back at them for their hostility. Neither of those, though, was a way to realize what I wanted deep down: I wanted sex and affectionate contact. Since that wasn't an option at the time, though, I shoehorned my experience into the only intellectual framework I had available to me. If you had same-sex feelings early on, did you do anything to try to explain them away to yourself?