Wise Guy

Dwight Allen O’Neal Releases His Hilarious Memoir

By Phil Bessimer
Photos by Rick Day

In his first collection of humorous vignettes, the star of Christopher Street-The Series recounts some of his life’s biggest missteps, and reflects on how they have affected his personal journey. From learning to break out of his self-imposed shell to giving his heart to the wrong person, to finding the courage to come forward in a very public sex scandal, Dwight Allen O’Neal imparts his own brand of “gay boy next door” wisdom that has been delighting fans on his popular Shoulda! Coulda! Woulda! podcast show.

Where did you get all of your wisdom?

I have always had a very old soul.  When most children were outside playing, I would sit on our front porch drinking sweet tea and listening to my grandfather and my grand-aunt Carrie talking about current events and family gossip.

How very southern!

My grand-aunt Carrie would tell me things about the family and give me her opinion all the time.  I became her only friend up until she died. I would sit next to her hospital bed and play with my toys and visit with her for hours.   I learned so much, probably too much and too soon, however, it has created the person that I am today.  

Do you have it all figured out now?

Hell no!  I wish I had it all figured out.  I don’t think anyone does, and that’s the beauty of life.  We are consistently growing and learning about the world, others, and most importantly, ourselves.  The thing that I have figured out is it’s not about falling, but how you get up. Getting up time after time is the beauty of life. 

What is the biggest f up you have ever made?

My biggest f up would be my habit of letting men move in with me too soon.

Who is one person you shoulda known to avoid?

The guy I met in college.  We went on one date and it was probably the worst date ever.  We had no chemistry at all. However, over a decade later we reconnected at a party and thought we would try again. After dating for about 2-3 weeks, he said his place needed renovations and asked if he could crash with me for a month.  A month became over a year.  He paid his bills on time, however the emotional and sometimes physical abuse  was horrible. My spirit told me to run from him, but I didn’t listen.   

What is one thing you coulda done better if you had tried a little harder?

The one thing I probably could have done better was believe in myself.  For so long, I thought it was about pushing myself to do more, to be the best, to achieve greatness.  Yes, these things are important.  Nonetheless, it is equally as important to believe that you can do amazing things, and support yourself when you make a mistake or fail.  At one point in my life I was a better friend to others than I was to Dwight Allen O’Neal.   

Tell about one challenge you woulda overcome if only you had persevered.

If I had persevered in my relationship with my husband, my marriage would have worked. To be honest, if I persevered in my relationship with myself I probably would have realized that I was marrying the wrong person.  I married an incredible man, however we were not compatible.  If only we had waited, we would have avoided a sad ending to a beautiful start. As I continue to mature, I am learning more and more about the importance of our personal relationships with ourselves.  Without a strong, positive, loving personal relationship with yourself, you will never be able to have one with others.

Shoulda! Coulda! Woulda!  is available on Amazon.  Visit www.ONealAppeal.com.

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