Can’t We All Just Get Along?

I had my first Facebook unfriending as a result of this blog. Although I expected the possibility of losing friends, I guess I wasn’t really prepared for it, nor could I have been. I have no regrets about anything I have posted, but it still hurts, and it frustrates me. No one likes to be rejected, no matter what the circumstances. I think the most frustrating part of all is the fact that this person is a “Christian”. I have had them in my home, I have cooked them dinner. Yet now, they want nothing to do with me. How does that even fit into the Christian principles they have been taught? If Jesus had Facebook he would definitely still be my friend…along with his 12 disciples.

It is Christians like this that make it so hard for the gay community to trust them. So many have been hurt that they want nothing to do with God or the church. I have learned to separate people from God and know that he still loves me, and is always there for me, even when his people are not. I also want to point out that I am incredibly grateful for those who have remained my friend, who have read my blog, who have listened, and although may not understand…have tried. It means more to me than you could imagine.

I can’t deny that I am still frustrated. I am frustrated with the Christian community, and even with the gay community. There is ignorance on both sides. The Christian community is overly focused on the idea of love the sinner hate the sin… or that being gay is an abomination that they fail to see that we are human beings just like them that pray to the same God. The gay community has been so hurt by the Christian community that they automatically assume that all Christians hate them and don’t give them a second chance. Not all Christians are against gay people. Not all Christians think it is a sin. There are plenty of them out there that are the most empathetic, understanding, loving, and Christ like people. There are churches out there that are accepting of Gay people… but why are there only certain churches? We are creating a sense of segregation and it is pathetic. We are all people. We are all sinners, and no matter what, in the end– love wins. There shouldn’t be gay churches and regular churches. If there is only one God, then why are we creating such a spiritual battle which in the end only leads to people being hurt?

There are so many different sins out there.. and lets say being gay was in fact a sin… why is the church so focused on this one issue? There are liars, thieves, murderers, adulterers…etc. all of these labels/sins have a negative affect on other people around them, however, being gay does not. We still contribute positively to the people around us. We are good people. We are not out to recruit, or corrupt your children. Nor are we contagious. We are simply just different, but not that different. We want to be accepted, acknowledged, and loved, just like everyone else.

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Undercover Rebel

I never really rebelled as a kid. Well, I rebelled a little but I rebelled in different ways. I have always been one to write things out.. one of those things being a “rap” about one of my high school teachers that I was not very fond of. He was kind of a creeper and flirted with the high school cheerleaders. He taught our physical science class but we learned a lot less about science, and a lot more about how music with a beat was a product of Satan. Well, then thanks Satan for creating some serious ear candy.

One day freshman year I decided I had had enough of his mindless banter so I decided to write a rap about him. I wish I still had it lying around somewhere. If I ever find it… watch out Macklemore. I believe the rap addressed girls getting their letter grades based on their bra sizes… and the fact that his pants were so tight that when he sat down on his lecture stool with legs wide open you could see much more of him than you wanted to. I don’t know how he ever expected us to be able to pay attention when his electrons were hanging out. If I ever need something to blame being gay on, I can just blame it on my high school science teachers male camel toe. That was some scary shit.

I had shown my new found talent for insulting teachers with rhythmic charm to a few friends. We had a good laugh and that was that…until a year later. One day my sophomore year of high school I was sitting in my math class. Algebra 1b to be exact. One of the office assistants walked in the classroom and handed me one of the prized pink office slips. Lucky me. I never got these things… but hey, if it meant getting out of class, it was a good day. The slip read that I should go see the vice principle. Hm. Strange. Perhaps there was some sort of confusion… Off to the office I went. As soon as I stepped into the vice principles office and had a seat I looked over at her. She had a concerned look on her face. What in the world was going on? Finally she started talking and told me that on her way to a woman’s retreat apparently my mom had found my rap as funny as I did and decided to bring it along to show it to the other ladies from the school. The vice principle being one of them. Part of me was proud that my mom found it funny, the other part of me was mad that she didn’t realize that showing the vice principle my outlet of frustration that I made a year ago wouldn’t get me in trouble. I was in the principles office for something I had done a year ago… because my mom found it funny and showed the vice principle. Thanks Mom. I must say though, I am quite happy that at least my mom has a good sense of humor.

The principle instructed me to bring my notebook containing the lyrics that won me my first office visit to school so we could “destroy it together.” I assured her I had retired from songwriting and agreed without hesitation. I was the good, awkward, quiet kid. I wasn’t asking for trouble. Except, I never returned to destroy that notebook. Everyday I saw her I expected her to come after me for it but strangely she never did. Maybe because she knew the lyrics were true, or perhaps she may have found it at least a little bit funny herself. The notebook containing the prized science teacher camel toe lyrics still exist… yet to be found. I didn’t get in trouble a whole lot in school, but it seems towards the end of my high school career I ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kind of like my accidental involvement in the “sex tape” scandal that happened on one of the buses. That story…coming soon.

Know My Heart

I was driving home from work the other night, trying to be careful to keep an eye out for deer or any other furry road bumps that could lead to my premature death, when a thought popped into my head. What if I were to crash and die right now? What would God say to me? How would he judge me? Would I go to hell like I have been told I would because I’m gay? I got nervous and began to think of what I would say to defend myself from the fiery pits of hell. Then suddenly a sense of calm came over me and the words “God knows your heart.” came to mind. God knows my heart. It is that simple. I don’t have to defend myself to God, I don’t have to explain myself, or try to convince him that I am still a good person. He created me, he knows me. He gets me. We’re tight like that.

I admit, there was a long period of time where I was very angry with God, and sometimes even questioned his existence. I have reached a point where the anger is no longer there and I am more much more open to his presence. I know he is there. I know he exists. But I don’t entirely know what it means.

I am finding that my views of God don’t exactly align with the faith that I was brought up with. I don’t think I should have to choose between gay or God. I used to think that this was my only option, which is what made me so angry and resentful towards Him in the first place. According to what I was taught, I would either have to choose a life alone, or go through some sort of magical conversion therapy to turn me straight. I feel like conversion therapy should be called denial enforcement therapy. Denial definitely didn’t make me straight, it made me a liar, and it made me miserable.

In one of my last therapy sessions with my therapist that was trying to get me into conversion therapy I told her how I didn’t think that someone who was an “ex gay” that married someone of the opposite sex would be able to be fair to themselves or their partners. I asked her. “Would you marry an ex gay man?” She hesitated and thought about it for a minute and then went on to tell me that some people have done it and now have families with kids. Hate to break it to her but that means absolutely nothing. Procreation, or a legally binding document stating you are married to someone of the opposite sex does not mean that you are cured of homosexuality. I may know this from experience.

I think one of the things that people don’t get about homosexuality is that it isn’t all about sex. ( So get your mind out of the gutter ). It’s about love. Sex and love are two different things. I can NOT fall in love with someone of the opposite sex. It just isn’t there. There are no butterflies, no excitement, no emotional connection or yearning for affection. I feel nothing. Absolutely nothing. People have sex with people they don’t love all the time. It is called meaningless sex. I happen to be someone who can’t do this. I am just not wired that way.

If there is one belief I have that I find still aligns with the faith that I was brought up with it is having a personal relationship with God. I still feel I have that, and sometimes it is the only thing I have left to comfort me when I am exhausted with trying to show that I am still me. I am still a person that just wants to love and be loved.

 

Shame

Shame is something we all learn at a young age. Perhaps you were once told “shame on you” for something you did wrong. Or maybe you recognize it as that queasy, gut wrenching, heart pounding, nervousness right as you debate whether or not to confess to your mother you broke one of her prized possessions. Can you glue it back together? Will she notice? Or should you confess now and hope for the best? It was an accident after all, maybe she will go easy,  or maybe if you don’t say anything she won’t notice…but that feeling of shame will remain if you don’t tell her. Surely if you do not tell her, God would know. God always knows. Better fess up.

I have struggled with a lot of shame over being gay. The moment I learned what it meant to be gay, that familiar feeling of shame rushed over me. I felt as though I had done something wrong. I had been taught that I was immoral, and would be boxed into the same sexual perversions as bestiality, incest…etc. This was worse than accidentally breaking one of my parents belongings. This could break their hearts. It became my deepest darkest secret. There was no way I could be gay, so denial became my lifestyle of choice.

Denial only works for so long. When my marriage ended I had a choice. I could either start living true to myself, or I could keep living in denial. It was a hard confusing process but I chose to start being true to myself. The hardest part to get through was the shame. Even though I had stopped living in denial, I constantly worried. What will my parents think? Will they still love me? Will they be ashamed of me? What will my friends think? What if they don’t want me around their kids?

My secret was eating me up inside. I couldn’t keep this all to myself any longer. I finally built up the courage to come out to my counselor. It wasn’t exactly the best first coming out experience. When I told her I was gay she asked me. “Well, is this something you want or don’t want?” I was confused. I replied “Who would want this?” She proceeded to tell me there were groups out there for me where I could “beat this.” That there was hope for change. But what could these conversion groups do that I hadn’t already tried? I prayed to God, and I got married. To a man. If that doesn’t work I don’t know what will. Then she said something to me I will never forget. “You will never be the woman God wanted you to be.”

Those words stung worse than any other words I had ever heard. I left her office and never looked back. She tried contacting me multiple times through text message saying that she hoped that I hadn’t given up. Well, I had. I had given up lying to myself and believing that I had something to be ashamed of. I realized that all of this shame I was feeling wasn’t from God. It was from people. How does she know who God wants me to be? I already tried to live how I thought God wanted me to, and I failed miserably. I was living a lie. Doesn’t God say thou shall not lie? I believe this means  you shall not lie to others… or yourself.

For a long time I thought being gay meant you could no longer believe in God. That I couldn’t be a christian and be gay. I no longer believe that, and I no longer feel shame. I know God loves me, and he doesn’t just love the sinner and hate the sin. He loves all of me. No person can ever tell me who God wants me to be.

I Couldn’t Change

OH, where to start. So much has changed in the past couple of years it is hard to know what to cover first. Well, I guess I might as well start with the biggest life changes. Lets get this shiz out of the way.

You may or may not recall that I was once married. Yes, to a man. The problem: I’m gay. Yep. Gay. and unfortunately I couldn’t be straight if I tried. And boy did I try.

It has been a little over two years now since my marriage ended.

A little back story:

I grew up in a Christian home. I went to church every Sunday and went to a Christian school from Pre-K all the way up through high school. I don’t recall learning a whole lot about homosexuality in church but it was a pretty common topic at school. We had a Bible classes devoted to homosexuality and how it was wrong. We watched videos on it, how it was a perversion, a sin, unnatural, and how God did not approve of gay people. I remember sitting in class watching these videos feeling like all eyes were on me. My hands would clam up, my heart would beat fast. I was terrified someone knew or would find out I was gay and I was so ashamed. I was pretty paranoid throughout high school that someone would think I was gay. It consumed a lot of my mind and it made me withdraw even more than my introverted self wanted to.

I think the most common question I get is well, “if you are gay then why did you get married?” This is not only the most common question but it is also the most difficult to answer. There are a few reasons. Number one: Considering my upbringing actually accepting being gay was never an option to me. I was taught that it was a sin that God would send me to hell for. I didn’t drink, smoke, do drugs, or have sex for the same reasons. I was a good kid. I wanted to please God, and be everything I was taught he wanted me to be. Because of this I also saved myself for marriage. This brings me to reason number two: I thought that attraction to my husband would come after marriage. Perhaps after the wedding night if you get my drift…but it didn’t.

I spent the next year of my married life confused, frustrated, and depressed. I became so angry at God. I had done everything I thought he wanted me to do. Why couldn’t  I just be like my friends, why wasn’t I attracted to men or able to love my husband the way my friends loved theirs? Needless to say there was no real honeymoon phase of our marriage.

A year after we were married my husband joined the military. Off to bootcamp he went, and back to the parents house I went. We were apart for about 6 months. During the time that we were apart it forced me to take some time to process what was really going on with me. Unfortunately I was still unwilling to accept being gay and followed him to his first duty station in Germany. This is where I spent some of the darkest moments of my life. I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t pretend to love someone. It wasn’t fair to me, or him, but I was also too afraid to tell him what was wrong. I had found support in message boards while I was in Germany. I was told, “you are still young, go enjoy and live your life.” So that is what I decided to do and enrolled in culinary school. I was still too much of a coward to tell my husband that I was gay, but he could tell how miserable I was and allowed me to go back to the states to attend school. The “plan” was that I would go back after graduation but I knew I was never coming back. I was secretly running away.

A couple of months after returning home my husband unknowingly gave me an easy way out. He found someone else. Although this was an easy out for me, it also allowed me to stay in the closet and delayed the fact that I had a lot of things to deal with and process. As usual I pursued support through the internet. This is also where my support turned into a relationship. I had met someone who had also been previously married and was in a similar walk of life. This is also when I experienced love for the first time. I fell for a girl.

At the age of 25 I experienced love for the first time. My whole world changed and so many things finally made sense to me. Love songs, cheesy chick flicks… the excitement, butterflies, and joy. It was like I was able to see the world in color for the first time. I was in love and it felt so natural. My anger towards God disappeared and instead I was so thankful to finally be experiencing these feelings that I had never felt before. I have also realized that since experiencing love I now have a new understanding of what God’s love for us means. This is where I have a hard time believing that being gay is a sin. How was I ever supposed to understand love if I had not experienced it? And if God is love, than why would he ever want to take that feeling from us? I don’t believe God would ever be that cruel.

Unfortunately at the age of 25 I also experienced heartbreak for the first time. It is definitely something that I was not prepared for. I never really got the phrase heartbreak or where it came from. Your heart can’t break…that’s just not possible. I was so wrong. I never knew emotional pain could be so physical. It was another painful time in my life but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I learned so much about myself and about life. I have made some pretty awesome new friends in the meantime that have helped me in this new aspect of life and actually being able to feel. “It is better to feel pain, than to feel nothing at all. The opposite of love is indifference.” — Lumineers.

It has been a crazy two years but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am finally living true to myself and no longer feel ashamed of who I am. I feel no shame from God, and am so thankful for the life he has given me. It is hurtful to me when people tell me being gay is a choice. In my experience the only choice I had was to be miserable or happy. You only get one life, and I chose happiness. It is true what they say. I couldn’t change even if I tried.

Oh, Hello

My life has changed quite a bit in the last few years. I guess it may seem that I kind of dropped off the face of the blogging world but the truth is I have been here all along. I have been blogging anonymously due to fear and all the changes going on in my life but I think I am ready to put my thoughts out there again. You may or may not be familiar with my old blog ( which I am not going to post the address to ) but if you are, you may notice that A. I am no longer married. B. I went to culinary school. and C. I’m gay. Yep.

Those are some of the few major life changes… which, may be confusing to some. ( unless you are a new reader then… welcome! ) I guess I have a lot of explaining to do, so here is where I start.  Welcome to my new blog.