More Reflecting- A Letter On Coming Out
I sure have been in a reflecting sort of mood lately. I was browsing through some old emails last night, and I came across one that I sent to my mom 4 years ago (exactly tomorrow), shortly after I came out to my dad. This email was in response to our follow up conversation after I told him I was gay. It took him a few weeks to be able to address the issue with me, and he still was not very happy with what was going on (he suggested ex-gay therapy as one of the solutions).
My dad has come a very long way from where he was in this letter, which has been amazing. Please keep in mind that this was 4 years ago, and some of my views of the world have changed since then. There are a couple of things I said then that I'd never say now, so please don't be offended. I remember writing this during one of the most depressed days I've ever had, so it's pretty much me spilling my emotions to my mom.
Anyway, here's the letter. It's long. I hope my mom doesn't mind me sharing this ;-)
I am not doing that well today. I feel today exactly the same as the day after I told him I was gay. Sure he isn't going to disown me and he loves me and all of that. But it almost feels like a conditional love now. I mean, he really said that if I was gay and it can't be changed (since his goal currently is definitely to change me), then he won't ever accept that, but he will still love me and be by me.
He told me all about all the friends I would lose and how I would lose my job and be ridiculed. Mom, I have been gay for a very long time and I have been out to everyone close to me for about a year now. I have basically been out to everyone I know (save casual acquaintances, some family, and people at work) and I have had zero problems. In fact, he is the first person that has had any real problems with it. Sure I don't
expect my whole life to be easy bc
I am gay, but so far so good. And, I am definitely not spiraling into a dangerous lifestyle like he seems completely convinced being gay is. Mom, the one gay person he knows is from AA. I mean, he thinks that every gay person is either like his friend in AA (I mean he was in AA for god's sake, can you really base a whole group of people on one person from AA?) or like every gay stereotype that has been out there.
Worst of all I think that all of the information that he is getting and will continue to get is going to be from such a biased source that he will never come around. But he thinks that anything that doesn't
say that being gay is a sin is liberal propaganda
(even though every major medical, psychological, sociological, etc. group in this country believes that at the very least its not changeable). I mean, that's
the real thing here, I think if he would really wake up and be willing to look at both sides of the story he might at least not try to send me to "straight camp." But, he even told me that he isn't interested in hearing what scientists have to say. But I don't want him to here about the morality of being gay from scientists. I just want him to hear from them that being gay happens and there is basically nothing to do about it, it just happens.
I don't know, I kind of feel like I have come so far for myself over the last year or so. My relationship with Jack is seriously better than I thought it could be (especially dealing with it in college). I don't think we have had a single fight or even harsh words for at least a year. And now here I am taking huge steps backward because my dad keeps thinking I am the flaming gay guy from his AA class and at the very best says that he can accept me as a person but can't accept my sin.
He told me that you told him that I needed your support. And he said that he would definitely be there for me to try to "help me through this," but if I am looking for him to tell me it is ok
to be gay or that it isn't a big deal, that isn't something he can do.
He also said that he and my step mom were talking and they said that they always thought that they had to worry about my youngest and oldest brothers, but never thought that I was the one that they would have to worry about. Would he rather I go back to a point in my life where I lie to everyone that asks about my love life. What is that, like 10 lies a day he'd rather have me telling? Maybe I will tell him this: I can say, ok
, I'm gay, so if I stay celibate I won't be sinning anymore. But then I wouldn't want to lie either, so I'd have to just tell everyone I know that I am a celibate gay man. But then that wouldn't help him with the embarrassment
that he seems to be feeling right now.
I know this is hard for him and he has so many hang ups that he has to deal with. But right now I only see him thinking of himself here. He says he's trying, but he is really not in my eyes. I mean, anyone that was really trying would KNOW that everyone in the world except for a few quacks agrees that you can't change gay people. Anyway, I guess I will stop this for now. I feel like I have been kicked in the chest today. It hasn't
been a good day.
Oh, read this, its a good article. I am sure dad would agree with the fundies
on this one, but anyone not completely biased against gays can plainly see how reparative
Oh, since I am ranting, can you not vote for Bush this year? Abstain from voting if you have to. He will win anyway I am sure, but he is more anti-gay than dad. Anyone that would rewrite the constitution to make sure that your son can't get married or even have a civil union doesn't deserve your vote. I probably won't vote since I still can't vote democrat for economy and tax hike reasons. Ok
, I love you, sorry to rant forever.
Someone commented on the "I Used To Hate Being Gay" post
I made last year that I also sent off to the Advocate (side note: one of my coworkers was googling my real name for some reason and came across the letter as well).
The poster was a 16-year old guy named James that's dealing with being gay and having a fairly rough time. It sounds like he's basically going through what I was going through back then. Really all I could say to him was that things will get better. I hope he realizes that.
After reading his comments and my post over again, I decided to go back and do some reading of my blog. In the 3 years or so I've had the blog, I've probably only done that twice. I've never really kept a journal at all, so it was quite interesting to read my posts and remember where I was in life, how things have changed, even how my writing interests have changed (and it hasn't really been all that long). It's an experience I'm not used to, but I enjoyed it. Now I just have to get back to posting more often again.
I had a dream last night about Jason, my stepbrother. I usually get bored when people tell me about their dreams, so I apologize in advance for talking about mine here, but I rarely remember my dreams, and this was one of the first ones I've been able to remember vividly in quite a while.
In the dream, I woke up one morning with the distinct understanding that Jason was still alive but that he was going to die that morning. I remember going to his room (which oddly was not the room we used to share as kids but was the same house) to see if he was awake. I expected him to be laying in bed, mourning the fact that he was going to die in just a few hours.
To my surprise, he was up and was getting ready for the day. He said he wasn't the type of person to worry about whether or not he was going to die. I remember admiring how brave he seemed when he said that. And just like nothing was going on, we went downstairs and hung out with the family and laughed and told stories like we usually do when we get together.
Then I woke up.
On my drive to work that dream is all I could think about. Now that I'm writing this out, I feel like the dream should have given me some sort of peace, but I was sad instead. It reminded me how much I miss him.
I've mentioned to J a couple of times that I felt like I hadn't really grieved as much as I thought I would have or should have. This makes 2 rough patches in 2 weeks. I guess the grieving process takes a little longer and works a little differently than I thought it would. I think this dream is really the first time I've actually forced myself to realize that I wouldn't be seeing him anymore. How I've gone two months without figuring that out I don't know.
I could provide links until I'm blue in the face, but I'm going to refrain because you guys all know what I'm talking about.
I don't know what it is, but this idea that public schools, the "liberal media," etc. etc. are "promoting homosexuality" is just silly to me. If being gay is so terrible, dangerous, immoral, then why would anyone want to promote it, much less public schools? Here I always thought that schools were trying to educate kids. Apparently they're really trying to...ruin them?
So, if anyone would like to explain to me why a public school system would actively promote something that is bad, please do. It just doesn't make any sense to me. Oh, and if you'd like to describe how just mentioning something like homosexuality is actually promoting it, I'm all ears on that one too.
I found out on Thursday that it was time to move the stuff out of my stepbrother's house so we could give the house back to the bank. My stepbrother, Jason, had recently accomplished his dream of buying a house, and it really was a perfect place for him. Huge yard, pool, deck, even an outdoor cabana. He loved to throw parties, and in the 6 months he had the house, he threw plenty of them.
Unfortunately, since he had just bought the house back in April, there is absolutely no equity in it. So, the options were to keep it, which none of us can afford to do, or let the bank foreclose on it, which is the route we're taking.
So, Sunday morning I woke up and made what will most likely be the last 20-minute drive I ever make over there. The trip there was the first time I've been extremely emotional since a week or so right after he died. For a few minutes I contemplated turning around and not going. I wasn't sure I could handle it. But I decided against it, turned up the music in my car, and kept driving.
Once I got to the house, work took over sadness, which was a good thing. It was a beautiful day, and 10 of my stepbrothers closest friends (all of whom would claim to have been his best friend) were there to help move. It's pretty amazing to think that these 10 guys would take time out of their daily lives to help my family move Jason's stuff out of his house. They surely didn't have to do it. They have their own families, lives, even football games to watch, but they were there anyway.
We had the 3 bedroom house moved out and put into storage in right about 4 hours. Sweaty and smelly, I changed shirts and went to the mall to shop. I went alone and must not have spoken to anyone for several hours. I was in that kind of a mood.
I got home at right around 6 after picking up some dinner. It should have been 7 if daylight savings time hadn't ended, and it felt like it was midnight. Too much manual labor mixed with emotions running high and an empty house. Parker (my new puppy) and I curled up in bed together minutes after I got home, and we both slept straight through until this morning.
Most days haven't been so bad since Jason died. Yesterday wasn't one of them.
An Ex-Gay Analogy
I was reading some of the comments over at Ex-Gay Watch, and I came across an interesting analogy
from William. I thought it was very interesting, and the intro to it is something that I've always thought to be true. The truth is, kids growing up don't want to be gay. At least, I've never met one that wanted to be. I know I spent years trying my hardest not to be. And when it all came down to it, I felt like I had gotten the raw end of the deal.
Here's the analogy (and the intro to it). Let me know what you think.
Fr Bernard Lynch, SMA, said on television some years ago that in his ministry he hadn’t met a single gay man with a religious upbringing who, when it had dawned on him during his teenage years that he might be gay, hadn’t prayed repeatedly along the lines of: “Please, God, please, don’t let me be a faggot. Please let me be ‘normal’, like my Dad, or my elder brother, or my mate Jim.” (I must admit that I did so myself.) And that is precisely what the adverts for ex-gay ministries and the ex-gay books with their suggestive titles seem to promise.
It may be that some, when they find that what they are actually going to achieve is to become asexual, or “post-gay”, or heterosexual “in a meaningful but complicated sense” – not really “like my Dad, or my elder brother, or my mate Jim” – or when they are fed a piece of sententious claptrap like “The opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality; it’s holiness”, will be happy and satisfied. But I submit that the vast majority will conclude – and quite rightly – that they have been led up the garden path. Their feelings will be similar to those of Ben in Philippa Pearce’s children’s novel A Dog So Small, who longed for a dog and had been more or less promised one for his birthday. When his birthday came round he was presented with a very charming framed picture of a dog.