I know it’s very late, but I can’t sleep. There has been too much running through my head recently and I need to release it. All of this is related to the guy who I told you about in my last post. I’m going to give him a name… Spur… because in many ways he spurs on a lot of things in my life… and just like a spur, he can sometimes hurt me in ways that only somebody who is close to you can.
A little bit of background. Spur and I are very different, both of us agree that we are probably opposites of each other. The only reason we started becoming friends was our mutual interest in drama. That is what brought us together and after a while, we found our personalities mesh very well. Aside from that, we have almost nothing in common. Spur is from the southern US and is a fervent right-wing Republican, conservative Evangelical Christian, war-obsessed, and athletic. He’s younger than me, but he’s already bigger than me. We joke that if there is no war when he joins the army, he will start one just so that he can be in one. I, on the other hand, am politically moderate, “conservaliberal” theologically, don’t care much for war, and I’m definitely not a big athlete. Another point – we have almost totally different sets of friends. This is a very small school, so this is significant. It’s almost as though Spur is friends with one half, the group I would call ‘the popular group’ and I’m friends with the other half, the group I would call ‘everyone else’. And what else… oh yes, I’m gay and he’s straight. So yes, we’re very different people and on paper we should actually be avoiding each other, but I consider him one of my best friends and I’m sure he considers me one of his. (At least, he’d better, haha.)
So this story kind of has two parts.
First part. For a number of months, I had actually been very gradually falling in love with this guy. There is a lot I could say about this phase, but I’m just going to skip straight into the part that actually means something significant. I told him that I liked him. I mean… that event alone shows how far I’ve come, that I would 1) have a close male friend at all, 2) have this guy be someone I trusted enough to be able to confess this to and have faith that he would be handle this well, and 3) not really care too much about how he responded and believe that no matter how he reacted the two of us would be able to work it out eventually. Thankfully, he was an absolute star (as he is almost the time. He’s almost like a fantastic mythical creature come to life.) and he took it very well. I just needed to have him tell me that it would never happen, because up to this point he had never explicitly told me he was straight (the fact that he didn’t feel the need to do this speaks highly of him). So now I’m no longer deluded into believing that maybe someday we’ll be boyfriends, which is great because now I can resume with the friendship with a clear head. The whole situation was so effortless, so incredibly painless that I’m still marveling at how incredibly simple it was. It was basically a great experience. 🙂
So that’s the good news… now on to the second part…
After that, we ended up talking to each other again and this time, it became clear that our differences actually did mean something, that they were not just mere quirks but things that the two of us are going to have to actively reconcile if we are ever going to make this relationship actually work. What happened was, during the course of our conservation, I asked if he would come to my wedding if I invited him. After avoiding the question a bit, he finally said no. And I cried then and I’m crying now as I type this. I was not expecting to react so strongly, but I should’ve known I would. That is a highly emotionally charged question for me. I can remember when I first came out, lying on the floor of my parent’s room in tears, having my dad look over me and tell me that he wouldn’t come to my wedding. That moment, that singular moment more than anything else that my parents did or said prompted me to turn against them. It was almost as if they had said that they didn’t care about me. If they refused to be there for me on what should be the happiest day of my life, then when would they be there for me?
I explained this to Spur and told him how I felt. And in that moment, I felt so much pity for him. A few hours later it occurred to me that our relationship is very similar to the current relationship between the church and gay Christians. I know that he loves me and cares about me and in fact, his love for me is even more real to me than my parents’ love for me. (On a scale of 1-10, I give my parents a 3 on the way they handled their son coming out.) He even told me how I said that he isn’t homophobic, he said that up to only a few years ago he was extremely homophobic and only now is he beginning to change and I think it is because of me. But he is still stuck in the difficult position of caring about a person who is gay and at the same time being unable to give approval to his orientation. (And yes, I know my parents were in the same position. And in many ways, my relationship with Spur has spurred me to rethink my feelings about my parents. But as of now, I’m still unwilling to risk being hurt by them again by awakening them from their otherworldly state of denial. I can’t put myself through that, at least not right now.) Some of the comments he even made to me made it sound like he felt obligated to be opposed to homosexuality. But I still felt like he was genuinely hurt by the fact that he had no choice but to say what he believed when he knew that doing so would bring great pain to his friend. I know that he took no delight, no pleasure in having to wound me in this way. I can accept him for what he has done and I sympathize with him. I am not mad at him specifically. At some point, everything will be fine between us once more. But for now I am still hurt.
The hurt that I felt then actually showed me something else though. I’m actually not nearly as resolved in these issues as I thought as I was. I cried when I thought I was strong. I tried to fall asleep but I ended up falling headlong into despair, that oh-so-familiar pit of emotional muck, not just over what Spur said, but over the whole issue with my parents. I very briefly even contemplated suicide, which surprised me further because I thought I was already past that. Apparently, I had been doing nothing more than suppressing all these feelings. And when I get out of this little phase, I know it’ll only be because I’ve suppressed my feelings again. I want so much to have these problems over with, but dealing with them totally involves too much risk. Sigh. I know in the grand scheme of things, this is only for a moment. But it’s the moment I’m living in right now and it’s a painful and confusing moment.