I am still trying to get my head around all this! But, yes I have acknowledged to myself that I am ‘gay’…unfortunately or fortunately once I has said the three words I was quickly discussing this with extended family so within a 24 hr period I was out to family as well. Actually, it WAS a FORTUNATE way of things b/c they ALL family members were very supportive so I did not have to linger too long worrying about what people would say. Since then (6weeks ago) I have learnt that the process is not linear and I still repress some of my thinking and emotions. The difference is that now I catch myself doing this. However, I have this little glow in me that propels me forward and puts a spring in my step that has not been there for a long time.
I will share with you a some words that someone gave me that also provide me much momentum: –
We can struggle with what is.
We can judge and blame
Others or ourselves.
Or we can accept what cannot be changed.
Peace comes from
an honourable and open heart
accepting what is true.
Do we want to remain stuck?
Or to release the fearful sense of self-
and rest kindly where we are?
This is very appropriate for me because my coming out experience is one of discovery but also one of pain, confusion and change because it also effects those dearest to me.
this piece from a person in the UK i’ve connected with is just perfect I think.
On Being Gay
For some twenty five years I have tried to avoid using this loaded and provocative word, ‘gay’. Now, as I write a piece entitled “On Being Gay”, I find that in doing this I am choosing a term that has become to me a symbol of light and life. It is perhaps strange to find myself using this word (coined by secular society to describe homosexual people) to mean a symbol of life, when the word gay is so divisive within the church. If one needs to describe sexual orientation, why not use the phrase, ‘same-sex attracted’, or even, ‘with a homosexual orientation’, as some do. For me, using the word gay is a way of confronting the reality—that accepting my sexual orientation has meant accepting life.
Gay: a homosexual person, esp. a male”
That is me, well it is and it isn’t. It’s not all of me. It’s just that it does say something about me. It’s not about wearing a badge or a T-shirt, or frequenting certain kinds of bar or attend a certain type of club. But I desperately want to pursue a value that I hear Jesus—who is for me my God, my Saviour, my Teacher and my Friend—call out loudly to society, “Beware the yeast of the Pharisees which is Hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1) I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I want to say this is me, all of me, nothing hidden. Yet my church has taught me, my friends and my colleagues have taught me, my brothers and sisters, my parents and grandparents have taught me,
“Do not admit to yourself or the world who you are, in terms of your sexual orientation. Hide it, kill it, eradicate it, heal it, deliver it, break it, magic it away, deny it, marry it to a woman, heterosexually sexualise it away, therapy it, counsel it but whatever you do don’t stand up one day and say “I am gay”. Because when you do, on that day, you will have finally given in to it and it will surely kill you. You will die a slow, horrible and painful death, a death of friendships, of acceptance, of spirituality and ultimately you gamble with your eternal future.”
In my agreement with my church, I did all that is suggested above. Above all else I sought to deny it. “NO — I am not gay. I am not.” In latter years I accepted that I was “struggling with same sex attraction”. Oh I was struggling all right. Struggling to fix my eyes on anything but my sexuality. I fixed my eyes on God, prayed, fasted, studied and praised. I fixed my eyes on my wife and then my children. I fixed my eyes on work and I fixed my eyes on my safe straight friends. But the more I fixed my eyes on anything but my true self, the more hidden and dark my sexuality became. It grew inside me like a monster, starved of light, starved of holy and Godly influence; it had no opportunity to grow up, no opportunity to be shaped into a Godly and beautiful part of me. It was told that it was evil and so it behaved. I have no pride in the fact that there came a period when my sexuality manifested itself in dirty and self- destructive patterns that were every bit the gutter that the church had told me it was. But to accept my sexuality, as it is, was a reality too stark and terrible to contemplate. Despite my best efforts, this evil had finally eaten its way out of my hidden compartments and was now consuming me. When the evil becomes you, you want with all your heart to do the one thing that seems right and just—to kill the evil. And for me that meant killing myself. That is what I wanted to do.
What was the alternative? The church left me in no doubt that if I were to choose to embrace my sexuality then I must leave behind all that I have learned of God’s love, grace and justice.
However, through the love, patience and kindness of my few remaining friends and closest family, many of whom have struggled with my journey but affirmed their desire for me to live, I began to choose something wholly different. Something that would lead not to self destruction, but to life.