No real idea how to start this so:
I grew up in a fantastically strong Christian home.
I took an overly "mature" stance on relationships at a young age (8) that said, "I'm not in a financial or practical situation to support a relationship, so I will not even entertain the idea or acknowledge the feelings I have towards the subject"
That switch stayed firmly off for 12 years, as a result I never struggled with sexual attraction of any kind while growing up.
I joined the Army at 17 as a Combat Engineer (Building and Blowing things up). The 2 and a half years i spent in the Army I would consider my "Wilderness Experience". It comprised nearly daily challenge and harassment against my faith and life choices of being a non drinker/smoker and not trying to sleep with everything that moved. (My switch was still firmly off)
I was medically discharged in 2011 with a condition known as Arterial Entrapment as a result of improper Physical Training. The condition caused my lower legs to cut off any blood flow to or from them. What it looked like day to day was that I could only stand for 10 minutes a day without severe pain and potential muscle damage from blood toxicity.
Flipping The Switch
Soon after my discharge I moved to Melbourne, it was then I started to question what my future could possibly look like with a severe Medical condition.
I began to pondering all of life's aspects, where previously I had completely dismissed the idea of relationships or even the idea of sexual attraction of any kind as something I was not in a practical position to pursue. I started to acknowledge that I am a sexual being, I quickly realised and was quite fearful at the discovery that I might be Gay.
Until my own realisation I was of the firm belief all LGBTI people or people with any thoughts other than very strict heterosexual thoughts were somehow damaged psychologically from some form of abuse or significant emotional event. But through the wonderful lens of hindsight I blew that belief right out of the water, having grown up in what may actually be considered to good of a home.
God Shows His Unconditional Love
One Sunday evening while attending a Conference at Church I came to think and then subsequently agree with the idea that God has nothing but good in mind for me and my life, that this good did not include being unable to stand for longer that 10min a day.
In that moment of agreement the thought that I might be healed entered my mind. I stood up to test this inkling and was drawn into and absorbed into the worship that was going on at the time. Later I came to the realisation that I had been standing, jumping and dancing for the past 3 hours completely Pain free. This and other Miracles I have either experienced or seen has fully confirmed that God has nothing but Unconditional Love for me.
To The Here And Now
On the evening of my 23rd Birthday (4th May 2014) I came to terms with my own sexuality, thus Coming out to myself (in my opinion the most difficult, as your biggest adversary are your own internal thoughts)
Being a passionate believer in having open, honest and deep authentic communication, I knew I could not keep this truth hidden for long. So roughly 2 weeks later on the 16th (Friday Night) I told my 2nd eldest sister (I live with her and her husband to assist one another with costs of living). After "spilling the beans" for this first time I felt all the pressure and stress dissipate, being replaced by the confidence I needed to tell others.
After telling my sister on the Friday night I then broke the news to my Dad on the Sunday afternoon. Due to the nature of our relationship I was not surprised that he took it in stride but has subsequently came back every Sunday night since (He babysits my nephew every Monday and Tuesday, for my eldest Sister and her Husband) and discussed things further over dinner.
Because of some complications my Mum is experiencing right now (Adrenal Burnout) and the fragile physical and emotional state she is in as a result, I gave Dad permission to break the news to her. To my surprise her reaction so far has been quite composed, thus I'm not really sure how she feels at this stage
Tonight I visited my eldest sister and her husband. After a short cuddle with my 10 month old nephew I came straight to the point and told her the news. She was understandably shocked but "Loves me anyway" and needs time to process.
My brother who currently lived with my eldest sister & husband (thus providing evidence as to how close knit my family is) returned from dinner with his girlfriend and her aunt. So having just spilled the news to my sister I could not justify waiting to tell my brother at "the right time".
After he didn't say anything for a good 10-15min I said my goodbyes and headed home, only pausing to finalise the details of our pre-aranged outing to the movies tomorrow.
That pretty much brings my story to now and the act of typing this all out. (18th June 2014)