What does it mean to be gay?

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Joined in 2011
June 12, 2012, 10:55

This is from an Article on the LA Weekly website written by James Langteaux, author of "Gay Conversations with God".

"What does it mean to be gay?" A seemingly simple question, but one that's not often asked. With Los Angeles Gay Pride starting today, various gay folks have been giving us their answers in a weeklong series.

James Langteaux is a TV producer and author of Gay Conversations with God, among other books. He grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household and still holds close his spiritual roots. Langteaux shares his inspiring thoughts:

I used to think being gay meant waving giant rainbow flags from your balcony while you lived in the Castro of San Francisco — flying around the country attending white parties, black parties, and every other gay soiree in between. I thought it meant having a sculpted body with hairless pecs and biceps that would absolutely make a scene…

I was pretty sure that being gay might involve having a lisp and keeping your apartment looking über hip and squeaky clean… while maintaining your Po-po-poker face, mouthing every word to every Lady Gaga song ever written — twirling around the gay bar like a flaming dancing queen. I thought being gay involved spending loads of money on the latest fashion, the newest iPhone, and clever gadgets where we could hide behind labels and brands so we could never ever really be seen…

Not that any of this is necessarily wrong, but most of it just never appealed to me — so I didn't really feel the need to be gay, if that was the way being gay had to be.

But life, and too many years to mention, have a way of seasoning us — maturing us and bringing us a clarity we may not have known before — and that is exactly what may have happened to me.

This has been a big year of personal breakthrough, and I am really grateful that I have been invited to write a short essay on what it means to be gay. I'm particularly grateful that this invitation had not come a moment sooner, because I have no idea how embarrassing my response may have been — I'm sure it may have bordered on the obscene.

But today, in the warm light of the awesome sun, where my squinting readily reveals my ever expanding crows feet — I am fully aware that being gay has nothing to do with any of those things. Being gay is something that goes so much deeper than our attractions, fatal and otherwise.

It goes so much deeper than all of that.

After living a life of self loathing where I believed being gay was a sin and an abomination before God and men, I have finally been set free of the years of religious brainwashing that have left me bereft of meaningful love, and a meaningful life — all because I was so willingly believing a man made lie.

This was a lie that would rob me and so many of my gay brothers and sisters from living healthy, God-blessed lives.

I've discovered, only recently, that being gay is all about congruence. The simple dictionary definition for congruence means, in essence, agreement, harmony, and compatibility.

But a deeper look at the idea of congruence can be discovered by studying the work of the brilliant and inspired author and spiritual teacher, IsanaMada.

Her explanation of congruence is where your inner experience matches your outer expression — so what you are feeling on the inside, matches perfectly with the outer expression of your life… the words you speak (saying what you actually mean, and what you feel and what you believe) your actions, and your absolute presence in every interaction.

Congruence involves complete authenticity on every level of your life where you can fully live the way you were meant to — to live open and in the light, to live a life of love, to live a life that is fully free.

So, yeah, that is what being gay means to me. To be able to live a life of authenticity — out in the open in front of God and men — and to be able to express my love for the man of my choosing without having to live under a cloud delusion, self loathing, and shame.

And I am hoping that those who govern nations will one day come to a place where they understand that they are committing heinous crimes against nature when they deprive human beings the ability to live completely congruent lives. This is not about gay rights or even equality as much as it is a basic human right. To live authentically. Right out in the open.

To love and live like we mean it without fear of ramification or the need for validation.

Simple congruence. Where our inner experience matches our outer expression — in every facet of our lives.

That is what being gay means to me.

What does it mean to you?

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
June 12, 2012, 16:21

Thanks for posting this, Thingymabobie.

For me, congruence, or living authentically and being true to myself, is part of healthy living. It is a grounding, real way of being that makes my connections with others more genuine and meaningful. And people know they can trust me and are more inclined to also let down their guards to interact in a more congruent manner. The great humanist, Maslow, said that we cannot be happy unless we live authentically. Further to this, I believe that this way of being fits nicely with any major spiritual tradition that subscribes to values like: honesty, openness, leadership, joy, love, genuineness, freedom, acceptance, integrity, unity and goodness. If we subscribe to those values then it is difficult to be incongruent about our sexualities because there will be inner conflict and unhappiness as a result.

Personally, being bisexual means I am open to loving people irrespective of their gender.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2012
June 24, 2012, 06:16

That was a powerful article. Gay pride for me is putting myself out there with loving my neighbor as myself. That the hand that feeds the hungry, the uplifting of a broken soul, the small efforts I do everyday I exist in the name of my God, is done by a gay man. That is my pride.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
June 28, 2012, 20:15


That's really beautiful. Thank you. 🙂


Ann Maree

Joined in 2012
June 29, 2012, 10:54

Every day I try to be a slave to others, to do what I would want to have done to me, Some days it doesn't happen, but there's always the next day.

Joined in 2012
June 29, 2012, 10:55

Thanks for the kind remark.

Joined in 2005
July 3, 2012, 09:23

I actually think this is a VERY SAD LINE

"So, yeah, that is what being gay means to me. To be able to live a life of authenticity — out in the open in front of God and men — and to be able to express my love for the man of my choosing without having to live under a cloud delusion, self loathing, and shame."

To me what being Human is THIS

To live with integrity – that is to live with authenticity and honesty – being true to ones inner self and ones outer self and not having to hide who and what you are.

If you love music and have a god given creative wellspring within you to create music – but the society forces you to hide that – well that is just as damaging as having to hide your sexuality (and yes there have been religious movements that have damned music)

To me – what it means to be Gay is much simpler – it means Im same sex attracted.

And hes right – its not the marching in Mardi Gras, or the waving flags, its not the dancing to Kylie or having Neat apartments or being neatly dressed. Hes also right that in preventing Gays and Lesbians from Marrying – opponents of Gay marriage prevent them from living completely congruent lives – but thats not what it MEANS to be Gay or Lesbian.

What it means is Same Sex attracted. No more. No Less.

If you dont act on it. You are still Gay or Lesbian.

its not a choice we are made that way. Thats it. Simple. Irreversible. Always have been. Always will be.

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