I knew I was a bit ‘different’ in high school when l felt these urges and attractions to my mates and others guys at my school. I was harassed and victimized as being a ‘faggot’ and a ‘poofter’. I went to a Catholic school – it was rife with bullying (and still is now). I guess l knew in about Year 8 really. My best mate always had his suspicions as well but never said anything.
I graduated and headed off to the country to go to University – a teaching degree. I had to escape my life at home and in the local community. I thought by running – l would leave my ‘stuff’ behind. How foolish l was at 18.
I ended up returning to Melbourne 2 years later to RMIT and to be with my family, whom l had missed incredibly during my ‘escape’. I just worked and worked at uni and my part time jobs. Pretending to all those around me that l was ok; this couldn’t have been further from the truth. I went through stages of binge drinking. Depression. Suicidal thoughts. Self hate. The whole thing. Worst time of my life.
I graduated and took a job at a Christian school. They offered me a position after l had done placement there. They wanted me! This, for me at the time, was profound, as l was a young man feeling fairly worthless and confused. I took the job.
I gave my life to Christ that year. I had a mentor who was a former Pastor, he bought me to God. I started going to Church. The whole thing. Eventually, l became involved in youth ministry at the school. Things were great. I had actually put aside my sexuality for the year. I had bigger and better things on my mind.
My second year there however, bought about some huge issues for me. Here l was, this young Christian teacher, working with year 9-10 kids and talking about drugs and parties and alcohol and the gospel and stuff – yet here was l – a ‘faggot’. I found massive conflict in what l was in real life and what l was ‘preaching’ to them. It became harder and harder for me to continue this ministry. People around me (the boss) wondering what l was doing, why l had lost the passion. I ended up leaving this school poorly. I am still getting over it.
I now teach at a Catholic school in the country – l took the position again – for its more remote nature – also ‘cause l am a country boy! I was only there a year, before being asked (read: Pushed) into working in youth ministry again. So l now have a year 12 group that l look after. Had them since year 10, and l have found it very difficult at times to look these now, young adults, in the eyes and answer their questions!
I am very close to this group, we meet very regularly and attend many retreats and camps. There are some that are, l am sure, well aware that l am gay. This seems to not bother them at all. Many jokes are had at my expense (in good fun) in relation to sexuality etc etc. Many of them are funny and l have to laugh!
So here l am back at square 1. Doing what l feel l am called to do – worth with youth, in schools, work in particular with kids at risk etc. But man it is so hard.
I guess right now, l am ok. I am a as Sandy puts it a ‘right winged’ Christian. I do, when this issue comes up in my all RE classes, tell them that homosexuality is a sin in God’s eyes. That all love is not equal sort of thing. BUT that God loves everyone. No matter their sexuality. Color. Hair-style etc. The old ‘Love the sinner. Hate the sin’. My classes are always very receptive to this point. It is my view that God loves me as a man, but will never approve of a homosexual relationship. I accept that. I try to live my life to honor Him.
I am resigned to the fact that l may well have to remain celibate. This is something l have accepted. This proves no obstacle for me. I am not after sex. I long for belonging. Companionship. Someone to come home to …??? I don’t know. I do know…that l am scared by the loneliness and isolation l feel often. I have seriously considered religious life. But l am to selfish to commit to it.
I am not out to my family. I am out to some of my non-Christian mates. I am also out to some staff at my school (others prob have suspicions). The Catholics are fairly good with gays – quite accepting (as compared to AoG/Pentecostal). But l don’t think the school would like an openly homosexual RE teacher, who doubles as their Youth Leader somehow. And that is what hurts to. I am always hiding a ‘secret’. Some days l just want to let it all out. Others l just want to be someone else!
I guess though at the end of day – l know what l do makes a difference in the lives of a young people – and that is what gets me out of bed each morning.
Hopefully God sorts the rest of my ‘life’ out.