Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ex-Gay Ministries part 5

Peoples reasons for choosing to keep their feelings
to themselves are as personal and varied as why
people live openly. There are many people living
quietly as heterosexual who have either had gay
feelings, lived openly as gay in the past, had a prior
relationship, have secret relationships on the side,
or desire to have a relationship.

There are those too who simply accept their feelings
and desires as a fact of life, and choose not to act on

If someone wants a 'normal' life, which for the purpose
of this piece we'll call a married life possibly with kids,
that's their business. Whether the attraction to such a
life is a sense of stability, the need to feel loved, a desire
to fit in, an appreciation for a family that just 'happened,'
financial motivations, or all of the above. Or whatever
someone's reasoning might be.

Many of us just sort of 'end up' in lives that are not
entirely of our own choosing. We may or may not want to
change anything....but it's a fact that we were passive in
getting to where we are. Along for the ride in our own lives.

What works for someone is their business. Living in the
closet is a valid choice for some people, based on religious
concerns, family obligations, geographic curse, occupation,
etc. Now, the trouble comes in when everyone involved
doesn't know the scoop. Unfortunately, marriages of
convenience where the wife or husband of the closeted
partner are aware of and 'in on' the subterfuge are not the
norm. Typically there is an act of deception involved.

I have mixed feelings about this. Duplicity is unfair, and
I believe it is the lie about who we are that causes all the
conflict surrounding homosexuality. Life is hard in general;
it isn't hard because you like guys. It's the hiding, lying,
secrecy, shame, guilt, fear and worry that lead to problems.
If we would stop pretending as a society that it's not a part
of who we are, things would improve.

However, most people are lying to themselves when they
are in the closet. They are lonely and vulnerable and afraid
of rejection and losing the family they do have. They have all
these fears and insanity revolving around what it 'means' to
be gay, and they think they won't be understood. They fear
being rejected by God. They think acknowledging who they
is the worst that could happen.

Nonetheless, infidelity is wrong within the context of wedding
vows or other commitment. Keeping the truth from a loved
one is unfair and selfish. For those who have worked it out and
dedicated themselves to saying together, that's great too. As long
as everyone's on the same page. But many would rather die than
let anyone in on their secret. They foolishly--and just as selfishly--
believe that ending things is better than facing reality. This is the
end result of Christian dogma.

Our thoughts are not evil; they do not engage us in mortal
sin. Thinking is different from doing. But if we are so concerned
about avoiding sin that we are thinking of taking our own lives
to prevent it from happening, how much more a sin is that?
Our lives, whatever we do with them, are the ultimate gift from
God. We have to respect ourselves and our bodies enough to
not hurt ourselves, no matter what.

It also causes tremendous damage to loved ones to think
that we were trusted so little that you would rather end your
life--or live in absolute misery, alone and tortured--than to
turn to us for help. People will be hurt; they'll get over it. The
people who love you will continue to love you. You'll meet new
people who love you for who you are. Heck, just tell someone
who won't judge you; a counselor, a support group, a stranger
at a hotline. Someone can help you.

We build so much up in our minds into a horrible mess
when it really isn't nearly that bad. Husbands and wives
forgive trespasses all the time. Friends come to understand.
Life rages on..."This, too, shall pass." The fate of the world does
not rest on one person's shoulders, no matter how much we
convince ourselves otherwise.

There are even groups to help families cope with a
mom, dad, child or other family member coming out.


We are not the first to experience these pains, these problems,
these issues. But if we don't let anyone in to see the real us,
we do feel alone. Feeling like no one earthside knows who
you are is devastatingly lonely and a horrible isolation.

I believe that--to whatever extent someone is able and feels
comfortable--truth and genuineness is of utmost importance.
We have to have integrity and honor in living our lives, or
the meaning is lost. We have to be smart; carefully calculate
who we might tell by testing the waters, easing into it. But
eventually, if we get to the point that we're drowning and need
to talk...we just have to find someone!

This doesn't mean everyone has to know all our business;
being 'out' isn't for everyone. Being select about trust is a
good thing. But sharing a trouble cuts it in half. We have
people in our lives to provide support and love. It may
be our only purpose.

Most times, we find out those closest to us knew we were
holding on to something long before we told them. This
isn't a source of shame; it's beautiful that love can reveal
us to one another.

....to be continued......

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