Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Ex-Gay Movement

As I was sitting in a cafe in Alaska with a friend I was reading an article about a protest about religion and gays. I would read a paragraph and then we would have a discussion about what we thought. She grew up as a Mormon or Latter Day Saints to be correct and I grew up in different aspects of Christianity. The article went more in depth about a 14-step program called ex-gay or Focus on the Family. Its very similar to the 12-step program geared for Alcoholic Anonymous or Cocaine Addiction or any addiction program except the extra 2-steps is because being gay needs more mental attention.

She asked what I thought and what I said then was being gay isn't a choice and I firmly believe that. If it was a choice, I know that I wouldn't have made the decision to be gay. I recall many times where I would pray to God to help me put away those desires but no matter how involved or how close my walk with God seemed, I would always notice the cute guy at church or in my Bible group. If it was a choice then I wouldn't have chose to be gay because I was scared of what or, more so what my father did when he even thought I was gay.

The article continued to show how followers or even more so leaders of the ex-gay movement were found at a gay bar hitting on the cute guy ordering a beer. It seemed to be slightly one-sided but what ex-gay man/woman married to the opposite sex would admit that he/she still desires to have a touch of the same sex?

To some extent I believe that you can put away certain desires but it still doesn't solve how you truly feel. I have lived in the closet for many years and I've denied myself as well but no matter how hard I would try, I'm still attracted to the same sex. Granted, there have only been a few select ladies that I was attracted to but when it comes down to it, how long would it be before I couldn't deny myself any longer?

When I finally came out to my family, it was not the easiest period of my life. I was alone and there weren't too many people I could turn to or more importantly, who would understand. But after many years, my family has been able to accept that I'm gay but I know they still want me to be with a woman and they pray everyday that my mind would change. I myself have been able to accept being gay and being who I am but, its not even about being gay, its about being me, my individual spirit. Its also about people around you who accept you for you.

Yet, when I came home from Alaska and after this summer, I thought maybe I should try out an ex-gay meeting. Life would be easier, or would it? Then I realized that the only reason I wanted to go is because I was still depressed about my ex and I knew that the only thing that matters is my faith in God.

When it comes down to it, God will know that I have always believed in Him even through my short comings because I am no different from a man who desires to lay with a man who believes in Him, than a man who acts on his desires with a man who believes in Him.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A different take of University Avenue...

After a discussion with a good friend of mine, I decided to take a walk down a street I've walked many times before. When I was younger, I used to walk down looking to get noticed by others or sometimes walking to check out those walking by. As I got older, I found myself walking drunkenly down to my car after dancing the night away or more recently from one of my favorite wine places. This time though, I walked as if I never walked University Ave before. It has been awhile but things seemed different to me even though nothing has changed. I had a lot to think about, mostly trying to figure out when, how and why I lost myself. And I really haven't lost myself but as I'm trying to come out of a depressed state, I feel like I don't know who I am or where I'm going. Granted, it seems like my "re-entry" into civilization is a lot better this year than last year, just maybe I am still struggling to "fit" back in. I can't answer what I'm going to do next but why does it have to center around a career? Careers don't work for people who have a travelling lifestyle.

I have always lived my life where I enjoyed the simple things and embraced the difficult situations to learn from but never have I been in a situation where complete happiness was felt and then pushed away by my own mistake. Simply put, I finally felt life with love and now I feel like my other half has gone and I don't know how to live life anymore. And, apart of my life is the feeling of spontaneity and now it seems like I have to do that alone when right now I need my friends to embark on a crazy adventure with me at the snap of the fingers instead of figuring out when its a best time. The adventure doesn't have to be far, just something un-planned.

I want to fix something but I don't know how and I hate that I can't because I've always been able to put a band aid on. I have to re-learn what face value is because somehow I was spoiled by knowing what the outcome would be. And even though I'm in a place where the sun is shining and its hot outside, inside I still feel like its gray and the rain is pouring down on me. Yet I can't complain because I am still blessed and surrounded by good fortune.

Once again, I will be able to continue on and not care that my adventures are by myself because I know I am not alone but until then, the only thing I can do is re-learn to smile.