I am a Christian. I am a gay man. Here is chronicle of my symbolic journey west, toward adventure, challenge, mystery and ultimately peace.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


He was seated. With a sigh and a roll of the eyes, he slid a blue backpack onto the floor and sat still, careful not to disturb his neighbors to the right or to the left. The lights dimmed, the noise in the crowded room increased, and having taken his place in 16E, he tried to drown a weeks' worth of anxiousness in a can of Cranberry-Apple juice. (Once again, he wondered just how did they always shape the ice in that little tube shape?)

He was wearing a plain gray hooded sweatshirt, ironically described as the closest thing he had to a dog. That sweatshirt from the sale rack at a grocery store went everywhere he travelled, was always comforting, never passed judgment, and had been present for most of the significant events of his life. He pulled the hood from his back so that the gray fabric almost covered his head, like a collegiate monk. All the emotion he had tried so hard to squelch or deny expressed itself in silent tears. No sobbing, no noise, just tears. And then more tears. And then yet more tears. Perhaps this time, they wouldn't stop. Being faithful once again, his gray hoodie sopped up the salty tears. In 16E, there was no one else to notice, or to wipe them away.

He thought back on the week, brimming with memories of birthdays and dancing and hockey and the ocean and ice cream and harbor seals and pizza and burritos and fireworks. He thought of friendships, and more importantly of friends. He remembered how they had become acquaintances, then friends, and now they were brothers. Brothers banded together by a struggle none of them had sought and few others understood, but yet one in which they continued to journey each day. In 16E, he was by himself, but he was not alone.

He considered himself wildly blessed for knowing those brothers. That idea naturally led him to ponder how much those brothers loved and believed in him, which made him cry all the more. He envisioned them standing behind him, cheering him on into the scary darkness. The tears returned, staining his face all over again. In 16E, in the dark of night somewhere in the vast sky, he loved them back.

He had finally gone west.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Escaping Shadows

I took some time off recently. Some time off from my normal life which includes long hours and commuting and blogging and paperwork and the like, all those ordinary things which take time and get in the way of my own personal growth and journey.

It was a peaceful, refreshing time. Time to wander and to wonder. I looked at myself in new ways. I took risks. I challenged myself, even in small ways that would make an ordinary person laugh.

I want to write about it, and I will. But to continue writing about my journey, I will almost certainly have to remove at least one layer of the anonymity I've maintained here. Not that I will completely out myself to the world, but at least a couple potential readers will be able to put this idea with that fact and have an idea just who the Journeyman is. My gut tells me they know by now anyway. And so today I post my own photo. Granted, it's an extremely safe start, but it is me, and any reader now knows without a shadow of a doubt that I do indeed have two ears. It is a small step, maybe even silly. But that is my journey, a series of small steps.

I'm OK with this idea. Yes, it scares me. Yes, it could be embarrassing. But yes, it's worth the risk. I place my trust in the hands of these fellow journeyers, asking only that they respect my space and my journey as I have retold it here, anonymously. I have spent much of my life living in shadows, head down, nose to the grindstone, not mapping out a journey so much as stamping out a dull daily existence. Hopefully, as a friend unexpectedly told me recently, this is the start of me not just living life but experiencing and embracing it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Things to Ponder

There are a couple thoughts I want to visit in the near future...I guess I'm placing them here as a reminder to myself that they are worth exploring.
The first is a profound post by a Blogger named Eric at Two World Collision.  He writes about himself in a beautifully honest way, struggles included.  So many pieces of his story ring true for me.  (I'd link it here, but I'm still learning how to do that.  For now, just find his link over on the left and start reading.)
The second is about fitting in.  For most of my life, I have felt like I do not fit in.  I didn't fit in at my Christian grade school, where I was the only kid in my class with divorced parents.  I didn't fit in at church, where most other kids were from a wealthier family.  Now I feel trapped between the church and my sexuality.  Neither one seems to want me if I embrace the other.  Where can I fit in?
Things to ponder soon...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Coming Out Day

So today is National Coming Out Day. I came out to absolutely no one. I feel like I should have. Perhaps the secretary who always has a smile, or maybe the woman who always has candy at her desk or the guy at the next table at the library who I've never met and and who could probably care less.

Last year's Coming Out Day did something in me. I opened my local newspaper to find picture of a tired man, his back up against a wall, his knees pulled up, his hands supporting his head. It's the image that inspired my own blog photo. I was that guy. Tired. Worn out. Sick of crying. Emotionless. Completely lost as to what to do next. My hands holding up my head in a vein effort to keep me from sinking lower. I didn't feel alone anymore. If that ficticious guy could feel that low, then I wasn't so hopeless.

But today, when I guess I was supposed to come out to somebody, I was left wondering why I have to come out. Why does any gay man have to come out? I'm not advocating staying in the closet, and I'm not saying I will always be in the closet either. Thankfully, there are some trusted friends and family that already know.

I'm asking why society demands that I announce "I like men" and yet does not require a corresponding "Girls are hot" proclamation from my straight counterparts. Am I supposed to tell everyone like it's some tag around my neck? Is it like applying a bright pink label to me? It's almost like posting a "Beware of Dog" sign in my yard, except mine says "Beware of Gay." Must I declare, "Oh, I'm gay" when I don't hear an extraordinary number of straight people Coming Out about their sexuality? Why must gays endure this gauntlet called "Coming Out" where I could lose family or friends or even the respect of someone who hardly knows me but feels anointed by a religious broadcaster to proclaim the "Truth in Love" to me?
Or maybe I just want someone to "Ask Me" instead of me having to "Tell Them". Or do I have this all wrong? I'm realizing I'm pretty negative about the Coming Out experience. Is there a positive side I'm completely missing here?

Friday, October 06, 2006


Today I thought about my Grandpa. I saw my Grandpa at least once a year. Even as a small boy, I would travel on the airlines, decorated with a huge red button that designated me as an Unaccompanied Minor. Each trip, a flight attendant would give me a set of wings; over the years I had a collection of identical wings pins from the airline I always flew. I kept them, small symbols of my annual trip across the Midwest.

Sometimes my Grandpa--he was always more a grandpa to me than a grandfather, and I cannot quite explain that except that it makes sense to me--could meet me at the airport, but not usually. More often my Grandma would pick me up and we would drive to my Grandpa's work, because he could not get away. He wanted too, of course, but he could not because of his work ethic. I would find a spot to sit and I would watch my Grandpa work in the hardware store he owned on Main Street. I watched people come in and ask questions about hoses and bolts and windows and paint. He was the wisest man ever, and I was his grandson.

My Grandpa's first name is my middle name. And so when I write out my name fully--first middle and last names all together--I see his name. I have my Grandpa's name. But I no longer have him. He died many years ago. I cried as a pallbearer when I carried his casket, yet I was the proudest man in town. I still remember standing at the cemetery on the most glorious of fall days, the wind blowing gently but firmly as if his very spirit was still mussing with my hair and loving me at the same time. It was in that church cemetery that I realized I have my Grandpa's name.

Grandpa never knew that I am gay. I don't know that he even considered the idea, or would have found it acceptable that his oldest grandson liked men. But he would have kept on loving me. My cousins and I, we were a troubled bunch. We dragged more problems through our grandparent's house than we would care to remember. We always found refuge with Grandpa. He would sit and talk with us, or extend his hand in a friendly wave, or raise his voice into something of a cheer, like a man would when toasting his friends over a friendly beer, though I do not think he drank. He loved me.

I miss you, Grandpa. I wish I could talk with you about my life now. I would cry if I could talk with you, just like I am crying right now. We would probably sit at your old kitchen table and drink small glasses of orange juice. You would tell me you love me, no matter what. Even if it cost you your reputation, you would remind me that I am your grandson, and nothing could change that. You would convince me to keep journeying.

I want to make you proud, Grandpa. After all, I have your name.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I simply need to acknowledge all of you leaving comments. I appreciate you.

Lately, I have not had as much to say. That will no doubt change, but for the time being my train of thought seems to be derailed. I am hanging in there; I hope to be back soon.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I managed to get away for many days, to physically get away. I enjoyed it tremendously. It is so refreshing to be away. I'm not as ready to give up any more.