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

Friday, October 19, 2007


I've been thinking about pictures today. In fact, I put pictures in my blog posts more often than not. Today, I think I'll just leave them out, as if their absense drives part of my message.

Over the past few days, I have looked at some beautiful pictures of men. Oh man, beau-ti-ful!! This thing called the Internet connects millions of people at a moment's notice, and allows us to communicate in ways that boggle my mind at times. But it also brings pictures with it. Lots of pictures.

I'm not always certain what to do with my browsing of pictures. I'll honestly tell you that I find G-rated photos probably more appealing than the full out XXX version. I want to see someone's face, to see their smile and their eyes and their demeanor, if that's even possible to capture with a picture. (Can you photoshop something as vague as demeanor into a picture??)

So I'm left with this uneasy feeling as to what to do with pictures. Some friends of mine tell me I'm way way way too hard on myself about looking at "those kinds" of pictures of guys. And I am quite hard on myself, because I don't know that it's something God would want me to do. They tell me that most people look at those kinds of pictures. And I wonder if that really is true.

Then I think about what goes through my mind when I look at these pictures. It typically is not, "Boy, I'd like to do all sorts of things to that guy." I don't regularly get the stirring down below. Instead, I find myself appreciating the beauty I see in the male form. And I hear in my head all those things I heard my straight college friends say about straight pictures, about how God created the female body and it should be enjoyed. I do not question that so much, but I know that I personally have all those thoughts about dudes and images of dudes. Strangely, it gives me a small amount of comfort to know that while the object of my interests may be different from a majority of society, that the feelings that accompany those ideas are quite similar.

So what do I do with the pictures? Even the ones on my computer screen right now? Eliminate them? Enjoy them? Moderate them? Censor them? Thus ends my really odd ramble cleverly disguised as a blog post.

Take care, good friends. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Coming Out Day, 2007

Happy Coming Out Day, everyone.

Once again, I find myself uncertain what to do with this day. I'm really glad organizations like the Human Rights Campaign put together a Coming Out Day. It does create an opening for people like me to come out, or at least to assess where I am and where I am going with respect to being a publically out gay man.

(I even saw a rainbow this morning, as my work publically recognized Coming Out Day. I'm not so sure the people here would all affirm me, but it is reassuring to have a job at a place which recognizes and celebrates days like today.)

Like last year, I still find the Coming Out process a little awkward and unnecessary. It's not that I think I should live in the closet. Spend about two minutes here or at a bunch of other blogs and you'll see how much pain and anguish that causes. It's more that I have no earthly idea why I need to have this awkward conversation that may or may not go well to express to someone else that I find guys attractive.

Recently, I spent some time with some friends from the past who I haven't yet discussed Coming Out with. I wanted to tell them--or at least some of them--but I found myself wondering how to start the conversation and/or what to say when it happens. Again, it isn't that I'm requesting advice here, but more that I don't know why it has to be such a big deal. They didn't pull me aside to tell me they like the opposite gender. Likewise, they didn't sit me down to explain how they like Coke more than Pepsi or why they use their left hand instead of their right. They are my friends; my friends that I love and who love me. BIG DEAL if you have some this trait or that. Yet society has almost placed this obligation onto GLBT people to Come Out, as if we should be pre-identified or something. Rant over: Really folks, I find today to be more of a celebration than an obligation, and I'm not as sour on it as it appears. I'm just sharing, and perhaps even longing for a new day. A day when I am out of the closet. A day when "Coming Out Day" isn't an annual event assigned to particular spot on the calendar. A day when "Coming Out Day" isn't as necessary as simply Being Day.

To reassure you that I find Coming Out Day to be a positive, let me share something else than happened today. A thing called PRIDE. Honestly, today, for the first time that I can honestly recall, I wondered what my life could look like if I was PROUD and comfortable with who I am. I thought about Coming Out, and joining so many other gays who have broken down the obstacles for me. I want to be associated with people like Nate Berkus, the interior designer from Oprah.

Or Dale Levitski, the self-proclaimed big gay chef from Top Chef. Dude, you are so funny, and I sure was pulling for you, especially after you declared that the "queer eye guys have nothing on me." Thanks for coming back to cooking, and in so doing, thanks for giving us a chance to know who you are and what you're about.

Or Chad Allen, who I distinctly remember finding extremely cute during Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and who has wrestled with and found peace with the dual identities of gay and Christian. Thanks for raising money for AIDS research, and for doing so shirtless, Chad!!

And there is one other group of people with whom I want to be grouped. They are people that I probably have never met, and may never. They are people who stop by here and check in from time to time. They are authentically on their own journey, figuring things out along the way and encouraging the rest of us to keep on trudging. To guys like Steve and Warren on the shores of Lake Superior and Dave in Cleveland over on Lake Erie, thanks. And Peterson--who to my knowledge doesn't live on one of the Great Lakes--your unique humor and the form in which you deliver it is amazing, and your blog profound. You all kept me going by lifting me up, and by letting me read your stories in the "Blogosphere." (I realize naming a couple people in a blog entry is dangerous because I risk leaving other people out. Just go check out some of the blogs in the right column. There's some great reading and profound wisdom just one click away.)

I'm not sure I will come out to anyone today. At one point, I had even considered making today the day I threw back the veil of anonymity on this blog by posting my name and picture on it, but I can't do it just yet. As for the future, we'll see how things go. But just considering being out, however that ends up looking for me, is starting to sound pretty good.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dark Closet

This morning, I opened a closet door (a literal one, not a figurative one), flipped on the light switch, and after a little burst of blue light and a quiet puffing sound, the light bulb went out.

I tried to select clothes as well as I could in the dark. I'm already challenged enough in this department, and certainly didn't get any fashion sense when the gay card was issued to me. I wish Tim Gunn or the Queer Eye guys would stop by and help me out.

And it dawned on me like a light bulb (a figurative one, not a literal one) that it's dark inside this closet. Hmmmmmmm......

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Calming Down

I got myself calmed down a bit from the last post. It wasn't easy or pretty, and I spent the better part of a weekend wandering through the valley of loneliness. And I got some good sleep, which for me is often is 80% of feeling better. That said, I am really quite happy to have gotten that blog spot written, because those were feelings and ideas I have been fighting with for a long time but hadn't been able to actually put to words until last week.

My counselor and I had a long talk about these feelings, and after a time she encouraged me to hang in there, and to work on focusing on those times when I truly am content and happy. I am beginning to realize that I am a pretty good guy, for the most part, who happens to find men attractive. And some of the temptations and struggles I face are quite similar to any other guy, but they manifest themselves differently and have different objects of desire.

I am praying for the day when I can be proud of myself. I'm awaiting the time when I can think of myself as a guy who likes guys and not collapse in shame. And honestly, I'm getting there. It's not as bad as it used to be. Life is a journey, right? And I am the Journeyman, right?

Thanks to everyone who reads and writes comments. You each put such thought and wisdom into what you leave here for me to read, and I am floored that some of you would write to someone who you haven't met (probably), and who hasn't revealed himself yet.

Take care, my friends.