I am a Christian. I am a gay man. Here is chronicle of my symbolic journey west, toward adventure, challenge, mystery and ultimately peace.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Prepare yourselves. You are about to head toward territory that I have taken you to before. I ask for your patience.
I remember finding the underwear sections of the Sears catalog hot.
I remember vacationing in Phoenix when I was in junior high. At the hotel pool, this Adonis of a man arrived and soon stripped down to a white speedo to catch some rays. I was awestruck.
I remember the first time I rented gay porn--which was a trick because I had to find the right store to rent from.
I remember spending the last 60 minutes surfing porn. It literally just happened. Like literally in the hour. What a waste.
All these memories become baggage. They become heavy items which I lug around, perhaps as some self-imposed penance for my attraction to the male body. The load, however, becomes too much at times.
I can be quite agnostic about many things, resisting the idea that I can know things for absolute certain. There is always some doubt. Always. So for me to arrive at the "I'm gay" conclusion and then just get on with my life is a very very large piece of baggage. I find myself asking, "How can I be sure I am gay?" Pinning my sexuality on which photos I liked (ie, Chippendales) and which I was ambivalent about (ie, Playboy) seems like a lousy way to arrive at conclusions about my sexuality.
But it gets worse...I know one of the reasons I struggle so much with accepting about myself what is often so clear to others is that I find so much of the gay culture disheartening. I am not a party boy. I am not a social activist. I am not a social butterfly with the hippest clothes. I do not want another Craig's List hookup, because I have done that, and then been just sick about it. I just find guys more attractive than girls.
There were not lots of guys in high school and college that I crushed on. Sure, Ian the tennis player was so cute, and Mark the pre-med student was built. But I never thought to myself, "Hmmm...I would like to date him" or "I think about him day and night" or "I wonder what he would be like naked in my bed." (Ahem!) Instead I just surfed porn in the corner of the library, usually finding my way to male underwear models.
And then sometimes I am just not sure. I saw the movie Milk last night, and I wondered if I was supposed to be attracted to the guys in the movie or turned on by the gay intimacy therein, but I was not. But when I saw the movie Marley & Me on Christmas Day, I also wondered if I was supposed to be excited when Jennifer Aniston got naked. Which I also was not.
The burden of being gay is too much for me knowing that (1) it's sometimes not all that clear and (2) what is out there does not hold much appeal. Many of the stories I hear about gay people is that they just could not hold back any more. Being gay was such a part of them that they had to go public. I don't feel that way. I feel like I could just go on being single and alone for a long time, because then at least I wouldn't have to feel the brand of society, especially in my part of the country.
But then again, I have to consider the couple times in my life where there was close intimacy with another guy. And it was wonderful. To just hang out with someone, to make dinner with them, to cozy up on the sofa to watch TV, to plant butterfly kisses on his head, to buy small inexpensive gifts which actually held much sentimental meaning, to go on a date. It was all pretty great. Like really great. Like, wow, holding a man that I really care about or having him hold me is amazing. And falling asleep with a guy....sign me up.
My words are failing me today, I can tell. Sorry gang. Perhaps this is what happens when one trudges over the same territory day after week after month after year. Perhaps my assumption is this: The weight of being gay and dealing with the stigma and pondering if God finds it acceptable and wondering if I will find someone to love is so heavy, that I occasionally wonder if I should just go try the ex-gay thing and see what happens. It has to be easier than this life of mine now.