Saturday, August 23, 2008

Matthew Mitcham Wins Gold

I pretty much never get excited about any sports event, but I must say that Matthew Mitcham's win is a great inspiration for anyone who believes normal people who are good at what they do and happen to be proud and open about who they are, can change the world and make it a more life-affirming place for everyone.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

"where there is hatred, let me sow love"

(Note to self: NEVER again watch the Olympics with my family.)

DISCLAIMER: This post is an example of the "pissed off" and angry version of me. There will be some foul language utilized. :-)

I've been unusually blog happy in the past couple of days. I blame it on UTTER BOREDOM. I am home with my family this week, which has resulted in way more downtime than I need, and when I get bored, I start thinking, which is always dangerous.

Anyway, I think I'm figuring out why I don't enjoy coming home and why I have such a hard time communicating with my parents: I am exactly the kind of person they hate!

Now, they don't really know this, because I usually keep silence on most any controversial topic in order to maintain the peace. But I realized that when they make snide, hateful comments about the kinds of people they make snide, hateful comments about, that I happen to be one of those people!

It seems like the conversation ALWAYS turns into how ridiculous are blacks, Africans, Mexicans, Chinese, democrats, liberals and gays. Oh, and let's add to the list 1) anyone who cares about any of the above people or 2) anyone who cares about the poor.

WHAT IN THE FUCKING HELL DOES THIS ATTITUDE HAVE TO DO WITH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST? How in the hell can these supposedly good, god-fearing, red-blooded Americans reconcile hatred with ANYTHING to do with Jesus? It's blasphemy and evil.

They have no idea that I feel this way and I have no idea how to go about telling them that I do. This is not even about the gay thing--this is just generally how I think and live life. The gay thing is SO beyond them that I wouldn't even dare bother. I just would like to see them NOT thinking they are infinitely better and more dignified than everyone else on the planet!

The ethnocentrism and hatred absolutely tear at my soul. I don't believe I have ever felt so hopeless in the condition world.  I have never been so frustrated at my parents. 

So, basically, this is starting to feel personal. When they make such biting comments about certain types of people, I feel as if they are saying those things about me. When they talk about how silly it is for some "do-gooder" to think she/he can do any good in the world with the disadvantaged, or when they talk about "N****r-lovers", etc. I feel like it is a slap in my own face and it makes me want to stay far away from them.

Not that I am doing some great good in the world, not that I'm really a champion of justice and peace--but, damnit, I hope I can be humble enough to realize that I'm no better than my sisters and brothers. And I pray that my disdain for such attitudes does not turn into my own self-righteousness.

But, what can I do? I hate to be one to just run away from the problem, which is in essence what I'm doing now. I just can't stand to be around it and I surely do not want to plop myself right in the middle of it indefinitely when I choose a full-time job. How can I lovingly encourage them to open their eyes? How can I be a presence of peace and love where there is such hatred and evil pride when I can barely even speak a word?

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Truman Show

Being at home, I've had a little time to brainlessly flip the tv remote looking for something somewhat stimulating to watch. I happened to run across The Truman Show! The Truman Show has always been one of my favorite films and it has been so for many reasons, one of which i did not realize until today.

On the outside, it appears that Truman has the perfect life. He should have no worries: a beautiful wife, a decent job, a car and a house in a flawless, safe community. However, it so happens that Truman is stuck in one gigantic CLOSET. Though his life seems perfect, in reality, it is all a big act. Truman has been told who to love, how to think, and what to fear, yet he does not honestly love his wife, he cannot pursue his own dreams, and he has been kept from doing anything about it from irrational fears that others have forced upon his life.

In the same way, gay people live under a lot of rules that others have set up for them. They are expected to marry someone they don't love and to ignore their sexuality for fear of damaging the status quo, and they are trapped in this way of life because of the religious and social fears that are thrust upon them.

In the movie, Truman has a hunch that there is life outside of the artificial world in which he lives, and he does not stop until he finds it. The power of true love compels him to leave everyone he knows and everything that is secure to face his fears and go into a strange, new world. 

I won't go through all of the parallels, I'm sure you all can find them on your own, but I was really inspired by this movie today. A perfect life is nothing compared to a life that is free and authentic!  May we all find that door that opens up our true, authentic selves!

What to do?!?!

Within one year from now I will be (hopefully) out of school and making a huge career move.  I have been at home with my family this week, and have come under pressure to find my way back close to home when I go to a full-time ministry job. 

However, I have no desire to work in this area (the deep south). There's no way I can find a church that is supportive and it would be no fun to go "covert" in this area--there's just no scene at all and no gay-friendly organizations.  The only reason I would ever want to work here is to become that support and role model that is missing for people in this area.  But.. am I ready for that? I have not fully realized who I am myself, how can I help other people come through it?

So how horrible is it to stay far away from family?  I love my family, I just don't want to live where they live. What happens when they eventually get sick? Am I going to be the jerk sibling that is no help and is never around?

I'm also getting a little concerned about how I'm going to handle the decision of wether I should "don't ask, don't tell" or to seek a welcoming and affirming church when looking for a job. It comes down to a very practical matter which I wish wasn't an issue: student loans...

I would love to take a very well-paying job for a few years to pay off loans and save a little. Then, I can do what I want to! However, there aren't many W&A churches, particularly in my denomination, that have big budgets or big membership rosters. Those things are absolutely not important to me.. I just want to be "stable" before I launch into any sort of activism.  So, it's looking more and more like I'm just going to have to fly under the radar for a few years when I go into full-time ministry.

Ugh... Is there any other way? Maybe I should be just a social worker or a school teacher or something!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Coming out #1

Ok, so here's the recap. If you don't want to read the whole big honkin' thing, the short story is: I told her, we're still friends. :-)


Coming home requires quite a long drive, so I had lots of time to get extremely anxious and nervous about what I would say yo my friend. I pretty much decided I would get it over with as soon as possible so I wouldn't have to stress for the rest of the evening. So I knock on the door, and she greets me in this really insane way that is very typical of most of our interactions. After all of that, I go in and sit down, and she has her purse on and is super hungry and ready to go eat. So, we had to go immediately and I wasn't going to be able to tell her just yet.

So, as we were driving to the restaurant, there were so many strange comments like "Wow it feels to weird to see you in person" (it has been a few months since we've seen each other) or even "yeah, what's up with your hair? It looks kind of GAY!"(LOL!) or "GAAAH, why are you walking so fast?!" (I was nervous as hell), etc. Anyway, it felt like she knew something weird was up and I was having a hard time just playing it cool.

Anyway, so we sit down at the restaurant (where the service was exceptionally crappy) and I decide I'll wait til we get dessert and then I'd tell her. (I didn't want to ruin the meal, so I figured eating something comfortable like key lime pie would be a good thing to do during the coming out moment!) Well, in a nearly empty restaurant, they sit a bunch of people right beside us! It sucked big time, I knew this wouldn't work, and I was getting very frustrated.

So, we leave the restaurant without even getting dessert. As soon as we get in the car she starts with these sort of probing questions that she has been asking lately. I took a deep breath and said, "Go ahead, hit me. I'm ready." So, the very first question was "so if you don't talk to ME about your sexual feelings, then who DO you talk to them about?" She asks this because I typically refuse to talk about anything to do with dating or crushes I have had, etc. I knew this kind of question would come up. So, I tell her that I'm about to tell her something that will answer many of her questions all at once, and it's something that is confidential and very personal and I will need her support in this, etc.

So, I'm navigating rush-hour traffic, and I drop the bomb. Obviously, this was a big deal so I was rather nervous and shaky and she was like "Are you sure you should be driving now?" LOL (Probably not but I continued.) I issued a few more details why I was coming out and briefly outlined by journey. We became silent for a while.

Then, she kind of broke down and threw a screaming, cussing fit. I was like, "Are you ok?" and she goes "Yes, I am SOOO FUCKING PEACHY RIGHT NOW!" (HA! I couldn't help but laugh at her choice of words.) She continued, "I know this is supposed to be about you right now, but my life SUCKS" and basically said that she was hoping that I would eventually come around to falling in love with her and that we would get married and live happily ever after, etc. I knew she has felt this way before, but I had no idea that she was not over it. I was like, "Oh, shit. I was afraid this would happen!" So we kind of mourn together for a bit, and I even suggest that I go with her to see her therapist--almost like couples counseling but not at all! LOL (I ended up leaving before her appointment, however.)

So after she had a good cry and my nerves kind of calmed down, things starting to become alright and somewhat normal again. We went to see a movie to kind of take our mind off the pain for a few moments.

When we got back to her place, she decided that she can now comfortably get my opinion on wether or not her swim suit shows too much cleavage, which was a bit awkward, but at least she is getting used to the real me. :-) Then, she suggested that we sleep together in her bed isntead of me using the air mattress or couch! I was like, "um, no" and she's like "what's the big deal??" That was pretty insane, anyway, I told her I was not quite ready for that so I demanded the couch. lol So that was my very strange evening.

So this whole revelation about me was a total suprise to her. I am very glad I choose to tell her now and not years later when she was still seriously wanting to marry me. I am also grateful that I have a friend like that, who can know such an intimate detail of my life and support me. She's not totally cool with the idea of me dating or having gay relationships, but that is based on loose Biblical interpretations, and I think once she has some time to think it over, and after I share a few resources with her, she will come around on that.

Anyway, I feel very relieved that someone from my "real world" knows. It's not that everything is perfect now--there will still be awkward moments between me and her, and I still have no idea what my next step it. But, *someone* knows and I don't have to keep any new experiences or questions I have to myself.

This is a long post, and a very scatterbrained account. If you made it this far, thanks for reading and, as always, I love to hear the experiences of others.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tomorrow... !

So tomorrow (Monday) I am going to come out to someone from my "real life." It's my good friend from back home who happens to be a girl--who I have written about in past postings.

I have been planning to do this for a while, but, in the past couple of weeks, I have debated whether or not it was really the right time. Well, tonight, in our phone conversation, while we were talking about whether or not her swim suit showed too much cleavage, she tells me that I'm her "non-gay, gay friend" meaning, she's comfortable with me, which she thought was so strange because I'm "not gay."

Well, tomorrow she will be able to take out the "non" part of how she describes me, and I believe this is indeed the perfect time because she already has me pegged. I no longer have to worry about uprooting any unspoken desires she might have that we should be together. She already has the appropriate take on our relationship, so I might as well finally be honest to her.

So, here... we... go...

Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm stuck

I just had this crazy thought.

I am 25 years old. Many of my straight friends have been married five years or so by now. Many others my age have done the dating and relationship thing for perhaps ten years. By repressing my sexuality, have I missed out on something? I know for certain that I am indeed immature and inexperienced when it comes to dating, but do I need to make up for lost time?

I have completed a hell of a lot of education and have had meaningful wok and ministry in my short time as an adult. But, since I've ignored such a huge part of my life for so long, I feel like I need to make up for lost time.

Now here is the crazy thought... Is it ever a good idea for a person to jump in head first into a new thing and experience ALL of it to the fullest? This thing is gay sexuality. Why NOT go through a season of unreserved, full force experiencing and discovering. Is this the kind of thing I would really regret?

I have gotten myself to a point where I am extremely dissatisfied with life. I was happy with things for a long time because there were certain areas of life I never thought about. Now, I've "pulled the plug" and there seems to be no turning back.

I am so ready to live fully and authentically and sometimes it seems the best option would be to shirk all responsibility and "live it up." Perhaps I am impatient. Or, maybe it's just that I have no idea what my next step should be.

However, it is getting very difficult to balance the split life that I have. I feel like I'm being mediocre and getting behind in work and study. Most of my time is spent wallowing in shallow thought and coming up with something to waste time so I can avoid doing anything truly productive.

I don't know what to do. I can't be who I really am and now it has gotten very difficult to be the person I pretend to be.