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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Claiming It

So, some time ago a guy from my mission contacted me through facebook. He asked me quite upfront if I "struggled with same-gender attraction," because he did, and was hoping to find friends to relate to.

I wrote him back, explaining that while I would have said that at one point, I had come to a place of peace over my "non-traditional" attractions.

As we began to converse back and forth it was clear to me that he is definitely in a different place than me concerning his sexuality. And while I didn't feel the need to open up to him too much, it's always nice to have another friend.

The other day he sent me a recording he'd made for another friend, explaining where he is and how he got to that point. Tonight I finally got around to listening to it.

His is a familiar. He feels so many things that so many people feel. But the way he talked was so distant from it. He used phrases like "someone of the same gender" or "attraction to males." The way he said "males" made it sound like it was a scientific discussion.

I don't intend to insult or demean his approach to this. He has just as much a right to handle his life in his way as I do to live mine as I see fit. It simply fascinated me how it seemed he was still so afraid to claim it. That part of him was still holding this whole issue at arm's length.

I guess what it ultimately made me feel was grateful for my own journey. Grateful that I've reached a point in my life where I can say "I think boys are gorgeous, and that's just fine."

I feel so much more complete as a human being when I can accept this and claim this as a part of myself. I feel more honest with myself, and more sincere with others.

Sure, I still struggle with social norms, religious implications, and family conflicts. Just tonight I was skyping with Monique, my best friend from high school. She's come a long way in the last year and a half, and we can talk a little about some of this stuff. But I one thing I felt was that I didn't want to be seen as less masculine. And I didn't want to feel less masculine. I know this is something I still need to resolve within myself. But even in spite of some of these struggles currently unresolved, I am grateful to be able to claim this part of myself.

On Friday night I was chatting with some of the wonderful folk at the gay fhe I mentioned how remarkable it was to me that once I accepted this part of myself, learned to appreciate and even love it, and give it some sort of expression in my life, these feelings stopped feeling like they were overpowering me. They stopped feeling like they were going to explode out of my chest like an alien from a 1980's movie. Now that I own them, I can control them.

And I am more complete because of it.


Keaton said...

Ty .... another remarkable young man. I have to remark that LD Saints who suffer with SSA have be some of the Lords most precious souls. I should correct myself that you don't suffer from SSA...that you celebrate it, which is so right and healthy but the journey is not an easy one. The journey can be wrought with angst and pain and will test the deep soul and testimony of the best of us. I don't get your parents. I'm trying not to be judgmental but they lack a Christ like compassion. Sorry but this is just wrong. They should wrap you with unconditional love and support your life quest regardless of the disconnection. Sorry but you can set me straight if I'm misreading your journey. If you ever need a hug or someone to bounce things off please know that I'm out there. Unlike you, I will never be able in this lifetime to feel the warmth that another man gives you. I take that children have given me so much more. It's like they have healing power.

Jeremy said...

I realize I'm posting nearly a month after you wrote this, but I thought I would do so anyway. Your post reminded me of a guy that showed up at the USGA meeting this last Thursday. He was uptight, he was uncomfortable with who he is, and he was unsure of himself. Point being that he was just beginning his self-discovery.

Sure, we're all entitled to our own opinion and way of doing things. But I've kinda of discovered there is a loose linear path that many of us find ourselves on. Your friend may one day discover that where he's at is, in actuality, a beginning step on the path to discovering the beauty of life and the beauty of nature and even God. Anyway, that's all :) Enjoy your day!

Ty said...

@Keaton: Thanks for such kind words. I'll admit, I can feel just as lost as the next person when it comes to sorting out my orientation, but I try to be as honest with myself as possible. And yes, my parents still have some work to do themselves, but I can understand the place of fear that they have come from in addressing this. I pray that in time everything will work out. Thanks for the comment!

@Jeremy: And we were right that he would eventually come back to USGA! Yes, I think you're right, that we each are making our way along that pathway. Hopefully for all of us, including my friend, we do find that place of beauty. :) See you tomorrow!

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