Friday, February 4, 2011

It's ok to be gay

This isn't "my story" by any means, I'm working up to that.
But I want to say that it's ok to be gay. It's taken me a long time to realize this. For years and years I would freak out when I thought a guy was cute, or feeling attractions, but you know what? There's no reason to freak out about it. There's no reason to feel like you need to repress feelings, feelings are feelings. I feel so much better after I've come to admit this to myself, and tell others about it. I am by no means "out", but as I talk to family my wife, and others I can trust about what I've come to understand being gay, I feel a lot of freedom. No one has rejected me, I've felt a lot of love. Not that there aren't misunderstandings, but I've never felt closer to the people I love.
I guess the reason for this post is that for years I tried to change these feelings, frustrated when I kept being unable to do it. But when I was 17, in the midst of a lot of inner turmoil (more on that later), I remember praying. I prayed to God to ask what I should do. And the message? It's ok. I thought, how could this be ok? What does it mean, "it's ok?" I've been searching for that answer for years. Now 10 years later, after trying to fight it, I realize that all along God was trying to get me to stop freaking out, to stop worrying so much about something that was outside of my control.
Those 10 years were extremely painful.It's been a private hell trying to somehow solve this problem. I blamed my parents, I blamed God, myself, that I had done something to become gay.... but that's not why I'm attracted to men. And really I'm ok with not knowing. I read all kinds of things, that I just needed to conform to gender norms better (I am actually quite fine with the fact that I'm a man), that if I felt closer to my Dad, that if I just worked through this hard enough my feelings and attractions would eventually change.
They didn't. And now I realize, it's alright. It's ok for me to be gay. This is part of who I am, and I'm ok with that. I used to stay up late at night crying, wondering why God wouldn't just take this away. But now once again, I know that it's ok.


  1. Coming to the realization that being gay was something I had to face, and that it wasn't going to go away as I had wished and prayed for was almost enough to kill me. But it was in those last desperate moments where life was so thin that I got the same message you describe here. It's okay. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not broken.

    That was a miracle to me. It changed my life. And even though now I am navigating what that will mean for me and my life without any real map or compass but my own heart, that knowledge has opened my eyes to how wonderful life is.

    The hard part is that there are no solid answers. I ask my mom for advice often. Mom's always know all the answers. But she doesn't know the answer to this one. I think that is hard for both of us. She wants to help me, but she doesn't want to misdirect me, and she doesn't have the answers. I want her to know the answer and tell me what I should do. I guess that isn't how this is suppose to work though. And I think I am grateful for the experience of trying to find my own answers.

    For most my life, I thought the answer was that I needed to be fixed or cured. I needed to get rid of this. That's what I prayed for, that's what I had faith in- If I just worked hard enough. That is the miracle I was waiting for. But that wasn't the answer God wanted to give me. It wasn't the miracle he had in store. And it wasn't until I was on the edge of death that I was ready to consider that perhaps God's answer wasn't the one I was looking for my whole life.

    Now I know not to assume I have the answers. I know not to take anyone's word for it. I know that I have to try and be open to all possibilities. Who am I to limit God's will?

    Thanks for sharing this... I think it is an important message that takes many of us years and years to find. And sadly, sometimes some of us never do.

  2. Jonathan, thanks for your comments. I can relate to a lot of that. When I talked about inner turmoil, that's what it was, feeling like I needed to end my life. But when I prayed, the answer I got “it's ok”. That’s been a defining moment for me, especially as I come to better understand what it means.
    That’s taken years though.
    I too felt like I just needed to fix myself, that I was broken. After going to the Evergreen conference, reading some books, and hearing that miracles were possible, I tried to change myself, trying to do a sort of self “reparative therapy”, like I was broken and needed to be repaired. The LDS counselors I met with were also trying to do this with me.
    I went on a mission, which was mostly great, hard at times. Looking back over my journal, I realize I believed that God would give me the miracle of change if I just served him faithfully. And I did. And at the end of my mission, I think I believed God had granted me this miracle.
    But that’s not what happened. My attraction to men didn’t go away. Looking at my life, God has granted me some pretty amazing miracles, even if they weren’t the ones I was asking for.