Well, it’s time to start going “public” a bit more. I’ve started a YouTube channel because I really feel a calling to get my story out and to speak to the damage that ex-gay ministries cause. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel…more great things to come!
Posts Tagged ‘gay’
Tags: authenticity, beyond ex-gay, Christian, coming out, counseling, ex ex-gay, ex-gay, Exodus International, gay, gay Christian, LGBT, marital damage, pastor, Reparative Therapy
Tags: coming out, friends, gay, relationships
I knew there would be relational fallout due to my coming out. I had mentally prepared myself to accept the fact that there would be people in my life that would not handle the news well. Despite the mental preparation, I definitely was not emotionally prepared for what would happen. I secretly hoped that we could all continue to get along and be friends…but that just didn’t happen.
The best-man from my wedding decided we couldn’t be friends anymore. He quietly dropped me from Facebook and has not called since I came out to him.
Several church “friends” decided that we can’t be friends anymore. They have dropped me from Facebook as well. One publically ridiculed me on my Facebook wall before deleting me. That was such a loving, Christian thing to do! Another person that I was very close to at my former church sent me a message saying that I was bringing him down and that he had to cut all ties with me.
One formerly “good friend” has spent a lot of time writing to me and trying to convince me of the error of my ways. Support is definitely NOT what I am getting from him.
I’ve met with a few friends one-on-one and told them what was going on. They seemed like they were surprised and could “agree to disagree” but I haven’t heard from them since.
And then there’s my parents. They have stressed over and over again that they are “not mad because I am gay”. BUT…they are mad at me…mad because I broke up the family…mad because I have stressed out everyone in the family…mad because I am not doing so well financially…mad because I “lied to them for so many years”…mad because they had to deal with this in their 70’s rather than in their 40’s. It has been almost a year and they have yet to meet my partner or come to my new place. They are keeping a distance from my new life.
Thankfully, while there has been all of this fallout in relationships, there is good news too! There have been some very supportive friends who have continued to be friends even though my whole life has changed. I am very thankful for all of them (many of you are reading this right now). And…I have NEW FRIENDS! And despite what many might think, all of the new friends aren’t all gay!!! I have been able to surround myself with gay, straight, single, married, Christian and not-so-religious people…all of whom accept me and like me just for who I am. So in the past year, I have found out who my real friends are and I have made a bunch of new friends. It has been a difficult process and there have been relational casualties along the way…but I am not lacking in the relational department at all. God has provided a strong support system for me.
I am so thankful for my friends, new and old, who stand by me and love me for who I am!
Tags: attraction, coming out, gay, gay relationships, love
So I mentioned in previous posts that I am in a new relationship. I just have to say that I am SO blown away at how easy this relationship is. Like…easier than any relationship I’ve ever been in. Maybe it’s the nature of the man I love…maybe it’s just easy to be in a relationship with a man since I’m gay…probably it’s both. All I know is that it is very easy to be in a relationship with a man.
The media makes gay relationships to be all about sex and living a wild lifestyle. But I’m proud to say that my life now is fairly normal and boring…and hardly explicit. My man and I eat dinner by candlelight and have a great time talking together every evening. We go on walks in the evening and dream of our future home. We look forward to living in a house so we can get a couple of dogs. We take turns trying out new recipes on each other. We look forward to hiking in our local mountains when Spring comes. We love hanging out with friends…gay and straight…and actually tend to relate more with our straight friends. Life for us is just like life for most other people. That’s right…we’re normal. And it’s easy to be normal.
What I love about our relationship is that there is a love and passion that are very deep. And to have both of those combined into a single relationship is wonderful. It brings a passion that binds us together in a way that is stronger than I’ve ever experienced before. We don’t fight, though we are clearly two very different people. We support each other, respect each other, and agree to disagree when needed. Literally, this relationship takes no work because it all happens so naturally. I never knew that a relationship could be so easy.
So I’m thankful. I’m thankful to have a love that is fun, easy, caring, and natural. It means the world to me and I hope that ease never changes! Being with a man is wonderful and something that I should have pursued a long time ago.
Tags: authenticity, coming out, Conservative Evangelical, divorce, dualistic thinking, gay, parental damage
It has definitely been a while since I posted. Life has been very crazy, to say the least. I will have to take a couple of posts to get updated. The big things are that I have a new job and have moved out of my former home. But today’s post will focus on the backlash that I have experienced in coming out over the past month.
The end of December and beginning of January was a roller coaster of negative backlash in my life. For a while, it seemed like every day brought a new negative response from people in my life. It was a VERY emotional time for me as I dealt with the pain of tons of anger and rejection.
The backlash began with a friend stabbing me in the back. I won’t go into the details here but suffice it to say, this friend was upset with some of the decisions I was making with my life. The ensuing fallout with the friend got very ugly and even spilled over into the new church I am leading. The wounds of a friend cut deep, to be sure.
Additionally, my former boss (senior pastor) found out about the truth of my new life much faster than I had planned. His response was typical of conservative Evangelicalism and I am pretty sure by my phone call with him that I am now considered to be the spawn of Satan. While I would love to repeat some of the things said to me for shock value, I will choose not to do so in this forum. I will say, though, that I am very glad to be out of conservative Evangelicalism and will never look back after what I have experienced in the past couple of months!
Finally, I have experienced a great deal of backlash from my kids. At the moment, none of my kids want to see me nor are any of them speaking to me. This, by far, has been the most painful thing that has happened in the past month. Though my marriage has really been over for a year, the fact that I am already in a relationship even though my divorce is not final has not gone over well with my kids. Ultimately, I understand their feelings and know that there is no way that they can walk even for a minute in my shoes. So I just have to be patient with their process. I miss them like crazy and hope that they will be able to forgive me someday.
It feels like I have lost a lot in this process. I know there are probably still some relationships that will be lost as the news of my coming out touches more and more people. Though there has been a lot of backlash and pain in the loss, I am positive that I have done the right thing by being honest about who I am. Change couldn’t possibly happen without backlash and pain. But on the other side of things, I am now happy and content. Hopefully over the next year, things will calm down and I will be able to rebuild the trust and love that I once had with my kids. And I imagine that I will find out who my real friends are in this process. But in the process, I am boldly taking one step forward at a time…knowing that my happiness and destiny are now beginning to come to fruition.
Tags: beyond ex-gay, ex ex-gay, Exodus International, gay, gay Christian, Reparative Therapy
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I knew it was going to hurt. I definitely don’t like pain. And maybe it’s just that I’m feeling a little bruised about all of this right now. But I just have to say that coming out hurts! One of the reasons it hurts is because there are people who will not understand and who are not supportive of your decision. And I now know why that is so painful: it is because those who express their unhappiness at your decision are basically saying that they don’t value who you are.
I don’t expect everyone to understand. It just hurts when they express that.
A few months ago, I opened up to the guy who was best-man in my wedding. His response (coming from a conservative Christian perspective) was pretty harsh. He basically told me that I needed to repent. Ouch.
This week, I have had three people express their disappointment in me…and one of them is a family member so the sting of that one is harder to deal with. On one hand, I can take it. I don’t live for the approval of others. I expect disappointment and disagreement. But on the other hand, it still hurts. It hurts because I feel devalued and all of my old codependent issues kick in. I begin to second-guess myself. I question if I am going off the “deep end”. I literally have to talk myself out of that negative thinking and remind myself of what I know to be true.
I know this is just the beginning. There are going to be TONS of people who are going to express their disagreement and even distaste to me. I guess I just need to toughen up and start to get used to it. There will be people who will choose not to associate with me any longer. I’m trusting that those who make that choice will not be people that are close to me. It’s a bit scary.
I know many people go through this and have already been through this in their lifetime. But I am new to this…and it hurts. I trust there will be a time in the not-too-distant future when I have gone through this whole process and I don’t have to keep getting hurt by people who don’t understand.
But that is probably fantasy-thinking. 😦
As I have been processing the experiences of my life, I have come to the realization that I have been experiencing “leakage” in various ways for many years. You may ask what I mean by “leakage”. Well, I’m realizing that for my whole life, I have been trying to suppress my sexuality. It is almost like I have been trying to push something down into a box and then I have tried to put a lid on that box. But in pushing it down year after year, I have been expending a lot of energy trying to deny something that won’t die because it is a very real thing. So in pushing it down, all I’ve really done is added pressure to a very real part of me. The result is that the pressure has built up over time and my sexuality has “leaked” out in various ways over the years. The problem with leaks is that they don’t come at opportune times and they usually bust out in ways that you don’t want them to.
Let me tell you, that picture above really represents my life. I have been tried to be a good pastor, a good father, a good husband, etc. And I have felt that to be all of those things, I had to deny my sexuality. I viewed my sexuality as a defect…something that was caused by traumas in my early life. So as time went on and I continued to deny the truth of my sexuality, I sprung leaks. Internet pornography. Cruising. Online chatting. Sexualized friendships. Fantasy. I have been an utter failure at suppressing this part of me.
Here’s the crazy thing. Since getting into counseling and beginning to accept the reality of my sexuality, the leaks have stopped! The pressure has been released because I have been dealing with my sexuality in honest, open ways. I have found encouragement and support in relationships that I have opened up to. I’m not denying it anymore. In a sense, I have taken the lid off the box, releasing the pressure, and the leaks have stopped. In embracing the truth of who I am, I am no longer “leaking out” in unhealthy or inappropriate ways. Truth is setting me free!
My ultimate goal in beginning this journey was to find emotional health. It’s amazing how that health is happening now that I am coming to terms with who I am and not trying to live in denial.
No more leakage for me. Health and wholeness is what I am holding onto!