Every time I talk openly about being a celibate gay/bisexual Christian I have people say something like “Thank you for being brave enough to talk about it.” Well the truth is that I have no choice but to be brave because so much of my life revolves around being afraid of what people think. Now obviously I refuse to let it paralyze or mute me but it is still something I have to deal with regularly.
And I think I have reason to have such fear. The vast majority of the circles I am in are conservative Christians and since they consider themselves in a culture war it is easy to see why they would in some cases dehumanize homosexuals. That is the nature of war. Both sides do it.
I remember vividly the day fear completely gripped me as my pastor's wife at the time made a joke about sending homosexuals as troops to Iraq so they could die. Now that isn't her mindset and it certainly doesn't define her character, but that passing comment she thought nothing about is still with me even to this day.
A friend and I were having a conversation earlier today and he made the point how homosexual men can't bond with straight men because of sexual orientation. I disagreed with his ultimate conclusions on that, but the truth is that even for me it is difficult. I'm regularly concerned that I will say or do something that is going to make them uncomfortable. And since I feel that way it makes me uncomfortable and then I act uncomfortable causes them to be uncomfortable and the cycle perpetuates. It will often lead me just sitting there quietly trying to remember to smile so no one asks what is the matter.
So when one rejects homosexual lifestyle and feels so out of place even with the most like minded of brothers then where is he to go?
One of the hardest times is when a deep loneliness overtakes me. I'm so thrilled for my friends getting married and having kids (I really love babies), but then it will often just sweep over me this reminder of how likely it is I will never have that in life. It makes no sense how I could desire a wife and children so strongly and yet they seem forever away. After all how could I ever really expect a woman to love and commit her life to a faggot? How could I guarantee I wouldn't fall into sexual sin? Of course committing adultery is horrific, but homosexual adultery? How could I take that chance?
After 10 years celibate and four years being “out” I still struggle with temptations and ask myself is it worth it regularly. I even ask if God could really love one like me when it seems like His people who are supposed to be in image can't.
Being called a woman, or sissy, or pansy, or queer, of fag, or any of the other things that are directed at homosexuals by my friends and acquaintances is difficult. I love joking and making funny comments about my friends as much as the next guy, but it's when it's not directed at me, but those I know that have the same attractions as me, that it really gets frustrating.
I never want to say something or bring attention to myself concerning that. I don't want it be my identity. I don't want my friends thinking “Okay, we have to be careful around Jason. He is a sensitive fag and we can't hurt his feelings.” No one wants to be that guy.
I want to be tough and strong. I want to make to stupid jokes and crack on one another. I want to feel like I belong, like I'm truly in a band of brothers fighting to ave all that is right and holy.
But most time I don't feel that way. Most times I just hide the fear and the pain and the loneliness and I just move forward one more day.
And that is okay. Because I know that even when times seem dark. Even on the days that I just want to die. Even when I look at my wrists and I think “What if?” I know that this is not the end.
The darkness is only for a season. The clouds will eventually clear and the rain will end (avoiding making a rainbow joke here. This is cheesy enough already).God will again bring Himself back to mind and my shame and guilt will flee once more. I will again be reminded that He is good and His love is perfect and perfecting. I'll again rejoice that He would adopt one such as me.
I will be granted a reprieve from the darkness, if only for while. And one day I know it will cease completely and in that my joy is eternal.
I pray you know this joy and this savior. He is worthy of it all.
Hope in Him,