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Posts tagged ‘my story’

Why did I tell you?

We were at a retreat center deep in the Californian forest. I asked you if I could have some of your time to talk about something important, and you made the time. It might have been late at night, while us restless 20-somethings milled about in the paths and in and out of the various buildings. It took us some time to find a warm spot where there was not much foot traffic. It was probably raining outside this particular long weekend, as it often did each year, nearly a decade ago.

Why did I choose to tell you? You were safe. I knew that most likely our friendship would be safe, that you not keep a polite safe distance from me. There were many things I wasn’t sure of, but I was very sure that I would not be harmed by revealing my story to you. We were already good friends.

After getting to know you for three years at that point, I was certain that you would not be disgusted or weirded out. I knew that you were not driven by prejudices. You never put up a front or pretense, you were always real.

You were loving and caring. I knew that you would not leak my story out to others. I saw that you were a man who set your priorities upon an abiding relationship with Jesus, and that any action would only by careful consideration of how Jesus would have done it.

When I told you, my voice retreated, and I saw those words come out of my mouth that were now impossible to take back. But you asked me thoughtful, meaningful questions. Each question respected my dignity, and was with a caring eagerness to know more about me.

I told you because I needed help.

There was no emergency or crisis anymore, but I needed at least one close friend in the city who knew what I was going through and where I wanted to be headed.

I told you because I needed at least one person to watch for me if I happened to choose to make stupid choices, or when I was particularly lonely or hurting. I needed someone to talk to when I needed reassurance, and someone who would not be afraid to tell me the truth if I was starting to talk nonsense.

I told you because I was certain at that point that at least in this area you did not share my struggle, and were in a position to help, to strengthen, to remind me of who I really was and what I was becoming.

You were actually the sixth person I had told up to that point. During college, after first revealing my struggle to a girl, I told my pastor over some Round-Table Pizza, then told one of my dorm-mates, then another guy. In the city I lived in after I moved away from school, there was only one person who knew, and that person moved away.

Oh, yes, there was a risk.

There were those I wanted to open up to, but I chickened out before the grand reveal, and talked in generalities until we moved on. There were “best friends” I had told and was never heard from in the years since, not because of prejudice, but because they did not believe that my same-sex attraction indicated anything that needed healing.

It would be years before I told my own parents and my own brother. By that time I told them not because I wanted help, but to show them the miracle that had happened in my life, right before entering into a new adventure of becoming one with a woman I had fallen in love with.

So thank you. Thank you for making those 5 minutes of courage worth a lifetime, and for being someone I can still turn to after all these years. Thank you for being the one to remember this moment, when I myself had forgotten. That in itself, speaks volumes of the friendship I had with you. I love you, brother.

Photo by jessgrrrr


I’m writing to those who might be looking for a different choice. You don’t have to embrace homosexuality as an identity. Some of you will remind me,

Homosexuality is not a choice!

I never got to choose who I became totally dumbstruck drawn towards. There was no conscious choice involved in noticing how enticing certain members of my own sex are. You are right. I didn’t choose, so much you can say that I was born this way, perhaps even made this way, end of story.

Except, this is not where the story ends, right? I had choices to make, and going to a liberal school, I had many choices that seemed easier, less painful, and more satisfying.

I chose to open up to others with a question. I chose to expose the pain I felt inside. I chose to become in touch with my desire to become whole… not to change, but to be whole.

Today, my desire still points towards certain types of men. Though greatly diminished in the way this desire might take over my thoughts and actions, it’s still there and I’m not certain if it’s ever meant to be completely gone. So I have to continue to make choices.

I have a wife and two sons. At some point in my life, I chose my wife (and she chose me), to some extent I chose to have these children, and today I choose to stay with them as long as I remain alive. It’s not that hard of a choice.

Choosing “yes” to something means I have to choose “no” to other things, right?

Sometimes I find myself choosing contrary to the thread of choices I’ve made thus far.

Many times I thought of giving up, many times I had been offered a chance of living a double life. I choose today to live with integrity because I enjoy hearing God’s voice every day. The adventure I get to have with my Father above far exceeds any escapade I might theoretically have. The real choice I made that started this all was that I choose to walk with my creator. In reality, it was God who made the big choices for me, and all I had to say was “yes.”

The choice becomes easier and easier each day.


Why I created this stump, is because I wanted to tell my story, to help myself, and to perhaps help you.

Now that I’ve actually had the courage to start this, just thinking about making my first post is making me want to throw up. I will have to trust that this is a good sign to push harder.

If I don’t keep coming back to write, I will have lost. This blog will remain a stump like so many others out there. I’ve wanted to tell my story for the last 10 years, but I didn’t. I don’t want to lose this battle with myself.

New life came from the stump that got hacked down. Oh, the outline of the stump is still there, clear to any passerby that great injury was done to a tree that had to start all over again. I believe I have to get through my next stage in growing up, but that won’t happen until I continue to clear away the weeds.

I hope to show you here a boy, a boy hungry for belonging, a boy hungry for protection, a boy hungry for love, a boy mourning the loss of his best friend, a boy seeking his distant big brother, a boy longing for his distracted father …a boy who was so starved, hungered for the embrace of a man.

A boy, who stopped growing up, even as his outer appearance became much like the very men that he longed for.

That boy discovered a Creator who longed to embrace, to be my father, to be my best friend, to look into my eyes and say “I love you.”

He took my hand and gave me back my father, mended the link with my brother, and gave me many friends.

He took what might have remained a stump, nurtured the shoots and brought up the magnificent tree I was meant to be, now beginning to bear fruit.

I know that there are others like me. I want to break through silence, through the embarrassment, through the insecurity and the fear, so that those like me can hear the words, “you’ll make it through.”

Thanks for letting me hold your hand.