An observant and valued reader contacted me late last week to ask why I'd changed the tag line on my blog from "Together, Taking Gay to the Next Level" to "Seeking Ways to Take Being Gay to the Next Level." So I thought I'd spend a few minutes to explain.
As I've written before, my blog continues to evolve. Early this year, I changed its focus to one of helping gay people to see how self-loathing affects us, and how learning to love ourselves (or improve our self-esteem, if you prefer) is one of the best ways to take "gay to the next level." (I invite you to peruse these posts written between early January and mid-February.)
But, as I discovered, it isn't the only way. While I continue to believe raising our collective self-esteem, which is completely within our control, is one of the best ways to improve our experience as gay people (and which I'm committed to writing about here on an ongoing basis), I realize we can contribute to achieving the same goal in other ways as well.
On March 10, for example, I wrote a post called "The Gay Lifestyle." In it, I dispelled the notion of such a thing. Sure, some gay men end up living alone and lonely, abusing drugs and alcohol, and engaging in anonymous and promiscuous sex--what is often considered the gay lifestyle--but just because that's what you most commonly know doesn't mean that's all there is.
Thousands of gay couples, Chris and me among them, live in happy, committed, long-term, and monogamous relationships; you just don't hear about them as much, that's all. And part of what I've tried to do here is show you, through sharing details of Chris and my life together, what a working gay relationship looks like (hint: not that different from a straight relationship).
Increasingly, I want my blog to play a role in helping gay people to look at themselves and their lives differently. As I've continued to write posts on aspects related to being gay, I've realized some of the subtle and significant ways we can change our experience, often by doing little more than changing our perception. Through my ongoing search and writing about it, I hope to open up that world for you (as I've done in the past), as well as for me, so we can move our lives to another level.
Have you ever gotten stuck, thinking or doing the same thing over and over, because you fell into a routine, because the tried and true worked, because you never needed to turn it upside down and take a closer look at it? What if it no longer works, or is no longer the best response? In other words, maybe the perception we have of ourselves as gay people no longer works either. Maybe we need to take a closer look at what being gay means to us, and see what hand we have in creating a new reality.
Seeking ways to take being gay to the next level: that's my goal, and I hope it's yours, too. If you think of anything, small or large, that all of us should be aware of not only to improve our experience of being gay but to elevate it to a higher level we may not have realized before, I invite you to respond to a blog post or to send me an email directly.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you and, hopefully, to a vigorous exchange of ideas.