Friday, July 15, 2011

Can You Be Gay And Happy?

My favorite part of the day, when I finish whatever tasks I have around the house, then sit down to talk to you through my blog.  Nothing makes me happier.  Nothing.  

The word "happy," as it relates to those who are gay, or suspect they are, came up twice in my reading this week, prompting me to give it some thought and leading to the question, Can you be gay and happy?

In the first instance, I received an email from a young woman in the U.K., who asked for advice for her and her former boyfriend.  She wrote they had recently broken up, because he's starting to be aware of feelings he has for one of his male friends.  But he's conflicted about it, and, as she wrote, "having no happiness in it."

In the second, a comment, from a reader of an article on withdrawing government funding for organizations associated with the ex-gay movement, stated (I'm paraphrasing), gay people will never be happy because the way they are goes against nature, against what God intended for us.

Well, I'm here to say to the young woman from the U.K., of course your former boyfriend can be happy if he turns out to be gay, and, to the reader who wrote the comment to the article, what a load of you-know-what.  The fact is, happiness is not exclusive of straight people.  If I use myself as an example, happiness is entirely possible when you're gay, but it will take a little work to get there--nothing you can't handle and nothing you're not required to do during your experience as a human being on earth, anyway.  

So how do you achieve happiness when you're gay?  Apart from the fact that happiness is a state of mind (which some believe is dependent upon what's going on in your physical world), and happiness comes from within (which means, regardless of what's going on in your physical world, you always have the choice to be happy or not), as a gay person, happiness is dependent upon your ability to own your sexual orientation.

What I mean by owning your sexual orientation is, as long as you continue to be influenced by what those who presume to know what's better for us say about homosexuality being wrong and evil and immoral, and as long as you judge yourself by that standard, you will not be happy.  Put another way, as long as you remain conflicted about being gay, because of what you've been led to believe about it, and as long as you buy into all the negative crap, allowing it to affect how you feel about yourself, you will not be happy.  I guarantee it.                    

So let's say the same thing, only in a positive frame:  When you make your peace with being gay (that is, when you accept yourself as a gay person, which you should, anyway); when being gay is no different from being whatever else you are (no more or less important); when you know in your heart your worth as a human being (neither gay nor straight); and when you turn off the self-loathing and turn on the self-loving--then you will find happiness.  I guarantee it.  

A difficult task, as Donald, one of my readers, puts it?  Perhaps.  But, as I've written before, this inner journey--to yourself, really--is the most important one of your life.  There is nothing more important--not going to school, not earning a living, not finding a career, not even falling in love. Because, believe me, everything else will be affected by your inner journey.  Everything.  

Consider yourself a step ahead of anyone who hasn't read this.  As an older gay man, who's been exactly where you are today, I know what I'm talking about, as I continue to grow in my knowledge of what this passage on earth is about.  I've been there, and I use my experience here in my blog to give you a heads-up, to share what I know to be true.  (I only wish someone had told me about this stuff when I was much younger.)  

You can start the work now, by digesting what's in this post, and others I've written on my blog, with the intention of helping you, of making your path easier.  Or you can avoid the inner work we're all called to do on our life journey and see where that takes you.  The choice is yours to make.  You decide.

But, remember, happiness can always be yours, no matter if you're straight or gay.  


  1. I'm a gay 15 year old fella from Britain and I am a Christian and I love being whoever the bloody hell I want to be! Screw all the idiots who don't like it! Today, some fat idiot told me that I was a wimp who was too scared to come out, while the rest of the people on this table laughed. I have just writ in permanent marker on my arm that I am so happy to not be like them!

  2. What a wonderful comment.
    I'm thrilled to hear from you, Anonymous, and I applaud your courage and strength.
    I'm sure you don't always feel the same way, because, sometimes, it isn't easy to be gay, just as it isn't easy to be different from other people, whatever that difference looks like.
    But it's so refreshing to hear from a young man like you, who knows who he is and is willing to stand up for it. You set the example for young people everywhere.
    Be who you are, accept who you are, love who you are. You are clearly on the right track already.
    I hope you'll find something else on my blog that will help you in your journey as a young gay person, and I hope to hear from you again in the future
    All the best, and thanks for your interest in what I've written. I appreciate it.

  3. Hi Rick. I doubt you will answer, but I actually think different. I mean I agree with you about the self-acceptance part and all, but what about those who never had problem with himself? For example, I never had issue with my own sexuality or's just that I can't seem to find a partner. I'm sure you are well aware by now, but it is actually way harder for gay men to find the right one for him - I mean WAY HARDER. Some lucky ones may have a partner for many years, but I hear more than 90% of the couples who've been together for more than 5 years are in an open relationship. I'm not going to judge that, but I just want to find someone just for me and be happy. It seems like it's impossible for me - and I've realized it's not just me, but actually most gay men are single, lonely, and not really happy. I think being gay is like a disability - it's a big challenge given us, mostly by birth. It's a challenge we can't really overcome while being on this earth. You know, accepting yourself is a basic, elementary step - at least it was for me. It was always extremely difficult, near impossible to find the right match for me. My standard is not the problem, but I seem to find a lot of straight men attractive. Also, I believe there is no issue with me, because actually many gay guys seem to fall head over heels for me. I was just never able to reciprocate to those gay guys. Yes, I believe being straight has its perks, which most gay guys don't have. We coined the term and call "gaydar" for a reason, right? I would like to think I could tell most of the time who is gay or not. Anyhow, I derailed. I think being gay is a challenge we can't overcome by ourselves. Our hearts' desire will never be quenched - at least, not fully. Maybe some of us were able to, but most of us can't. Most of us just live an "okay" life - cause without that someone, how can we be truly happy??? It's just okay. No, I cannot be happy by self-exploration or whatever. I'm done with that. I don't see any other way for me to be fully content in life but to find that One. I am not hopeful about finding that person, and I have stopped looking - but if it is meant to be, I guess I will find that person...someday.

    1. Hi, Anonymous. You are wrong. I will answer. I always answer readers who are respectful, interested in what I have to say, and take the time to write a thoughtful comment, like you did.

      In fact, I plan to do one even better. I know you speak for a lot of people with your comment, so I'd like to write a new post to address your various points. I just need a little time to think about what I want to say.

      In the meantime, thank you for your honesty. Please be sure to check back soon.

    2. Thanks, Rick, for replying. I just wanted to expand a little bit. I think it's an unarguable truth that we all want love and someone to love. On that basis, I think there's only so much a familial love can fulfill us, and that's why we seek a partner to fall in love, and start our own family. Being single is okay, but you cannot experience the full spectrum of what life has to offer by being single. It's just okay. I know this because I had several partners who thought of a world of me, but to whom I could never fully reciprocate. To them it was pain, because they cannot get what they crave - my heart. Again, the issue is not with me, because it is not difficult for me to fall in love - with a straight guy. One of them was so depressed to the point, he was suicidal. I had to take him to the hospital to an emergency room. I didn't leave him abruptly, nor was I cold towards him, because I totally understood how he felt. I wanted the same - I mean, not necessarily the same, but to be in a mutual satisfying relationship with someone. Regardless of straight or gay, we all want that - because it IS our heart's desire. Even the Bible says so. That being said, I think being gay is a big challenge, almost a curse, that cannot be changed to become a blessing by our own will/strength, but it is somewhat dependent upon external factors such as finding the right one for you. It is just okay with being by yourself. We can be somewhat happy by being single, but never be fully fulfilled until we meet our heart's desire and are in a fulfilling relationship. So I think it is wrong for you to say I am wrong. Because essentially, what I am saying is very basic and fundamental, that it is irrefutable. Anyhow, thank you for your response, and I look forward to your new post you promised on this topic.

    3. You are welcome.
      Today, I responded to both of your comments in detailed posts. Please be sure to check them out. I hope you'll find them helpful.
      Thanks again.