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.