Thursday, August 23, 2012

An Invitation to Reach Out

You know what makes me sad?  A lot of things do, but especially this:    

There are people all over the world who have no one they can talk to about thinking they might be gay, or about being gay, or about what they're going through because of it.   

Often, they can't say anything to their parents or friends for fear of what might happen, how they might be judged, even how they could be disowned or unfriended. They can't say anything to people they work with for fear of losing their jobs.  And they can't say anything to their religious leaders for fear of being told there's something wrong with them, and they need to be cured.  So the only option is to keep whatever they need to say inside.       

Until I came out, there was no one I could talk to about how I felt, how scared I was that I was probably gay, how fearful I was of what my future might look like as a gay man.  And, even after I came out, there was so much I needed to say, to someone–anyone–about what I was going through.  But I didn't know who I could trust, who wouldn't use what I said against me, who wouldn't make me feel worse than I already did.   

I could never have known that, when I started this blog over three years ago, a door would open, and I'd hear from people around the world–mostly young people, needing to share their stories about being gay, to ask questions, but, most of all, to be heard.  Invariably, I was excited to hear from them, and I always took seriously what they wrote, responding in the sincerest and most helpful way I could.      

For some time, I've wanted take this blog to the next level in the service of others, but I didn't know how.  Well, I think I've figured it out, and, as a result, I want to extend this invitation to you:  

If you are one of the people I describe above (young or older); if you have something you need to share about thinking you're gay, knowing you are, or a challenge associated with it; and if you have no one you can talk to (or even if you do), write me. If you're anything like me, sometimes all you need is an opportunity to say what's going on inside; often, that's all it takes.  

I promise I will read what you write (that is, someone will hear what you've said). And, depending on how many people I hear from, and if I think I can offer you something you might find helpful, I will respond back (if you want me to, of course; no sense giving advice or offering suggestions if they're not wanted).       

The bottom line is, I want you to know you are not alone with your difficult, confusing, or painful thoughts and feelings about being gay.  You have someone you can talk to, and that someone is me.  I'm just an email away.  Reach out.  I want to hear from you. 

(To email me, click "Send Mail" under the heading "Email Me" at the top righthand side of my blog. )   

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