Monday, December 31, 2012

How I Reconcile My Homosexuality and My Relationship with God

The recent post I wrote, titled "Let Your Feet and Dollars Speak," got me thinking about the role God plays in my life, and how I reconcile my homosexuality with my relationship with Him.

Before I go further, you should know the nature of my relationship with God has evolved over the past fifty-three years (although I've always felt close to Him), and my acceptance of my sexual orientation necessarily played a role in shaping it.  What works for me may not work for you, and, by sharing this, I do not mean to suggest my way is the only way for gay people to have God in their lives.  If you find something here that helps define the relationship you have with Him, great.  If not, consider this information only.  

I was raised a Catholic.  My father was raised in the United church, my mom in the Catholic.  It was more important to her that her children be raised Catholic (something about her fear for our souls, I think), than it was to my father to raise us United.

At the appointed times, I was baptized (which, of course, I have no memory of); attended catechism for a number of years (religious classes, once a week, which I hated); attended my first confession (I'm not sure what, as a boy, I had to confess); and was confirmed around Grade 7 (admitted as a full member into the Catholic church).

Throughout my childhood, my mom, sister, and I attended church almost every Sunday, often with her parents (my father joined us at Easter and Christmas only).  When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I started to go to church on Saturday evening, usually by myself, when I learned my weekly obligation to attend Mass could be fulfilled then. (Saturday evening, rather than Sunday morning, was a more convenient time for me, as it was for many parishioners.  Plus, our neighborhood church was small, and, in order for everyone to attend, Saturday evening Masses had to be made available.)

Catholics don't study the Bible like Christians of other denominations do; in fact, I don't remember ever seeing a Bible in our house as I was growing up.  Still, I was aware at an early age–perhaps more from hearsay and programs on TV than from the church itself–what the Bible supposedly says about homosexuality.

To reconcile attending church every week with the growing realization I was gay, I lived in denial.  I tucked away deep inside me the truth of what I was and tried to forget it there–for years, in fact.  I knew I was different, but, even in my early twenties, I prayed–hard–that the way I was different would pass.  As a Catholic, I wanted to be right with the church: I wanted more than anything to be straight, interested in girls.

Well, that didn't happen.  And, by my mid-twenties, as I began to tell select people (outside my family and close friends) about what I was–to test the ground and see if I'd still be accepted–I felt a distance necessarily grow between me and the church.  In my mind, I always imagined what fellow parishioners would think of me if they knew I was gay, or what they would say behind my back.  I couldn't tolerate the idea of them judging me, especially when I began to see many of them for what they appeared to be: more concerned with showing off their nice clothes and their perfect families–thinking themselves better than everyone else–than being humble before God.

I've never been able to tolerate anyone who's two-faced.  If you say one thing to me (what you think I want to hear), and I find out you've said the exact opposite behind my back, well, that's probably it for us.  You've shown me that I can't trust you, and, when trust is gone, not much is left.  

I tell you this because I began to see myself as two-faced: I attended church every week, letting everyone assume I was straight (because I wanted to be accepted), yet knowing I was gay.  If being a member of the church meant I had to be something I wasn't–had to be straight for the sake of pleasing those who sat around me, who I knew wouldn't accept the truth about me–then I no longer had any business being among them.

And what about my relationship with God?  I knew that God had made me the way I am; that is, I knew God had made me gay.  That being the case, surely, He hadn't made me gay so I'd be forever miserable in a predominately straight world.  Whatever I'd learned about God, I knew He loved me, and He wouldn't do that to me.  He wouldn't make me different from the majority of people so I'd have to fight what I was my whole life, so I'd have to deny myself the love of someone who happened to be the same gender, so I'd eventually end up burning in hell because I'd dared to live my life as a fully-realized gay man.    

I knew God would accept that I'd stopped going to church.  In my heart, I knew I was no closer to Him there, than I was anywhere in the world (in fact, I might even have been further away from Him, since I was sure He saw through the hypocrisy of many sitting in the pews and preferred not to be there Himself).

I knew God was everywhere.  I knew He was in every living thing, including me.  I knew God was with me at all times.  I knew I didn't have to be in a church to talk to Him or to be close to Him.  That I could talk to Him any time I wanted to, wherever I was.  Over the years, I've taken advantage of that many times.  

So my relationship with God continued, even though I was an out gay man and no longer attended church.  In fact, I believed my relationship with Him was better, cleaner, and purer, because it wasn't lived through the filter of the Catholic church, or any church, for that matter.  Because it no longer had anything to do with living up to the expectations of other human beings, in place to make my relationship with God conditional upon what they believed God's word meant.  I had a direct connection to God; He knew me, and I knew Him.  

Today, I'd say my relationship with God is stronger than ever.  I never believed for a moment that He'd abandon me because I'm gay or because I no longer attend church. And He hasn't.

I pray every night.  But my prayers do not usually involve asking for something; rather, they are about expressing gratitutde.  Every day, I say to God, "Please accept my thank-you for all of the many blessings and miracles I received today, because every single thing I have is a blessing, a miracle, or both."  And I often go into detail about what I'm grateful for in general (I call them the big six:  my life, my health, my relationship with Chris, food, clothing, and shelter), and what I'm grateful for that day. (Sometimes, I sneak in a special request, but my view is that God has enough on His plate without concerning Himself with my small problems.  When it comes down to it, I believe God gave us everything we need to look after ourselves, and He expects us to use it.)

On the subject of homosexuality, a friend once said, "You know what the Bible has to say about that," as though I should know better than to believe God accepts me as I am and overlooks my homosexual behavior.

I've thought a lot about that since, and my response would be different today from the stunned silence it was then.  Today, I'd respond, "No, I don't know what the Bible has to say about homosexuality, and I don't believe any Christian can be sure about what it has to say, either.  Over the centuries, the Bible has been rewritten and reinterpreted so many times, by so many people, producing so many versions, that none of us can be one-hundred-percent certain the prejudices of the men who wrote it didn't find their way into its pages.

"How can any one of us be sure everything in the Bible really is the word of God?  I didn't sit beside God when He wrote it Himself; I didn't see Him write that homosexuality is an abomination.  Nobody alive today did.  Besides, is that really what those passages have to say, or have they been misused by those who personally find homosexuality unacceptable, to support their bias, to prove God agrees with them?"

(Recently, I've come to the realization God intentionally put people with differences–whatever they might be–on earth to challenge those who think they have a sound understanding of God's word, who say they live by that word, and who claim they love everyone unconditionally.  When it's clear, from listening to them and from watching their actions, they don't.  It's easy to accept and love others when they're like you, when they fall in line with how you think they should, based on your reading of the Bible.  But I believe God's watching them, and He's shaking His head, disappointed in how they treat their fellow human beings.)  

In the end, my relationship with God couldn't be simpler:  there's me, there's God.  That's it.  That's all I need.  I'm accountable to Him and to Him only, not to a single human being who thinks he or she knows what God wants and doesn't want.  They know no better than I do.  They may come across as though they do, but they don't.  I don't listen to them; I ignore what they have to say.  My advice to them is, thanks for your concern, but I'll look after my soul.      

I listen to the voice of God within me.  It has always been there, and it will always be there, leading me in the direction I know I must go.  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Key to Loving You

On Christmas day, I received a wonderful gift from a reader in Cape Town, South Africa.  

After reading a post I wrote here in July 2011, titled "Sex and Validation," he wrote the following:

Loved the article you wrote. 

"Is this enough?  I am a man.  I need to be loved.  I need to love myself.  I need to feel strong and to cry.  I need to feel alive and to grieve my losses.  I need to know that there is someone in this world who truly loves me.  I need to love someone.  I need a safe, stable and committed home.  Truth is, I need all these things much more than I need great sex [from The Velvet Rage, by Alan Downs, Ph.D., p.p. 22-23]."

That part to me was so amazing. It's exactly what I am trying to do, what is a major cause of my depression and promiscuity (which also involves drinking).

I have read "The Velvet Rage" and loved every bit of it. The problem is, where is the advice? How do you turn that into something good? How do you love yourself, etc.…

For the benefit of those who don't want to go looking for what I wrote to him, I've pulled it out and captured it below.  It's more or less a summary of what I've been writing about here for nearly two years, in literally hundreds of posts (which I invite you to have a look at).  

My hope is that, if you feel the same way the above reader does, you'll take something from this that's helpful to you.  Often, all we need to do is read a few keys words, or hear something familiar but stated in a slightly different way, that prompts us to make a small change to the way we see ourselves, to our routines, that sets us on potentially new and better paths.    

My prayer for all of you who want to love and be loved, and who want to be in a meaningful, committed, and monogamous relationship, is that 2013 will bring you exactly that.

But I also pray you'll heed my advice:

In terms of where is the advice that may help you get what you most want (love and a committed relationship), if I may be so bold, many of the posts I've written here (particularly since January 2011) will help you do just that.

But you must remember one thing:  you cannot make a relationship come to you.  In the end, you have no control over anything or anyone else.  All you have control over is yourself, but that's all you need.  It's from there that all of us obtain what we most want–if we are strong and patient and self-aware.

You are already ahead of many gay men, who are blind to the connection between homosexuality, self-loathing, promiscuity, substance abuse…and the love of a wonderful man. They are all related to and affect each other.  

So my recommendation is–and has always been–to work on yourself.  Understand, accept, and like who you are.  Be your own best boyfriend. Don't wait for someone else to fulfill your life, to bring you everything you think you'll gain by being in love and in a relationship.

Love yourself.  Go about your life being the best you you can be.  If you don't like who you are, appreciate being with yourself, enjoy your own company, why should anyone else?

Keep your eyes and ears open.  Be ready to take advantage of an opportunity that comes your way.  Don't be timid; don't hold back.  But don't live for it, either.  Live for being all you were meant to be.

There are no guarantees.  You may never have the love you want from another man.  On the other hand, you may.  But there's no reason why you can't be the love of your own life, why the relationship you have with yourself can't be enough.

When you get to this place, other men will see it in you.  They'll see the peaceful, confident way you pass through the world.  And rather than be needy and attract people to you who you don't want in your life, and who you'd never have a successful relationship with anyway, you'll attract the kind you want, those who will be the best for you, who will be able to love you the way you want, and need, to be loved.  

You need to take a leap of faith here and believe what I say.  It wasn't until I started down the path of liking, even loving, myself, for exactly who I am, that I was blessed to meet Chris, who I've now been with for over twenty years.

You can do it, too.  Just don't go looking for it.  It will come when you're ready.  Your job is to make sure you're ready.  The work you do on yourself will be the best time and effort you've ever spent.  Who better to invest in than you?  Trust me.  I know what I'm talking about.  

Read any or all of the posts I've written here on self-esteem.  Read my Thoughts for the Day, many of which are about learning to see yourself differently.  Read as many self-help books as you can get your hands on.  Seek counselling, if you can afford it (although you don't need it, as I didn't, if you're willing to do the work yourself).    

But never forget:  The only thing holding you back from learning how to love yourself…is you. How you see yourself.  What you feel you deserve.  Believing in your heart you're as good and as worthy as anyone else.  

Because you are.  We are all human beings, and, in terms of worthiness, we are all equal–gay, straight, whatever.  You must come to know this.  It is the key.       

All the very best, and I pray you realize just how special and important you truly are.  

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

On behalf of Chris and me, I wish you a joyful holiday season.  

And may your 2013 be filled with understanding, acceptance, and love.


My sincere thanks to all those who took the time to check out my blog this year and/or to leave a message.  I appreciate your kindness and support.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A New Approach to Coming Out

So it occurred to me the other day that most of us (gay people, that is) approach coming out all wrong.  Let me use my own experience to illustrate.

I was twenty-six-years-old on the day I came out, and, for the first time ever, I felt pretty good about myself, having the previous night attended my first gay dance (which also happened to be on New Year's Eve 1986).  There, I'd seen and met several sweet and friendly gay men, all of whom helped me look at gay men not as the older, leering creeps who'd come on to me when I was as young as thirteen, but as people just like me.  For the first time ever, I'd been able to relate to gay people, to think they, and I, were pretty decent, because most of them weren't so different from me, after all.  

Armed with, and empowered by, this revelation, I proceeded to tell my mother about myself over the phone.  Needless to say, it didn't take long to become weak and frightened all over again.  While my mother didn't react badly to my disclosure–that is, she wasn't angry, she didn't yell at me and make me feel worse–she was upset, enough to cry, which brought me back to that dark place all over again, of thinking there was something seriously wrong with me.  After all, how many times over the preceding years had I heard that was the case?  And, if there was nothing wrong with me, why did my mother cry?  It was impossible not to believe to the core of my being that my sexual orientation made me evil and immoral and destined for hell.

I think most of us approach coming out from that perspective.  Implied in the way we tell our families and friends about ourselves is the belief there's something essentially wrong with us.  Still, we find the courage to ask for acceptance.  We ask that the love we've come to count on from them, that most of us believe at the time we can't live without, isn't withdrawn.  "Mom, Dad, I'm gay, and I know it's wrong to be gay, but I can't help myself, because this is what I am, and I hope you'll understand and continue to accept and love me anyway, because I really need your acceptance and love right now, more than ever."

We need to put an end to this approach.  When you don't know any better–as any number of gay people, who haven't yet come out, don't–you buy into the misconception that being gay is wrong (believe it or not, there are some parents who would rather their son or daughter be a convicted felon than gay, which I find astounding).  And, while I don't suggest that you be an arrogant or militant gay man or lesbian woman when you come out, telling family and friends to take it or leave it, this is the way you are, and, if they don't like it, they can do you-know-what, I do suggest we approach coming out from the calm and peaceful perspective of knowing in our minds, in our hearts, and in our souls that there's nothing wrong with us, that we're all right, just the way we are.

Just because you're compelled to love someone of the same gender doesn't mean something is wrong with you.  Nothing at all is wrong with you, which anyone, who's been out for years and living his or her life as a fully-realized gay person, would tell you.  How can love be wrong, even if it involves someone of the same sex?  (Please note, I make a clear distinction here between loving someone of the same gender, and being promiscuous, which are not one and the same, and which my moral compass tells me is wrong, regardless of sexual orientation.)

The coming out process shouldn't be so fraught with emotional (and even physical) pain and suffering.  When you, as the gay person, know there's nothing wrong with you, you're in a better position to accept yourself, to be patient with those you love, who have difficulty with what you've revealed about yourself, and to help them on their journey to understand, accept, and love you, just as you are, as you rightfully should be.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Let Your Feet (and Dollars) Speak (plus Follow-up)

I was ready to blast the Catholic church, after I read "'Fallen away' Catholics urged to return," by Douglas Todd, in the December 17, 2012 edition of The Vancouver Sun.

You want to know, I was ready to ask, why so many of the flock do something Sunday morning other than attend Mass?  How about because the Catholic church (and other churches, for that matter) has ruined countless lives–in the case of gay and lesbian people, by convincing them that being gay is wrong, resulting in widespread self-hatred and leading to countless problems, from difficulty finding life partners and to even suicide.    
But that's not where it's at here at "This Gay Relationship."  Not any more.

Some could argue, based on posts I've written in the past, that I had it in for organized religion in general and the Catholic church in particular (I've been a recovering Catholic for over two decades).  And that may have been true.  But I'm enlightened now, or at least I try to be.  In all areas of my life, I try to live by the dictum, "It is what it is"–meaning it's going on, whether or not I like it, and I can't control or change it.  So why go crazy trying?  Why waste my time?

The fact is, however wrong the pope and the Catholic church are, on matters related to abortion, contraception, homosexuality, and so on, their antiquated message has been the same for centuries, and, no matter how angry I get or how much I try, I will never change them.  Period.  End of story.

So what power do I have over the church, then?

On a personal level, I have the choice to attend Mass, or not.  To place money in the collection plate, or not.  And I choose not to on both counts.

The reality is, if enough people decide to withhold their attendance and their financial support, as has been the case for many years…well, you see what happens.  The church feels threatened, sees its revenue source dry up, and spends half a million dollars on TV ads, attempting to get people back, erroneously placing the blame for dwindling attendance on parishioners's busy lives and not where it should be–on doctrine.

And as a writer with a voice, I have this blog.

Let me tell you this:  In the past almost four years, I've received many comments and emails from people in countries around the world, most of them struggling to reconcile the religious teachings they were subjected to as children–telling them there's something wrong with them because they're gay–with who and what they know themselves to be. I've read their words, and I've felt their pain (because their pain was my pain not so long ago).  I know the church has no right to do that to them or to anyone.

Making a gay person feel horrible, even suicidal, about his sexual orientation, over which he has no control, is not the right of the Catholic church or any other church.  It's also not what the church should be about.

This is what religion does, Catholic and otherwise.  This is NOT what God does.

And, if you've had enough of religion–just as I'd had enough of it around the time I came out over twenty-five years ago–and you know in your heart, as I do, that God accepts and loves you as you are, and what you are isn't bad or wrong, because countless millions of people around the world are just like you, and we can't all be wrong, and, at the end of the day, all we want is what everyone wants, to love and to be loved, and how can that be wrong?–if you know all this, then I challenge you to speak with your feet and your dollars.  Don't attend a church you know wouldn't support and love you, would make you feel miserable about yourself and even try to change you, if it knew what you are.  Why do that to yourself? You have nothing to gain.

No, we can't change the Catholic church, entrenched as it is in dogma irrelevant then and now, but we can sure send the message some of it's teachings are unacceptable by not showing up and by not giving money.  Just think, if enough people did that–hit the church where it really hurts, in the bank account–maybe then we'd see the change we know is long overdue.


I saw my first ad from last evening while watching TV.  I have to say, they did an impressive job.  The ad was compelling, and it's obvious the church got it's money's worth from the advertising firm they hired.

But it's still the same old church, with the same old rhetoric.  From the perspective of gay and lesbian people, there's nothing new about how the church now accepts and loves us for what we are.  So go home?  There's no home for me there.

Good thing God accepts and loves me as I am.  I'm home with Him.  He's all the home I need.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Disneyland As You've Never Seen It

Courtesy of

Something just for fun now.

I'd be willing to bet I'm not the only gay man out there who's totally obsessed with Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

If I had to explain the obsession, I'd say it has something to do with being robbed of a proper childhood (forced to grow up too fast), along with a whole lot of being bullied in grade school thrown in.  As a result, I'm an escapist, and if I could do that every time I wanted to at Disneyland, I'd be a very happy man, indeed.

Anyway, several weeks ago, I discovered a website that features the most extraordinary pictures of Disneyland and, Disneyland's sister park, Disney California Adventure.  I think you'll agree the pictures taken by the trio of friends, and talented photographers–who also happen to be obsessed with the parks–are just a bit more vivid and colorful and vibrant than anything you've seen before.

As I look at every picture, each one more dazzling than the next, I'm reminded of how inadequate every photograph I've taken of the parks over the years is, and of how they all more appropriately capture how I feel when I'm at Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom.

(By the way, for anyone who's interested, I've been to Disneyland twenty-one times in the last thirty-six years, the last time less than a week ago–December 6 to 11.)

Please take a look at  I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Courtesy of

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gay (Almost) Like Me: Tim Kurek's "The Cross in the Closet"

I want you to know Timothy Kurek.

When I was in high school, back in the mid-1970s, I read a book, originally published in 1961, called Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin.  For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Griffin, a Caucasian man, was assisted by a doctor to change the color of his skin, allowing him to pass as an African-American for a six week period in the late 1950s, as he traveled via Greyhound bus through some of the U.S.'s most racially segregated states.  Griffin kept a journal of his experiences, which became the basis for his book.

All these years later, about the only thing I recall from the book, other than the emotional impact it had on me, is how different Griffin's experience as an African-American man was from his experience as a Caucasian man, demonstrating how something as arbitrary as skin color could affect where one sat on a bus and even where one was permitted to go to the bathroom.    

Fast forward to October of this year, when I heard about Tim Kurek's book The Cross in the Closet.  The following, from, explains as well as anything what Kurek's book is about:

Timothy Kurek, raised within the confines of a strict, conservative Christian denomination in the Bible Belt, Nashville, Tennessee, was taught the gospel of separation from a young age. But it wasn't long before Timothy's path and the outside world converged when a friend came out as a lesbian, and revealed she had been excommunicated by her family. Distraught and overcome with questions and doubts about his religious upbringing, Timothy decided the only way to empathize and understand her pain was to walk in the shoes of the very people he had been taught to shun. He decided to come out as a gay man…, and to see for himself how the label of gay would impact his life. 

To get a sense of how difficult, not to mention courageous, this journey was for Kurek, you have to imagine the most conservative of Christians doing an about-face on something he adamantly opposes, and becoming that very thing himself.  Kurek writes poignantly about how his disclosure alienated him from many family members and friends, and how he had to effectively create a new life for himself, as an out gay man–finding accepting places to hang out, making new friends, changing the very nature of his daily routine.

One of the things I considered fascinating about Kurek's story is he found himself in exactly the same position we gay people do, only in the reverse.  Before we come out of the closet, everyone assumes we're straight, and our attraction to those of the same gender must be kept secret, lest someone find out the truth about what we are.  Well, in Kurek's case, as a supposedly gay man, he had to keep his real attraction for women a secret, to ensure everyone around him bought into him being gay.  

Needless to say, walking in another man's shoes was not only an eye-opening, but also a life-changing, experience for Kurek.

My intention with this post is not to judge any Christian who believes to his core that homosexuality is wrong; if I did, I would be no better than him or her.

Instead, what I thought I'd do is share with you a series of quotes from Kurek's book, which state more eloquently than I ever could what he learned from his year-long experience as a gay man (the challenge will be to restrict the number of quotes to just a few), and allow you to draw your own conclusions from his words.  

Kurek writes:

Why do I believe I'm any different, any better, than anyone else [because I'm a straight Christian]?  Why do my beliefs give me a sense of entitlement?  Everyone is human, fallible, and flawed, and it is not my job to determine who's better or worse.  It is my job to be myself and to learn as much as I can from anyone I meet [p. 62, ebook version].

If the God I claimed to serve was anything like the people I have encountered who had an adverse reaction to my being gay…then I did not want to know Him [p. 80].

"I just want people to know morality has nothing to do with [sexual] orientation.  The everyday relationship we have with God is all that matters.  The promiscuity you're asking about is a symptom, not the problem [p. 148]."

The implications of this perception, the unspeakable judgments [against gay people and others] that were my constant companions, have shown themselves to be more potently evil than anything I was taught to avoid growing up.  At least I have nothing to hide behind, anymore.  My faith has been stripped to the foundation, and I am not sure of anything I used to "know" to be true [p.198].

I wonder what would happen if…instead of preaching from soap-boxes and shouting through megaphones, or spending millions on political campaigns meant to hinder the rights of the gay and lesbian community…what would happen if we pointed the finger at ourselves?  What if we chose to live intentionally in community with everyone, regardless of our differences? What would happen if we shut our mouths and simply served the people in our neighborhoods and cities, without an agenda?  Would the message of Jesus survive? Would the gospel still be as powerful and applicable, in our modern context, if our methodology evolved?  I think so [p. 216].

I didn't know that loving your neighbor as yourself was contingent on the neighbor being a white Christian male, between the ages of eighteen and forty-nine–and straight [pp. 217-218].

But this year I have learned that a lack of diversity isn't good for anyone.  It is our differences that teach us the most about ourselves, about life, and in terms of faith, most important, about God [p. 224].

If only professed Christ-followers, myself especially, would align "Christianity" with Christ by removing the politics, pomp, and arrogance from our everyday expressions of faith[,] maybe then we could begin undoing the vast amounts of personal damage we have inflicted upon the very people Jesus has called us to love, people who are just as much the children of God as we believe ourselves to be [p. 228].

I've learned that gays and lesbians aren't anything like what we've always been taught. They are every bit our equals [p. 249].

And finally:

Most of all I am sure of my teacher empathy, who taught me that if we take a moment to step into another person's shoes before we open our mouths, we can learn more about this life and our God, than by any other means.  She is our greatest tool, operating hand in hand with love to create something dazzling, something that gives our breaths meaning [p. 284].

I admit when I first heard about Kurek's work, I thought, finally, not only someone who's straight, but also a conservative Christian male, is speaking up for us, telling those like him that gay people are no different from straight people, we all want the same things, and we all deserve the same rights.

But that troubled me.  Why, I asked myself, should a straight, conservative Christian male, pretending to be gay for one year, be a more relevant or credible source for all things gay, than a gay man himself, who's been gay his entire life, and who's said the very same things, in one form or another?  In other words, why listen to Kurek and not me?  Or, would Kurek be listened to more than me?  

As I read The Cross in the Closet, I reconciled any misgivings I had by reasoning that, if it takes a straight, conservative Christian man to open the eyes of those who use their interpretations of the Bible and their religious beliefs to judge gay and lesbian people, then so be it.  I happily accept the support from wherever it's offered.   In the end, I don't care how we get there, just that we get there.  

(If I had one quibble about Kurek's book, it would be that it needed several more rounds of deep editing before publication.  The prose is awkward in places, and the ebook version is full of typos.  But that's the age we live in.  Many people choose to self-publish now–it's a lot easier to do than ever before–and a degree of quality is often compromised. I don't believe that, in any way, should negatively impact the message of Kurek's story.)

My hope is, regardless of who or what you are–gay, straight, Christian, non-Christian, whatever the case may be–I've piqued your curiosity about what Kurek wrote for you to check it out.  I believe he raises some important and insightful points, and I also believe it would be worth your time and effort to discover that for yourself.

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

There's Nothing Wrong With Being Gay

Cory Ashworth had this to say recently about his journey to self-acceptance as a gay man, in an article he wrote titled "The truth sets you free, says Vancouver disc jockey," which appeared in the Saturday, November 24, 2012 edition of The Vancouver Sun:

It would take a few handfuls of girlfriends, over two decades of denial and seven full years of hiding on the other side of the planet–in China–before I learned to let go of my fear, my shame and the idea that being gay was wrong [p. F3].

If any of you need further convincing, beyond what I've already written in countless blog posts here, that there's absolutely nothing wrong with being gay, then I urge you to listen to Cory.  

Perhaps this is the first time you've ever heard someone say there's nothing wrong with being gay.  Maybe you've heard for so long, and in so many different ways, that being gay is wrong, and evil, and sinful, that you've accepted it.  And, as a result, you believe there's something wrong with you.

Well, you don't have to believe it any longer.  Cory knows there's nothing wrong with being gay, I know there's nothing wrong with being gay, and countless millions of gay and lesbian people around the world, who have gone through their own struggles to accept themselves, are now out, and live their lives as fully realized gay people, know there's nothing wrong with being gay.  

One day, you too will know there's nothing wrong with being gay (I'm trying to say that as many times as I can, in this short post, to help counter all the times you've heard something to the contrary).  The only time any of us believes there's something wrong with being gay is when we're still in the closet, living in fear that our secret will be found out.

But, once you're out, you will know what all the rest of us know:  There is nothing wrong with being gay.  

Here, from the same article, is a closing quote from Cory Ashworth:

My dream today is that every single human [being] on the planet, regardless of all the pejoratives, has the courage to come out to say this is who I am, I am proud of me, I want to spend my life celebrating who I am.  Let go of shame, regret and any external pressure to be anything less than yourself. 

Amen!  I couldn't agree more.

Let this be the first day you say to yourself, there is nothing wrong with me being gay. That is the first step all of us take, hopefully sooner rather than later, to self-acceptance.