I missed the boat.
At the end of last month, I responded to a comment I received on a post from a gay, young man in Cape Town, South Africa, who recognized how his self-loathing manifested itself in his life (depression, promiscuity, and alcohol abuse), and who asked the simple question, "How do you love yourself?" (Please click here to see his comment and my response.)
While my answer was consistent with the spirit of my writing here over the past two years, I gave him nothing specific to work with. That is, I kept talking around what he should do–and what it looked like–but I failed to give him advice on the steps he could take to achieve his goal.
I haven't been able to stop thinking about that since, because I take very seriously any comment or email I receive from a gay person who sees him- or herself in what I write, who recognizes the need to change, and who is sincere in finding a new way of being in the world.
The irony in all of this for me is, two years ago, I wrote a series of posts on exactly that subject. Titled "How to Love Yourself When You're Gay," I took readers step-by-step through the process I followed to help me on my own journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance and self-love. But I'd completely forgotten about this series (aging being what it is) and, as a result, wasn't able to refer to it in my response.
I've decided to blow the dust off these six posts and feature them again on my blog.
At the time I originally published them, my blog had a dedicated, but small, core group of readers, who showed their ongoing support of me and my work by sharing comments on a regular basis. But readership has grown considerably over the past two years, and I suspect many new readers, who never saw this series, might find it helpful.
It's for them, and especially for my Cape Town reader, that I plan to reprise the "How to Love Yourself When You're Gay" series over the next several days, after I review it in detail and freshen it up as necessary. I hope you'll check back for these six posts and offer other suggestions you have on how we can all understand, accept, and love ourselves more.