Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hello, Old Friends

Well, it's been nearly a year since I've written on this thing.  I always thought if I quit writing, I'd miss it too much.  The truth is, I've not really missed this blog at all.  If anything, I've felt rather conflicted about it, and wondered if it wouldn't be better for me to just bring it down and toss it into the trash heap of history.

A lot has happened in my life this last year.  I had my first boyfriend, lost him in about a month's time, lost contact with some others I really liked online, nearly lost my grandpa due to some health concerns, suffered a horrible job situation back in the summer, fell into a severe bout of depression, changed jobs, have found a lot of happiness with the new job, worried about everything and nothing, gained weight, lost weight, changed hairstyles, and so on and so on.

I got really tired of being online last year.  I felt hurt.  I'd found a great deal of help concerning my sexuality through online resources, particularly from those related to Exodus International and through other websites and blogs.  I didn't experience the horror stories that I've heard others express, but rather a listening ear, a comforting shoulder to lean on, an ability to express myself, and friendship that didn't exist before.  Whether the advice I was given was solid or not, I at the very least received love and care, which, to a young man who felt he had nowhere else to turn, welcomed it with open arms, and cannot say that it in any way ever hurt him.  I felt discouraged that the very things that helped me were being ridiculed and brought down, and in part from within.  Having had a year to think upon this, I'd advocate that the exgay community taking such a hit was, in my opinion, a good thing.  I don't think it matters in the least little bit whether a person is gay or straight, but whether or not they actually believe in and accept Jesus as their lord and savior.  I don't think the how or why regarding causation of homosexuality matters either.  If it is, it just is.  If you are attracted to other men, it is just a state of one's condition, no different than the sky being blue on cloudless day, it is simply reality.  To deny that reality, or attempt to change it for earthly reasons, is nothing short of foolish and ignorant at best.

I wish we lived in a world where being gay was not assumed to automatically put you at odds with the church, or Christianity.  Likewise, I wish more Christians did not automatically presume that all gays are against them, or believe that they should be against all gays.  I am gay.  I like other men.  I'm still not sure if to act on those feelings are right or wrong, but I do know that simply having them is not.  I do know that God loves me regardless.  I know that my faith is not dependent upon those feelings, or even any actions I might make upon them.  Hence, the conflict I have regarding this blog.  Can it help others to read of my experiences?  Can it be beneficial for others to see how ignorant I believe I was and yet how I have changed over time?  Have I anything left to say that could actually help others?  Perhaps, but I will admit that I am so tired of reading and thinking about faith and sexuality.  I have very little desire left in me to want to indulge in anyway conversations, arguments, or whatever else concerning such matters.  Maybe that in itself is some progress on my part--whether good or bad, I'm sure time will tell.

I'd be lying if I didn't say I feel ashamed of myself for some of my past beliefs.  I have argued and been wrong on many accounts.  I've been ignorant, proud, lazy, stubborn, quick to anger...  probably in other ways wrong as well.  And this blog gave me an outlet to express all those things.  How could I not feel conflicted about it?

I also got very tired of being online because of the nature of the relationship I had with my boyfriend.  He was wonderful, and I know I was in love with him, but we were never able to actually be together.  We met online and carried out what I would imagine to be a very intense online relationship for about a month, and then he was gone--all accounts deleted.  I have no idea what became of him, other than he wanted me to know that no matter what happened he loved me.  I spent many months pining away for him at the start of the year, wondering without answer what had happened.  Perhaps I'll never know.  Again, however, this was a hurt that quite literally just made me want for nothing at all related to the online world.  I'd found him online...  I didn't even want to check my email for awhile or even look at my computer.  To do so just hurt too much.

I am wrong sometimes to turn so inward and neglect all those around me, but there are times when I simply cannot bring myself to be around others.  I was so discouraged and depressed with some of the job situation I experienced a few months back that I couldn't bring myself to be around anyone.  If I was, I couldn't think of anything positive to say, and I'm sure I was far from the best of company anyway to those I did manage to be around.  In this situation, I can attest to the power of prayer though.  It's true that at our lowest we often turn most to God, and this is something I've done quite seriously.  God has answered my prayers for a better job, and led me to a place where I couldn't be any happier working at.  He has blessed me so richly the last couple of months that I have literally found myself speechless and amazed.  He's comforted me throughout all this last year time and again when I needed him the most.  He's proven Himself to me time and again.  It is for this acknowledgement that I am writing again on this blog.  If this blog serves any purpose whatsoever, I want it to be for the very least in order to attest to the power and greatness of God.  If anything, let my story be for that.  Not about whether I am/was gay or straight, or how any of those feelings came about, or what actions I might incorrectly or correctly have made, but that a young man held onto God and God was with Him, regardless of anything else.  Take comfort in knowing that.

In case I don't write again this year, I want to wish anyone reading this a very merry Christmas.  :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ignite the Light

Whoever you are, there is beauty to you. Whether you recognize it or not, it is there. It is always there. And since that is true, why not let it shine? Why not be a firework, bursting forward for the whole world to see and to know and to marvel at?

Whether you are gay, straight, rich, poor, skinny, fat, tall, short, purple, green, or yellow, or whatever else, you have so much worth. Whether you believe it or not, there is good in you and in everyone, because we are all made of God and God is good. Don’t ever let anyone convince you you’re no good. Always look for the good in you and let it consume every aspect of your life.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Time Flies By

I don't know who Dr. Steve Maraboli is, but I do like his quote.

I think I’ve figured out why so many people feel like time goes by faster the older they get.
This Christmas went by fast to me.  It literally seemed as if it came and went in the blink of an eye, and it’s left me wondering what happened to my time.  There were so many Christmas movies I wanted to watch, places I wanted to shop at, foods I wanted to cook… just a lot of other things I wanted to do that I wasn’t able to find the time to get around to.  But it dawned on me the other day that the reason for this is, perhaps, because the older I’ve gotten, the more responsibilities I’ve taken on, and therefore the less free time I’ve had to notice the time going by.  In my busyness, I just don’t think I’ve realized how quickly the time has passed.
I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  If time flies by and it’s enjoyable, then I suppose it is mostly a good thing.  If time flies by and you’re not able to enjoy it or get everything accomplished that you’d like to, then perhaps it is a bad thing.
I get mixed feelings about this.  On one hand I can look back and see just how much I’ve actually accomplished (even if I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to), but on the other hand, I can look back and think about how much time has passed and wish that I’d been able to get so much more done.  On this hand, I have to wonder if maybe I simply put too much to do on my “To Do…” list.  Either way, I have noticed that the older I’ve gotten, the faster time does indeed seem to fly by.  It seems this whole last year has honestly gone by in a flash.
Sometimes I wish I could be young again (or, well, younger).  When you’re little, you think you’ve got your whole life in front of you, and all the time in the world.  Maybe that’s a part of the reason behind all of this, too.  Maybe people have that feeling because the older they get, the less time they know they have (before death I mean).  Either way, I do wish time would slow down sometimes.  There are so many moments I wish I could just stop time for a while and enjoy so much more or do so much more.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and as we come to a close on 2013, I wish you each a very happy New Year.  J

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I've been there before, too, Charlie Brown.

Merry Christmas, everyone!  May it be a truly marvelous one.  :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duck Dynasty Star, Phil Robertson, In Trouble for Stating Long Held Christian Belief--the World Comes to an End!

Since when is it wrong for a person to express their religious beliefs?  Since when does everyone HAVE to believe that gay sex is okay and should be promoted?  Since when was expressing beliefs from right out of the Bible considered bashing or hateful, particularly when those beliefs are expressed without any sign of malice or hatred?  He said he thought straight sex was better than gay sex.  Maybe he was a bit more graphic than he needed to be, I’ll grant that, but well, gee golly, let’s just go crucify him for stating what at least 90% of the world’s male population thinks.  I personally am kind of turned off by straight sex.  If I said penis was better than vagina (as many a gay men openly have) would that mean that I’m straight bashing?  If I said that those straight people who are sexually immoral, who commit adultery and the like, will not inherit the kingdom of God, because that is what a particular passage or two in the Bible, which I believe in, tells me, would that mean that I’m being hateful, bashing, ignorant, and just a low down dirty individual?  Would I, again, be straight bashing?  I don’t think so.  It’s just me expressing a particular belief.  If you happen to disagree with it, so what?
I am so sick of this politically correct attitude we’ve developed in this country.  It seems to me that we’ve gotten to a point where no one is allowed to say or think anything unless it fits some particular narrative.  Anyone who doesn’t have the one size fits all mental capacity of a Common Core vegetable must therefore be eliminated and disposed of.  Yes, they must be bashed for having their own unique views on things and casted out of society.  What kind of a world is that?  I mean, have we seriously become Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia?  Have we seriously drifted into a political climate where everyone has to say and think and believe in and do the exact same things in virtually every regard?
I suppose what really stung out of his comments the most was his belief that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Well, if you’re a Bible believing Christian, then, yes, you are going to have this belief.  Did anyone out there seriously not know that Phil Robertson was a Bible believing Christian?  I mean, the man carries his Bible around with him throughout half the episodes of the show and virtually every time he appears publically.  And, guess what, the Bible does state that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Oh, wow, was this really something that all us gays out there haven’t known of millenniums now?
You know what gay community, I AM GAY TOO, and I personally am sick to death of so many of you, particularly those in media, entertainment, and/or politics, acting as though the world owes you something.  I am so sick of you acting as though everyone should have to believe exactly as you believe.  You all, when you act that way, become the monsters.  YOU become the intolerant, the haters, the bashers, the mean ones.
All I want is to be left to live my life as I see fit.  Phil Robertson, did not say or do anything that would impede upon that ability.  As far as I’m concerned, he can say and think and do as he likes.  I may not agree with him on every issue, but who out there do I agree with 100% of the time on all issues?  No one.  And since when are my beliefs, or anyone else’s beliefs, more important than another’s?  Since when is the opinion of the gay community more important than anyone else’s?  As far as I’m concerned it’s not.  Everyone should have the right to be heard and treated with equal dignity and respect.  Just because Phil Robertson stated a particular belief, which is far from extreme within the Christian community, doesn’t mean he was going after you or trying to hate on you, or anything else like that.
You want to know what true gay bashing looks like.  It’d be a little more something like this:
“Gays are just completely disgusting!  I don’t want anything to do with them.  They’re gonna burn in hell and I hope they burn good.  Every last one of them should be picked up and carried off the planet so we don’t have to look at them anymore.  God hates fags!  If some queer comes around me, I’m gonna punch him right in the face.  Any son or daughter of mine better not be gay; if they are, I’ll beat the crap out of them.”
That, ladies and gentlemen, is true gay bashing.  Phil Robertson’s comments don’t even come close to any of that.
So, my advice to GLAAD and all the other organizations out there wanting to do their own bashing right now for their own political purposes… get the hell over yourselves, back off, and realize you’re not doing the world any favors by becoming what you claim to hate—just a bunch of intolerant, hate mongers. Your beliefs are not the only beliefs out there, and nor should they ever be the only beliefs available to the world.
I may not agree with Phil Robertson on everything, but by God, I’ll defend his rights to say and believe as he so chooses in the faith to the very end.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

An Early Merry Christmas

So, Christmas is coming.  We've got up all the decorations, my brother and I have had our once a year Christmas outing, and I've actually managed to get about all the Christmas shopping I plan on doing under my belt (now I just have to wrap everything and get it all under the tree).  And, we've already had some snow, which has definitely helped get me in the mood of things.

On that last note, I thought I'd post something Christmasy that I've always liked.  I can't remember if I've posted this before, but if I have, so what.  I hope you all will like it.  It's the Christmas story episode of the Andy Griffith Show.  This has always been a favorite of mine around Christmastime and it has perhaps my favorite version of "Away in a Manger" in it.

I love how they kind of parody Scrooge a little bit in the character of Ben.  Such a feel good classic.  And I'm glad that there was a time when even on television an extremely popular show was willing to recognize Christ at Christmastime (if only more would do that today!).  He is, afterall, the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Other Worlds

I really don’t know how else to say these things, so I’ll apologize up front if any of this comes across rather shocking or blunt, or even a bit “adult” compared to what I normally write about.

Here goes…

Back in August, I came across another blog while looking up porn. It was a gay themed blog focused on the Daddy/boy, or Dominant/submissive, types of gay relationships. I like that sort of thing—being submissive to other men. And I loved this particular blog. It wasn’t just a collection of images, it was interactive and welcoming. I liked the owner and many of the others who commented on there. And they liked me, too. I loved writing things to them that was sexy or erotic, knowing I could turn them on, loving their responses back to me. I felt like I belonged. For the first time in several years, I felt like I belonged. I felt special and wanted, and that made this little online world I’d stumbled into so special to me. It was, if nothing else, a place for me to escape into. I was allowed to communicate with others who feel like me and with those who like guys like me. That’s not something I’ve been allowed much experience with before. But I loved it. I felt very much at home in that world.

A couple of weeks ago, that blog was unexpectedly ended by the owner. One day he’s posting, commenting, and others are commenting, and the next day, nothing, the blog is gone, no heads up or nothing. I found out he had wanted to end the blog and just didn’t want to have to say any goodbyes to anyone. I’ll be honest, I’ve bawled my eyes out over this. I can understand him wanting to end his blog, but I wish so much he had given me some time to get used to the idea. I wasn’t ready to give up this world. I wasn’t ready for it to come crashing down, to be ripped away from me forever. Even if it was sinful, I don’t care, because I loved it. I loved being a part of it. I loved the people and I loved how right it felt for me to be a part of it. I know I’ll miss it forever.

Something this experience did was help me to realize what I want in a relationship. I like men who are stronger and more dominant than me. I like being submissive and loving and affectionate. I like someone else taking the lead. I like other men wanting me.

I know I am completely unsuitable for being with a woman. Eve knew this. I think that’s why she really broke up with me; she knew I could never really last or be happy in that relationship. It wasn’t that I didn’t like her. It’s not that I didn’t love her even. Or that she didn’t love me. It’s that I couldn’t be what I needed to be for that sort of relationship to work. I wasn’t right for it at all.

I am right for being with another man though.

About a month and a half ago, I was contacted by a man through an online dating site I’d signed up on sometime back. I decided to respond back to him, and the night I did, we literally stayed up for hours talking to each other. It was on a Friday night, and I remember it was around five or six the next morning before we quit talking. To say we hit it off fast would be an understatement.

He’s two years younger than me, loves cars, playing video games, and watching movies. He has a little girl he takes care of all the time and absolutely adores. He is sweet beyond belief, calls me baby sometimes in such an affectionate way that just drives me crazy for him, and he is somewhat bashful at times, which I find incredibly cute. He’s a great guy, and I know I’m in love with him.

It’s been three weeks now since I was last able to talk with him though. There are reasons for this which I understand, but also some reasons which I don’t understand. I honestly don’t know if I still have a boyfriend or not. My hope is that we will eventually be able to be together again, but there are some nagging doubts that I have about this.

This relationship, too, has been something I wasn’t ready to give up. Unlike the blog, I don’t know where the relationship I was in stands though.

I feel so tired of caring. Every time I care about anyone or anything it just gets taken away from me. It seems to be a pattern I can’t escape. And I don’t know how to deal with such losses in very positive ways.

I’m so tired of being lured into a false sense of comfort, believing everything is great and grand, just for something, anything to always inevitably bring my world crashing down upon me.

I’ve felt really stressed the last few weeks. Not even the most recent holiday has helped.

This Thanksgiving didn’t… I don’t even know if I could say it was Thanksgiving. I had a meal with half of my family, but it seemed more like a reunion with distant relatives than anything else. And I didn’t even get to be around anyone from my mom’s side of the family.

When I was younger, it was, in all honesty, the time spent with those on my mom’s side that I enjoyed most about the holidays. With my grandma passing, and my aunt constantly sick these days, all that’s gone now. Mom doesn’t much want us doing anything for her side anyway (just her way of trying to avoid stress).

God, I miss my grandma so much I can’t stand it. Thursday night, my brother and I went and got pizza for us and my nephews. We didn’t have leftovers, we didn’t have games and fun with family… it didn’t even feel like a Thanksgiving. It just felt like some weird, awkward day that didn’t make sense to me at all.

I feel like I always lose everything. If it’s good, it never sticks. I feel so frustrated right now. I know what I’d like my life to be like, but I can’t have it. I’m so tired of feeling bad all the time. I’ll feel good and things will be going right and then, WHAM, I’m knocked right on my ass. I just wish for some period of time I could actually just be happy.

In another world, I was a confident, happy, sexual being who was well-liked and wanted by others. In another world, I was loved and wanted by someone who I loved and wanted. In another world, I was happy with family and innocence. In another world, I felt like I belonged and was wanted in church. In another world, my dreams are still alive. In another world, I still have all the things I’ve lost. In another world, I wouldn’t feel bad about being me. In another world, I wouldn’t have to feel as though I was living a lie with every breath of the day.

I don’t know how you all will look at me now for admitting these things. Am I lost? Am I sinful? Do I even still care? I honestly wonder about that at times. But then I doubt I’d feel so bad if I didn’t care...

I feel like nothing makes sense anymore. I’m tired, scared, in poor health. Nothing seems right anymore. And anytime I think things are improving or starting to look up, I just get my legs kicked out from under me and the wind sucker punched right out of me.

I feel like there’s no way for me to be who I want to be. And even if I got that, I don’t know if it’d be right.