Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In Between

Ever feel trapped by life and circumstances? I know it sounds like some crappy line from an infomercial on the radio, but it's a legitimate question. I feel like I am in limbo right now. Caught in the undertween and overneath of belief, life, emotions and hormones. Let me see if I can spell it out for myself here. It may be a review for some, but I think I have been at this four way intersection for at least the past five years.

I know I believe in God. I am not here to debate the merits of his existence or get into some post modern or existential debate about faith and religion. Suffice it to say. I do believe in him and have a personal relationship with him as his kid that is expressed best by nervously adopting the label of 'Christian'. Now sure, that is a really clunky word handle for something that can mean so many various things to many people, but I am going to leave it at that for the moment. Call it an emotional crutch or some kind of weakness on my part, I don't care. The fact of the matter is, that belief is there. I cannot unbelieve it, as convenient as that may be at times, especially now. So on one side we have God. Let's keep it simple.

On the other side, I have my sexual orientation. I am gay. A homosexual man. A guy who is attracted to other males in all the ways possible. Emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. For me, a relationship with another guy completes me. This is also a point I am not here to debate or argue. It is innate in myself as is my hair color, my height or the length of my arms and legs. It is not the result of some choice of mine, some catastrophic emotional or physical abuse or all of the other stereotypical excuses that are lobbed at guys like me by people who don't even understand themselves. I have a great relationship with my Dad and always have. My mother was not over bearing. I do not want to be a girl or consider myself feminine. There is no history of sexual, emotional or physical abuse in my past. I am simply gay. I got over it, why can't everyone else?

The dichotomy of my sexual orientation and practice has always been set at odds with each other by almost every person who practices some type of 'christian' faith here in the Americas. (this is one reason why I hated religious people) The conflict did not arise in myself, it came from others who are at war with themselves and their perceived enemies and then they attempted to hand this 'struggle' to me as some way of grading my spiritual maturity and growth and allowing them to feel better about themselves. I don't buy it. Go sell that somewhere else. If it works for you, great! I just don't subscribe to that theory and also do not need another persons approval for my faith to exist.

Now...cross way with those two parts of myself, faith and orientation, I DO have a struggle with in myself that I think all humans face, men, much more openly or obviously. (such is the curse and blessing of external genitalia) I am talking about sex versus love.

They are not the same, as confusing as that is at times, but they are also not mutually exclusive. I know I have had sex without love and I have also experienced love without sex. But I desire them both and am pretty sure I need them both. At least, all the evidence I have seen seems to point to this conclusion thus far in life. Man is built for relationship. Being alone is great at times but my life is richer when shared with another. On the other hand, my body was built for sex. I have a penis, crazy hormones and a body that can be shared with another person. (I realize it was intended for other things as well, but I am trying to stay on a mental track here.)

So, at this cross roads of faith and orientation, with sex and love on either am I supposed to choose to live? I do believe, partially, to be honest, that the choices I make do effect my relationship with God and with others. The life that I live certainly has an impact beyond myself. No man is an island and all that verbiage. Within the confines of faith, morality and society, I do see different norms and mores that most humans adhere to, or at least strive to stick with and hold up to be an ideal. They value monogamy in committed relationships. In fact, they developed this whole social and legal ceremony called marriage to bind two differently gendered people together financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually and in whatever other way  they decided within their vows. They hold this pairing of two people to be ideal, at least in the culture that is most prevalent here in the United States. Let's not get into cultural anthropology and how it tends to fly in the face of the English Protestant way of thinking and living. That is a whole other story...

So here we have two people who love each other, or at least want to love each other, who enter into this legally binding contract. They want to remain faithful sexually and emotionally to each other, have kids, the whole story book thing. I think that is great... but where do I fit into this?

I cannot get married. (YET) Most main stream churches, steeped in tradition and hate/fear as they are, still are offended by the idea of two guys who love each other. They can't see past the gay butt sex and penis' and realize that their view of the world is just that...their view. They tend to think they hold the pass key to heaven, so they spend a lot of time telling me how I should change, or not be gay, or how God hates me, or love the sin hate the sinner.(seriously the next person who utters that phrase will be physically reminded of how frail they are)  All kinds of crap! Sometimes, they tell me to be celibate and single as some kind of show of commitment to God. Kind of strange they never ask the str8 guys to do this...oh yeah! (Sarcasm Alert) They can get married. Duh! They are completely freaked out by how and who I love and I get that. I really do. I understand how their thinking works and exactly how their entire belief and social structure is dependent on never breaking up this little family ideal. Without that cornerstone, they seem to think their entire belief system will crumble.

But it doesn't.

I guess what I am saying is this:

1.God loves me.

2. I am gay.

3. I like sex. 

4. I need love.

So now the great adventure is putting those four pieces together into a coherent life. I knew all about the first three and was pretty successful BC. (Before Christ) Now that God is thrown into the mix, it certainly has become a bit more confusing at times. I would have been better off never attending a church or listening to all the rants and screaming of the people who profess to believe in him. That is what I have been doing lately. Ignoring them. I don't have a relationship with them. They are not my God. I simply ask them kindly to shut the fuck up....but with a smile of course. :)

I want to find my standards now. Something I believe in strongly enough to live. I won't be shamed into silence or bound by the guilt of an adopted moral code. I think God does expect more of me than an unbeliever. I do not think that being gay gives me some kind of license to sin, however I believe that is defined. I think the rules that apply to my str8 friends also apply to my penis and the choices I make with my body. I am just coming to realize that many of those rules are man made and don't accurately reflect what being human is and what the Bible ever said.

More than likely, I will be at this intersection for a while longer in life. I am pondering directions. I am finding what success looks like for me in this situation. Best case scenario? I will fall in love again and eventually marry the man that I will spend the rest of my life with. (prolly in Canada, since America is so backwards) Along the way I will be dating. I have made mistakes before. I know I will make them again. But I have a purpose and direction now, or at least know what my options are. God isn't freaked out that I am gay. He loves me and made me just the way I am.

I'm good with that.

Now I just have to invest in some really good earplugs!


PS: And I realize that life is about MUCH more than faith, love and sex. Those just seem to be the pressing issues with me at the moment. I still keep up with my education, work, reading, kite flying and other stuff...that is when I am not thinking about sex. :P


  1. Amazingly put into words, thanks for this. I try to remember that the churches intolerance towards homosexuality is actually a recent phenomenon. When churches chose fear to subjugate having nothing to do with God.

  2. Hi -
    Since you posted over at my blog, I thought I'd check yours out. You are asking deep questions, and you've come up with some good answers so far. I believe you're right: God loves you & God is not freaked out that you're gay. There are more churches, too, that believe this. So, if you're ever looking for religious community there are places you can find it. The majority of churches of my denomination (Unitarian Universalist) are 'Welcoming;' many United Church of Christ churches are 'Open And Affirming' (or ONA); and of course the Metropolitan Community Churches...

    I hope you do find a good man to marry & be happy with. Blessings on your journey...

  3. I continue to appreciate your reflections and your processing of faith issues. Mind if I continue along for the ride and keep you in my prayers? (I'm sure you won't mind, but want you to know I consider it a privilege to read your blog. I also have a couple of Christian friend somewhat similarly minded as you that I would like to introduce to you if you don't mind.

  4. As always, a great article, Daemon.

    I feel lucky to be in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. There are 500 congregations (out of 10,000) who are leaving our denomination because of this very issue -- but as a church body we have made our choice to say gay is blessed by God, and in time we will be of one mind. The Episcopal Church and UCC are also affirming.

    In your part of the country and in your life situation perhaps there is not such open-hearted response to who you are.

    But you are good and beautiful and loved by God. That I know, with my whole heart.

    michael e