Pride Month 2018 has begun. This is a time when acceptance of others, along with ourselves, should be a main focus. I, too, should spend this month working on fully accepting every last bit of my sexuality, no matter what.
I worry a lot about the closeted guys I’ve encountered in the last few years, about whether or not they’ll accept themselves and their sexualities, whatever they may be. But why am I so worried about another guy’s coming out process when mine isn’t even finished?
The Unfinished Journey
Here’s the thing: coming out doesn’t end when somebody accepts their identity, it only begins. This is a journey that has to be started by the stressful but necessary first step of fully acknowledging your own identity. After that, you have to learn to completely accept, not tolerate (the difference is massive) all facets of your identity. This applies directly to me and my own coming out story. While I came out a few years ago, I had moments afterwards where I came close to paralyzing myself with fear over what my sexuality is.
This will come has a nasty bit of shock to those who know me, but I actually tried to “pray away the gay” soon after I came out. I desperately begged God to take away my sexuality if it wasn’t what He wanted. From what I remember, I pleaded at least 3 times. Because I’m a gay Christian, I have struggled understanding how to reconcile my sexuality with my deeply held faith. And it’s not easy.
The sad part is, even knowing full on that God is the one and honestly only reason I even came out to myself, I still make myself deal with the pain and confusion of not knowing whether or not those verses against homosexuality in the Bible still apply to me. It’s honestly terrifying. It’s a topic that has greatly stressed both me and my Mom, one of my greatest allies and supporters. Sometimes, you don’t know what to make of those verses, and those verses hang over our heads constantly, because there will always be someone who brings them up, well-meaning or not. Those verses use to fill me with shame at the notion of wanting the smallest bit of intimacy with another guy, and nowadays, sometimes lead me to freak out over my sexuality as a whole.
Not only that, but lately, I’ve been struggling to accept that I, too, have natural desires for intimacy like anybody else. A few weeks ago, my basic desires were awfully strong for what reason, I don’t know why, but it felt overwhelming. It freaked me out, horrified me, and I felt… dirty. I was ashamed of how I felt, that I was single you out of trouble, even though I was doing nothing to act on what I was feeling. It was so bad that one night recently, I nearly had a panic attack over it.
In response, that night, Jesus Himself appeared to me in my dream, fully adorned as the King of Heaven, tall and majestic. Instead of reproaching me, frowning at me, or in any way shape or form expressing disdain for what I had been feeling, He showed me a potent amount of compassion. Jesus himself held me close, and looked down at me with a look filled to the brim with pity and worry, like I have never seen on anybody else’s face. Because of that, I realized that me ripping myself apart for merely having the same desires that a straight person has is not at all what Jesus wants me to do. Of course, He doesn’t want people to make selfish, lust-filled decisions. But He doesn’t want us to be terrified of our basic human need to find a mate, if you will. It is something that all people have, including myself, and I regret treating it as something potentially evil.
It is humbling, knowing that my own coming out journey has not been fully finished yet. While I still want to help others accept themselves, I need to first ensure that I’ve already fully accepted myself, in order to better help others still trapped in denial.