The purpose of this post is to open the window into my life and the experiences that I am currently dealing with. I do not write this post to hurt anyone but to expose truth – bringing situations into the light. To the gay teen readers and gay teens who stumble upon this post, I write this to share that there are other people going through the same things and hopefully we can all go through them together so that we will see a brighter day in the future.
I have come to find that parts of me are caged; parts that every human has that I cannot use. My heart is caged. With living in my parents home, I cannot have a boyfriend for they feel that it is sin. Loneliness is getting to me yet there is nothing I can do at the moment. There will a day when I leave my parent’s home for good but that day has not yet arrived unfortunately. My voice is caged. Being on Facebook, my dad has to be friends with all his children to monitor what they do. In the past, he has asked me to take down a Facebook status, about the topic of gay, down because he did not agree with it. He has also texted me about being “offended” for liking two pictures of men in their underwear. I love and respect my dad though he is close-minded and in denial of my sexuality. I wish he would see though that all he is causing is pain and hurt and is not doing anything to help. When we talk he cannot truly listen to me and what I have to say – everything is just filtered through his “Josh is not gay, he can change. I see Josh as a straight man.” mentality. I thought he was being open and willing to talk until we would make a comment that just shattered everything. How I needed a hobby to get other my sexuality or laughing at the idea of having an experimental boyfriend to figure out more about my sexuality. How I had to explain to him what “ex-gay” and “ex-gay ministries” were because he will not do the research to further understand me. Him not doing that research says to me that he does not really love me. If he loved me enough, he would do it because my sexuality is important to me and it should be important to him. He does not do it because he does not believe I am gay. As I write this I feel anger and just want to cry but this is what I deal with. I wish I had accepting parents. God is using is though so that when I look back on it, I will be stronger because of it. I feel no other choice but to move out of the house when the time is right and distance myself from my parents. I will not hide when I get engaged from them, if that happens in my lifetime. It does not change that I still need to be real, honest, and myself to everyone. At the end of the day, I just want to be happy. God wants me to happy and enjoy my life but where I am at, with the caged heart and voice, I can only feel less than of a person and defeated. Though I do have hope that God will use these experiences to help me and others. I look forward to what is ahead and that gives me strength to carry on. We all go through times of trial and heartache, but it helps us become better people. We would not learn those lessons without the pain.
Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as my next step is to write a letter to the leaders of my church about my experiences as a gay Christian man in the church. Hopefully it would not have a lot of backlash but I need to “be real” to the people around me about myself and take a stand for what I believe in. One of the reasons why my dad asked for the Facebook status to be removed was because that status “effects our whole family”. It just tells me that he is ashamed of my sexuality and in turn ashamed of me. I will never be good enough for him (because I am not straight) but I have excepted that because I do not need his approval to be successful in my relationships, in my faith, in my career, in my life. Part of my story is I was abused at the age of 10. People will look at my dad differently because of that, whether they want to or not.
In conclusion, I challenge us all (me too) to come into friendships/relationships that we have with other people, that we listen to them openly and honestly and strive to give them what they need. Let us be humble enough to step back sometimes and say “I think I should do this for this person but they really need this so I will do that instead.” Let us not become so hardhearted and close minded that we cannot love people and help when we are in need.