Tonight as we were all waiting for it to be 8pm so we could all leave work, a man that I work and I were sitting near each other. He asked me right off the bat if I had a girlfriend. I responded with “No.” He then said that I still have time to find one. I agreed and he continued to ask me other questions about myself. He and his wife work with me and have kids that are all grown. Originally they are from India and moved to the U.S. in 2003. Since that is where they grew up, they have a thick accent when they speak English. When they are talking to each other, they always speak in their native language.
From the beginning I thought about telling him that I was gay and another co-worker, that I previously wrote about, we all had interacted with. He and his wife had shared a comment after the gay guy that I work with had left but, being that it was not in English, I have no idea what they said or if they made a comment about him at all. Coming from their background, they had an arranged marriage. They meet each other before they married but it is different than marriage in the U.S. and even more different than a gay couple being married. Honestly, I do not always understand all of what they say to me because of their accent. I use the words that I hear and context to try and guess what they are saying. Sometimes I am right and sometimes not but I try my best to understand them. I did not want to start a conversation with this man I work with about my sexuality if I could not understand everything he said. Though I may be the only person that could ever talk to him about being gay, I let it go as I did not want any issues beyond possibly disagreeing with one another. With everything else that has been going on recently with me and my sexuality, I let it go.
I finished Jay Michaelson’s God vs. Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality and definitely am more confident in who I am and my sexuality. One of the points, near the end of the book, that he makes is gay people are created for a special purpose in society. His goal was not to define what that purpose was but to open it up to any and all possibilities. I think this point needs to be taught and shared because many gay teens do not feel this way at all. As a Christian, we believe that all people are created in God’s image, even gay people. As a gay man, I have a story to tell and a message within me on who God is. Some people will deny that but God ultimately wants to show more of Himself through His creation. Creating gay people says something about God. God is trying to reveal a truth about Himself to the world yet some people turn away and deny it. That is why it is so important to be real and transparent with others about our sexuality. Maybe we are the only gay person in someone’s life and without us, they would never truly understand what it is like to be gay. We cannot waste that opportunity. When it comes to me and the man at work, I feel like there are other people better suited to reach out to him but if God asks me to come out to him, I would do it.
This experience made me think about what should I be doing that helps others understand me and my sexuality better. One is definitely through conversations and creating dialogue. That is something that I am going to have to think more about.