Being Real About My Sexuality

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.

-Josh

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5 responses to “Being Real About My Sexuality

  • Rich

    I think it is frequently hard to decide who to tell. After all, most people, gay or straight, do not talk about their sexuality with people they do not know well, even ones they work with. I do not lie about it, but there are clearly many people with whom I do not want to talk about it. That would generally mean the haters. I admit to having a number of years on you, and I still have to think more about it too.

  • Alex Diaz

    This reminded me of a passage from Mark about all of humanity being Christ’s body. There may be some parts that are a bit rotten, per say, but nonetheless they are part of One. We should strive to understand the rotten just as much as we understand what isn’t rotten. Even though I am an Atheist I can appreciate this passage because it is about understanding what is unknown to us instead of casting off and ignoring what isn’t normal.

    Cheers,
    Alex

    • jmtromm

      I would not use the word “rotten” as I would use the word “different”. Indifference is the fuel of hate and prejudice. As people, we can let indifference be a negative characteristic or we can embrace that difference with understanding and openness. Every time we are faced with difference, we have to make a choice. Thank you for your post.

      Question: Do you believe there is a god, even if it is not the Christian God, or do you believe that there is not a god at all?

      • Alex Diaz

        The day humanity recognizes difference as something good will be a wonderful day!

        Answer: I believe that there is no God. Long story short, I find religion to be a crutch for many people. I think the responsibility for understanding the world should be greater on any one individual and Christianity, for example, says that a better life awaits after this one with Him. What kind of shit is that? (Pardon my french) Statements like that about Heaven make people in this world lazy and not want to understand difference. Instead people stay with in the confines of their Bible as a medium for living life here and now.

  • David

    Even having been Out for a number of years, there are still moments when I catch myself wondering if I should bring it up when someone asks me about having a girlfriend or a wife (especially at weddings). But then I figure, well, they asked so it’s not as though I’m shoving it in anyone’s face unprovoked. And if the heteros can talk freely about who they’re dating, why can’t I talk about the guy I love and who loves me? Plus, I’m always suspicious of latent internalized homophobia left over like the remnants of a virus from my years as a closeted fundamentalist Christian.

    Barring a situation where you might come to physical danger (such as the Deep South), the key is that we have to be as comfortable talking about our relationships (or desired relationships) as the heteros are. If we don’t make it a big deal, likely they won’t make it a big deal. And if they try to make it an opportunity to preach at you about your “sinful ways”, politely shut them down. The less quarter and tolerance we give homophobia and the more we make the conversation about love and commitment, the less room they’ll have to maneuver.

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