Monthly Archives: August 2012

Conversation With My Dad (8.30.12)

I was almost late for work today as my dad and I sat down for lunch and he brought up the topic of my sexuality because of an episode of Our America that I asked both of my parents to watch and give their opinions. I had found it because of the newer episode being advertised with an interview of Alan Chambers (Exodus International) having a more pro-gay stance than he used to, moving away from reparative therapy.

It was productive in the fact that he is realizing that there is a war between Christians and the gay community. There were also times that I was personally not impressed with my responses. He asked me if I felt pressure from him to marry a woman and I responded with yes and that is what most parents want for their children. My dad responded with I just want what is best for you, whether or not you are married. My side fell flat on that note. I do think my point was valid but it came out wrong.

He disagreed with me on the Bible being a book of morals and a history book. I thought this was a point all Christians could relate with but I guess not.

The big comment came when I again described Jay Michaelson’s view of Genesis 1-2. In saying that the first problem that God saw as bad was that man was alone so God gave him all the animals He had created to name them and find a suitable match but none was found. My dad comments with “Why don’t you get a dog? You can have Gracie.” (Gracie is a dog that we currently have that has attached to me.) I was offended by this. Getting a dog to help me stay single as a gay man yet have companionship. A dog is not the same as a person, let alone a friend or another man.

We also talked about him calling my sexuality a “struggle”. I told him that I see it as a gift and I honestly do. God made me gay for a reason and purpose and I do not regret being gay. Ultimately, like every other talk we had, he left me with no hope. Nothing will ever get better. The whole “Since you are gay, your life is just going to be miserable. Sorry” type of attitude. Jesus never left people without hope for the future so why does my dad see that as the only option?

To say the least, he does not get it. (During our talk, he still used “that lifestyle”). If he brings up my sexuality again, I will talk about it but I am done hitting a wall. What I was interested in when I sent them the episode was my mom’s opinion on the topic. My dad and I beat a dead horse when it comes to talking about my sexuality but my mom and I have not talked much at all though we are pretty close. I plan on asking her tomorrow so hopefully I can get her take on it.

I honestly wonder how he would respond if I asked what he would do if I married another man. There is definitely a curiosity in me but I will not risk asking that question.

Where I am at right now, I do not feel I need a boyfriend. Sure, I would like to be a relationship to love and be loved but God is working on me to better myself right now and the right man will come along in time. Being in a relationship used to be a big deal for me but now I am focused on bettering myself and my organization for gay men and that is what is exciting, what makes me get up in the morning. I still have a crush on someone and we are still getting to know each other but I am not banking on a relationship. I have joy where I am at on the road to where I am going.

-Josh


Escaping vs Really Living

One thing that I like to do is I like to hear about the experiences of the lives of the people around me. (This post has come out of hearing about other people’s lives.) It helps me better understand the human condition and prepares me to one day head an organization that reaches out and helps others. It seems the norm that people in the United States go out to party and drink on the weekends. It seems to be used as a way of coping with life. As I thought about it more, it just seems to me like people are running away from their problems, at least for a little while, trying to escape. Is there a better way or are we settling for something less than by just letting go on the weekends? To me it does not make sense. Why are we running from our reality when we can face it head on and make a difference? Why are we compromising for the world we see around us? Is the partying really doing any good for people? Could that money spent on partying be used to help that person better or even help someone else? I believe it can. I do not judge or condemn in this post but just give my readers something to think about. For I know I am not perfect and will never be perfect so I have no room to tell anyone what to do.

The United States is one of the richest countries in the world. Though we are currently in a recession economically and our national debt has soared to $15 Trillion, our wealth is still higher than many other countries all over the world. Much of that debt China owns but it is also from debt that we as Americans have created. Currently, I am paying off a state and private loan for my one and a half years that I attended college. It is so important to pay back our debts. When we do not, they become bondage to us and we become their slave. A way that we can help others is by paying off the debts that we have within the United States.

I have heard this before but what if a person did not go to on their daily Starbucks run everyday but maybe just three or four times a week. That would be about saving $12 a week, $48 a month. What if that was put towards helping others in the United States or another country in the world. I have nothing against Starbucks and support them because of their stance on gay rights. I do think though that one person’s lack of $48 a month will cause Starbucks to close. All of the other days a person could drink water. That person would be healthier as they are drinking more water, not taking in as much caffeine and sugar, and also making a difference in the lives of others by their donation. This person is not loosing anything but gaining so much: a healthier life and a sense of happiness and doing good for others. To help others is always such a rewarding experience and always makes a person feel good.

At the beginning of the year, I gave to different organizations that are on my heart. The key to giving is not how much a person gives but that a person does give. Never think that what a person gives is insignificant. Just because a person may think it is insignificant, the kid who the person fed is truly grateful for that person’s donation because they would not have had a meal that day without it. We truly can do mighty things if we just believe.

I would also recommend giving to a cause that is dear to your heart. Where a person’s money is, so is their attention. We want to know that we are getting the best for our money because we work hard to make it. Find out what is going on periodically within the organization that you have chosen to give to. Be able to see all of the good that they are doing with the donation that you gave and others have given.

-Josh


Putting Total Trust In God

For so long when things got hard or situations became too difficult, I would just give up. My life has never been a cake walk but neither is anyone else’s. My life has always involved God but it has not been until recently that I am learning to trust Him completely.

One message that Joyce Meyer has taught was on Moses. He lives with the Egyptians because Pharaoh’s daughter takes him in after Pharaoh decrees all of the Israelite baby boys be killed. When Moses kills an Egyptian for the mistreatment of his people and someone comforts him about it, he runs away from Egypt and lives there for 40 years. The point that she makes is we may not want to go through the trials and heartache that God wants us to go through but no matter what we will go through them no matter how long we wait. It took Moses 40 years to accept God’s call on his life: to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Personally, I would not want to waste 40 years of my life running away from God. It is simply choosing to be miserable over having the fulfilled life that God wants me to have. In middle school and high school, I did not have a strong enough faith and relationship with God to go through the trials and hardship that God wants me to endure but now I choose to go through because in going through means to overcome. I cannot have a victory if I do not go through the hard times. When Moses did accept the call on his life, he still made excuses to God and lacked faith that God would give him the strength to do what He was asking of Moses. When God calls us to do something,  he gives us the necessary resources to do it. We may feel like we do not have the skills to do it but God makes up for our shortcomings. We also learn that it is not always the qualified people that God uses, it is the ones that are willing and able to do the work of God. Though I do not feel qualified to start an organization that reaches out to gay people and gay men specifically but God has given me certain gifts that will help me succeed in His plan for my life. The need for helping my fellow gay brothers is also so great that it is impossible for me to just ignore it.

This time in my life right now is a time of pressing and pain. God is putting me into the fire to clean away the impurities and make me further into who He wants me to be. There are many pressing things that are in focus in my life: moving out my parents house, the organization that God wants me to start, my current health situation, a potential relationship. All of these collide in my life. God is testing me to see how well I will do with all of these things and He wants me to trust Him. My personality has always been that I wanted to know everything that is going on and have everything figured out but that is not always the best for me. God wants us to just trust Him and He will work out all of the details but we just need to be willing to take actions when He tells us to. I always felt like I needed to have my life together, like I needed to know what I was going to do with my future and have everything so organized. As a Christian, it is okay to say that we do not know what is next for us in our lives but we do not need to worry about it because God has it covered. He cares for us and protects us. God truly wants what is best for us. His ways are greater than our ways. Sometimes we think we want one thing when it simply is not what we need in our lives at that period in time or at all. God knows what we need more than we do.

Recently, I have gotten sad from coming home from work and finding that I had not received a response for the guy that I am interested in. At this point, I do not care about the relationship, I just want to get to know him better. In praying about and for him last night, I broke down crying and had a really honest moment with God. I have given this relationship into God’s hands and He will do what He wants with it. God has not told me whether or not I will ever be in a relationship with him but I just trust that God knows best and maybe he is the right person for me but maybe he is not. It is very hard for me to do this but many times before I have acted on what I have wanted to do in a (potential) relationship only to have it end badly. No matter what, God put this man into my life for a reason. It may take me a while to figure it out but that time will comes when it comes. Maybe it is for a relationship or maybe it is to help me with my organization. I can only guess. Only time will tell. I will continue to pray that God’s will be done in this area of my life. I have a strong connection to his man and even tear up as I type this part of the message. Maybe I am too emotional too quick. I even picked a song that is my love song to him. Hopefully this all ends well but if I have to give up on this crush, to free the beautiful bird from its cage, I will do it for I want the best for him. If it is not with me, may it be with someone else that is better for him than me. There will always be people better than me. Will I be heartbroken? Will I not like it? Yes but there is a higher purpose. Everything is not about me. I would rather be temporarily sad than for him to be sad for most of his life simply because I wanted what I wanted. I know I should not be sad about not hearing back from him. It is not what God would want for me. I need to continue to better myself and maybe in that God will let him come around.

No matter how hard it is to trust God ultimately it is in our best interest to do so. It may be hard as it is for me currently but at the end of this time in my life, I will be glad that I endured as I will have overcome these trails and obstacles in my life.

God is working in my life as I am a gay Christian just as He would a straight man or woman. God loves gay people no matter what other Christians may say. There is hope for the future. God is working in lives like mine to reach out and be the hands and feet to the gay community. Never think you are less than because you are gay. That is not true. You are uniquely made by God with a purpose and call just like straight people. All we can do is continue to love wholeheartedly. Love our boyfriends and husbands wholeheartedly like Jesus would.

-Josh


Australian video of a man proposing marriage to his partner

Here is another post from the hopeless romantic within me. Enjoy!


The New Normal

 

 

 

The New Normal is Ryan Murphy’s newest television series and will start airing Tuesday September 11th, 2012 on NBC. This is a show based around the topics of love and family as the main story line captures the lives of two gay men who want to have a child and what it is like to have a baby through a surrogate.

I want to applaud Ryan Murphy for showing gay men for who they are on television, gay men just going around living their daily lives. He has pushed the envelope with Glee and now with this new project. It seems like one of his goals in all his shows is to write characters that are relatable to the audience watching. I am really looking forward to this show and what transpires because of it.

Though some people would say that this show will make people gay, which is false, the title is definitely a bold statement to say the least. It is fighting for marriage equality. It is heating up the debate on gay marriage in saying that this is the future of family. I thank Ryan Murphy for taking a bold move in the title and not compromising because of other people’s beliefs but I would have picked something less controversial to title the show. Going back to the beginning of this paragraph, television shows about gay people do not make other people gay as their sexual orientation cannot change. If anything, it helps someone better understand that they could be or are gay. No television show with gay themes promotes gay sex for people just to try. Television is a medium that portrays pieces of reality about everyday life. If someone decides they want to have gay sex after watching a gay themed television show, that is on them but the television show did not say that and will not say that. I wish I had television shows when I was growing up that addressed same-sex relationships because it would have helped me better understand myself. When I knew I was different but did not have a label for it, it hurt all the more. I am glad we have television shows like this to help people struggling with their sexuality and to educate others who might not understand gay men or the need they feel to start a family.

One Million Moms, the end of July, stated and they do not like this show and will do their best to cut sponsors for The New Normal so that less advertisement can be done causing ratings to plummet and the show to be cancelled. I write this post to encourage my fellow readers to support this show. It has more on the line than any other shows premiering this fall because One Million Moms wants to cancel it. Am I afraid of One Million Moms? I am not but as gay men who would like the right to marry and have a family, we should support this show and Ryan Murphy; who is a gay man himself. It could easily be said that One Million Moms is trying to take away Ryan Murphy’s freedom of speech much like  many people in support of traditional marriage said about Chick-Fil-A.

Here is a preview for The New Normal:

 


In My Mind vs. In My Life

Something that I have noticed within myself is my sexuality is too much in my head and not enough in my experiences and heartfelt emotion. I am trapped in my thoughts of being with another man, whether they are based in reality or not. One of my dreams has always been to wake up and look at my husband sleeping next to me in bed and feel undeserving of him even being with me and in turn felling so glad that he is right there next to me; now and forever. I think that is a healthy way of looking at a relationship. When a person in a relationship loses how special they see the other person, they are willing to move on whether in breaking up or in cheating. I never want to lose the specialness and uniqueness that I see in my husband. I never want to think that I will ever have him “figured out” and that I give him room to surprise me with the many facets of who he is.

In May, I did have a 9-day relationship with a guy. Overall, I enjoyed it though it was more of a learning experience than anything else. We meet online and it so happened that we only lived an hour away from each other. He, also being a gay Christian, was wrestling with sexuality as well, not knowing what to do with it. It was both of our first real relationships. We would Skype each other and call each other. There was one time that I was on Skype with him in my sister’s room. (I do not really have a room in my parent’s house where I live. It is just a bed in the family room. The family computer is also in there so there is some privacy but not as much as if I were to have my own room. When I moved away to college, my two brothers moved everything that was mine out of our room and put it in the garage so they could do what they wanted in the room. I did not know any of this happened until I came home from college a couple weeks into the semester.)  He was talking about how he had seen one of his male friends naked and that it was not a big deal. My sister had walked in at that moment to get her iPod and over heard that. I had to downplay it to my parents and really it was not a big deal. One of the reason why I will not be in a relationship with another man and live in my parent’s house is the stress of them finding out, covering up all of the tracks. The other is just that I want to respect their wishes though their beliefs are not my beliefs.

We broke up because of his wrestling with his sexuality. He did not want the acceptance of his family to go away and him to be looked down upon because he was with another man. It was hard because he had not told me he had had doubts about us but waited to say that for when we broke up. (This was the first time someone has ever broken up with me.) Being the person I am, I am just very honest and real with people, and we promised to be real with one another. We promised to always be friends. I helped him in talking with his parents about his sexuality and his parents were accepting of him being with another man and even bringing him to meet them. I was happy for him as I do not really have much hope that my parents will ever accept me but I accept that fact and move on in life while still keeping conversation about my sexuality open and in their minds. After we broke up, we both still had feelings for each other and I asked him to come visit me. It was hard as I was always looking for people I knew who would see me. I had to lie to my parents to even meet him. He was really sweet though about it and  made me feel loved. We were in the town square. There is a gazebo and some grass, trees, and benches. We sat down on a bench to talk and we were still deciding if we were going to get back together. He felt God was leading him to move to California so our relationship would be long distance. Could our relationship hold up? In talking, I put out my hand to him so we could hold hands. At that point, I did not care who saw or anything. I was tired of pretending. When we held hands, I just embraced the experience. It was awkward as I had never held another man’s hand and my hand was sweating after we held hands for a while. It was a couple of minutes. While we were holding hands, I got hard for him instantly. He told me later that he did as well. There was chemistry there. That was something I have never experienced. Our relationship had never been sexual and my goal had always been to live my life with another man, sex was just an added bonus for me. I knew in holding hands, I wanted to continue to pursue a man to share my life with. We never kissed and I am glad because I would have regretted it now.

He got out his bracelet while we were on the bench together. We even bought bracelets to give each other as a constant reminder of our relationship if we were to get back together. I had even written him a love letter that I was going to give him but it did not seem right to give it to him with the circumstances we were in. (I still have that letter too but cannot get myself to throw it away.) Since he would be moving to California, he decided that we not get back together. I realize that that was the best and felt similar though I still did want to be with him. I still have my bracelet in the packaging. Maybe as a reminder of what we were and what we had but I do not know what to do with it so I just hold onto it. At the end of our time together, we hugged and that is always something that I will enjoy. I do not get many good hugs so when I do, I cherish them. I honestly did not want him to have to leave but I wanted to get back home so my parents would not be suspicious.

One thing I learned from this relationships was that we had a lot of similarities, so much so that our differences became very magnified. After all of this happened, I was wrestling with my faith and was fed up with people who called themselves Christians yet did not walk to walk. His responses to me showed me that I would be compromising myself if I was ever with him again and from that point I let him go. Having been abused as a child, what he said to me did not sit well with me.

We’re still friend now though and we talk occasionally if I contact him but I do not give him the label “my ex-boyfriend”. I was in a relationship with him for nine days, too short to truly get to know each other. He is not deserving of that label and I do not look at him negatively as that word mostly has a negative connotation connected to it. He moved to California and is now in a relationship with another man. He is happy and I am glad. For the longest time, I felt used by him and used I was. I see the good I have done in his life by him knowing me and that makes me glad. He probably would not have talked to his parents and they would have still not accepted him if I had not told him to think about doing it. He has an accepting family and a wonderful boyfriend and it is just me back to being me again. I was drained from that relationship but it was a good learning experience of me, the highs and the lows. Hopefully one day I will get the happy ending.

Sometimes I wonder if I choose men that are just out of my league. I feel this way about my crush. I really like him but does he like me back? He seems too good for me, too good to be true almost. There needs to be more done in me figuring out what type of men find me attractive; what type of men I can catch. I doubt in my mind if my crush and I would do well together in a relationship and doubt settles in saying that I do not even have a chance. That may be true but it may not be true. I will not compromise myself for the man I am with. I will marry a man who I am honestly attracted to both physically and emotionally. At the same time, as gay men we attract people that are similar to us physically speaking. I see similarities in me and my crush in how we look and how we dress. More times than not that is the case.

Ultimately, I just need to get out my head and start living.

God Bless,

Josh


To My Crush

~ Before starting this post, I have thought about posting this all day. The person who this is written to could stumble upon it and read it. I take that risk as my blog has always been real, honest, and I just need to tell someone else about the gay part of my life. I will not say who my crush is but to the people reading this, if you feel that I wrote about you and you are simply not interested in me, let me know. Tell me and let me down gently. I do not want to waste both of our times on something that just will not happen. Thanks! ~

I meet him through blogging and when I saw pictures of him, he was just a cute guy but as I looked more and read more of his blog, I began to grow feelings for him. We have not really talked much at all but I really enjoyed reading his blog posts and getting to know him through those. I wish I could get to know him through him and not through glimpses of him through what he has left on the internet. A relationship is very premature at this point. Friends would be stretching it though I would do anything for him as a friend.

From the beginning, I have given me and my crush into God’s hands. I pray about it and ask for His plan to do be done. I have contacted my crush but he does not get back to me quickly as he’s a busy guy. I completely understand that though it is frustrating trying to get to know him better. If he is not the one God wants me to be with then I should not be with him. God knows best. I do believe that God made us meet for a reason, though I have not found the reason for us yet. It will come along when it is ready to.

Previously, I have commented that I am a hopeless romantic. I have crafted two scenes in my mind of us together. He is an adventure seeker and likes to travel. I picture the two of us at the top of a snow covered mountain. We can see the valley down below with trees and a winding river bed. In the background are other mountains all covered with snow. I am reminded of how great and good God is and how wonderful a person I have in my life. We embrace; me holding him and him holding me. I look deeply in his beautiful blue eyes and for the first time in my life I feel 100% supported and loved. We kiss and our love runs through our bodies. I have not had the opportunity to travel much in my life so far but if I had a man who trusted and believed in me, I could do about anything. I would love to see God’s creation with the man of my dreams.

The other scene is our wedding. I know that is a little fast but it is only a dream, a thought. I picture us singing “For Good” from the musical Wicked. He would be Glinda and I would be Elphaba. I would take his hand on the lyrics “So much of me is made of what I learned from you, you’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart.” Though this is a goodbye song, it is our goodbye to friends and hello to oneness in marriage. Never before have I ever though about marrying another man. I never found it possible. The original song in the musical is sung by two women but here is a version with two men singing to give my readers an idea of what it would be like. I teared up as I thought about us singing it together.

No matter if I say this with my current crush or not, I feel like I should sing this song at my wedding with my husband-to-be.

(I turn my audience to my crush specifically):

I want you to know that I do not care how feminine you act. That does not matter to me. You are a handsome man and what matters to me is your heart and your personality.

I know we are in different stages of life but once I move out soon, I will be in the same one. Please take a chance on me. May you see my heart. Though I may have many things that I need to improve in, I will do those for you and with your help. I am not perfect and I do not expect you to be either. A relationship is not paradise but I am willing to work to have the best relationship we could ever have. I do want to love you like you are perfect in every way.

Please wish me the best as things progress. It’s in God’s hands and it is best there. If anything significant happens, I might post about it. This post may be already too risky enough.

-Josh