Monthly Archives: October 2012

Why?

Brendon and I have been texting each other and hanging out. He briefly talked to me in the lunch room one day when he was on break and I was there a little bit early. Friday I texted him and asked if we could chat. Since it is Friday night, he might be out doing something. I was just trying to be considerate. He told me he was free so we talked. When the conversation slowed down, he told me he was “feeling like being bad right now” and asked me if I could send him a picture. At first I thought it was just so that he could have a picture of me but the tone shifted. His next text was “Yep of u know what”. I had to ask him what was really happening here because I was just shocked. Was he really asking for a picture of my penis?  I never want a guy to ask that but he was the first to do so. I confirmed that that was what he was talking about. “Do u want to be bad with me and u send me a pic and i send u one” I responded with “That’s what I thought. i like you brendon but i am waiting until marriage to have sex. i don’t want to send you a picture of me. i’m surprised honestly that you would ask . i don’t know what to think anymore.” At this point my emotions are going all over the place. Did I see something in him that just was not there? In a conversation with coworkers at work he said that he almost got a girl pregnant. That turned me off to him but we have been hanging out and I think we both really like each other. At least that is the way it looks to me. His next text is “Good i do not want one, i just wanted to see what you would say. thank you, u ok” This further took me by surprise. So he put me through this emotional roller coaster. Why? If it were me, I would not cause a guy I like or was with going through something like that. I still do not really know why he did it. He texted me “Sorry some time i do not think, i just like to ask an out of the blue question and see what they say. sorry.” We talked more and at the end of it I had to just ask him if we could talk about this another time because I was tired from working and I was overacting more than I would if I was more levelheaded. He agreed and we said good night to each other. He then texts me “Hey sorry one more thing, i have been used alot that is why i ask questions like that sometimes. sorry now i feel like i was out of line. i hope we can still be friends. i hope that you can forgive me. have a good night.” I read that text and went to bed.

The next morning I responded with “I care about you alot. last night made me feel many different emotions. i always want to be there for you. you made me think you were just another guy bopping through life not caring about who he sleeps with. you made me think that i was wrong about you. that you were like every other guy. i know right now you’re trying to do the right thing in life. you scared me by what you said and did. i want you to know that i will NEVER use you. i feel for you deeply and i’m crying as i write this text. i forgive you. i would like to talk about why i freaked out with you in person so you understand. we’re good now. ((hug))” He responded with “Thanks and sorry again.”

We have not talked face to face about this yet. We might be able to hang out for a little bit today after he gets off work. This is the first time he has to work and I have off today. I still have not fully processed and gotten over this conversation. Writing this post will hopefully help me process this more and hopefully get some feedback and advice on what I should do in the future.

I can understand he has been used in a past. He is damaged and has been hurt. To a degree, we all are. I do want to be there for him, no matter if we have a relationship or not, and just be there for him as he is a guy who is bisexual, who struggles with his sexuality like I do, who is another gay brother that I need to love and give hope to.

One question that I have is he told me he has a girlfriend and that he enjoyed her company. They pray together and he feels loved. Why would he do all this if he has a girlfriend? I do not want him cheating with me on his girlfriend. It is hard because I cannot have a relationship because of my parents but for the girl’s sake, do not be in a relationship with her when you really want to be with me but are only settling for her.

I think it will take us a while to get through this speed bump. It really makes me question everything that we have gone through together.

The reason though why I got so emotional was before I had that conversation with Brendon a lady at work was talking about how one of her sister’s friends, who was gay, had sex with a cow. The conversation then went to how gay guys put guinea pigs and fire extinguishers up their butts. I was appalled to say the least that she would even bring this up. Sex and sexual purity is a big deal for me, especially because I am a gay man. No wonder gay guys get all these diseases. They do all these kinky things with other guys. I do not mean to be graphic but one guy cannot take two guys having anal sex with him. I feel for all the gay guys who do this. I do not judge them but my heart is moved for them. It is a person’s responsibility to take care of their own sexual health and the health of their boyfriend/partner/husband. We need to use our brains as gay men and not do things that would hurt us and/or one another.

I hope that one day I have a wonderful husband and we have a wonderful sex life but we need to keep each other’s health and safety as our top priority before we engage in different behaviors and actions.

I do not know why all of this is happening in my life right now but hopefully this post helps someone else as I try to make sense of it.

Have a great week ahead!

-Josh

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Work Problems

Right now work is consuming my life. It is not because I have a choice in the matter. When I am scheduled to work a seven day week, I have to work a seven day week. Right now Brendon and I would like to get together again but not knowing when our next day off will be can make it really difficult. As I have said before, I work in a factory making candles. It is modern day slave labor. We only get two ten minute breaks in an eight hour shift. If a person decides to work overtime after their eight hour shift or we are scheduled to work overtime during the week, there is no extra break. We are allowed to take a half hour lunch but it is too much of a hassle to do because it is not a payed lunch. That would mean staying over a half hour and with the shift change and trying to find something else to do, it just is not worth it. We are not notified if we will be working on the weekend until Wednesday. Sometimes it is earlier in the week but mostly an official notice is posted on Wednesday of each week. This is so they can see if we are on track during the week or not but it gives employees no time to plan their weekend or lack there of. This company says they are a company that values family yet hinders their workers from seeing their family because of how much we work. We have also had problems with not having supplies to make product. This backs everything up. We are scheduled to work all this time but do not have all of the supplies to make the product we need to make. This has been an on going reoccurrence.

This company is literally falling apart. It is only time before it collapses. There is a huge lack of organization and communication yet all of that weight bears down on the workers. As workers, we are not doing enough and making enough. We are honestly doing the best we can but when there is not all the supplies to complete a product or we are tired from working all these hours, it is less productive then helpful. No one likes the Director of Operations. He is the one who controls our hours. He is rude and greedy. He wants to make money but not take the time needed to make it. Not only does he work where I work, he also works at the local recreation center. One time, we were running a test for a new line of candles and he was talking to another lady that we were working with about how he has a maid who cleans his house because his wife does not clean. I could not care less about that. That just really shows who he is and his character. Most people who work in the factory are just trying to make ends meet and he brings that up. I will respect him as a person above me within the company but I do not like him at all.

Right now I am trying to get hired into the company so I can make some positive change. The company that I work for uses a temp service. Another company fills the spots that they need filled in the factory. As a temp, the company treats them less than their employees. They are very selective in who they hire. If they do not like someone, they do not get hired. It is more of a popularity contest than who works hard and gets the job done. I have really learned how to run my company in the future from the lack of many things where I work. It is obvious that the company does not care about its workers. If the workers were treated better, we would be willing to do more but if no positive change is going to happen, if it is always going to be our fault that nothing is getting done and the organization of the company is never looked at or taken care of we are going to do what we have to do to survive. It has shown me that my focus for my company is my employees, my customers, and gay men in need. I will never treat my employees the way this company treats me.

At this point, I go into work with a positive attitude and do what I can do. Never will I buy anything from this company because I know the quality of what we make and it honestly could be better and because I will not support the corruption and oppression of the employees that work there. I honestly feel helpless and what to do something to make this better. If the company honestly fired some of the management because they do not do their job or are just bad for the company and reorganized some different areas, they would be much better off.

Here is a glimpse of what I deal with on a daily basis. There will be a day when I no longer work there. I will have a business of my own that I manage. I am and will be grateful for all the things I learned about business from this company. Until then I endure and do the best I can to make a difference in the company and helping the people I work with anyway I can.

-Josh


First Online Relationship

My heart was tugging to write a post on Kaleb, the first guy I ever had a relationship with online. It was the summer of 2010 and we had found each other through a group on Facebook for gay guys/gay teens. I had a Facebook profile specifically to talk with and find other gay men on top of my personal Facebook profile. I have since then deleted it as it did not really help my life at all. We started a relationship. I only started a relationship with him because I was lonely and I wanted to experience what it was like to be with another guy. As part of us being together, we chose “our song”. At that point in time, “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry had just come out and he suggested that. I had never heard it before he mentioned it. We decided to make it our song. I find it a little bit odd that Kurt and Blaine’s song is Teenage Dream as well. It was really Darren Criss’ acoustic version of Teenage Dream on Glee that made the memories of Kaleb come back to mind.

We were not really anything. We were each other’s company – we talked on Facebook and on the phone. Being a 17 year old gay man on the cusp of going to college, I was pretty naive and stupid. He had told me that him being born was a mistake for his parents, that he was a mistake. As we were talking one day on the phone, I heard his dad verbally abuse him and I did not know what to do. I do not know what Kaleb said after it happened or if I said anything. It makes me tear up now just thinking about it. The worst part of it was I broke up with him because he had a high voice. That was the only reason. I was naive and stupid and I wish I could take it all back. I wish I could take back the hurt he felt from our breakup. Being an advocate for gay men now in my life, it hurts me that I did this. I know why I did it. I wanted to be with another man and did not want him to have female qualities. Over the years, I have learned and grown in this area. I did not know many gay men back then. I love gay men for who they are. I cannot control where my voice sits. Sure, a person can change the pitch of their voice but then they are just acting – try to be someone else that they are not. I am sorry for breaking up with someone over something so pointless and dumb.

So Teenage Dream has a deeper meaning for me than most. It reminds me of my foolishness in my youth when it came to relationships.  I did find his Facebook page again and I am still debating on if I should send him a message and apologize. It has been two years since we have talked. If I could give advice to the young gay teens of today, I would say to not get into a relationship with someone so fast just to break up with them over something trivial because you did not know them in the first place. Get to know another guy before you decide to be in a relationship together. I know it is difficult as you do not want to be alone and there are people who do not agree with your sexual orientation but that is when reaching out to other gay men and organizations at school is what you need. Make friends that are gay and go from there. Spend time with them. You may not need a boyfriend at this moment but no matter what you need support.

This video is dedicated to Kaleb. Kaleb, I am sorry that it turned out the way it did. I did not mean it to be that way. You were hurting more than I ever was and I hurt you more.

-Josh


Brendon and Coffee

On Sunday, Brendon and I had scheduled to meet and hang out at the local coffee place. I took the time to dress up a little more with a sweater and nice jeans. We see each other in a t-shirt and shorts all the time so I wanted to be able to show him more of who I was than just my work clothes. I got to the coffee place early to clear my head and prepare. He texts me at 2pm, the time we agreed to meet to ask if we were still on. I texted back yes and whenever he could get there was fine. He was fifteen minutes late from the time we agreed on. I did not know how to take it. He was probably busy but it just made me a bit more uncomfortable. Though at the time it was a little frustrating, him being late said that it was not a date and that was my intention. He also did not dress specifically for meeting together further saying to me indirectly that it was not a date. At this point, I really like his company. I really need it in my life. His personality has multiple things that turn me off and I still wonder if I really am attracted to him. I really love his eyes as they are big and full of personality. They have so much to say.

It was hard talking to him because I knew so much about him but did not want to come across like I did. He asked me my age and then asked me to guess his. I knew his from his Facebook but I did not tell him that is where I found it. It was not until last night that I texted him and told him about what happened with Facebook. His internet is down so he never got my message.

He mostly talked and we talked about work. He has a harder job than I do and people that just do not want to work or help him. I feel for him and wish I could be there to help.

In talking, he told me that he has a gay brother who is a year younger than him. He was diagnosed with HIV and the man that gave it to him gave it to him on purpose. His brother is going to go after the man legally. My heart was tugged on and it was yet another reminder of how important launching my business is – how needed it is. For a while his brother was paying $10,000 a month for medication for HIV and also eye medication as he had a condition that if he did not take it he would go blind. Brendon does a good job in making sure he spends time with his brother and keeps him thinking positive. I honestly do not know what I would do if I got HIV. My heart goes out to Brendon’s brother and I wish him the best in his fight with HIV. For Brendon to tell me that his brother had HIV made HIV so much more real to me. Previously, I did not know anyone who had it.

It was getting to be 4pm and my parents where texting me to come home for dinner. I had to leave but I could have talked with Brendon for a couple more hours. He suggested that we should do a movie sometime so hopefully we will do that on a weekend when we are both free. He also texted me later to say that he had fun having coffee with me.

Since then he texts me everyday and I text him back. We talked about sexuality two nights ago. I felt like we were dodging it so I came out to him. He already knew but I just needed to say it so we could move on in our friendship. He told me he was bisexual but he does not really know. He does not want to put a label on it and I respect him for that. I look forward to talking to him more about it and trying to understand what that is like. I had a friend in college who was bisexual but he had given up women from a bad relationship. I always just saw him as a gay brother. I realized I did not respect that fact that he was bisexual but I learned from that. Brendon told me “I feel when I look in your eyes that it will be ok.” referring to his sexuality. As any LGBT person, he is afraid of losing his friends and family. I am glad to have him in my life and to be able to wrestle with these issues together. Hopefully I can help Brendon be confident in who he is. It shows how much I have grown. Two years ago someone came alongside me as I was terribly wrestling with my sexuality and faith and now I have that opportunity to turn around and help someone else. I am grateful for the experience.

-Josh

(Photo courtesy of Welcome to the New Age via Tumblr)


The Future of the United States

With all of the events and talk when it comes to the upcoming election, I originally was not going to vote. I disagreed with both of the candidates on some level or another. Yesterday, the more I thought about it the more I realized that I needed to vote but that I was looking at the election in the wrong way. Gay men having the right to legally marry is something that I want to see happen. It should happen because it is the right thing to do. Do not oppress people and call them less than. I realized though that I was putting gay marriage above what was really important. One day gay marriage will be legal whether or not Obama makes it legal or someone else. What is more important is our economy.  Our economy should be the number one focus to voters. There are only so many elections before our country collapses. The government is deeper in debt. If the United States falls, it will hurt the rest of the world in our global economy. As I think about starting my business, I want the United States to be the same throughout my company’s existence. I do not want to be taken over by another country because our economy collapses and I loose everything in the process and then be told how to do business under the new government. Our debt is what is making our country weak. Personal debt and government debt. In my mind, gay rights can wait compared to potentially collapsing and losing all of the freedoms numerous people have lost their lives for. That is why I am voting for who I think will be the best for the economy. No other reason. It is a hard decision and as a country we can always clean up the smaller issues but we cannot clean up if we lose it all.

I do not believe that Obama is supporting gay marriage for the right reasons. It is just a piece of his campaign to get the votes he needs. It was well known the Romney opposes gay marriage so it is a shoe in for gay people and gay allies to vote for Obama. I do not think adding more debt to our country will help our economy but I also do not think that making the middle class pay more and letting the rich stay rich will help either. The middle class just does not have the money to live now let alone raising taxes in the future. I am torn. I will always be here to support and love gay men and I greatly dislike Romney’s lack of respect towards gay people. I will always be there for someone who is struggling with their sexuality but I think we need to wake up and see how weak the United States is really getting. We need to ask ourselves which candidate is best for our economy. I have not fully decided on who I will vote for. I will look at both Obama and Romney’s plans for the economy and whoever else is running for president and make my decision that way.

As the United States, we cannot have it all anymore. We have tried that and it has gotten us to where we are today. In this time of need, we need to cut back and nurse our ailing country back to health. What is essential and what is not? Let us deal with the essentials and as we get back on our feet, have more of the extras come back. When it comes to Romney and PBS, I disagree with Romney cutting it because it will only be a band-aid to the broken levy. It will not do much. At the same time though, we need to cut back on as much debt as we can and cutting funding to PBS will help that. If PBS is not funded by the government, I do not think it will be the end of PBS. PBS will have to tighten itself like every other company and business of the United States in our current recession. Though it is bad now, it will be better in the future. There will be people who are willing to support it just as there always have been. It is important to people of the United States and will be funded one way or another.

I was thinking about this as I was walking into work yesterday but if the economy collapses under Obama and Obama legalizes gay marriage, it will be futile for gay people. Christians will say that our collapse was because of gay people just like Sodom and Gomorrah. There are more factors than just gay people that causes a nation to collapse. I would never want to see this day.

There is still hope for the United States. There is always hope. May we be able to get through this rough time in our history and be able to stand strong on the other side of this. There is trials in life but they are there to make us stronger. Our economic state and state as a nation is teaching us something. Be willing enough to listen and learn.

-Josh


Blessings

The inspiration for my last post came from a place of being alone; of loneliness and honesty. I just wanted to get all my feelings out so that they would not be able to build pressure within me. At the beginning of the day I was at a low point but things got better from there.

Ever since I started working again at the candle factory I am currently working in, I have had my eye on this one guy. He worked on another machine and even worked another shift. I would watch him from my machine as I was working before he would leave. Under the circumstances, I tossed getting to know him out of my mind. It just was not going to work out. One day, he came over to help in my department for the last 30 minutes of his shift. He introduced himself. Brendon is his name. I was nervous because I had never thought that I would ever be working with him. It was not long before he had to leave but he made his impression. I still wanted to get to know him more. The next time he came over to help, I was swamped trying to get supplies and show other coworkers what to do when he comes over. He actually surprised me in coming over. Our eyes just connected and I smiled at him for a couple seconds. I cannot give what I felt the justice of words. I love his eyes because there is so much to them. They are so loving, warm, and inviting. He had another 30 minutes before he had to leave. I showed him what to do and in the process noticed that he had on a Christian camp t-shirt with a verse on the back. He was gay and he was a Christian. What are the odds of that? I did not even think that was possible to find another gay Christian in my small town. This week, he asked for overtime and was allowed to work a maximum of 15 hours overtime on top of all of the factory workers working an 8 hour Saturday. So Monday he came over to my department and worked 3 hours. It was a good time to get to know him and throughout that whole time I was just smiling. He has a genuine, care free personality that I like about him. Being around him makes me remember to relax and enjoy life when at times I can be too goal focused and too stressed out.

So I posted my previous post on Wednesday and as I was working I felt that something positive was going to happen with Brendon and I. God was telling me that something was. (I will never forget the time God told me to be ready for when a friend I knew online had pre-marital sex with his girlfriend and he texted me freaking out about it. I thought it was an absurd thought that I had just had but it actually became real. It shows me I need to always be listening to what God is telling me.) Brendon was about to leave and I wanted to talk to him about something work related –  something was not in the right place it should of been that he had been previously working on. I debated if I should come up to him or not as he was talking to my supervisor. I wrestled with myself and ultimately walked up to him and said something. After we worked that out, he very casually gave me a piece of paper and told me to let him know if I wanted to hang out. He had given me his number. Never in my life has another guy given me their number. I know I have somewhat of a very sheltered life because of my parents but it was a big deal. I thought about him and what had happened all throughout my shift and texted him after I got off. We are meeting for coffee tomorrow and we are both really looking forward to it. It has been since December since I have had another gay guy in my real life that I am able to talk to. I would really like us to be friends and if things work out, maybe more. I am just taking it one step at a time and not letting my emotions get too in the way of everything else.

The funny thing is though when I found out Brendon’s name I tried to find him on Facebook through mutual coworkers. I honestly did not think I would find him as I only had his first name and little information. I actually found him and that is what confirmed he was indeed gay and a Christian. I debated for a while on whether or not to send him a message with my number because I never knew when we would be working together again. I actually sent him a message with my number 8 days before he gave me his. He is not on Facebook much with all the time he works and his dog just had puppies but to my knowledge he did not see the message before he gave me his number. I reached out to him first but I am glad that it happened the way it did because it made me me feel loved and that I was special.

One problem I face is I cannot say I am fully attracted to him. I am attracted to parts of him but not all of him. Is this weird or have other gay guys experienced this? Hopefully with time I will be able to be fully attracted to him. I think God is protecting me as I do live with my parents and I have chosen to honor them by not being in a relationship while I am living under their roof.

I am blessed to have Brendon in my life. I thank God for him. Hopefully we can be good friends and he is able to understand the deepest parts of me. I am excited to get to know him better.

-Josh

(Photo courtesy of Welcome to the New Age via Tumblr)


Being Real In The World I Live In

I just need a place to be honest about what I am feeling right now. Everyday I hurt because I cannot love who I was made to love. I am forced to deny myself by my parents and daily they reinforce the pain they are inflicting. They are oblivious to the pain they cause me because they are unwilling to accept that I indeed am gay. I do not fit into their worldview so they try to fit me into a box that I just do not fit or deny all of it. I will never deny that I have attractions to other men. God calls me to live a life of truth. Do you want me to lie my whole life and sin that way or commit the sin of homosexuality? This is why I distance myself from my parents. When religion and Christianity hinders a person from seeing another’s hurt and pain and to logically reason, it has gone too far. I honestly do not care if my parents accept my choices in life but I want them to accept me as a gay man. From them to see that, yes, I do have attractions to other men. All of this pain and hurt is real. So much so that I have a heart condition that doctors cannot tell me why it is happening. I give it to the stress of work and my sexuality struggle through life. Do my parents not see that they are killing me literally because of what they do? Do you want to have me as your son or not? I would not be surprised one day I just had a heart attack at work and past out on the floor. I am dying inside as I try to live my life. I long for love from another man. I am starving for it. Just a hug from another gay man.

I cannot go on to live a life in which Christians make gay people into aliens. I am still appalled that my dad would compare my relationship with my dog to his relationship with his wife. They are two completely different things. The Church wants us to not be human. Sexuality is a part of humanity as is loving another person. According to the Church we are forced to be aliens, sub human to the rest of the world, living alone and just going through life never experiencing love in a relationship or loving someone so much that a person would give their whole body to them. I will not be treated less than by anyone. This was not the way it was intended nor the way it should be. Some churches even ban gay people because they are gay. Gay people are sick and we do not want any part of it. I did not choose my sexuality so why are you trying to hurt me because of it?

I wish people would be able to see me, all of me, for who I am. Yes, I am a Christian. Many Christians will say Jesus is the answer. I have found Him and have a personal relationship with Him. What I struggle with is the oppression of a group of people because they are different. That I am seen as less than because of who I was created to be. God loves and sees everyone equally. Why do not Christians and people today? Stop fearing gay people. We do not want to hurt anyone. We just want to be treated like everyone else.

I just want to be able to be happy and be able to have that right. To be treated like everyone else. To be able to have a relationship that I am able to enjoy, to love and be loved in return. Being gay is not all about the sex. Being gay is about loving someone with all your heart and no matter what or how people may treat you for who you are you love them unconditionally.

I hope that people would see me as the gay man that I am. I am open and honest about my life because I want people to take their blinders off and see that maybe they do not know everything there is about sexuality. Sexuality is a complex topic and no one has it all figured out. I do not know everything but do not be a person that thinks they know everything and then pushes their views on everyone else. It is not doing one bit of good. It is only causing great tension.

See me for who I am.

-Josh