I was surprised when my dad opened up to me last night and wanted to talk. We talked for about an hour and a half after I got off work. In wanting to send my parents another email recently, I felt that God was working in bringing my dad to me to talk. At first it was to talk about how I need to communicate more and the feelings each of us feels towards each other. Then the conversation diverged to my sexuality. It could have been much better but, at the end of the day, it was good that we had it so that I further understand where he is coming from. It shocked me where he is at with my sexuality. I already knew he does not think I am gay, I am just deceived as he would put it. There is no gay sexual orientation. He used the term “gay agenda” and I was shocked. For him to not know any vocabulary to talk about the “gay agenda”, it just shows me how far right his views are. All hope of my parents ever accepting me for who I am is shattered. To understand that he would definitely be one who would buy a chicken sandwich on Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day really hurts.
Later in the discussion, I just felt that he just had the mentality that he was right and I was wrong. He accused me of reading all my information from “liberal” sources. Is Jay Michaelson a liberal source? I would disagree. Michaelson looks at the Bible from the original texts and gives his opinion. There are republicans who support gay marriage. I come into this topic with an open mind as I come into every issue and weigh the facts. Never will I apologize for this approach. I have read the “Christian psychology” books and Exodus International books and I do not agree with them though they gave me a good starting point on my journey.
I think Alex’s reply to “Setting the Spark – Part I” hits the nail on the head. Since we both have different views, neither of us can believe in the other’s viewpoint. The topic hits harder because it deals with who I am as a person. No agreement on who I am can be made so there is no foundation to our relationship at all. All it leaves is for me to be a person I am not, to hide my sexuality from my dad. There is no room for building a healthy relationship when there can be no truth to build a foundation for the relationship. God has called me to still love my dad but I think this will be one of the biggest challenges of my life as nothing about our relationship is grounded in truth or reality. It will be like playing the role of a straight Josh. I have done theatre in high school and college. No matter what, I will always be true about my story and experiences and no choice that I make on this character that I portray to my parents should hinder from showing them that I love them as Jesus would/does.
My mom and I have a very different relationship than my dad solely because we do not talk about my sexuality. Ultimately, it would hurt her more not being in her life. I really need to talk to her more about who I am and get her take. I know she does not approve but maybe she actually would not deny that I am gay. I am just trying to find hope in a hard situation.
A big point, when it comes to my relationship with my dad, is that his view of there not being a gay sexual orientation stems from interpretation of the Bible, not a specific verse where the Bible states that point directly. Interpretations are chosen by the people who believe them. My dad believes that since God condemns homosexuality that people can change and, since this is true, there is no gay sexual orientation. In my mind, it is one thing to disagree with me because of a specific verse in the Bible but to hinder a relationship because of an interpretation of the Bible. I could have an honest, truthful relationship with my dad if he accepted that I have a gay sexual orientation but did not believe that it was right for a man to be with another man.
It was interesting enough to know that he does not think Christians who act out a gay sexuality will go to Hell. He believes that they will grieve the Holy Spirit and that no one can loose their salvation. From a traditional view, I find that 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT) says that gay people will go to Hell for their sin of homosexuality. “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.” As a gay man, I have seen this verse thrown at gay people to condemn them to Hell. What does this verse mean in a traditional viewpoint if it is not condemning gay people to Hell?
Going back to the topic that he first starting talking to me about: communicating with my parents. Our different views hinder communication. I have not told them that I feel like I should start an organization that helps gay men because I know they will disagree with it. Right now I am reading books on how to start one and will probably officially start it after I move out. They will do everything in their power to stop the message of my viewpoint from getting out. They do not know about this blog because they would shut it down as it does not agree with their beliefs and they believe I am deceiving people.My goal is to help people who are gay and to show them that they are loved by God, not to deceive them. In the past, a Facebook status and liking certain pictures have been asked to be taken down and stopped. To their respect and authority I have taken down a status and do not like certain pictures anymore. I see an injustice being done and I want to speak out about it but I am silenced. For this stage of my life, I will be silenced but there will be days in the future where I will not be. I look forward to those days and being honest with the world about my sexuality. I also look forward to comforting others and encouraging them in this hard journey.
At this time, I do not feel I will be completed able to figure out my sexuality in a house full of tension and parents praying for me that only conflict me more. My ultimate goal as a person is to be loved and to be able to have joy in life. I see that with another man. I want to live my life with a man by my side. If my marriage is never legal or I am looked at by the people around me as a second class citizen because of my sexual orientation, I let that weight go and embrace the legacy of loving a husband until I die and loving other gay men in their time(s) of need. Being equal is not as important to me as living a legacy of love.
I wish you all the best in your weekend and week to come. Thank you for reading my blog!