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One day Brendon brought up that someone had made a negative comment to someone else because of their sexuality at work. I assumed that someone had said something about him. I wanted him to know that I was there for him and we let it go. It came up again only to find out that it was aimed at me. A good friend of Brendon’s that also works were we work asked who was running the machine and was answered with “Oh just a fag.” Brendon’s friend let Brendon know only for his friend to find out that I was Brendon’s boyfriend. His friend is very supportive but did not like the comment that was given. I was surprised to find out that the person who said it was the guy that I had talked to and wrote about in my post “Experience and Discussion”. In moving machines since starting where I work, I do work with this guy now fairly consistantly.

The first couple of days were hard for me as I knew there was a division between us. This is honestly the first time I have been called a fag since I came out. As I go back through the memories trying to recount all of this, it disheartens me. He did not have the guts to say it to my face but to backstab me for something I have no control over. As I thought about it more, he bullies me because he lacks confidence in himself. I possess something that he simply does not. I do not care about his opinions because they are simply that, opinions. He chooses to bully instead of trying to understand. Sexuality is a rough topic and with his brother also being gay I think he has a hard time wrestling with it.

Yesterday he actually made a comment to me. Our candles were pouring too hot; making them very soupy. He had took one of the candles out of the machine to check it.  He compared what the candles were looking like to cum and commented that I liked that. In response, “Who cares?” It is just another stab. Your label of “fag” will not stick to me. I accept myself and God who made me. My love is sincere and passionate. I have a wonderful boyfriend and we have a wonderful life together. I am not going to be pushed down by someone else who simply is not worth my time.

For right now, it is what it is. If it does get worse, I will let someone know. I will not let it get to being a “Code Black”. (At work, a code black is where someone calls that over that PA system that there is fighting or violence in the factory so people will know and break it up.)

It is the hardest for me because we are brothers in Christ. We are both Christians and yet he chooses to bully me. I will not respond with violence but that is why I am easy target. I will do my job and not hold a grudge but he is walking on a fine line to loosing his job if he does not stop what he is doing.

-Josh


Official

Laughable

Brendon and I officially became boyfriends yesterday, 12/24/12. I planned for us to go to Earth Fare to show him around, get lunch, and buy our becoming official present. As soon as we saw each other, Brendon let me know that his brother Ethan was in the hospital again. (For those of you who do not know Ethan has AIDS which he received from having sex with a guy that gave it to him on purpose.) He wanted our time to be special and to forget about the hard parts of his life. Usually he would be there for Ethan in the hospital but he let him know what was going on and he planned on going to see him later in the day.

We ate lunch at the store. The store sells a line of candles that my company and I specifically help make. I have vowed never to buy any candle from my company so that I will not add to the corruption that is going on all throughout it. There was a candle from another company that I really liked ever since I saw it. Not bad in price and it was Macintosh Apple. It smells better than the company’s Apple Harvest that I help make. It even had personal significance to me. Brendon burns the free candles he gets from work all the time in his apartment so I knew he would enjoy it. Growing up, my favorite color was red and it had a red box. I really wanted to get a candle because that is where we first meet (at work) and in lighting our candle it symbolizes the start of our relationship and journey together. We kissed too after I gave it to him. When we got back to his apartment, we lit the candle and he loved how wonderful it looks in his centerpiece on his dinning room table.

This Christmas is different for me in many ways. I do not feel joyful. The Candlelight Service my family attended tonight was wonderful as always with the usual Christmas songs, Christmas story, and lighting candles. My candle reminded me of mine and Brendon’s candle. It reminded me that Jesus is the light of the world and that together Brendon and I can bring hope to others. That because we are together we are stronger. I want to be a light and make a difference in the world. Hopefully my up and coming company will be that avenue to achieve my goal. It is just not the same knowing that Brendon is not having as joyous of a Christmas as he could have. My heart goes out to both Brendon and Ethan. Ethan will be in the hospital for Christmas so Brendon will be there with him. No matter what I would feel for Brendon and Ethan but it just seems a bigger deal to me now that I am Brendon’s boyfriend. I am his other half. Now I am signed up to go through the loss of Ethan to Brendon and his whole family. Brendon asked me if I wanted to go with him to the hospital and I said not right now. I have meet Ethan once but do not want to see him like that. In the future, I know I will need to go and support Brendon. It is something I should do. Today was special because we both knew we were becoming official and it was last minute. I have not even meet any of his family other than Ethan and I would feel put on the spot. I would like to take it slow.

Where things are is Brendon can and has told people he knows that we are official. My parents do not know. I would rather have them meet Brendon and take things slow. It is hard to be closeted to a degree but I will deal with it. I do talk to my mom about Brendon about things that are going on with him and life in general. I hope they come around. The only thing I can really do now is keep communication open and hope for the best.

I still have doubts but I am taking one brick off the wall at a time. If we never take risks in life, we will never get anywhere and life will fail to be anything worth living. Being with Brendon is a risk I am willing to take. I want to be there with him and be all that I can be, give all I can give. This is a new chapter of my life and one I pursue with determination and strength. I am not afraid of the problems we face together knowing that God is with us and there is nothing to worry about. Things will be okay no matter what we face.

-Josh

(Photo Courtesy of Pablo Needs Amused via Tumblr)


Pieces Starting To Come Together

Kiss

Brendon and I had a wonderful time on Sunday. Currently he is injured from skating. He fell and his knee took a beating. Nothing serious but it will take some time to heal. He is managing well and doing the best he can. We ordered pizza, cuddled, and I brought over Glee to watch together. I wanted to share with him the Kurt and Blaine relationship. We got through the first four episodes. We cuddled a lot as well. I enjoyed it.

We both want to kiss each other on the lips but Brendon respects me for saving that for when we’re officially together and I just do not want to go through all of this too fast. This shows that he really loves me. He loves me enough that even though he has wanted to kiss me since the day he saw me, he anxiously waits for that day to come and does not try to force me to compromise. I greatly respect Brendon for that and it only makes us stronger.

He told me last night that his mom and sister asked him about me. They would like to meet me (even though we are not official). His mom is not happy about Brendon being bisexual but she just wants her son to be happy and I appreciate that. There might honestly be tension in the house over Brendon and I being together. I do not know why but Brendon’s step dad will not let Brendon live out the gay side of him. He has told Brendon that his brother, who is gay, is the left hand and Brendon is the right hand – meaning that Brendon is straight. I really hope that Brendon and his stepdad’s relationship can be reconciled eventually. Ultimately I am happy that Brendon’s family is willing to be there and support him no matter who he loves. I cannot say that about my family. I am still waiting for my mother’s email. It would be sad but I might honestly move out before it is ever sent. I told Brendon that it would be nice if our anniversary was Christmas. The more I thought about it; Christmas Eve sounds nice as well.

Brendon’s mom has been selling Mary Kay and Brendon has been helping her with it. It seems that she just does not have the drive to be professional or to make sure that everything is right for her customers. Brendon is thinking of what he wants to do with that in possibly selling it himself. It would help us have money to move into an apartment quicker. I would be more than willing to help if he started selling.   Knowing me, I am really excited about it but do not want to take it over. It is Brendon’s idea so I will let him run with it the way he wants to. I think Brendon and I would work well together though it will definitely cause some conflict between us as any work situation does. We have not had any big disagreements or arguments so far in our time together. Hopefully when we come to those, we will be able to navigate through them well.

Overall, everything is going well. Things could be better but they also could be worse so I am definitely happy and thankful for where things are at right now.

-Josh

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


Complicated Relationship

As we planned, yesterday Brendon and I spent most of the day together. In going to the store to get what we needed to make dinner, we bumped into Brendon’s older sister Mya. It was nice to meet her. Brendon may be moving and she would be his roommate. He is actually moving closer to me because the majority of his jobs that he currently has are closer to me than where he currently lives. It is all up in the air right now. He may move, he may not.

Our time did not start out as well as it could. He was 15 minutes early to pick me up. I had just gotten out of the shower and had not even put a shirt on yet. When I realized he was was there, I started rushing. My mom asked me if I wanted to invite him in. That was the last thing I wanted to do. I did not have time to shave like I wanted to so we talked about that in the car on the way to his place. We also talked a lot about Sarah. It just became very depressing for me. I had waited all week for a time that we could just hang out and have fun but it was just so serious and sad.

He opened up to me and told me that the reason he started a relationship with Sarah again was because when we had coffee he got the impression that I just wanted to be friends. It took him a while but then he also said that he has been wanting to kiss me ever since he saw me. I would not cuddle with him or let him kiss me because of his relationship with Sarah. He started the relationship with Sarah because he does not want to be lonely. He loves me but Sarah is in the way. He even said that if it did not work the first time, why would it work the second. At this point, Sarah does not know about me at all. Brendon asked Sarah what she thought about bisexuals and she said she would love them but did not agree with their ways. She then dropped the subject saying that there was a reason why Brendon was bringing it up but that they would talk about it later. Sarah has never brought it up again. She is a very strict Christian and has been forcing Brendon to change who he is to fit her personal views of what a Christian looks like. Brendon does not want to change for anyone else.

Brendon and Sarah had planned to go for a walk at the park today. I think he is going to tell her about us and break up with her. He told me that he hates disappointing people but it is also hindering him from what he wants and from being happy. I texted him and told him I would be praying for him.

I honestly do not know if he is right for me. He has a past that I have to deal with: drugs, sex, and alcohol abuse. I see him making progress to change and be a better person. It does get on my nerves that he always asks me what I am thinking or how I am doing but I know it is only because he cares. He can be a little crass at times too.

Since I have decided to respect my parents while under their roof, I will not have a relationship with any guy. I think things could change with my parents. My mom has told me that she has been working on an answer to an e-mail I sent her about going forward with my sexuality. It has taken her time to look up different verses. This comment made me loose hope but she knows that I do like Brendon as a friend and as more than a friend. She has not hindered me from seeing him.

I ask myself if I should try a relationship with Brendon. I know right now he loves me more than I love him. At the same time I do not want love to blind me and be unrealistic about a relationship with him. Is it wrong of me to start a relationship when, from the beginning, I see that it could all fall apart?

It does not help that Brendon’s brother is dying of AIDS. He told me already that he will not ever be the same when his brother passes and will not be at work when it happens because he will not be able to handle it. I honestly do not know if I will be a strong enough partner for him in this situation. I know it has the potential to grow our relationship and make it stronger. I know though I would not know what to do. It is even more sad that his brother was given the virus on purpose by another man. It is not fair that Ethan has AIDS. I know that God has made our paths cross for a reason and I can see that Brendon will need me by his side. Is it good for me to be his friend or better to be his boyfriend?

I am definitely going to pray about this situation as it is the toughest situation I have dealt with. I see that there are gay men in their 40’s and 50’s that have not found a husband though they want one badly. Should I take the risk and try it out? Will I get another chance at love?

One thing I am wrestling with is sex between two men. Is this morally okay for me to participate in? I see the gay community having sex with whoever they want; one or many partners at a time. Can one man contract HIV from monogamous gay sex? I would rather give up sex so that both of us could grow old together than to enjoy that pleasure in life and one of us potentially die of AIDS. As a couple, I care about my sexual health and his sexual health.

I am just tied in a knot of emotions right now. There are many factors going into the decision if I could say yes or no to a relationship with Brendon. I stand at the crossroads. Which way do I take?

-Josh

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


Personal Struggles

There are many things that are pulling and tugging at me from within. I was reading a book and there was a story about a guy who felt God called him to be gay so he was in a relationship for six years. The relationship eventually fizzled out and God told him that that was the end of him being gay/not to be in any more relationships. Sort of as a way to just try it out. I am afraid God may do this to me. I would not want to break the guy’s heart. Brendon and I are going strong right now and I would hate to hurt him in any way. Ultimately, it is best for me to trust God but I get stuck in the unknown. I pursued Brendon and other guys because I wanted a relationship, I just wanted to be happy. Being with another man makes me happy. There is too much pain and turmoil that gay men go through and even more that gay Christians go through. I know what God wants for me is best but I am at a hard time in my life trying to figure it out as life goes on.

I wrestle with knowing that the way I act out my sexuality, the way God will show me how to act out my sexuality, will probably be in between denying myself of anything associated with being gay and fully accepting my sexuality and the gay culture around me. Logically, everything makes sense but emotionally I become a mess. I wrestle with if having sex with another man is morally right. Living with another man and devoting my life to him is acceptable in my mind. Loving another person is never wrong. I wonder if the sexual tension will be great living with him. It does not make any sense to me to limit showing love to another person. Sex shows the commitment between two people and God. Two people come together as one in sex and the commitment makes them one as well. This logic proves that having sex is not wrong. Is having anal sex what was intended for the body? Can the body hold up to anal sex? Is it only opening myself up more to disease and sickness? It is safe to have anal sex and the only reason I hold back is because I see statistics of gay men who have sex with multiple people and multiple men at one time? I am probably not a bottom in the least. I always had the idea that in sex, as in anything else, you have to be selfless so I would bottom for my husband if that is what he wanted me to do. An act of love and sacrifice. Even if I did not enjoy it, I would do it for him. I feel that in a relationship, each guy should be able to be versatile for the other though I know that is not always how things work out.

I wrestle with the fact of how I look to the gay community beginning a company that helps gay men. The gay community can be very judgmental and opinionated. I struggle with the fact of God calling me to reach out the the gay men that are hurting and in need but at the same time not being able to be like them. That my company and influence would be a struggle for me to stay away from. No matter what, I would love Brendon to be in my life and to be there for me as I start this company and continue to move forward. Anyone needs people who care and support them when times get hard and rough. I do not want the gay community criticizing me for not being like them.

To make things even more complicated, my mom asked me if Brendon and I were friends or more than friends and I told her both, being honest. What we are is complicated but it is life. She told me to “be careful.” I do not know what that means for her. I do. Her asking me that question caused tension. What are my parents going to do now? Are they not going to allow me to see Brendon? They have never supported my sexuality so I am nervous about everything. I have always said that I wanted to be close to my parents and my sexuality not be an issue but they need to earn my trust back that they are not going to hurt me or a guy that I am interested in. I would not let Brendon meets my parents before I knew where they stood. I see safety in distance. Part of me just wants to spend the holidays with my man and not see my family.

Brendon and I are doing well. We hung out at his apartment last weekend and will do it again this weekend. I am bringing over a movie to watch. We are going to make dinner together. I also made him a CD with some love songs and inspirational songs to get him through the day. When I look in his eyes, I just see the love he has for me. I do not deserve him and I do not know why he loves me so much. I am not that special. I am good at some things but I am mostly a mess. I am working on it though. When I saw him this week at work, my emotions just lit up. I am starting to fall for him. I could never have imagined that this would all happen the way it did but I am thankful to God that it did. Hopefully Brendon and I can one day have a relationship together  and continue to share our love for one another.

-Josh

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


Brian Brown and Marriage Equality

Recently, there was a political phone call from Brian Brown, president of National Organization for Marriage (NOM), on my family’s answering machine urging my parents and I not to vote for certain candidates because they support same sex marriage. As I heard the message, all I could hear from Brian Brown is that he is an angry man. This drove me to look up some of his interviews this year on YouTube. I see the same thing over and over. Letting gay people marry makes Brian Brown angry. We see that he definitely has a conviction to uphold marriage being between one man and one woman. It is a religious conviction. I do not say that he is angry to put a label on him but, in my perspective, he comes across as angry. In many of the interviews he has participated in, he interrupts the person on the opposing side and has no evidence to back up his position. All I see is a strong conviction with no evidence to uphold it so he comes across as an angry man fighting for what he believes in.

He brings up the position of if same sex marriage is legalized then children will be educated about gay people and that it is harmful for children. Already, there have been books that have been optional reading on a child having two moms or two dads. It is something that does come up in our world and something that children should be taught about. Eliminating even talk or teaching on this is trying to cover up that there are even gay people in the world. Not being educated on it will force children to react however they will when experience and reality collides. There are gay people in the world and there always will be gay people in the world whether a person likes it or not. Brian Brown is trying to make gay people invisible and this will only make problems worse. When it comes to health and talking about two men or two women having sex, make that part of class optional. It should be talked about but there should be an alternate assignment. Give students and parents the right to choose if they want to participate in that class discussion. I think it would benefit young gay people and their health if sex was talked about more so young gay people could be more educated on the topic.

My heart goes out to Brian Brown. I strive to never be a man that is controlled by my anger. I hope and pray that he would look deeply into himself and find out why he wants to hurt a minority of people and why he is so strongly for marriage between one man and one woman. I think there is something deeper within him that drives him to act a certain way. May he learn to work that out within himself.

Though I do not agree with Brian Brown or the National Organization for Marriage, I allow them to have a voice. Everyone in the United States is allowed and should have a say. There is a difference between saying something out of opinion and saying something to directly hurt someone or a group of people. Brian Brown supports the Family Research Council calling gay people pedophiles. The Family Research Council has been called a hate group because of such speech. It all comes down to a matter of who are gay people and what are they like. It calls for more people to be open and honest about their sexuality. Some gay people have committed sexual crimes against other people. There is a stigma with Catholic Priests that they will have sex with boys. When a gay person is told that there is not a place for them in the world, that their sexual orientation is a sin, they dedicate themselves to God for their own good and salvation. They try to change and be pure but see no results. I would not put all the blame on the gay priests because they have been trapped to a life of bondage within the church. The church has not let them deal with their sexuality so they fall and have sex with young boys out of sexual frustration and trying to understand. It is not always that they are bad people, they are oppressed and in great need of resources and help because of their sexual orientation. I am saddened when I hear of a gay man raping another. I have a friend who was molested by his leader from church. It is not that these are bad people but it is because they have all of this inner turmoil and it comes out in a negative way. It just continues to show me that I need to be there for the gay men that are hurting and wrestling with their sexuality.

I also found out that Support Freedom to Marry Ohio is planning to have same sex marriage on the ballot for Ohio in 2013. There are different ways to help out . I am honestly considering volunteering to be a part of this movement. It is definitely a step in the right direction and I would love to see marriage equality in my own home state.

I do not write this post to disrespect or downgrade Brian Brown and I honestly respect him as a man and person. He is a man who has drive and determination, good qualities for any man or woman to have. As humans, we are all fallible in one way or another. I am not a perfect man nor will I ever be. I make mistakes just like everyone else. I write this post to be honest about who I am as a man and my world around me. There are people who are uncomfortable with gay people marrying because it is different and there is much debate on it. I totally understand that but please do not write lies about people you do not know and do not like. Please take the time to sit down with a gay man or gay woman and honestly talk with them. Leave all of your preconceived thoughts and notions out of it and truly listen to them. See for yourself a face of the gay community. Let yourself be confronted with reality.

-Josh

(Image Courtesy of Welcome to the New Age via Tumblr)