In trying to find my next step, I will be getting into local theatre. I have currently been a part of six different productions throughout my high school and college career. There is a theatre organization that will be putting on two different shows this summer that I hope to be a part of. Many pieces will have to fall into place though. Currently working second shift at my job creates a problem when it comes to attending rehearsals. My supervisor did say that they would be willing to talk about a shift change if something did come up. If everything did work out, it would be beneficial in more ways than one. I would be able to do something that I enjoy and be able to attend rehearsals but it would also allow me to work the same hours as Brendon. As always when doing a show there is pretty much no free time but it would allow me to see Brendon more than I currently would working different shifts. I have got in contact as well with my previous vocal coach and she is open to working with me again. She is definitely an inspiration; a wonder to work with.
As I looked out on my college life being a Elementary Education and Theatre Performance double major I found myself to be unhappy in more ways than I wanted to be. The biggest part was I did not want to spend so much time on a show that I simply did not care about though my major required me to be. It was also a hard balancing act when it came to acting class, shows, and other classes not at all dealing with theatre. College was an emotional and metaphorical suicide. I feel like I can give more now that I do not have as many different areas of my life starving to get my attention.
Before I dropped out of college for financial reasons, I had a wonderful semester in Beginning Acting. I felt that I was actually getting somewhere. To define me as a great actor would be untrue but I am working on it and would like to become better. The biggest hurdle that theatre wanted me to overcome was to accept my sexuality. Theatre requires transparency and vulnerability from its actors. I could not be vulnerable in a role until I became vulnerable in my own life. I see this time as different. Theatre helped me to deal and grow through the situations I had and now I want to further embrace them so that others can be inspired to make a difference in their own life and/or in others lives.
Plunging myself into theatre will gain me the confidence that I desperately need. I find myself unhappy and ashamed with where I am in life and yet wondering where to go and what path I should take for the future. I want to help people and make a difference. This is one way to do that. Making candles in a factory is not something I want to be doing for the rest of life. As I look around, I see the trouble the economy is having and the lack of jobs. Realistically there just is not much out there. I know I have much potential waiting to bloom and thrive. The problem comes with what environment, what career, would best cultivate it. I feel that I have been given too many gifts and talents to honor them all. Where do I fit in? I could do pretty much anything. What is a career that combines my gifts and talents but yet also satisfy me? I am on a journey to find it and I have theatre by my side to help me out.
Please wish me the best as I embark on this new chapter of my life.
In light of being faced with some opposition, I wanted to say a few words. Since Sunday happened to be the anniversary for the Boy Scouts of America, the troop that our church sponsors had a part of the service where they brought and placed the flags, lead us all in the Pledge of Allegiance and recited their pledges. One of the leaders also spoke for a little bit. How fitting with all this controversy when it comes to allowing gay people to participate in this organization. It breaks my heart to see a fellow Youth Group member be a part of this organization and knowing that he came out previously. Knowing that his family and himself has to bury deep inside him who he really is. People discount him even more because he has a condition, some form of ADHD. He can be hyper and full of energy, hard to calm down. With his condition, they deny his sexuality as part of the condition. He does not really know what he is talking about. I have not been able to talk to him at all since I heard that he had come out on a missions trip one summer. His parents are very protective like mine were at that age. I just wish the best for him but my heart breaks seeing that. May he be able to be happy and enjoying life to the fullest.
I write this to say that Boy Scouts of America is making a mistake in not accepting gay people. What did we do any way to deserve being kicked out? The organization builds many good and moral attributes into the young men they work with. Even gay men can benefit from Boy Scouts. I cannot wrap my mind around the reason for this ban. We are simply people trying to do the best with our lives that we can. We have no control over our sexuality. If we did the gay rights movement would not what it is today.
In banning gay people, an opportunity is lost. An opportunity to love someone and get to know them. Are we not going to treat everyone as they would want to be treated? To deny someone of their final badge not because they did not complete the program but because of their sexual orientation is far from anything beneficial. We cared for you and helped you go through this program but now we’re going to strip you of the confidence and feeling of a job well done. It is betrayal and backstabbing. This is only going against the principles that they themselves teach the young men. No matter what happens with the Boys Scouts of America, as one person I will love people for who they are. I will not waste opportunities to love and care about someone simply because I do not understand or agree with them. I am more than that and I think the Boys Scouts of America is more than that as well.
I also encountered a page that my brother had written to use for a Bible Study that he started. The topic was morality and servitude. He focused on The Decline of the United States and bullet point number one was gay rights. There are two verses and then raises the question of how does this affect us today. I cannot express how hurt I am by this. I have a wonderful boyfriend and we love each other very much. I do the best I can with what I am given. It just makes me realize that I need to speak up more and be more real than I ever have before. It hurts me to think that this Bible Study of high school guys is going to bash gay people and not allowing people to love who they love.
There have been times when I missed opportunities that I could have spoken up about my sexuality and my life as a gay man. Sometimes I just do not want to deal with it because it is always in my face, always trying to do the right thing. I need to remember that no matter what the response or the opinions of others, I need to stand up for myself and my fellow gay brothers. I need to be there for those that are hurting even when others will not.
Though other people can try to hurt us, it is ourselves that let it effect us. I am real enough to know that we have problems with the Boy Scouts of America and my brother but the point is to do the best that I can and not allow it to take over my world. We can never loose sight of the hope we have for ourselves and for others. There is always hope and there is always hope for positive change. What I say as a gay man is just as important as a well known gay activist says. We all have a part to help others understand and try to see the world from our eyes.
I started a website so I could fundraise money for the company that I will be starting. Please feel free to check it out and if you are led to give, you can send me a comment with your email address where I will send you a request and you can complete your donation. There is much work to do before Man 2 Man Clothing Company becomes a company but I am looking forward to the journey that God has given me the opportunity to go down. If you are unable to give, thoughts and prayers are always appreciated. As well, please spread the word about my new upcoming company. Hopefully we can have success in both making gay men look and feel good but also helping gay men in need.
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.
(Photo courtesy of Welcome to the New Age via Tumblr)
In living out my daily life this week, I realized I was a hypocrite. I struggle with finding another man and being single. In my head I know that I need to be single. There are many things that God is showing me that I need to change and grow within myself, so much so that at times it can feel overwhelming. My heart yearns for the companionship of another man; to love someone and be loved in return. There are many times when I feel like a dying monkey starving for love. I had heard somewhere that if a baby monkey is separated from it’s mother after it is born, it will die in five days because of a lack of touch and interaction. There is not an outlet for physical touch in my life right now. I do have a good friend online that I can talk with and hopefully a gay friend at work.
It is in my best interest to stay single right now though my need to feel loved is great. I never want others to see me as a hypocrite when it comes to this topic. It is a struggle within me that comes out at times. The only way I will ever get that need is to move out. That whole process scares me. I know I need to make a plan and it needs to happen but I do not feel like I have what it takes. Sure, my parents tried their best to raise me but they raised me by controlling me and not allowing me to fail on my own. They did not parent with the end goal in mind of being a successful individual on my own. Now the stakes are higher and failing has a higher cost to pay.
Right now I would like to get rid of all of the college debt I have. It is frustrating as I am currently training to be a lead for one of the machines where I work. I honestly do not know if I want the position. The company is greatly falling apart and there is corruption all through it. I do not want to be hired in only to leave soon after that. I honestly don’t know if it is worth a couple cents more an hour and possibly a couple hundred dollars in bonuses if the company stays on budget. The only reason I am there is to raise money to live my life: pay off college loans, fund my business, money for a car and a place to live. I do not see myself there in five years. I have goals and dreams; a heart full of passion. Slaving away and stressing out to make candles is nothing compared to helping the gay community that desperately cries out for help.
I know that when I get through this stage of my life, I will be grateful for what I did and the courage that I mustered up to do it. It is worth it. I just need to be strong though I know not of all that will happen in the future. Hard times builds character and character is what will be built in me.
(Photo courtesy of Welcome to the New Age via Tumblr)
It is that time again to choose a new book for a new month.
Here are my suggestions for the October Book Discussion. Feel free to add any suggestions as well.
- The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer – Colfer took the time out of his busy schedule to write a fairy tale story. I admire his work as Kurt on Glee. Being gay himself, I want to support another gay man in his hard work and effort that he put into this book.
- The God Box by Alex Sanchez – This was a possible option for September but wanted to bring it back again. It is a story but two young boy who fall in love and wrestle with their faith and sexuality.
- Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community by Andrew Marin – I had the privilege to hearing him speak at my college. He has started the Marin Foundation that builds bridges between the gay community to the rest of the world. He and his foundation are most well known for making signs stating they are sorry for how Christians act towards the gay community and have given out hugs to the gay men that walk past during pride parades.
As well, feel free to let me know what types of books interest the readers of these discussions. I would like to always have books that the readers enjoy and are interested in. Thanks!
Have a great day!