Saturday, November 24, 2012

Comment from a guy who's terrified of being gay

Earlier today, the following anonymous comment suddenly appeared on my most recent post:

Dear GB,

I don't know if you'll get this but I'm going through quite the dilemma. I think I'm gay, which totally terrifies me. My family can be pretty homophobic at times.

My father passed away when I was very young leaving me and my siblings to care for my sick mother. I've become sort of her rock. I help her with so many things and I love her so much that I'm willing to sacrifice my own happiness. I refuse to put her in a home and I will attempt to care for her with the help of a personal care worker till the day she dies. It would totally destroy her if I finally come to terms with my sexuality and came out. She's a devout Christian and I was raised or indoctrinated to think negatively of the word gay. My mother doesn't hate gays but she thinks being gay is a sin. She believes that gays should be allowed to live in peace without being oppressed but she still does not approve of that lifestyle.

A lot of self loathing comes up when I have a thought that isn't so straight. I can never love anybody else romantically until I learn to love myself I am told, but I don't think I can ever fully love that side of me. I don't hate gay people but it's been ingrained in me that if I'm gay it would be wrong.

Even if I do come to terms with being gay I'd lose everything! My family means the world to me even though we may disagree with many of their views. I have the feeling that they would disown me if I was to ever come out. I'm also extremely concerned and self conscious about what every one would think of me. For example the church members, classmates, friend, co-workers, etc. I care too much about what everyone thinks I guess and I'm too weak and fearful of the consequences.

Let's say as well that I end up pursuing a relationship with man would he be able to put up with my constant fear of being discovered? We wouldn't be able to act like a couple in public, he'd never be able to meet my family and I have lots of trust issues as well so I think it would be cruel to ever get in a relationship and put someone through all that baggage until I learn to sort it out but I don't think I ever can sort it out.

I'm not even sure if I'm gay (I could be asexual) but I most likely am. I find myself attracted to guys but yet I hate being around them at the same time. I never feel comfortable around men since my father was very into physical discipline I have grown to fear men. All my friends are women and when I'm around other males especially the same age group as I am I become extremely defensive and cold.

I honestly kind of think sex and human contact is kind of weird. I've test my sexuality by watching porn and I able to be aroused by straight or gay. I'm a 26 year old virgin and I have no issues about being a virgin for the rest of my life and I have no desire to be with anyone sexually either. I do however enjoy watching porn but I just have no desire to ever want to have sex. So I could be asexual I guess.

I don't know this is a lot to take in but it feels so good to just vent and have someone listen. I'm pretty sure I'll need therapy and loads of it.

Thank you so much for reading this all of this.

The first thing I need to do is to apologise to the two people who're in the "Dear GB" queue in this blog's right-hand side-bar, because by re-posting this comment I'm obviously allowing a bit of queue-jumping. Nonetheless I think it's the right thing to do. This comment is probably the first thing that this reader has ever done regarding the fact that he might be gay, so I think that's it's important to respond as quickly as possible and hence reassure him that he's not alone.

The reader mentions the Christian religion a couple of times in what he says, so my guess is that one of the reasons for the conflict that he feels is the attitude of Christianity to homosexuality. I was also brought up as a Christian, and my mother is a devout Christian as well, so I can understand what effect that can have.

Christian hostility to homosexuality has its roots in the bible. However, since Christianity means following Christ (a.k.a. Jesus), I think it's very instructive to look in the bible and see what Jesus himself actually said about homosexuality. The answer is, nothing at all! The few homophobic passages in the bible are all the views, stories or interpretations of other people, not Jesus himself. Indeed, having studied the bible at Sunday school when I was a boy, my overriding memory of Jesus's teaching was one of compassion, love and forgiveness. It certainly wasn't a message of hatred. It makes me so sad when I think of all the terrible things that have been done in the name of Christianity when the original message of Jesus himself was so pure and beautiful.

I was very lucky when I did finally come out to my mother. I was a couple of years older than this reader, and I finally did it when there was just me and her having dinner in her house. We're sitting facing each other across the table. I know that this has to be the moment, but I start crying

"Mum," I say, with tears in eyes, "I ... I've got something to tell you."

She can see that I'm very distressed, but all she does is to stop eating and smile at me in the most loving way.

"Well don't worry," she says kindly, "what is it?"

"Well, ... I ... I ... I'm gay! And I've got a boyfriend!! And I want to introduce you to him one day!!!"

And with that I really can't help myself from crying, as though I'm a little boy. My mother gets up from her seat and comes round to hug and reassure me.

"Don't worry," she says, "I'm sure I'll like your boyfriend, because I've always liked all your friends."

She goes back to sit in her seat, and looks at me lovingly again.

"You've always been a good son to me."

"But, I was so worried about telling you," I reply, starting to get my composure back, "because of your faith, and ..."

"But it's not for me to judge you," she answers, still with love in her eyes for me, "one day, that'll be for Him."

Of course, by "Him" she meant God. But given that Christianity isn't known for being pro-homosexuality, I couldn't have hoped for a better response. If only all Christians followed their religion in the same way that my mother does.

Anyway, this is kind of an express response to the comment that was posted this afternoon. There are many more things that could be said, although I'm sure that a lot of the appropriate things to say are scattered through previous "Dear GB" postings on this blog. Also, by giving the comment some prominence with its own posting, hopefully some other readers can leave a few further comments, and hence start to give the reader who left the original comment some of the help that he needs.