With Bernardo’s comments, suddenly I didn’t know who to listen to.

I was grieving, and in the past I had dealt with stress and grief by acting out, looking for sex. So I looked. I didn’t find any… at least not for some months, anyway.

I kept reading the Bible, and praying. Maybe not quite so faithfully.

I also started looking into studying again. I soon enrolled in a Masters program in counselling. My goal was to help other men find freedom from sexual addictions, and from homosexuality. So, with every class I took, I devoured whatever research on sexuality was relevant to the class. My first major paper was on the etiology of homosexuality. I concluded that the current state of research allowed no conclusions about the causes of homosexuality. However, it does strongly suggest that homosexuality is established early in life (either in utero, or in preschool years). It also suggests that homosexuality is immutable.

I also continued to read literature published by ex-gay ministries. I read What some of you were, and was surprised by the lack of testimonies of ex-gays who had been ex-gay for some time. Further, none of these stories talked about a change in sexual orientation, just changes in behaviours. And that’s all I had experienced, too. And, while I was pleased to find that I was no longer addicted to gay porn, I was still craving a sexual relationship with a man. I had changed my thinking – thinking of myself as a heterosexual, faithful and loving husband – but I could still be stopped in my tracks if a hot guy walked by.

During this time, I started to work with youth again. Mostly this was with young men. While this was a legitimate part of one of my jobs, as well as the ministry I had been given in church, in some ways it became a substitute for having emotional intimacy with a man. I made sure none of these relationships with these young men had any opportunity to become sexual… but I realized that nothing was changing in terms of my desires to be intimate emotionally with another man.

By the summer of 2007, I was convinced that I was still gay. And it wasn’t for want of trying. I had opened my heart to a number of Christian people. I had gotten involved in an ex-gay ministry, which didn’t seem to be helping. I felt like I had battled this thing head on for the last four years… and I was tired of the battle. Moreover, the battle really seemed to be a battle with me.

And Bernardo’s words kept coming back to me. If he could accept me as a gay man, why wouldn’t Jesus?

There were a number of events that summer that felt like God telling me that I was okay. I was acceptable. The real me, the gay me, the me that I’ve been trying to hide all these years really was loved. Accepted. The truth did not need to be hidden. In fact, the truth would set me free.

I embarked on another search of scripture. I read theology. I rediscovered René Girard, I discovered Soulforce, and Freedom 2 Be. I struggle with Romans 1, until I read James Allison on this topic. I discovered Brian McLaren, and was amazed at how his journey discovering the different branches of Christianity was so much like mine.

In October, I was ready to come out again. This time, I told my wife I was gay, and I did not expect this to change. I mentioned the “d” word (that was a mistake).

We are still looking for a path ahead. In many ways I am still passing through the storm. I are wondering about when to come out to our children. I am out to many of my colleagues, and to some of the leaders in our church. They are not really impressed, but that is not the point. I no longer feel like I am hiding, or trying to be someone I am not. I am a little afraid of what the future might hold. But I am willing to enter it, just as I am.

As of June 2008, I am still on this sojourn. I have no clear answers, and as you can tell from my blogs I am still confused at this intersection of faith and sexuality. I am living faithfully in a straight marriage, even though that seems insanely difficult at times. I believe that God is somehow honouring my sojourn, and He does plan to bring me through this storm, a better man.

am.

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3 Responses to “My Story, Part Three: Truth Sets Free”

  1. The Blogger Says:

    I SO appreciate your journey toward authenticity on your “my story” posts. It is this common thread that weaves its way through countless stories like ours. Yet so many feel as if they are alone on this journey.

    Blessings to you as you continue this journey!

  2. Stephanie Says:

    Wow. I’m cheering you on, wishing you more and more freedom! Blessings.

  3. Heather Says:

    My best friend growing up, her father went through the same thing, I actually had a moment where I wondered if you were him! He came out to his three children when my best friend was 18 and they all went through family counseling together. When I came out that family was beyond amazing to me. They are so loving and accepting having gone through all this. The dad and his wife never divorced and though I’m not sure of there arrangement beyond the fact that they are the absolute best of friends, and companions to the end. I commend you for your courage and just want you to know.. you are not alone ;).

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