Saturday, November 22, 2008


The other day, John Michael over at Open a Window posted something rather wonderful. I copied it to a post file, planning to do what you see now: post it as a quote and add a bit of commentary [so much easier than coming up with stuff of my own, don't you know...]. It turns out that rather than hit "Save as Draft" in Blogger, I hit "Publish Post," with the unlikely result that I had someone else's life up on my blog, and even got a comment on it. Maybe I should do this more often--maybe I could get more than the five of you out there to pay attention...:

Today, I was recalling watching one of my niece's school presentations. One of those presentations that included synchronized singing and dancing. The children themselves are cute and doing their best to remain in-step with the frantic music teacher in vivid animation acting out all the steps to the stage side (we can all see her though). Sometimes a child's mind will wander and they will miss one motion, and will hurriedly go through all the motions to catch up.

They don't realize they don't have to panic and can just pick up where they are suppose to be. I'm not sure if I am conjuring up the right image to give my blog thought any substance, but just imagine someone hurriedly trying to catch up.

When I first accepted myself as gay man, I thought there that's it, I accept the fact that I am a gay man. I didn't think about the journey that this acceptance would take me on. I thought I could live with this acceptance without making certain changes in my life. But these changes came. And they are good changes, as they have lifted my self-esteem to newer heights.

As ironic as it sounds, I feel like I have also developed a deeper relationship with God, I've prayed more and had deeper conversations with Him as well. I felt that accepting my lot would mean a clash with the spiritual side of me. I had been fooled into believing there is no place for me in a religious sect. I was wrong. More than anything, I've learned God loves us all.

My relationship with my friends that I have come out to has also changed. I feel like I can really speak to them without having to censor my thoughts. I don't shove anything down their throat, nor do I hide any thoughts.

Because of this new "freedom", I feel our relationships have also matured and become the friendships that I have always wanted to have.

Recently, one of my friends (who is one of us) said to me, "you need to do this and that…you have so much catching up to do". And while the thought of getting to do some of these activities excites me, I also thought that I was not taking a crash course, that I wanted this to be an on-going learning experience. I don't want to hurriedly go through the motions to get to that certain point. I want to relish each step that I take in getting to where I am I supposed to be.

What I wanted to say, before I posted his reflection as my own, was that I really liked what John Michael said about not thinking that his decision to accept himself would have such wide-ranging repercussions, and then seeing how his life changed after the "little step" he thought he had made..... NOT!

Knowledge, like action, has consequences. I think in retrospect that my wife was much savvier than I was: once I said that I had to try to figure out how gay I was, how much I shared with my gay friends and how much set me apart, she seems to have seen the hand-writing on the wall. As clearly as the cheer-leaders among my former crowd of readers who couldn't wait for the other shoe to drop. As is so often the case, we are ourselves the last to figure out what is so clearly obvious to everyone else [as is the case with so many gay men who say they are not "out" at work--they just don't admit what is perfectly obvious in many cases to all concerned]. Then we figure it out, and well, knowledge, like action, has consequences.

The simple act of leaving home, which I thought could take place in a vacuum and not have any further impact on everyone's lives, dragged change after change in its wake. That wake was pretty wild, and dragged me through some choppy water for a year. But at the end of the year, I had to admit that I had actually been lucky. Incredibly lucky. Unbelievably lucky.

I never thought I would love and be loved again. I never thought I would be able to do the various deeds required. I never thought I would be able to live with myself if I did. Well, time, with a little gentle nudging from the Goat, has certainly laid those fears to rest. I am happy now, as happy in my way as I was before. The sources of happiness are pretty similar: the knowledge, the experience of loving and being loved. Everything else has changed; and that is what puzzles me so much.

I still feel that I am the same person, yet I also can't quite see how that can be true, since my new life is based on embracing everything that I had consciously decided to leave behind before.

So, when everything is so different, when so much has been lost, so much new-found, how can "I" be the same? That is just one of those things we used to be content to call a mystery. I think the short answer is that what was lost has been replaced with new joys, not perhaps quite as deep or as deeply felt, but joys for all that. I don't spend my days mooning or mourning over what is over and gone. God knows I did that long enough, when there was nothing yet to replace what had been lost, so I'm probably due for a little handy forgetting. I have been absurdly lucky [see above]. The best part of it is that the Goat thinks he has been pretty lucky, too. So it sort of works all around.

And I am as conscious of God's presence and love as much as I ever was in the days of my more or less unwilling church-going. I do miss many of the people, but now that I see them, I have the inescapable feeling that I have wound up wearing the black hat, though I can't swear that this is not my own perception, not theirs. It's just a feeling that I don't belong anymore, a feeling I'm sure my elder brothers in the "family" have long known and learned to live with.

One thing I do know is that I am made in the image of God and so I am a love-based creature.

Most everything else is mystery...

Hang in there, guys.


  1. You take all the time you need, my man. Watching you get there is half the fun.

  2. John was a great help in my coming out, a shoulder I leaned on often. Not sure how you feel about this but I totally have to agree with him in that I feel I have become closer to my friends by telling them, it made the friendship seem more real, to me at least.