Being an author here at YOB requires me to have homosexual attractions on some level, in some manner or another. That’s kind of our purpose here — to be men on the inside of this issue, telling stories of how we experience the world and go through life without giving in to our homosexual urges.
While I do admit to having had homosexual urges, I do not see myself as homosexual or gay. Not in the least. In fact, I would say that I don’t even have homosexual attractions anymore.
I’m purposely avoiding the term “same-sex attractions” (SSA) right now that we’ve adopted here at YOB, because I do certainly still have those. The difference is that I don’t see anything wrong with my attractions. I kind of like them.
Let me clarify: to be attracted to something or someone does not mean any sin is being committed. Attraction itself is not necessarily bad. Homosexual attraction is wrong (though not a sin in itself), because it contradicts God’s design for us.
Attraction, however, simply means I like being close to something or someone.
I like being close to men. Physically, emotionally, on a heart-to-heart level, I like to be close to them.
That’s not homosexuality. That’s not gay.
When I depend on men to complete me, that’s when I’ve crossed a line.
But that’s not homosexuality, either. That’s idolatry, and many people are guilty of that regardless of their sexual attractions.
When I want to be sexual with men, that’s also when I’ve crossed a line.
And that’s what I don’t want anymore.
I admit that men are physically beautiful and appealing. Every part of a man’s physique can be handsome and intriguing.
I want to see men naked, be naked myself with other men, wrestle with other men, cuddle with them and be affectionate, play games and sports with them, compete against them, test my mettle with them, be united with them for a common goal, and be a man among men.
None of this is sexual. None of this is gay. Not even the naked parts.
I used to think that because I desired those things, I must be gay. Because I had labeled all those things homosexual in nature.
But I have come to realize that I was perverting what God had made to be good and natural and to be enjoyed by anyone. Now that I no longer see those desires as evidence of homosexuality, what is there left within me to make me think I might be gay?
Well, there is that desire I’ve had since ages ago to masturbate with other men. That certainly seems sexual, and I can’t say that one has entirely left me yet.
But since we’re on the subject now, let me say something about it: I have talked with two men who do not identify as homosexual at all, who are Christians, who admitted to me that they had jacked off with other guys in the past. These men are not interested in having sex with other men, they are only attracted to women sexually, but they’ve masturbated more than once with other guys, and they’ve said that doing so had no affect on their sexual leanings.
For them, jerking off with other guys did not mean they were gay or that they had even done a homosexual act. So, I am left to wonder if masturbating with other guys is really a homosexual thing to do. I still wouldn’t recommend it, but I am doubting its bearing on a man’s orientation.
If other guys can masturbate with others without being gay, maybe I don’t have to be considered gay, either, just for being curious about it.
The other thing that might still put me in the SSA category is the issue of emotional dependency. This is something that is common to, but not exclusive to, people with same-sex attractions. I’ve had only one emotional dependency experience that I can remember, and it was years ago. I have idolized people and their approval of me quite a bit, but I wouldn’t say I’ve been emotionally dependent on them.
Usually, I’ve disdained those people and hated being around them and even hearing their voices unless they were giving me approval and praise. That’s not a good thing, of course, but I don’t consider that to be a gay thing. I don’t think most people would.
I prefer to stick to the biblical definition of homosexuality (a word that, by the way, is not even stated in the Bible but is the word we now use to refer to the Bible’s references to this): lying with a man as one lies with a woman — essentially, sexual relations with people of the same gender.
I don’t do that. I’ve never done that. I used to be curious about sex with a man, but I’m not anymore. I don’t even want to try it. It’s not a temptation for me.
Therefore, I don’t have homosexual attractions. I’m not gay.
I’m attracted to men, but it’s not sexual. It’s not immoral or improper.
Sometimes overcoming sin is not getting rid of the issue so that we never have to deal with it anymore. Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing the way we understand the issue and how we view ourselves.
How exactly would you describe yourself as attracted to the same gender? Do you consider yourself “gay” because of your feelings or attractions? Why or why not?
* Image courtesy Max Sat, Creative Commons.