As I sit here drinking my cup of hot chocolate, my thoughts of what topic to write come pouring into my brain, and my mind is running 100 MPH.

No, wait…that’s not true. I can’t come up with anything right now. I guess that’s how most of us start when we’re trying to figure out what to write for our first blog post.

Yes, we want to have a big BANG for our first post, but let’s be real, it never really is that way.

That doesn’t come until several posts later, once we get used to our own writing style and tearing down our walls of vulnerability.

So this is my first post, not so great, yet not so horrible. It’s like the in-between post. So, let me introduce myself.

My name is Matt. I’m a full-blooded Southwestern Native American, and yes we still do exist. No, I do not live in a teepee or wear a headdress on a daily basis (thanks a lot, Hollywood movies). I’m just a regular person who works, pays his bills, goes to church, etc. The only thing that makes me, um…lets say, unique, is that I deal with SSA, or same-sex attraction.

Does this hinder me from living a normal life? No, not as it used to be in the past.

Years ago in my early college years, I used to be haunted by what people thought of me and what people would say if they found out. You know, the usual stuff that affects almost every person who deals with SSA.
I was a very very very quiet person, introverted as can be.

But now, I’m a pretty blunt person, and I like honesty. Though there are limits to what people can hear when I’m being honest them and when I’m talking to someone, I watch their movements, facial expressions, and go from there. I always keep in mind everyone has his or her limits, so that keeps me accountable to be very careful of what I have to say.

As I said before, I’m just a normal person! I’m not your stereotypical SSA person, or gay person, how ever you want to put it. I like football (Steelers fan here, woot woot!), love movies and TV shows, like long-boarding to places, play drums, sing from time to time, and chill at home.

I am very involved in my home church — it’s one of those “mega churches,” though I don’t view it as that. I’m also part of a small group that meets once a week, and I love them with all of my heart.

But you ask: How do you distinguish between your spiritual views and your sexuality?

To be honest, I’m in a place where I view myself as a person. Yes, I question if I’m really a Christian, or if God really loves me the way I am. I’m not defined only by my sexuality or my religious views, though my belief dominates my thinking.

What I mean is, I know that there is more to me than one section in my life, whether it be my sexuality or my religious beliefs.

I’m a work in progress! Everyone is a work in progress, and that’s how life is. Slowly, but surely, we all strive to be what the Christian community calls holy!

I want to be holy, like my Heavenly Father is holy. I’m called to be like His son, Jesus. That’s my passion and desire! Every day I so want to be more like Jesus, but I live in a fallen world and have a fallen desire, which keeps me humble, if I like it or not.

I’m an SSA person who is deeply in love with God, and strives to be like His loving Savior. Reminder people, baby steps!

One of the major things I love to do is have a one-on-one conversation with someone! I LOVE learning new things about people, seeing how they tick, getting inside their head, and listening to their past. If it means just talking about life in general, then I’m all for that too!

My posts in this community will be about what I’ve been through: the good, the bad, and the ugly. All this stuff that we’re going to go through together, I plan on teaching you guys something, making what’s going on in my life applicable in your life.

Whatever trials and triumphs I have in my life, I do want to teach you guys that there’s a nugget of wisdom in it. We just need to find it and dust it off.

That’s how my posts here are going to be set up, where YOU, my audience, are sitting across the table, and we’re just chatting about life. Sometimes it means diving deep into my past to bring up a topic to apply to today’s world. Other times, I’m just going to talk about random stuff that really doesn’t go into my past but is part of the present. I think we all need a breather from time to time.

I won’t be going into chronological order of my past, because I know you guys are smart enough to piece together segments of my life and put it in order for yourself. Meaning all of you will have to put on your thinking caps and make that brain of yours work!

So to answer my own title question, which you guys have probably already concluded: Yes! I’ll be honest!

With all that said and done, are you guys ready for my side of the story? Hope you guys are! If not, you better be, whether you like it or not!

What are you guys looking for with my posts here? Is there any other thing you want me to talk about? Are you guys at a place for transparency and honesty?

* Photo courtesy diversey, Creative Commons.

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    23 Comments
    • Reply naturgesetz

      2 December 2015, 1:01 pm

      Thanks for being here, Matthew, and telling us about yourself. I like your reminder: “baby steps.” Occasionally God may work a dramatic transformation instantaneously, but the normal way of growth in holiness seems to be baby steps. There is one line (just one in the whole post) that startled me: “What I mean is, I know that there is more to me than one section in my life, whether it be my sexuality or my religious beliefs.” On rereading, I see that I may have misunderstood. My initial reaction was, “But religious beliefs aren’t just one section, among many, of a believer’s life. They should involve the entirety of one’s life.” But on second thought, it isn’t the beliefs themselves, but our relationship with God which should permeate all the sections of our lives, rather than being one section, which we set aside when we go to another.
      I’m looking forward to your future posts. May I ask you at some point to talk about your take on the proper place of traditional Native American spirituality and religious practice (if any) in the life of a Christian Native American? Are there some elements which are useful for Christians? Are there some which are incompatible with Christian faith, as you see it?

      • Reply Matt Ashe'íí

        2 December 2015, 7:38 pm

        Thank you! And yes, just clarify on your initial thought, I do agree with our religious belief encompass our whole life, inside and out. But if your only known for that, then……your actually pretty pretty boring to me! There has to be more than that! You have a personality, hobbies, likes and dislikes, etc. Just think of yourself as a circle, and you have a tiny head on top (which is you). The whole circle is Jesus, and inside the circle we have everything that you love and hate, things you do, and things you don’t do. Along, with Jesus, I want to know what’s inside that circle too, so hopefully that clarifies some stuff up.

      • Reply Matt Ashe'íí

        2 December 2015, 7:39 pm

        Also, I’m gonna be making another post in the future explaining my Native American background, so be on the look out for that.

    • Reply C. Marque

      2 December 2015, 11:40 pm

      I can definitely identify with being quiet and introverted in the past. Not anymore! ENFJ all the way!
      “I’m just a normal person! I’m not your stereotypical SSA person, or gay person, how ever you want to put it.”
      Can you elaborate on this statement?
      How, do you typically stereotype ssa guys?
      Looking forward to getting to know you better!

      • Reply Matt Ashe'íí

        3 December 2015, 12:11 pm

        Here, where I live, I have a bunch of gay friends, and most of them fit in that category, which are feminate base personality, love pop music like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, etc., love drinking and going clubbing. Though I have a very few friends who don’t fit that stereotypical outline. With SSA guys, they seem more reserved, quiet a bit, unsure of themselves, mostly still finding themselves. That’s what I mean.

        • Reply Noah Gray

          3 December 2015, 6:45 pm

          I don’t like football, and that was one of the “red flags” for kids growing up in my hometown. I wonder who made up these checklists? Wish I could punch them in the face. Ha! Growing up, people said it was bizarre that I didn’t like football, that I sang (yes, growing up in my hometown, males who could sing were considered gay), and that I dressed well. It’s awful how many limitations society can place on people based on gender…

          • Reply Matt Ashe'íí

            3 December 2015, 7:59 pm

            Interesting! But I can relate growing up like that too…..kind of. I didn’t care for football growing up. Although my older brother and I grew up singing, we were never looked down for that, and I was never called gay because my dislike of football. But in my early college years, I began to like it, then love it. All because of my older brother being a quarterback in high school, and his love of ESPN. Haha.

      • Reply Noah Gray

        3 December 2015, 6:39 pm

        I was wondering about this part, too!

    • Reply Kevin Frye

      3 December 2015, 12:08 am

      To answer your questions at the end, I’d like to get to know you more by reading your blogs and talking to you from time to time. I want you to talk about anything that’s important to you. And finally, yes, I think I’m at a place of transparency and honesty, but I’m still growing, even in these.
      Thanks for the post, Matthew!

    • Reply Thomas Mark Zuniga

      3 December 2015, 12:28 pm

      I agree with the other comments here regarding desires to learn more of your Native American backstory. You have such an interesting and unique heritage, and I would love to hear more about your upbringing! So glad you’re here, Matthew. From the two times we’ve hung out, I know you’re an incredible conversationalist. I see you adding some phenomenal conversations to our community!

    • Reply Jeremy

      21 December 2015, 7:03 am

      I love honesty and bluntness, though I don’t like the pain it sometimes brings. Lol! So long as it’s done respectfully too! Is that possible? I think it is.
      It’s interesting talking about the gay stereotypes. I see so many of the signs in my life looking back, but who else sees them? Some folk have said they knew I had to be gay, but most folk are surprised and shocked. I hid really well on the whole, but I was a rebel too, so sometimes flaunted the expected and challenged it. The culture I live in is so sports mad and I went against that grain, even though I did enjoy some sport. Then I liked to wear a pink or purple shirt. Lol! And I learnt to crochet! Woah! Wooee! How gay can you be?! Lot’s of gay folk don’t even do that! When I first came out to myself and my wife in the 80s, she was totally taken by surprise. We had 3 kids by then! How could I be gay?! As I said, I hid well. My closet was so tightly shut that I didn’t even know how to open it and peek inside. Then I went back in the closet for years, since no-one knew what to do about the gay thing. It seemed sensible for the sake of all concerned, but mainly our kids, that we just go on as before. And it’s only been recently (separated from my wife and best friend in 2012 after nearly 40 years of marriage) that I have begun to come out more and explore and learn what was denied me all these years. It’s been a very traumatic adventure. I seem to have packed as much into the last few years as all the years before put together.
      Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Reply Alex Cochell

      27 June 2017, 12:04 pm

      Thanks for your post Matt. I have had a lot of bad things happen to me, but ultimately I am so blessed and have so much to be thankful for. I really connected with this first post because I too enjoy sports and go to small groups and a big church and love Jesus so much. The SSA has always been there and it has been so difficult at times but I do love who God has made me to be. I love people and connecting with them on a deeper basis. I can’t wait to continue reading your story.

      • Reply Matt 'Ashįįhí

        28 June 2017, 12:17 am

        Dude! Thanks for reading! Just be ready for one wild rollercoaster ride when reading my post! Haha. I hope some of the stuff I share will give you all wisdom and challenge you with your walk with God.

    • Reply John H. Gaid

      27 May 2018, 6:35 am

      I want to be holy, like my Heavenly Father is holy. I’m called to be like His son, Jesus. That’s my passion and desire! Every day I so want to be more like Jesus, but I live in a fallen world and have a fallen desire, which keeps me humble, if I like it or not.
      I’m an SSA person who is deeply in love with God, and strives to be like His loving Savior. Reminder people, baby steps!
      It touched

      • Reply kirkdaniel74

        27 May 2018, 7:38 am

        God bless you, brother. I appreciate the passion in what you say. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled

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