A couple weeks ago I introduced you to our new blogging community, along with my 2008 self who first started blogging anonymously about his sexuality. But as for my first real introductory post to 2015 Tom, I’ve wondered what to say.
What else can I say about my dealings with faith and homosexuality?
I find myself returning over and over to the decision to launch this collaborative blog and further associate with other same-sex attracted Christians. You might find it hard to believe, but I actually wanted nothing to do with these guys for a time.
It wasn’t spiteful. I still called these fellows “friends,” loosely speaking.
But this whole same-sex attracted, or SSA label, or gay Christian phenomenon — whatever you wanna call it, I was over being part of it. I’d had enough of life with only these types of strong male friendships while the other types of male friendships went severely lacking.
Couldn’t I just have “normal” heterosexual guy friends?
Looking back, I suppose it’s fascinating how something that was once my saving grace, my breath of fresh air — discovering an online community of Christian brothers also struggling with homosexuality — could turn so foul and stale.
As the years passed, I started looking at my same-sex attracted brothers less like other males and more like some mutated third gender — of whom I was the most mutant of all.
I started seeing this SSA brotherhood like a twisted mirror reflecting back the lack of my other male friendships.
I’d always connected with girls, and after bonding with these other SSA guys, I reached a breaking point.
What about the straight guys? The masculine guys. The guys who play football and Fallout and watch hetero pornography. These were the ones who remained untouchable, unknowable, un-brother-able.
My same-sex attracted friends were good guys, great friends. But they no longer filled this deeper longing inside of me: to be fully known and fully loved by some guy who didn’t also wrestle with homosexual tendencies.
In recent years, I’ve noticed my longings for a romantic same-sex relationship waning into nothingness amid my mad pursuit of some same-sex friendship that “sticks closer than a brother.”
I think there’s a brotherly longing inside every man, same-sex attracted or otherwise. Some of us just have more brotherly longings than others, a theme Tim Timmerman drives home beautifully in his book, A Bigger World Yet:
We all want to connect within our gender, and this yearning is a good thing. Like food and water and shelter, we were wired from the start to require same-sex love. Some of us just need more same-sex love than others.
For me and many of my other same-sex attracted brothers, we need the constant bro-taps and bro-hugs. We need the hikes and campouts and fireside chats. We need the speaking and the doing and the sitting in absolute stillness, together.
Over the last few months, I’ve rediscovered the beauty of this same-sex attracted brotherhood. I do still struggle to equate other same-sex attracted guys with opposite-sex attracted guys. I still view the heterosexual man as my ultimate friendship above all friendships, craving his love far beyond any same-sex attracted man’s.
But this lifelong pursuit of straight male friendship smacks of idolatry, and I do not want to replace one unholy thing (gay lust) with another (straight idols). I want to pursue Christ first, and I want to pursue friendship second — all forms of friendship.
Friendships with girls who get my sensitive spirit from the git-go.
Friendships with same-sex attracted guys who resonate with my story.
And friendships with opposite-sex attracted guys who maybe don’t as easily resonate with my story but still share common interests of writing or traveling or maybe even a sport or two.
I desire friendships with men and women, believers and those still searching. I crave friendships void of labels, void of divisions.
I want to plug deeper into this brotherhood, this siblinghood. This altogether diverse Body.
Have you ever idolized a particular type of person or friendship? How have you dealt with any human idols in your life?
* Photo courtesy ophilos, Creative Commons.