You know, I write a lot of depressing posts. In general, the brothers here are sharing real, raw stories of their struggles. And that’s a great thing because it is uncommon to have that in the Church.

But I want to write a story that is actually happy. It’s about time I showed joy.

The first person to ever hear my entire story — the complete saga of my struggle with all its nasty details — was John. Yes, my good old best friend John.

Basically, I had just had gay sex, was broken down about it, and was wanting to kill myself.

This will cheer up in a second, I promise.

I decided, in a moment of God-given clarity, to call someone. I pulled out my phone and scrolled through my contacts only to land on John’s name. It was random, but I figured he would work.

I called; he answered. I asked him if he could meet me somewhere. At midnight. For no reason. He agreed. I’m not sure why, considering the extreme shadiness of it all — guess he trusted me enough by that point.

We met up at an all-night Asian fast food joint. I grabbed a soda to drink while John abstained from food or drink.

He asked what was up. I rambled on about this mysterious and dark part of my life that I had never let anyone else see. When I felt that I had stalled long enough, I just said it outright:

I told my best friend that I had literally just come from gay sex in another man’s bed.

I didn’t even know this other guy. I’d found him on the Internet, decided to do the horizontal mambo with him, and then regretted it. This led me to realize that I probably needed help. If I really and truly wanted not to have sex with other men, I needed support.

And do you know what John’s first words to me were?

I’m proud of you.

Here I was — smelling of gay sex and bad Asian food, weeping uncontrollably in front of him after midnight, confessing my darkest secret. And he decides to say he’s proud of me?

The look I shot him prompted him to elaborate. John started to praise me for my courage and strength. That I was willing to come to him fresh from a mistake, asking for help with something I knew I could no longer handle on my own.

To me, I was pathetic.

To him, I was courageous.

Following his spiel of encouragement, I told John my whole story. I started from practically Day 1. I told him about my brothers’ abuse, my father’s absence, my fall into pornography, my struggles with gender identity and sexuality, my depression, my salvation, and my fall into another man’s arms.

I held nothing back.

For the first time in my life, I was completely vulnerable with someone. And it was with a straight guy in whom I had no sexual interest; in return, John gave me affirmation, support, encouragement, and love.

And when I left the bad Asian food place that night, I headed home feeling one thing: JOY.

I am still confused sometimes by that. But I clearly remember feeling joyful as I drove home at 1:45am that night-turning-morning.

For the first time in my life, someone saw the worst part of me. And I wasn’t hated for it; rather, I was embraced with the love of Christ as a brother. That’s something I’ll never forget. And it’s the reason John has been such a huge part of my life and my story — even when I try to avoid him. Especially when I try to avoid him.

John and I may not be as close as we used to be. But he’s still my friend. I pray I don’t forget that again. I have a feeling he’ll always be around in some way; honestly, he’s essentially my brother.

And no matter the sh** that comes at me, that’s something to be joyful about.

Have you ever approached a friend/mentor in a moment of desperation, only to receive love and affirmation and ultimately joy? Without being graphic, and if you can be so bold, tell us about the aftermath of your first gay sex experience. How did you feel, who did you tell, who didn’t you tell, and where are you today?

* Photo courtesy nwhitford, Creative Commons.

Enjoy our content? Consider supporting YOB!