Last summer, I went on a missions trip. Before we left the country, my team had a week of training in the U.S. A couple days after I’d met my team and orientation had started, it was time for us to share our testimonies with each other.
I knew I had to say it. The one part of my life I kept hidden from basically everyone. I didn’t have any other option.
I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t share this hidden part of my life.
Not that that realization made it any easier. I texted a friend: “We’re sharing our testimonies with our team and I feel convicted to be really open with them. I’m extremely nervous and somewhat shaking. Please pray for peace.”
My team leader started us off. Not long after he started, I knew this would be a safe group to share in. Two more of my teammates shared, each as vulnerable as my leader. There was lots of crying. It was so good.
But I don’t know if I could even keep my composure on the outside; inside, I was a nervous wreck.
This wasn’t going to go well.
How could I even stumble through the words “I’m attracted to guys” when I could barely keep myself sitting instead of curling up into a ball on the floor in shame?
I knew this would happen. How had I even convinced myself that this whole trip would be a good idea?
“Definitely! I will be praying!” my friend replied.
And then it was my time to talk.
“Guys, I need you to pray for me,” I said. “I think God has something he wants me to share with you that I’ve not told more than a few people before. And I’m terrified.”
We prayed, and then I spoke. But there was something different — the thoughts in my head stopped going crazy and the sinking feeling in my gut went away. And without any rehearsing, everything came out without any hesitations, spontaneous crying, or mental breakdowns.
God answered those prayers. And my team accepted me and affirmed me.
“Thanks for sharing, Thomas,” my team leader said. “And now you get to share a room with me for two weeks!” he said with a smile. Later on in the trip, as we lay in our beds staring at the ceiling falling asleep, he and I had some meaningful, deep discussions about sexuality.
The time my team spent in ministry on our trip went well. But nothing was more meaningful to me than just being accepted. I wasn’t a freak. I wasn’t someone to be wary of. I was just Thomas.
For three weeks, I had nothing to hide. It was so freeing. And thinking back on those weeks makes me want more.
Not that it makes it any easier.
I still get tense and nervous and start shaking just thinking about coming out again. Some days it’s better; other days it’s not. But as I’ve come out to more people, I’ve begun to learn to trust God more and lean on him in prayer more.
Says Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT):
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Everyone, welcome Thomas to YOB! And for some discussion below: have you ever known God wanting you to come out to someone, yet you still had a hard time doing it? How have you overcome your fear of coming out, or is that still a struggle?
* Photo courtesy Jez Timms, Creative Commons.
The first time I told anybody at church, I was terrified. It was to the youth pastor, as he was overwhelmed dealing with a young man who asked for prayers because he was gay. Still, I told him because I realized I wasn’t the only one. Twenty years before, I had left the church because a guest speaker had declared from the pulpit that all gays go to hell. I hadn’t been since and had only just come back to God. For me, I thought I was taking a big risk, but that kid needed help and so did his family. Their whole little Baptist world was shattered that day. I still get nervous telling someone, but it has gotten easier. I have been asked by a senior member of our church to give my testimony to a Bible study. I am preparing myself mentally for that, as it will be a whole class of older folks rather than a one on one telling. I hope I can do it.
Wow- i see a lot of strength and power in you for doing that. Awesome!
Yes, coming out can be the scariest thing in the world. Its almost like becoming naked in front of strangers on the street. I recently just told my parents and I was so afraid that it was going to be dramatic and difficult but it went so well and now I feel better and like I’m not walking on egg shells around my parents.
For me, coming out never really worked the way I wanted. I just suffered from dishonesty and rejection. That’s why I am unable to come out to my family. If it didn’t work out with an ex-friend, I think it’ll be worse when it comes to my family. I’m so jealous of other SSA men finding someone who chose to stay even after they came out. I’m just not sure if I can find someone similar. The world is so fake and pretentious. Sadly, this also applies to the members of the church. I can’t afford coming out again to a wrong self-righteous person. Sometimes, I think upholding my silence is better because it creates a world where no one can harm me. It’s so frustrating to realize that even the church is not a safe place.
I know how you feel about the church. I was apart from God for two decades because the church declared from the pulpit that all gays go to hell. I was too young in my faith to know any better at the time. Thankfully, the Father brought me back to Him, to a different church, where I can trust. Don’t put your faith and trust in the church. You will receive judgment and condemnation every time. Put your faith and trust in God, and speak to believers. Some are self righteous idiots, but some are just as broken as you, and you will find sympathy and even friendship with some.
Thanks man, I’ve come across your story. Praise God for your restoration. I always put my faith in God. He’s always there even in my silence. However, it’ll take a long process to get myself opening up again to a brother and I must say I’m not even reaching halfway. I know I might find someone but I am not risking it. Never. I’ve had enough of the pain.
Never say never. You don’t know how God can use your testimony to help someone else. I find it is easier to tell an absolute stranger that someone you know. I am working on telling my loved ones, one at a time. Told my two oldest children. Haven’t told the youngest yet, but I will, because I suspect he is SSA (too much like me). The hardest person will be my wife, and am not ready for that yet. The time will come though…
I am not saying that you should open up to your youngest but you have to know if he’s SSA or not. If he is, then he needs intimacy with you. You gotta give it to him sooner.
If God will make me a dad, I’ll be the most affectionate father in the world. My future son should not suffer from the same pain I experienced. It’s like hell on earth.
I know that hell all to well. I think part of the reason why entered the homosexual life was I was craving the love of my father; I was also missing the comradery of my best friend who killed himself when I was fourteen. I still miss him. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5d584d293a054c5f26b791358dfbbd8da1c29e0cc10707a0db7cc29d4654519e.jpg
If he happens to struggle with SSA. I think the best thing that can be done is making him realize that what he needs is intimacy and not sex. As to my case, I now realize why God allowed me to struggle with SSA. If he will face the same struggle, God has his reasons for letting things happen.
For now, I suggest you try to be more physically and emotionally affectionate with him until he turns 14. Maybe, tides can still be turned if he gets the love he’s craving.
As to comradeship, I lost a friend too. Although not because of death but because of dishonesty, I somehow empathize to what you’re feeling. It’s hard to lose someone you really love. Even though I’m not romantically attracted to him, I must say he’s the first person to break my heart.
Again, great advice! He has always been more affectionate to me from the time he was an infant. He would not even go to sleep unless it was on my chest. Today he always want to be with me, whether I am working AutoCAD or cooking or watching a movie. He constantly wants to sit in my lap, and I do nothing to discourage it, (although he is growing up and getting heavy). I have him sit near me and allow him to rest his feet on me, and tell him he can always tell me anything. He’s so sensitive, much like I was, but entering puberty. At least he has someone to tell him what to expect, and not have to figure out everything on his own, like I did.
I think men with SSA are sensitive because we always long for affection. Great start with your son. Let us be the male figures we always longed for. Do you kiss him? I think it will affirm him more. How I wish my dad was more affectionate than short-tempered. I still love him though.
I only kiss him when he allows me to (at that age when kisses are yucky), but give him plent nuturing hugs. He knows about David Wells and how much I miss him. I am hoping that if Ben is SSA, that he will tell me himself.
Just always tell him whatever he feels is not his fault. You’ll imply that way without telling him that it’s okay to tell you his secrets. Of course, pray for openness. If God encourages him to tell you, then he will. 🙂
As to my son, I will wait until he is 14. That is the age when I started figuring out I was SSA. If he is, I will be able to coach him, so he doesn’t make the same mistakes I did, confusing sex and love.
I know if my dad had asked me if I had SSA when I was 14, I would have been terrified, but I also would have said no. I just hadn’t processed any of that at the time and didn’t until a few years later.
That is why I’m not going to ask him. I will him of my past and let him know he can tell me anything. I hope he doesn’t have SSA, but he shows many signs. If he is though, I am ready. Eat your heart out John Wayne!
If I might suggest, perhaps a more general or alternative topic of conversation to open the lines of communication could be a good start while engaged in common activity (take a walk, build something together), but in private. One topic is undergoing puberty which started for me at 12-13 years old (7th grade). Alternatively you could choose another subject, not sex or SSA. Something that interests him. My point is it would be good practice for the both of you to develop a rappport so yourself and your son are more relaxed in talking with each other. Just my 2 cents. Take it or leave it.
This is great advice. It may also happen randomly, like how I told my two oldest children. With my daughter, she was present while I was talking to my best frined’s brother. I had called him, to thank him for helping me through the mourning. She asked why I was still on this (32 years), so I told her. When I was done she said she wished I had old her sooner. Her twin brother I told out of anger, as he was picking on his brother, calling him gay. I pulled him aside and yelled at him, and wound up telling him and to stop it bcause it might adversely affect him. He didn’t speak to me for two days (kind of in shock I guess). We are fine now, but he is a bit more sensitive to his brother, in his own crude way.
Welcome to YOB, Thomas! I was super shaky the first time I revealed the truth about my SSA, too. But I’ve gotten used to it over the years and it doesn’t phase me at all anymore. I believe one day you’ll be more comfortable with it, too. At the very least, this blog is a good place to practice openness and vulnerability!
Yes, YOB certainly is a good place for that! I’ve learned a lot through my relationships with the other guys here.
First off, welcome aboard the USS YOB Thomas. After reading your bio, I’m glad to see another ISFJ Enneagram 6 in our community. Plus you’re a techie – Outstanding!!!
As to your questions, I cannot say I have ever been hard pressed by God to come out to someone in accordance to His divine will. I did however come out to my father this past Labor Day 2016. I managed to use real life examples of other gay people he has known in his own life, but urgently distinguished myself from them as I don’t so choose to live the gay lifestyle. Furthermore, I vehemently told him my lifestyle choices will be to have Jesus at its center. What I found to be a relief from the whole experience was I was able to open up to my dad, he didn’t reject or ostracize me as his son and that a certain shred of anger/pain/resentment I was harboring in my heart got to be released. Unfortunately he doesn’t want me to reveal this “secret” to anyone else and to simply cope with it. Sorry, but that just makes me laugh because I have opened to other people regarding my SSA not just my dad and I’ve dealt with without relying on my own faculties. I have sought out help and community so I don’t allow the anxiety and isolation to consume me. Coming out is a personal decision and I might not be able to advise someone which direction to take as they might have a greater insight as to the people and circumstances surrounding their own life and surroundings.
Despite my reaching out in these choice manners, I do still find it to be a struggle being open and vulnerable with those who are closest to me. Frankly speaking, in their cases, I tend to side with my father’s advice and not tell them about this. Lots of reasons go through my head like they wouldn’t understand SSA or my struggle, fear of rejection leading to ostracism and dread of an onslaught of homophobic jokes, teases and taunts from my sibling. Like I’ve said before here, SSA is just a small portion of who I am and I’m not presenting myself to anyone disingenuously.
Thanks for your welcome! It’s great to be here. Learning to be open has definitely been a challenge to me, and continues to be. I’ve found that even though I’m not completely open with everyone in my life, having people I can talk to regularly helps a lot with maintaining balance in my life. Without that, my sexuality ends up consuming my thoughts and that’s not good at all!
I can definitely relate to that @thomascaffrey:disqus. And @mred_98273:disqus, I am an ISFJ, Enneagram 2/6 (about tied).
I came out to a fellow Christian friend recently, and said gay. Saying THAT word was HARDER than saying SSA–I don’t know why. Not being rejected felt good, and we both agreed that growing up in the church and hearing that this was the ‘worst sin of all’ kept me from ever being open with him at all. I think, as a result, that I can face it head on spiritually and be open to God’s wisdom and guidance more than staying in the closet. He doesn’t understand how a guy can find another one sexually attractive, and I told him I wish I could say the same thing! Nevertheless, this site has helped me grow spiritually more than I ever imagined. The point? I don’t beat myself up as much as I used to and know other believers are in the same boat as me.
The first few times I came out to people I said “gay” but since then not so much. I’m not entirely comfortable with either “gay” or “SSA”, but those are what we have to work with. I generally try to figure out which is best for each situation specifically.
I used to say ‘gay’ but I found ‘SSA’ to be more descriptive of who I as, as I never wanted to have gay sex anyway, and did so because of the propaganda of the LGBT community.
There is something that has been on my mind that I have wanted to share with you all and now seems to be the most opportune time. It has to do with terminology. I have undergone many levels of healing regarding SSA since becoming a Christian over 40 years ago. However, I can tell you that I never would have found the level of healing I have now without dropping the words “gay” and “homosexual,” both in my mindset as to who I am and also in terms of “coming out” (I really don’t like that term either, but that’s for another topic). Before choosing the right terminology to use when opening up to others about SSA issues, you have to FIRST choose the right inner terminology that you yourself apply to having SSA. If you have given up the gay lifestyle to follow Jesus, then please, I beg you all, stop thinking of yourselves as “gay” or “homosexual.” For starters, when the Bible uses terminology for homosexuality, that terminology refers EXCLUSIVELY to those who act out sexually, both gays and lesbians. Thus, in God’s word, simply having SSA does NOT lump you together with those who practice homosexuality! Neither should you. You are not the same in God’s eyes. There is no common term or identity in scripture that applies both to practicing homosexuals and to those who merely struggle with SSA. If you used to practice homosexuality but have repented, then you might correctly call yourself an “ex-gay” or “ex-homosexual.” Even then, however, it is not a healthy thing to identify with one’s past sins. Another problem with the words “gay” and “homosexual” is that, in our culture, they are an IDENTITY (I know that using capitals so much may seem over-the-top it but this system does not allow for italics). It is an identity that we need to renounce, not embrace. Having SSA is a problem that we HAVE, not the essence – or even a partial essence – of who we ARE. Letting go of the gay identity came in stages for me, and as late as the early 1990s, I subconsciously walked in that identity at times. I cannot tell you what harm it caused me to think of myself as a “celibate homosexual.” Letting go of that identity was vital to my healing process, though hardly the end-all. You all might be interested to know that the word “homosexual” was not used as a noun until after World War II. The term was used only as an adjective in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As for the word “gay,” the term meant something entirely different until the Stonewall riots of 1969 and the “gay liberation movement” that followed. We’ve all seen movies and listened to songs from before that time when “gay” meant merry, mirthful, exhilarated, being filled with laughter and lightheartedness. When the gay liberation movement began earnestly in the late ’60s, however, it was a movement of PRACTICING homosexuals who fought for the acceptance of active homosexuality in the US and abroad. Those who marched and fought for the movement were actively gay. Over time they pushed the idea that people are born gay and that one is gay long before one acts out. Nonetheless, the term “gay” and homosexual were seen as inseparable from gay sex. When you embrace the identity “gay” or homosexual,” you are embracing what is primarily the identity of those who practice homosexual acts. Renounce it. Let it go. Your identity is hidden in Christ, not the gender that you are attracted to. I’m not saying that you must identify as heterosexual but rather that you should, instead, think of yourselves as Christian men who are celibate and happen to be battling SSA. There are times when something (or someone) knocks my sense of inner masculinity down a notch or two when I FEEL as if I’m hopelessly gay. However, the Lord soon brings me back to my senses. My masculinity is to be found in Him and Him alone. Now, to the matter of “coming out” to others. If we don’t think of ourselves as gay, why should we tell others that we are gay? One leads directly to the other. Moreover, because the Bible deals with homosexuality exclusively in terms of sexually acting out, many Christians will react negatively if you call yourself gay. If they think of gay men strictly in terms of men who have sex with men, the last thing you want to do is use the same terminology. Remember, the battle over the acceptance of gay sex within the church (which, thanks to men like Matthew Vines and Tony Compolo), has recently poured over from the liberal mainline denominations into Evangelical churches and colleges. This battle has put Evangelicals on the defensive. Moreover, the fact that the LGBT movement has been steamrolling over the First Amendment rights of Christian business owners, Christian schools, Christian servicemen (especially military chaplains), Christian adoption agencies and anything else Christian outside the church walls, Evangelicals and conservative Catholics see this whole movement with the number “666” written all over it. Terms like “homofascism ” and “the gaystapo” are commonly used by Christians in the culture wars; the tactics employed by the LGBT movement have justified the use of such terminology. Therefore, it is not wise for a celibate man with SSA to “come out” to the church (or individual Christians) using the words “gay” or “homosexual” to describe his identity. Most Christians are not familiar with the acronym SSA; use the unabridged term “same-sex attraction” (or its equivalent) at first and then later you can use the acronym. Try to refrain from using the words “I am” – say “I have.” This is the simple truth; don’t create the illusion that it might be more than it really is. If you have an active homosexual past, tell them that you USED to be gay but have now renounced the lifestyle for the sake of Christ. In doing these things, you will find yourselves liberated from a destructive identity and in a much better position to communicate to other Christians exactly what your struggles are – and what they are not.
Just a quick followup. What if one of you IS actively gay and is desperately looking for a way out? In that situation the word “gay” would be justified. But, please, communicate with those who you are opening up to that you are looking for a way out and don’t want to be gay anymore (again, with the understanding that “gay” refers exclusively to active homosexuality). If you are basically celibate but have an “active” fall from time to time, don’t use the word gay to describe yourself. As soon as you confess your sin it is forgiven and forgotten. You should forget it too. You are no longer gay.
What a great and illuminating layout of the “terminology” issue that has vexed so many. The confusion can only serve to deter and discourage any discussion that would question the “born that way” agenda. It further enhances the unnecessary shame or understanding (by failing to distinguish between unwanted ssa and the gay lifestyle). Except in forums like this our churches are for the large part devoid of the enlightenment. It inhibits someone who experiences unwanted ssa from openly addressing the “coming out” discussion, which I hope you will tackle soon.
I didn’t know the term SSA untll a few months ago, only knowing ‘gay’. I mostly use that term now, and use gay to refer to the homosexual lifestyle I was a part of and celibate from for over twelve years now, praise God. More people need to know about SSA, so they can be informed that they do not have to have gay sex, as much as they are encouraged to by the media.
Indeed, everyone draws their lines at different places and feels comfortable or not-so-comfortable with countless labels, descriptors, and definitions. The main thing I want YOB to be known for is our collective pursuit of Christ, whatever-it-is we’re “called” in the process.
I couldn’t agree more with this. I myself have been confused by the terminology myself before.
It makes me extremely uncomfortable when people who are struggling AGAINST SSA use “gay”. And that’s another one I think we should stress too, is “AGAINST SSA”. A lot of people use struggling “with” SSA but I feel like “against” further pounds in the fact that we aren’t WITH it at all.
Not that “with” is wrong or anything, but I think when telling people about this, you should go out of your way to show them that you aren’t OK with homosexuality. We are called to be disgusted by our sin, and the words we use to convey this are more important than we realize. It is SO important to distinguish that just because you feel these attractions doesn’t mean they give you an identity, it means that we are fighting against homosexuality, which only exists to destroy our relationship with God.
Labels are just tricky and messy. I get the overall gist of what you’re saying, Fred. Though I wouldn’t say I’m struggling “against” SSA because I don’t see attraction in itself as sinful. Perhaps SSL (same-sex lust) would be more appropriate. But then that’s just another complicating label to the mix…
Secure socket layer? That’s what I think of when I see SSL (i.e. https:// in a web address…) I guess that makes me a geek. Or a nerd?!?!
Same here lol
Same here. Techie here. LOL! Oh ACRONYMS!!
I had never even heard of the term SSA (Same Sex Attraction) until the fall of 2016. Before then I associated myself as hopelessly gay, and that there was nothing I could do about it, but remain celibate. When I heard this term on Matt Moore’s site, I was astounded. I began using it and my thinking began changing. I was confusing the idea of lust, sex, love and many other things. I realized I never even wanted sex with another man, just the love of my father that I was missing and the comradey of my best friend who killed himself. I got the impression from the media and the LGBT community that because I was SSA, I must want gay sex, so I allowed myself to be subjected it and got addicted (the stimulation of the prostate is VERY powerful). I never want to go back.
Welcome Thomas, so glad to have another voice here! It is so great to read of you trusting in God more and leaning on him in prayer more – lessons that I can definitely learn. I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have the bravery to open up in that situation, so massive props to you.
The times that I told 2 out of my 3 accountability partners (it hasn’t directly come up with the 3rd) were some of the hardest (if not the hardest) moments of my life. I was faced with the choice of either keeping to our agreement that they could ask any questions and get real, honest answers, or I could lie my way out of it and they would never know. But I placed myself in that position for them to have that Godly influence into/power over my life, and I felt I had to honour that agreement, even if it would cost me those friendships.
I’ve previously described the first time (https://www.yourotherbrothers.com/2016/07/05/coming-out-first-time/ ), but the second time is fits with this discussion too. In meeting with both guys over another issue I was (and to an extent still am) struggling with, the second guy made an off-the-cuff question about liking girls, which I blatantly lied to him about. After coming out to the first guy, my lie gnawed away at me and I realised I had to tell the second guy the truth (in hindsight that God had orchestrated things to get me to tell him), and I arranged to meet with both of them. It was so hard – I danced around pleasantries, made awkward small talk, then when I tried to tell him, ended up sobbing into my hands for the longest time. I somehow eventually told him about the lie (which he had forgotten about) and what the real answer was.
His response: “Is that all?” And then we all three talked (he thought I had killed someone, which I will never forget laughing about through my tears) and they have continued to support me in this part of my life and associated struggles.
More generally, it is still a struggle to come out. It is not something I share willingly or openly or really at all. This secret is the thing I think I hold most closely and secret. This provides a stark challenge at the moment, as one of the things I think I’ve got from God last weekend is to be more vulnerable to people, to show people the flaws and weaknesses I have rather than keeping people at arm’s length. Showing failure is very difficult (feeling like a failure has resulted in other life issues), and how to wisely and judiciously let people into certain parts of my life is a current challenge. I can’t imagine a circumstance where I would tell someone else I’m gay (there are other parts I’ve started to reveal to others), but then again, I never thought I’d tell the people I have told, so…
Welcome, Other Thomas! It’s so good to have you here with us, brother. I’m excited for the contributions and impact you’ll make. Thanks for an awesome introduction! Inspired by your boldness.
Hey Thomas! Nice to meet you. I’ve never come out to a group bigger than 2. I have come out to quite a few one on one, and I’ve had mostly positive experiences sharing too. I can definitely understand how someone who has had a negative experience would be tempted to never share with anyone… Keep sharing. Looking forward to hearing more from you.
Just about every community I move through knows I’m gay. News travels fast, I suppose. I don’t flaunt it, but I also don’t shy away. There are a few moments when I am uncomfortable with people knowing, but that discomfort is now a faint twinge. Like you, I used to be horrified at the prospect of coming out. In this case, it simply takes practice: the more we share, the more natural it becomes. Finally, it becomes nothing at all to be honest about our interior worlds.
I have only recently started this journey of “coming out”. I am getting to a point now where I want people to know because its so darn hard to live “alone.” My family on the other had can wait as they will be the hardest ones to fully understand this part of my life. I hope you are right that the more you do it the easier it becomes. I think I spent a good half hour trying to tell the first person I told 🙂
Only half an hour? Not too bad! 😉
felt like forever as I tried to spit the words out of my mouth. I even knew this person wasn’t going to hate me or look down on me. but this was the first time I vocally said I was gay
I know the feeling. For me, yeah, it’s gotten better, but slowly. It’s worth it, though.
It’ll take however long it takes brother. How nice it would be to have a goto manual for such a thing. When I came out to my dad this past year, I was mostly afraid of rejection by him. That is my biggest fear — rejection. Part of me doesn’t mind you not understanding this struggle. Just don’t ostracize me.
I told my best friend that I struggle with SSA last night. I was super nervous about it. We had planned to grab a drink Friday night (yesterday), and I texted him Thursday to tell him I was struggling with something and wanted to tell him when we met up. I knew if I didn’t do that, I would never bring it up! I steeled myself for this putting a strain on our friendship, or for him backing away from being close to me. But he was great about it — super supportive, wants to be there for me and walk this journey. It felt great!
Thank you for sharing. Personally, I find it fascinating how we experience paradoxical emotions of wanting to be known and wanting to conceal our identities simultaneously. To be freely known is certainly a better choice, yet that requires vulnerability, and vulnerability requires trust. It’s a tough journey…
Firstly, I just want to say how grateful I am for this place, a place to come as we are without fear.
I do not consider myself “out,” although I have been making gains. Currently there are two people in my life who know who I really am and the struggles I deal with. Placing my name on here has been freeing in and of itself and is helping me come to terms with who I am. Every single day is a struggle, but as I am seeing, I am not alone. My story is like so many others and yet is also very unique. I want to be able to share it with more people, and I think in time that will happen. For now though, I am simply trying to better understand who I am and how I plan to deal with everything this life encompasses. I am also praying that God would, in time, help the people in my life who will have a harder time understanding my situation when I do tell them.
Nothing is easy about this, but then again, I don’t think it was ever meant to be easy…
I’ve come out many times.
First, as “attracted to men”,
then later as, “ex-gay”,
then, “depressed and ?”,
then, “agnostic and gay”,
then, just “gay”
then, “I have a boyfriend gay”,
then, “SINGLE! and on the mingle!”
then, “i’m hairy I guess so that makes me a cub”,
then, “I don’t identify with any of the gay community because they don’t like me”,
then, “f— labels!”,
then, “????? attracted to guys, I guess.”,
then, “I guess God likes me?”,
then, “I feel loved by God”,
then, “I dunno, God, what am i??”,
then, “Trusting God!! forgeddaboutit…”,
then, “holy smokes, I’m attracted to a lady?! WTF is this?!?”,
then, “I married a lady I guess”,
then, “W.O.A.H. Marriage!!!!!”,
then, “I still like dudes I guess?! even tho I’m married to a lady”,
then, “bi, I guess”,
then, “not straight? I like dudes like 90%”,
then, “trying to be whole and work through what all this means for my marriage and life and now that I have a son, him too.”
So. Yeah. Many times. Each time is confusing and terrifying, and no one understands. I barely understand… so I can’t really explain what it means to anyone else.
You aren’t alone in this…I barely understand it and I live it each day. Coming to understand SSA (even if barely) has changed my self esteem, and I no longer view myself as a fag who loves God, but a broken human being in need of a Savior. By the way, I’m married too.
Thanks Bradley. 🙂
[…] what I talk about whether I’m “out” to the person I’m with is terribly exhausting. My last post spoke of a time I overcame my fear and opened up to people; certainly, that was a very good […]
I am so thankful for the positive response to your first time sharing about your SSA. God definitely answered prayers Tom. 🙂 And because of that, you are blessing others through sharing your story here on YOB. I can definitely relate and connect with the struggle of sharing your testimony completely. I long so much to be able to share my attractions anyone, especially the church, and not be preached at that i need reparative therapy or to be fixed, or told by others that I should embrace my attractions. But rather, I long for community where I am known, accepted and don’t have to fear of others judging, assuming, wondering what my intentions are or me being scared of what others think of me or my intentions if I am physically affectionate or compliment others. I long to have that freedom where I can openly share my story and come out completely. It is hard as my parents are very much at the mindset of me needing to be fixed and most people other than my parents just sorta freak out or treat this as some horrible sin that can’t be openly discussed. I don’t know if I should just not worry about what others think….well I know I shouldn’t lol. What I mean is…well can’t put it into words. I just long to be out and people to know I experience SSA and simply be okay with it and understand that I am growing and working to move toward Christ.