Most same-sex attracted (SSA) Christian guys highly value and need male friendships, especially if they don’t expect to marry. More than a few SSA guys have told me they desire a male friend who is straight and masculine but compassionate.
My friend, James, fits that “alpha male” description.
For years, I have delayed writing the story of my friendship with James, partly because it is still ongoing and partly because he has affected me so deeply.
Ready or not, here I go.
Several other YOB authors have met James in person. Almost all the other authors joke with me about how often I mention him. He sometimes reads this blog and will probably read this post eventually, so I will not share anything here I wouldn’t say to his face.
There exists a picture of James dragging a 100-pound punching bag up a steep hill — just for exercise! Another friend is walking up with him carrying about 90 pounds of weights.
This picture is a good representation of my friendship with James: I have to work hard just to keep up with him, and he continually challenges me to greater heights.
At times, it’s been emotionally and even physically painful to be this alpha male’s friend. But also enormously rewarding and well worth it!
I refer to James as an “alpha male” because he is a natural leader who many others, especially straight men, gladly follow. He’s an Enneagram Type 8 and a Myers-Briggs ENTJ.
I first got to know James when he was in high school. His SAT scores needed improvement, so his parents brought him into the tutoring center where I worked. They recognized me from the church we all attended and requested me as his SAT tutor.
As I worked with James, I discovered he was “a jock but not a jerk,” to modify a phrase from Tom Zuniga’s book.
James was a strong, confident football player, but he was not a bully who looked down on others.
While tutoring him, I asked him about his Christian faith. Since James was raised in church, he knew how to give all the right answers. Still, I questioned whether he was sincere.
Because he was my student, of course, I did not think of him as my friend back then. But James did leave a very positive overall impression on me.
Shortly after I finished teaching him, I moved 3,000 miles across the country to start over with a new job and a new life. I assumed I’d lose contact with him forever.
Eventually, I will tell the story of my moves across the US and all the connected adventures. But first, I will continue this story of how I did see James again.
And how we became friends.
Have you ever desired or had an “alpha male” type friend? How did that alpha male friendship affect you?