beauty

The Most Stressed I've Been Leading Our Retreat
The Most Stressed I’ve Been Leading Our Retreat
I guess we're really doing this again, I thought, this whole retreat thing. Is this officially an annual event now? Can I handle that? Goodness, can I really put on a retreat every year for the rest of my life? Or need I only focus on this year's retreat, letting tomorrow's retreat worry for itself? I entered this fourth camp retreat in perhaps my most unhealthy headspace of the four. I felt rushed in the preparation, behind on all the decor and planning which led to a lot of sacrificed self-care, too. Because how can I sleep or eat or exercise or socialize at the same capacity with such a mammoth task at hand?!
YOB ConvoCast 055: Tom & Matt Bro Down with Balloons!
YOB ConvoCast 055: Tom & Matt Bro Down with Balloons!
Tom hits the road and talks with longtime friend Matt in the same room! The guys cover their weekend together in the Land of Enchantment (New Mexico), from the magical Balloon Fiesta to mystical White Sands National Park and multiple church services interspersed! The guys reminisce on 12 years of friendship, affirming one another for the growth they’ve seen in the other. They also discuss straight guys in the backseat yearning for hot girls, sharing adventures with others versus going them alone, and Jesus' fulfilling the Tabernacle of old.
The First Relationship I Didn't Know I Wanted
The First Relationship I Didn’t Know I Wanted
All the other gay films I'd watched were nice, but this was the first gay film I watched and thought: I wish I knew what it was like to be in a relationship. All the other men I've ended up with were only about sex. I didn't care about them or their feelings, much like the son at the beginning of this film. This film brought up feelings I never knew I even had or wanted, for that matter.
YOB ConvoCast 052: Daniel Wants a Travel Buddy as a SEVEN!
YOB ConvoCast 052: Daniel Wants a Travel Buddy as a SEVEN!
Daniel remembers the first time he felt shame for showing enthusiasm as a child, and how that response impacted his introversion -- a rare disposition for Sevens. He discusses his love for travel, moving from the Philippines to the United Kingdom, visiting 35 cities in one year, seeing a different country every month, and even coming to America for multiple YOB retreats. But when does a love for travel turn to escape? When is escape healthy and courageous, and when is escape more detrimental? Regarding sexuality and relationships, was he constantly trying to escape something uncomfortable, something painful, something sad? We close the conversation with the growth and beauty of a Seven who can stay put and persevere -- with others, with self, and with God.
My Aquarium of Sexual Desire
My Aquarium of Sexual Desire
How do I deal with unmet sexual desire? It's a question which led me to ask, what is my sexual desire? Of course, "sexual desire" is a category with a lot of things in it. "There's a lot of different fish in that bucket," I told myself. But let's not call it a bucket. Let's call it an aquarium so all the fish have plenty of room to swim around, and so we can get a good look at them.
YOB ConvoCast 049: Tom & Alex Feel All the Feels as FOURs!
YOB ConvoCast 049: Tom & Alex Feel All the Feels as FOURs!
Tom and Alex discuss the qualities they love about being Fours: artistic, empathetic, and yes, unique. In times of security they're objective and productive, taking action and creating things that add beauty to the world. A Four's "superpower" is empathy, giving others permission to "feel all the feels" with them, too. Tom and Alex also dive into their dark side of Four-ness: the neediness, the manipulation, the constant craving for approval, particularly from other men. Fours are often described as people who perceive lacking a critical "missing piece," and as queer or SSA men this hits especially deep for Tom and Alex. In adolescence did they miss some critical component for masculinity or sexuality, along with connecting with the other boys? What is the path forward for a Four in those whirlwinds of emotional stress?
Three Tactics for Fighting Intrusive Sexual Thoughts
Three Tactics to Fight Sexually Intrusive Thoughts
For so many years I thought I was just dirty, lustful, and awful for thinking all these terrible sexual thoughts. I was filled with constant shame because the sexually intrusive thoughts kept coming. The realization that I can actually, with practice, redirect my own thoughts, is more freeing than I can write.
Searching for Pride in My Life
Searching for Pride in My Life
I spent nearly three decades of my life sexually involved with other guys, and even longer than that attracted to them, and in all that time I never once considered Pride Month or attending any Pride parades or events. Part of that thinking is because I was raised in the South in the 60's and 70's, and in the Black community particularly acting like a homosexual was strictly taboo. Gay men would either stay on the down-low or be total flamers because they didn't care what people thought. I was the former, someone on the DL.
Adrift as a Child or a Man
Adrift as a Child or a Man
I still have that Link costume somewhere in my closet. Perhaps it's the wandering through the woods that I love, the isolation, the music; or, perhaps it's something deeper that has stuck with me after all these years. Perhaps it's that I feel like the protagonist: adrift in time, unsure whether I'm a child or a man. This is how I feel as I move back into my childhood bedroom – the place where my sexual trauma occurred.
Your Other Brothers Podcast | 093: LGBT+ Media
YOBcast 093: LGBT+ Media
We have been blogging and podcasting a lot lately about gay characters or themes in various shows, films, and other media. Should we as Jesus-followers who may also identify as LGBT+ but also follow a traditional sexual ethic be consuming LGBT+ media? What are the potential benefits and costs, and where is the line between what is beneficial, acceptable, distracting, or harmful? How do we interact, if at all, with LGBT+ media? Join Tom, Ryan, and Aaron for this final (for now) discussion on the pros and cons and nuanced middle of LGBT+ media consumption!