childhood

Coming Out of "Love, Simon" with Gratitude
Coming Out of “Love, Simon” with Gratitude
Beyond its romantic, mysterious plot-line, Love, Simon is an exploration of queer adolescence in the 21st century, complete with social media postings and aliases. The coming out experience lies central to the story, as Simon explores the new terrain of his sexuality with friends, family, and his entire school. I'd love all straight people – straight Christians – to watch Love, Simon, because it will show them how gut-wrenching (and also beautiful) the coming out process is for a gay person: of finally letting another human into the biggest secret of one's life.
I Just Want to Understand the Other Boys
Although the teasing continued for the rest of the school year, I honestly learned to ignore it. I became a recluse at a very young age. This reclusiveness made the other kids – especially the other boys – a bit of a mystery to me. Particularly physically. Looking back, I realize I was in a bit of a paradox: I didn't want the other boys to see any of my body, but I also had somewhat of an interest in theirs.
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.
Euphoric Recall: My Sexual Fantasies Named
Euphoric Recall: My Sexual Fantasies Named
Here's one vocabulary term I've taken away from therapy: euphoric recall. I'd never heard that phrase until last year, and it gives language to this nebulous internal struggle I've faced since my first bout with pornography at 19.
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?
Pride and Strength for the Struggle
Pride and Strength for the Struggle
Another Pride Month gone; another year I didn't participate. I've never been one for any kind of parade, but part of me believes participating in Pride means I have accepted the part of myself that remained hidden for so long.
"For Forever" and My Longing for Brotherhood
“For Forever” and My Longing for Brotherhood
It was the first song I'd ever heard that touched upon my most simple yet desperate longing; buried beneath the pangs of my sexuality, a clear yet unattainable desire – to have a best buddy, someone who tells me he wants to be with me, someone to goof off with, someone to sit beside in a country field. Someone by my side when I'm hurting.
YOB ConvoCast 046: Jesse Can Summon Two Hours of Fun as a ONE!
YOB ConvoCast 046: Jesse Can Summon Two Hours of Fun as a ONE!
Jesse discusses his inclination to order and perfection and how that has translated to a need to "clean up" before God, particularly with his sexuality. He shares his love for lists and how he's only recently begun to prioritize tending to his sexual and gender identity. He talks about his messy stress path into Four as well as his security into Seven, including how he embraces a more spontaneous, adventure-seeking nature with his guy friends -- but only for two hours at a time.
The Pride of Surviving My Youth
The Pride of Surviving My Youth
Who was it that said Pride is a celebration of having survived? I can certainly relate to that. I don't know who said it before Ryan did, but I'm processing Pride with new eyes and new appreciation this year, and hopefully for the rest of my life. Recognizing the blessing, even the miracle, that I'm still alive. Indeed, I could have died years ago because of my sexuality.
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.