I was just about to graduate and launch out into the world, and I couldn't hide from the truth any longer. I'm homosexual. That was the only language I had for it at the time. There was no way I could have used the word gay, because I sure wasn't happy; quite the opposite, in fact. I was devastated.
Sometimes the scariest question in the world is: How are you doing? That question comes like a longed-for drink of water at the end of a grueling race. It comes like a lover, surprising and enticing in all its warmth and inquiry. It means someone cares. And yet...
"New growth" was the theme of this, my first YOB retreat; slightly ironic as fall was slowly putting the world to sleep. The sun felt defiantly hot that first day, beating down on tall trees that simultaneously clung to summer green while shedding autumn red and gold. I was exhausted from a stressful week and travel delays. Now I faced a weekend of interacting with virtual strangers. Literally. Aside from a handful whom I had met in person, my fellow YOBBERS were tiny faces on a screen. I had discovered YOB some months prior. I was desperate, starving for some kind of connection with other men who understood my journey.
He's the guy who has clarified my boundaries with cuddling and physical touch more than any other. The guy from whom I've sought comfort in touch more than any other. The guy who has made me feel seen and warm and laugh and cry like no other. He's the first (and to this point, only) guy I've fallen in love with.
It’s the sequel to Advent & Sexuality that nobody asked for! But here we are talking about Lent, this broader concept of sacrifice, and how this particular season ties together with our sexuality. Because where else can you get that kind of podcast content? Join Tom and the "Holy Crew" of Pastors Ben and Will for a discussion on the Lenten season in our last podcast before our virtual retreat later this month! Join us, won't you?
Does nice equal good? Does strong equal toxic? Commiseration is a drink that intoxicates quickly, yet we must weep with those who weep. Am I a man? Am I strong? What am I, and where is my place? What is the nature of masculine strength?
Sometimes you just have to be honest with yourself about who you are. After another year and a half in Germany, I woke up one morning, walked down to my first sergeant's office, and told him I was gay – that I didn't want to be in the Army anymore. My colonel had to sign off on that paperwork; he refused. And I was arrested. The Army rushed the investigation, and I was court-martialed.
Tom welcomes back longtime YOB blogger, podcaster, and resident "sexpert" Matt for a deep dive into death, grief, and how these difficult seasons either shape us or harden us. They also give some love to fellow YOB brother Dean, the bizarre adult playground-museum that is Meow Wolf, and Tom's (almost 40-year-old) virginity.
I pictured him crying in his bed when he woke up that morning, or even going to bed crying right after leaving me; knowing I'd hurt him, knowing I'd been the one to cross physical boundaries. It destroyed me, if I'm honest.
Tom welcomes back another OG YOB author, Matt, to talk about how coronavirus life is affecting him on the other side of the country. There’s been some tragedy but also some hope. Tom also promises to follow in Matt’s literal footsteps and go longboarding very soon.