YOBcast Episode 036: Puberty

How did puberty affect our childhoods, and how does it still impact us today? Physically, emotionally, relationally, and sexually? We dive into the physical changes we experienced, our family dynamics, the comparisons we made to other boys, and ultimately this matter of “sexual awakening.”

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The Painful Path to Restored Friendship

After the funeral, I felt almost paralyzed. I just couldn’t force myself to lead at the house. James needed me to lead and be a help to him, so he confronted me on being too passive. I admitted he was right, but I felt unable to get beyond my emotions and lead others. Things degenerated until James and I barely talked.

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When the Masculine Ideal Failed Me

His profile definitely made him seem like the modern, ideal, “manly man.” He was a jock type with many photos of himself playing baseball. He also stated drawing as one of his hobbies, just like me. A straight masculine dude who plays sports, likes drawing, and calls himself a Christian? Perfect!

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When Grief Tests a Friendship

He wanted me to be a man, to be tough, emotionally disciplined and not giving in to my grief. After all, we should consider ourselves like soldiers in battle who can’t afford to stop and grieve when someone dies. I couldn’t fully process everything at the time, but you can imagine how I felt as a sensitive guy.

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My Straight Friend Won’t Touch Me

He was never physically affectionate; we’d never even hugged. I wanted to touch him not out of a sexual desire but from a longing to connect with him as love with a brother. I dreamed of a day when we could embrace and confess our brotherly love for each other. I put my hand on his shoulder once. He brushed it off.

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When a Friendship Gets Tested

All these ups and downs often caused me emotional pain. I had to take risks rather than stay safe and comfortable. My SSA made me feel weak and ineffective around all these straight guys. These painful things tested my friendship with James, too.

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I Used to Hate Gay People

I couldn’t be like these people. They seemed like the antithesis of everything I stood for. Finding out that the Bible forbade homosexual sex only fueled my self-righteous anger. To assert my masculinity and avoid being labeled gay at all costs, I joined my other straight male classmates in mocking gay people.

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How an Alpha Male Became My Close Friend

A straight and very strong “alpha male” type leader has constantly challenged me to go beyond what is safe and comfortable to accomplish more of what really matters. We started becoming close friends, so I shared with him that I deal with same-sex attraction.

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