I am….. me!
For as long as I can remember I’ve been attracted to men.
It’s taken many years for me to admit that. And many more for me to be ok with that.
I never wanted to be this way. This is never something I chose. I was never abused or taken advantage of. I was never coerced or influenced by someone else to take an interest in men.
But growing up in the faith tradition that I did, I believed for a very long time there was something wrong with me. I believed I had to change for God to love me. I believed that if I continued to think a certain way that I would never go to Heaven. I believed that in order to be “right” or “normal” or a “christian” I had to be straight.
It were these thoughts that, starting from 8 years old, brought me close to suicide many times. I honestly began to feel that my life, and the lives of those around me would be better off if I were dead.
Now I can see that any kind of theology that leads a person to believe their life is so worthless and miserable that death is the best solution is a terrible one. It’s taken many years to reach a point in which I am happy to be who God made me to be. I don’t know why He did it. I don’t know his plan for my life. But I know that He created me in my mother’s womb and he knew me before I even existed. And He loved me; wholly, completely, without reservation or condition He loves me with an everlasting love!
I’ve felt it. I’ve experienced it. and it has saved me from myself.
We all need labels. We all hate labels. We can’t live our lives without labels.
I used to label myself “straight but struggling”, then, “bisexual”, then “gay”.
I try to label myself as little as possible because no label or word or identifier can ever truly describe who we are. And yet, we can’t function in a world where we don’t know anything about a person. But I think while labels are a good place to start, they shouldn’t be where we end.
So many people will look at the first page of my blog and form very strong opinions about me based on one of the labels I used to describe myself in the title. And that’s ok. A label doesn’t define who I am and everything about me. And someone’s opinion about a label has an even lesser impact on who I am (if it has any impact at all). But I’m not responsible for someone else’s judgements or opinions. I’m only responsible for my own actions and my life before God.
So for those who crave labels regarding my sexuality, I would say:
I’m a cisgender (male who self identifies as a man) gay man.
For those that don’t care about labels, let me end where I began, as we move past labels to understand each other more deeply;
I. Am. Me.