As you may know, you are invited to e-mail me if you prefer to have a ‘private’ conversation email@example.com
An interesting one turned up last weekend and the originator is happy for me to reproduce it here:
Greetings! I came across your website on accident. I am extremely confused about gay and lesbian aspects. I have been told so many things that I’m not sure what to believe anymore. Some have said that being gay/lesbian is a sin; others have said it’s a personal choice; and still others argue that it’s how one is born….what are your thoughts on this? Is it hard being gay/lesbian. . . especially with the merciless public? Thanks for taking your valuable time. I know how busy you must be.
The right reply, for me, was very obvious:
My view, for what it is worth, is the third option. I feel – since I realised what the feelings meant – that it is what I am. Not a ‘choice’ – it is how I was made so, if God is to be involved, then it surely was His choice for me too.
Of course, in our ‘real’ world. there is a lot of prejudice, and therefore a tendency to be on the defensive if you are ‘gay’. it is a position we are kind of ‘forced’ into. Some stay with it, or hide their true sselves. Others get enormous help from their friends, especially (but not exclusively) the gay ones and, with their love and support, face the world with the truth saying, kind of “take it or leave it, that’s me”.
When Dave and I realised what we were – and what we meant to one another – both of us were scared to admit it to family and parents. After all, by definition, parents are not gay (at least, very rarely!). I feel one is automatically forced into this kind of defence mechanism from day 1 – but it is day 1 of the rest of your life and, with Dave’s love and support, it has been a dream.
This e-mail is NOT a commercial, but the reason I starting writing those interminable books was to let my feelings pour out on exactly this subject. ‘Loving the Boy’ was born, and the other two surely followed. There is so much love (and, I hope, understanding of the ‘gay’ thing) in there, especially the first one that, even when I re-read certain bits, I find tears running down my cheeks. Even on a UK train ride! I know, its pathetic, but I’m kind of re-living those wonderful moments every time I look back over more than a half million words.
I hope this helps. You don’t actually declare your own status, and it is none of my business but I wish you well whatever and urge you to be open about gay/lesbian life and, if straight, to be just as open minded. May I use this ‘conversation’ – anonymously of course – in the blog? You could join in and extend it through comments, if you wanted.
The correspondent obviously did not ‘get’ my reference to the Peanuts cartoon strip in which the girl (forget the name!!) often sat behind a desk saying ‘the doctor is “in”‘. However, here is her final thought:
It’s not pathetic if it is something that’s close to your heart. Yes, I can only imagine how terrified you guys were to tell your parents. The fear of the unknown was probably what was most terrifying. I liked your quote about day 1 being the rest of one’s life. As in pertinence to my status, I’m straight, hence the reason for my confusion. But I do have to admit that my heart is constantly broken when straight people hurt/ judge their gay/lesbian brothers and sisters. Why, what’s that going to accomplish? That’s why it’s better for me to ask my questions from those who know what it’s like. Yes, sure you may use the conversation in the blog. 🙂 Thanks soooo much for actually taking the time to answer me… Hahaha I seriously wasn’t expecting an answer.
I was reminded of a couple of previous posts on the subject of coming out, especially the one where I pulled a piece out of the second book about my own experience with my parents. That also inspired someone to make a lengthy and moving e-mail comment, well worth checking out. It’s sad that the gay community is still repressed in so many places, and that all of us have to feel guilt from time to time.
In the midst of all the ‘guff’ about acrobatics and other adventures as we toured around, I’ve put a fair bit about our feelings and expressed love for one another in these, and how we dealt with the outside world. Perhaps it will help someone: who knows?
Anyways, the message is always ‘share the love’, straight or gay: it makes the world go around;
Just love that quirky grin from the guy on the right in that last pic.
And, not forgetting your