- Posted June 8, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Parents and their kids' sexual identities
the debate over sexual confusion continues
It is obvious to me now (age 50) that the world is still very confused about many aspects of human sexuality... Unfortunately as a kid, a teenager, as well as a young man; i was extremely naive and sensitive, so i struggled in that arena without a knowledgeable coach... As a result, my sexual identity became very confused...
When i was about 13, my parents sent me to pastoral counseling to straighten me out... Ironically the pastor they sent me to was having an affair, then he got a divorce and when all the news got out, he was disfellowshipped from our church! At age 20, i told my mother that i was gay... first she screamed at me and said i would go to hell if i continued in that deviant way; then she softened a bit and said that many boys go through a similar stage and that i would probably outgrow it... A few months later, i tried to commit suicide... The suicide rate then among gay teens was about three times higher than among 'straight' teens...
I struggled with my sexuality for years after that... i tried celibacy, i tried gay helplines, counseliing, anti-gay counseling... i was even sent by my anti-gay counselor to an urologist who prescribed testosterone injections to increase my sex drive toward women... (instead it increased my appetite for homosexual activities)... i also tried a number of spiritual paths including gay friendly ones... Despite my sexual confusion or perhaps because of my motivation to understand it, i grew spiritually, emotionally and intellectually but like many others facing similar confusion, there was a heavy price to pay... i had to deal with substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, social pressures, loneliness and a string of failed "relationships"... Unfortunately many of those things seem to be higher in gay circles as well... Something really important seemed to be missing even when i was in a loving relationship...
Fortunately society shifted enough that some people could talk openly about homosexuality and anyone interested could hear it discussed on talk shows... Eventually most of my family members accepted me as 'gay'... Surprisingly the more i accepted myself, the more i realized that i wanted to be married and to have children... Today i have a female wife and two young sons (SMILES)... Marriage is work for most couples, straight, gay or those inbetween...
Honestly, it is challenging for me at times as well... I still face temptations to be with a man from time to time; but i also realize that i need male friendship much more than i want gay sex... i need to support and protect my family and i realize that there are reasonable borders and values to consider in so doing... Even though our societies have some misplaced laws and expectations, the intention to protect us from potential harm or confusion is useful... i appreciate that the discussion continues... And I believe we are learning how to be more compassionate, more efficient and more aware of the beautiful diversity around us... My hope is that each of us will seek more wisdom regarding human sexuality and that we become more considerate of our own needs as well as the needs of those around us... It seems that we are progressing beyond some of the orthodox values passed down to us and that now we are developing a new understanding and appreciation for our true spiritual sensibilities as well as our God given sensualities...