It Ain’t Easy Being Me Today . . .

I’m in a weird place.  A very weird place.  I feel so very much UNme right now. 

I’ve been having some really good heart-to-hearts with Jesus lately.  It’s been a lot about me realizing how small I’ve made him in my life these last few months.  I’ve let so many other distractions get in the way of my growth, and healing . . . of my ability to be enraptured by him.

And right now, things are very hard.  I woke up this morning with some pretty heavy realizations, which made me acutely sensitive to rejection.  And the first thing I see when I log on to my computer is a message from the guy who started the Exodus blogring, telling me that because of my “lifestyle choices”, I’ve essentially been booted from the blogring.

I’d really love to say that I don’t give a damn.  But I do.  It really hurts  Mostly because I feel very judged.  I mean, does this guy even know me?  I write one post about regrets about marriage, and one post about going on a date with a guy, and suddenly I’m being excommunicated? WTF   Wouldn’t it have been nice if he had at LEAST had a conversation with me first?  Instead of making a presumptuous move to excommunicate?  Could he have gotten to understand where I’m coming from?

On Gay Christian Network (www.gaychristian.net), we have 2 theological ideologies active within the community: Side A and Side B.  Side B believes that sexual relationship should be reserved for heterosexual marriage, while Side A folks believe that homosexual unions are blessed by God. 

The funny thing about both sides is that they all accept pursuing relationships, except that committed Side B relationships would – by definition – be relationships of a non-sexual nature. 

Is it possible that Darren could be Side B, and therefore believes largely the same way as many people within Exodus?  Is it possible that him going on a date with a guy doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s made some grievous “lifestyle choice” that necessitates banning him from a community that he’s known and loved for years?  Could he have at least been asked?  Could a group of people who pretends to be strict followers of the Word have at least tried to use that as a means for guiding how they ought to treat a brother in Christ in such a sensitive situation? (Matthew 18 anyone? )

Yet, as disturbing as that is, I really understand.  I remember what it was like to be constantly fighting those internal struggles, and I can see how my current journey doesn’t really help people like that.  What bothers me more, however, is this misconception that being gay is somehow “easy”.

How many friends and family do know who have said to me “I feel like you’ve given up, and have taken the easy way out. . .”?  I’m not sure any of them realizes how incredibly offensive that is.  As if it’s easy to take even a single step in a direction contrary to everything you’ve been taught was true?  As if it’s easy to lose the respect and admiration of friends and cherished loved ones?  As if it’s easy to be barred from communities you’ve long held dear?

No, it’s not easy.  And today, I’m especially aware of how it just ain’t ever easy to be gay, whether you choose the ex-gay path, or the Side B path, or you follow your heart into a committed same-sex relationship . . .it simply ain’t easy. 

I’ve got so much baggage to carry with me.  I gave up on Exodus methodologies (especially the North American version) long ago, but it was hardly “easy”.  I’ve continued counseling (going on 3 years now), I’ve sought healing and prayer, I’ve had tough convesations, and challenging relationships.  This has been a really hard life for me . . .

But I’m walking the road that I feel Christ is leading me on . . . and I dare say that when you’re truly doing that, it ain’t ever “easy”.

Peace and love to one and all.

D.J.

P.S.  And so I don’t have to hear people complain to me anymore about not having pictures of the groom AND the bride, here goes!  (Happy now, Jo-Jo? )

 

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Memorial Day Weekend, Pt. 2 . . .

Wow.  So Memorial Day Weekend wasn’t too shabby   I had my doubts about my ability to enjoy myself, but my heart proved to be not nearly so fucked up as I imagined it would be.

 

I wasn’t sure what to make of this “date” on Saturday – it wasn’t very well planned.  (Still not even sure I should call it a date, though, there seemed to be some palpable chemistry building up throughout the evening). 

 

I feared a rocky start, as Michael arrived here late.  I was thinking “gosh, should I be worried?”  But after getting here, we embraced warmly, and I was instantly calmed from that point forward.  We ended up having a fantastic time!

 

After a quick tour of the apartment, I took him to my favorite Thai restaurant, where we talked for a good 2 hours, then we went off to Rita’s for some gelati (mmmmm ).  We caught a movie (“28 Weeks Later”: not nearly as good as its predecessor, but if you like gore, knock yourself out), and then tried this hookah bar in Towson that I’ve been meaning to get to.  It was a pretty chill atmosphere – complete w/ black light, and some nice hip-hop music (a strange, but welcome departure from the Arabic music I’m used to hearing over hookah).  This place has a BYOB policy, so I went across the street and got us some Smirnoff Twisted green apple, which aptly accompanied our strawberry/kiwi hookah, as we sat on the plush couches and shared heartaches, joy, pain, and laughter until 1 in the morning.  Wow.  Definitely a great first date!

 

And that wasn’t the end!  Michael mentioned that he wanted to check out Cedar Ridge, since he’s read some of Brian’s books, so I picked him up Sunday morning.  I was a little sad to drop him off back at home, but as soon as we pulled into his driveway, we noticed his parents right on our trail.  It was an awkward meeting, because I wasn’t sure how much they knew about me.  But his mom’s warm, gleeful smile instantly put me at ease . . . up until she asked me to stay for lunch!  Um, yeeeeahhh . . . I mean, was I just begging for an afternoon of awkwardness?  But at the same time, how could I find any polite excuse to turn them down?  So I made a bold move, and stayed.

 

They really embraced me though.  We talked about all sorts of things, from the mundane (“American Idol”) to the serious (my struggle with the presence of the Kingdom in my daily life).  Heck, I even found out that the church my parents first started going to when they became Christians is where his parents went when they too began their serious walk w/ God!  Our families were there for probably a good 3 years together!  What a friggin small world!

 

It was really awesome to sit down and have a leisurely lunch with this beautiful family.  It was this sweet picture of how the future could look like – being a part of a really great guy’s life.  It’s my first experience in that realm, but it showed me just how much this . . . this is what I want.  Simply beautiful.

 

So, Michael and I went our separate ways.  It was a bittersweet goodbye, for me at least.  But it seemed to be somewhat mutual.  He should be comfortably home in Chicago now, much to my chagrin.  He’s definitely the kind of guy I’d love to go out with, and get to know a bit better, but I’m soooo not into the LDR thing, so I guess that’s that . . . for now at least.

 

I guess I’m just really greatful that God gave me this little glimpse into the possibilities – and that I was able to open my heart enough to actually receive it.  So yeah, I stand by my decree that I’m a terribly fucked up individual, but perhaps there’s some hope for me afterall

 

And now, you’ll have to excuse me.  I’m up at the buttcrack of dawn, b/c I’m heading down to the beach w/ some friends!  Woohoo!


Holla!

 

D.J.

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend . . .

So does anyone have any hot plans this Memorial Day Weekend? 

Not sure what I’ll be doing.  I do know that I’m done w/ work at this point.  I’m obliged to stay here until at least 3pm, but I’m so done with work!  I can’t focus enough to get anything done.  It’s so darn gorgeous outside!  And all my friends here keep chatting with me.  The epitome of an unproductive day is what we have here, ladies and gentlemen.

Not sure what I’ll be doing tonight.  Christy convinced me to come out to Belvedere Square.  I’m not usually into the live music scene (unless it’s a band I really like), but she assured me there’d be plenty of wine and cute boys.  How could I say no?   But her poor roomie landed in the ER earlier today, so that plan’s probably squashed

Tomorrow I have sort of a date . .. um, I think.  A guy I’ve been talking to from Chicago is in town.  We’ll finally get to meet each other. 

It brings up all these fears I have though.  Like, as sweet as he is to me, I find it so hard to just open myself to him.  I don’t know what that’s all about.  I think my heart has been so closed to everyone lately, and I don’t know why.  I’ve been retreating into myself for the last few months.  I recognize how unhealthy this is, and I’m forcing myself to get out there and re-engage with the world.  So why the hell am I so hesitent?  If I’m so damn afraid of being alone, why the hell do I remedy it by trying to be alone, instead of opening myself to the possibilities?   I keep going back in my history, trying to find out just when exactly I got so fucked up. 

 

Marriage . . .

Last weekend, I had the joyous opportunity to attend my buddy Wes’s wedding to Uchenna.  I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Nigerian-American wedding before – so it was quite an interesting experience.

I got the chance to meet up w/ my old college clique:

 

Yeah, ’twas a blast.  Notice those 2 lovely sisters above, Chanelle and Adrienne.  That Adrienne always reminds me that I’m not completely queer!  I admit, that I’ve always had the biggest crush on her, and I’m reminded of it every time I see her . . . so friggin’ gorgeous!
 
I really miss those guys.  I mean, we’ve all stayed in decent contact since graduating (6 years ago! yikes! ), but in the last 5 years, I’ve been on a slow, progressive journey to finding myself.  In that time, I’ve felt so very . . . restricted . . .around my friends. 
 
Chilling w/ them (for a bday party Friday night, and the wedding on Saturday night) was absolutely refreshing to my soul, for one reason and one reason only: it’s the first time I’ve been around them and felt the freedom and ability to be fully me.
 
Was it awkward to have Adrienne ask me “So who is this guy you’re so madly in love with?”  You bet!  It’s uncharted territory for us.  But at the same time, it was so amazing to be able to go there – and to not be ashamed about who I am.
 
Yet, I must admit to the very bittersweet aftermath of Wes’s wedding.  I’ve never really been particularly emo about weddings in general – I’ve always just kinda thought it’s a girly thing.  But the last 2 weddings I’ve attended both left me submerged in deep thought. 
 
As I’m watching my friends walk down the aisle, and taking in the ornate scenery of the church, and looking at the tears and smiles plastered on the faces of gathered loved ones . . . I can’t help but feel a little sad that I will likely never have this.  I mean, even if I were to get married to a guy, I wouldn’t have the love and acceptance of some of my dearest friends and family members.  At best, I’d get tolerance, and a few “well, I love him, so I’ll go, but I simply don’t agree” nods . . . but it will never be the celebration I could have if I simply could turn off this queerness and settle for a nice woman.
 
But I’ve been there.  I’ve tried it. I know it just isn’t gonna happen, barring some strange miracle from God.  And because I don’t have such a desire to be married to a woman, I have to ask myself: “Can I live with the options available to me?”
 
There’s peace in my soul knowing the answer to that question.  As much as a festive celebration would be nice, as much as I yearn for the full acceptance and embrace of all my loved ones – it simply isn’t realistic.  And I’m OK w/ that.  I’m OK with what love they can and do offer (have I mentioned lately how AWESOME my parents have been about this?   Seriously, they rock!).  And I’ll be OK knowing that I’m in the arms of the one I love.  After all, it is he who I’ll spend my days with.
 
Now if only I could find him . . .

Hopeless . . .

I’m brooding.  Have been for the past couple of days really.  It’s a wonder I’ve been able to engage people at all, because I really want to retreat. 

Sometimes I just get inundated with my emotions.  I’m overwhelmed with just how fucked up the world is . . . how hard it is . . . how much I just can’t seem to catch a glimpse of the Kingdom.  It’s too much for me right now. 

I was sitting in treatment team this morning, and as we interviewed a newly admitted patient, it was all I could do to keep from bursting out in tears.  He was speaking my life with his words.  His earnest desire to live a better life, to find a modicum of joy in the world, to make things right for the ones he loves . . . for naught

Sometimes I wonder “where is the hope?”  Sometimes Jesus makes no sense to me, and I wonder if he’s not just a figment of my imagination.  Sometimes I just get lost in the muck around me.  Sometimes . . .

My, how things change . . .

Matthew did a series not too long ago about the Bible – you know, how we view, how we read it, etc.  He went through the book of Amos, and I found it so fascinating, that I’ve been reading a lot of those minor prophets lately.  I’m absolutely floored by what I’m reading!  There is so much in those pages about the big sins being sins of injustice and inequality.  It’s so clear, that I’m wondering how in the world I’ve missed it in previous years when I’ve read through the Old Testament!

I think I was trained to only see the world through the lens of “personal sins”.  So when I read the Bible, all I could see were the passages that talked about cussin’, drinkin’, and sexin’.  Coincidentally, I’m discovering how FEW those verses are (non-existent even?), and how ubiquitous those injustice verses are. 

I was thinking the other night how I’m one o’ those cussin’ and drinkin’ kinda Christians, but I put a lot more emphasis on social justice these days.  But many of my friends are the type to neglect the social justice verses, and are practically OCD about the cussing and drinking and such.

I get it now.  We’re all pretty fucked up.  None of us is any better than the other.  We’re all woefully inadequate at seeing the world the way God would likely want us to – and completely incapable of living by it even if we could see it.  Now, wouldn’t it be nice if we could all stop fighting about this crap long enough to actually be of some good to the downtrodden?  What a concept . . .

 

Thanks for listening to my random musings for the day

Be well!