OK, just found something I want to share.  The reason it is going to be remotely coherent is that I wrote it almost six months ago, just after Josh Weed's coming out post on June 7 of this year.  Just six months ago.  A friend of my wife shared Josh's post on Facebook, my wife read it, and shared it with me.  Up to this point in my life, I was blissfully living in denial.  I read the article and my world  turned upside down.  Here is a portion of an email I wrote to Josh a short time after.

"I have started and restarted this email more times than I can count in the past few days.  There is just so much bottled up that I have never really been able to share, now that I am able to share it, I don't know where to start.  Oh, well.  Might as well get straight to the point:  I am an active Temple-attending Latter-day Saint, have served a full time mission, have been married to a wonderful, amazing woman for 10+ years, and have crazy, wild, ingenious, hilarious children.  And I am also gay.  

It has taken me 15 minutes to write that last statement.  I have never considered myself gay.  I have given my all to not be so.  I feel that I would be mortified if it ever came out.  But deny as much as I want, I am physically attracted to my same gender.  Because of my fear of being found out I have never truly felt that I could be myself.  I have always hidden a part of me, locked and buried, away from the world.  Consequently, I have always struggled in my relations with straight men and have avoided associating with gay men.  I never felt like I could be myself with the first and was afraid to be myself with the second.  

I have grown up in a society where being gay was unquestionably wrong and unnatural.  So I couldn't be gay--the thought never crossed my mind.  I always planned on growing up and getting married and having children and living happily ever after.  (And so far, so good!). I had "typical" guy friends, I had girl friends, I dated like "normal", but always in the background was this inconvenient fact that I was turned on by men more than women.  I mostly successfully squashed the inclinations as soon as they surfaced.  I found a women that I fell head-over-heals in love with and married her.  I am attracted to her and we have a very passionate and fulfilling sex life (when we can get the kids to sleep before we're exhausted).  This has made it easier to bury tendencies but they still surface from time to time.  While I have never acted upon them, I still look down on myself for even thinking that way, as if it is a sin to be attracted to a guy.  (Isn't it? my brain asks.).  The result is that I only feel good about myself when the tendencies are buried.  

But my gayness is a part of me and it would be very short sighted to say otherwise.  There are aspects that I like about it and that I wouldn't be willing to give up.  For example, I am generally considered to be the husband that every woman wants:  kind, sensitive, emotionally in tune, caring, etc.  So here is my biggest secret that I have never told anyone, ever:  I dream of a life where I can tell people I am gay and it doesn't matter.  Where I would no longer have to hide.

But I don't yet have the courage to stand naked before the world, as it were.  And I don't know if I ever will.  But I have been surprised before."


Fast forward to now. If you're reading this, I can confirm to you that, Yes, I am surprised and I know it won't be the last time. One other paragraph from the letter:

"While my wife is generally accepting of who I am, she doesn't understand it, and we don't talk about it much.   And for the most part, that is OK.  It doesn't really make any difference to how we go about our daily lives.  So why then, I asked myself, did your posts stir up so many emotions in myself?  Because this is who I am.  And for the first time in my life I felt what it was like to truly be able to accept myself as I am."

Suddenly it became OK for me to be attracted to men but to also be happily married to a woman. It was OK for me to be gay.

When you do what you have to do, it helps other people do what they have to do. (Diary of a Fairy Godmother, by Esmé Raji Codell.)
Posted by Lucas Jones On 12/12/2012 11:21:00 PM 1 comment

1 comment:

  1. You and your wife have helped me and my wife to smile. Smiling has diffused so much pain and shame and fear. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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