I swear I didn’t plan my last post and this one together. lol I do find it extremely ironic though. Anyway…
I stumbled over this post by chance via a friend on Google++ a few days ago. I highly encourage you to go read it and come back. Seriously, go read it. You can scroll down to about the 60 comment mark and then again around 150 comments for my rather long replies. You can also see how my comment is quickly dismissed as I’m hating on him.
I wasn’t bothered that his “letter” shined a light on our shortcomings and failures. He touches on some very real problems within the gay community. What bothered me was the glaring over-generalizations and implications behind his speech. He marginalized all of us because of his own failures. In essence, because he couldn’t cope with being gay, he decided being gay can’t be healthy. Because his coming out wasn’t everything he expected, he fell into bad habits, and his sex wasn’t as exciting as porn he equates being gay as a failure. He goes on to insult all of the couples out there who have been together for decades by implying they don’t exist. Normally, I would just ignore it and move on but his attempts to use half-truths and misrepresentations to prey on folks who might stumble upon his site got to me.
I make no secret about my struggle with compulsive behavior over the years. Nor do I hold myself out to be some holier-than-thou who is above all the petty failings that plague our community. But the difference between the author and myself is I chose to embrace what I am, the good and the bad. I work to strengthen the good while continuing to work on the bad. I accept the community I live in is not perfect. I recognize that while we are all responsible for our choices many of us have developed unhealthy coping mechanisms. I no longer search for role models to emulate. Instead, I try to be the type of man I’d like to date. I do not give myself over to his God to solve my problems. I choose to change and better myself.
At the end of the letter you get the sense the author has exchanged one coping mechanism for another. His attempt to make life all better by coming out failed so he has absolved himself of any responsibility by putting it in god’s hands. And now because it’s magically a god issue he can avoid accepting responsibility. Convenient wouldn’t you say? As I said in my comment, I feel sorry for him. I hope that he finds peace within himself.
I also decided to write my own version of his letter.
Dear Gay Kid v2.0:
Congratulations for finally being able to admit to yourself and others that you are gay. I applaud your tremendous courage and welcome you with open arms. You are not alone. You join a community as broad and diverse as humanity itself. We come from all walks of life: male, female, black, white, asian, christian, muslim, agnostic, etc. Know that you are worthy of love and respect. Your inalienable right to be is not up for debate and never ever let anyone tell your differently.
Unfortunately, we do not yet live in a world of total acceptance. You may find life harder and more challenging for your honesty. Coming out is not a fix-all for your life or problems. It is but one step of many you will take. Along the way you will encounter those who deny and fear you. You may even encounter some who wish to do you harm out of their own ignorance. You see, they do not understand, and anything not understood is often feared. Some will hate you because they recognize a tiny part of you in themselves. In that recognition you will represent a target for their pain.
Others will be blinded by religious dogma. They are locked in a pattern of denial based on a lifetime of rhetoric. To admit you were born gay would be to admit their religion, written by man, is flawed. And that is something they cannot fathom. Even worse, some will attempt to use lies, half-truths, misrepresentations, and your own doubts against you. If you are a person of faith, it can be a source of great support, but do not be misled. Seek truth and answers on your own. The answers will speak for themselves.
In times of doubt you’ll wonder, ‘Why me? Why can’t I be like every one else?’ What I can tell you is it will always come back to a fundamental choice. You can deny who you are and spend your life reinforcing that denial, or you can accept it. It is here I am reminded of the words of Benjamin Franklin, “On the whole, though I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet as I was, by the endeavor, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been had I not attempted it.” In simpler terms, even though perfection is a goal we will never reach, we are better for our attempts to reach it.
Because we are born different, part of our struggle must be to rise above the fears and ignorance of those who do not understand us. We must strive not to fall prey to the mistakes of those who came before us. By living openly & honestly we show the world how small our differences really are. And finally, through our struggles we make the world better not only for ourselves but those who come after us.
I wish you the very best!