Some of you will probably remember my Dear Kid open letter in response to a poster child for the ex-gay movement, Matt Moore. Matt’s story was slightly different as he wasn’t claiming to not be gay but just not embracing it. He has his own blog where he often laments his struggles. He also wrote a “Dear Kid” letter which I took offense to and attempted to rebut several times on his site and then of course, my own follow up open letter.
Well, as you may have heard Matt got busted posting a profile on grindr recently. And while many are saying, “I told you so” that is not my purpose here today. I truly feel remorse for this guy. It breaks my heart that he has locked himself into a self-reinforcing delusion that is fed by his faith. He laments his being gay and then blames many of his mistakes in life on being gay. He goes on to infer over and over that all gays are the stereotype and therefore the gay lifestyle should be avoided as unhealthy. Don’t even get me started on how he rationalizes away the thousands of couples getting married all over the country now that it is legal. And while I see his overgeneralizations as a disingenuous, maybe he never experienced anything but the stereotype so he actually believes we all live that way. I don’t really think so but am willing to extend the benefit of the doubt. Plus, it is easier to avoid the truth when you are able to conveniently label everyone into neat little packages. The problem is humans are never that simple and never fit just one mold. Labels, while sometimes appropriate, do not define us.
How very convenient for him that the mantle of being gay can be so wide as to shoulder the blame for all his life’s woes. I can only imagine what my life would be like today if I’d taken his path. I probably would have already killed myself to be honest. Having already lived thru the conflict that he goes thru, I would never wish that on a single soul. It destroys your self-worth. You become desperate to accept anything that would help you explain it away. Naturally, religion offers an easy out. You get to absolve yourself of the “sin”, blame it on the devil, and then turn it all over to someone else to handle for you. Frankly, I prefer to have a code of conduct based on being a good man, not based on fear of what some all-powerful, yet oddly selfish, supernatural being might due to me after I die.
I hope that someday Matt can break out of his self-hatred and shame and see himself and the world more objectively. I fear he is on a path to destruction and I feel powerless to help. He is blinded by ignorant and often deliberately mistranslated dogma that teaches him to hate himself. He is he finding out the hard way that dumping your problems on a deity doesn’t really pan out. Of course, there is more dogma to counteract that failure so the cycle continues.
Being gay isn’t always a walk on the beach. It can be a rough road full of heart-ache, pain, disappointment, etc. But how is that any different from the rest of the world? Some might argue it’s easier to “get by” by pretending. I’d argue how’s that working out for you? Being gay has it’s challenges, no doubt, but that doesn’t equate denying who/what you are. Blaming being gay for your own insecurities and failings in life will not make it all better. It may make a convenient scapegoat but that only lasts so long. Our culture has issues, many grown out of coping mechanisms from being under constant attack but that does not make being gay inherently bad anymore than being born with blue eyes would. How may of those issues would be nonexistent if young gays grew up in a society not fixated on hating/condemning anyone different?
In my mind, it boils down to acceptance. You can accept that which you cannot change and strive to live a life that makes you happy and fulfilled, or you can hide from what you are and live a life of misery, self-hatred, distrust, and fear. Both will be filled w/mistakes as we are human after all. But which sounds better? Only you can decide for you.
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