The Long Road to Where I Am–Part 1

I have purposefully avoided blogging too much about my days at bible college. Or, about the process of my coming out. I know that a lot of people I went to school with read my blog. So, I’ve tried to avoid those subjects in order to make most everyone happy. But, I have to be honest, my college days not only were rife with personal strife; but also, they were rife with some seriously funny shit. Well, at least, it’s funny nowto me…anyway. And, I will get to that funny shit in future posts. I’m sorry to offend anyone. But, I’m writing these blogs more for myself than anyone else. 😉 I’m happy if you enjoy them, but this is therapeutic for me. And, I’ve got to tell ya that I love therapy. Sometimes…anyway.

Therapy for me is all about growth and self-improvement. And, I’ve always been a bit obsessed about self-improvement. I love the “idea” of becoming a “better me.” Despite all of my best intentions, though, I haven’t always been that good at actually seeing certain things through. For example, my bookshelves are full of self-help books. I especially love the “…for Dummies” series. I have “Nutrition for Dummies;” “Bartending for Dummies;” “MySpace for Dummies,” etc. etc. Most of them, as you might suspect, have been only partially read. I have ordered “life-changing” products from numerous infomercials. All of which, either have been thrown away, or are still in a corner waiting for that special day, when I will finally discover with great confidence that they do not solve my issues with working out. I haven’t truly succeeded in most of these attempts at improving myself–except for one. And, I feel like it’s the one that matters the most to me. I, with great effort, have come to terms with myself. Meaning…I love me for who I am.

It was several trips to a therapist during my fourth year of college that changed everything for me. I decided to go to a local pastor who was also a licensed therapist. You see, this was when I still believed that a person could change their sexual orientation. Let me clarify–I never have believed that being gay is a choice. Even while I was trying to change it, I didn’t believe that I chose it. Put the “nature vs. nurture” argument aside. Either way, I did not choose my sexual orientation. But, I used to believe that with enough prayer and counseling, it could be changed. Which is why I went to this particular therapist. I can’t say that I regret going; because, my few sessions with him really were a turning point for me. Obviously, this is not what he intended to do.

I don’t need to rehash my short stint in homosexual recovery. It should suffice to say that I have never felt worse about myself or about those around me than while I was with that therapist. Although, it did take me a little longer to officially come out, that was the last straw. It was after my second session with this pastor that I realized I wanted and needed to love myself. And, in order to do that, I had to be true to all of myself–which included being gay.

It’s also taken me a long time to admit it, but, I don’t regret going to bible college. I did for a long time, though. I’ve always thought that I would have been so much better off at a regular school–not having to “go through” all of that personal turmoil. I now believe that the experience of being a closeted gay man in that environment, although being tumultuous and painful, eventually made me stronger and more sure of myself. And, I should thank Ozark Christian College for that.

5 responses to “The Long Road to Where I Am–Part 1

  1. I’m so happy I finally get to leave a comment!!!!

    Let the record stand…I love you for who you are too! Not that there was any question about that. 😉

  2. I should preface this comment by saying that just before coming back to Italy I watched my wedding video, and you play a staring role! Oh good times…

    We weren’t the closest friends at OCC, but as I read this post I couldn’t help but wish that there would have been an environment there where you could have talked about things like this. It’s the biggest flaw in Christian communities. We claim to want to help people with their struggles, but only if they are easy to deal with, or not on a certain list of way-too-bad sins.

    So is it too late for an apology? Does that sound cheesy?

  3. I agree with Brian… and I think if I ran into you today we’d be friends… honest friends (oh! you make me laugh). So in honesty let me say this (even though it’s very Christianeese [Isn’t that a term only Christians use?]: Blessings upon you.

  4. Tyler

    Let me say that I will love you for who you are but that doesn’t mean I have to like the choices you have made. They are yours. You have made them! You are loved and accepted just that way. Also, you really can’t believe that you can walk away from the God you loved and worshiped do you? He hasn’t left you! Anyway, know you are still accepted and loved for who you are and yes, I realize you don’t necessarily want to hear this, but I do and will continue to pray for you! Lots of love!

  5. I’m not sure why “the choices I have made” are so difficult for you to “love.” Here are the choices I’ve made:

    1) I chose to be honest with myself.

    2) I chose to be honest with everyone in my life.

    3) I chose to stop pretending I was someone that I wasn’t.

    Here are the choices I did not make:

    1) I did not choose to be gay.

    2) I did not choose to continue living a miserable life of heartache and pain.

    And, yes, I do believe that I can choose to “walk away from the God I loved and worshiped.” If I’m not mistaken, I thought you believed in a God of free will, not in a God who forces you to love him or follow him. You are making that choice.

    So, I’m sorry, but you are going to have to learn to accept that, too. I do not believe in the same God that you do. In fact, I’m not sure that I believe in God at all. Thank you for your prayers, but I am happy with the things that I have and have not chose in my life.

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