Originally Posted by sailaway58
Many many years ago our family had a family friend that married had a child and then discovered her husband was gay. They divorced and her x chose to stay out of their son's life. He didn't want to influence him in a negative way. At the time I thought that was very noble of him and I think he had his son's best interest at heart, but I like your approach better.
That was around 35 years ago and times have changed a little. He was a good guy, a church song leader and looking now from a few years perspective, I am sure he loved his wife. It just wasn't who he was.
I think he and his son have met and have a friendship now, but he missed out on allot.
I knew I was gay when I married (long before actually), but could not own the label because of my very conservative fundamental Christian beliefs. Instead I owned the labels of bent, twisted, sick, deviant, etc., for about 35 years. I disowned all of those labels only a year and a half ago. So, the reality is that I have been estranged from my self most all of my life. Me and my wife raised two sons, now 26 and 28. We were a very tight family, we homeschooled k-12 and both of my sons got full university scholarships based on their sat scores. One's a nuclear engineer, the other a teacher/writer/musician, so they are intelligent, even worldly. We used to talk for hours a week, they were always on the phone to me, never a separation. That all came to a screeching halt in December of 06 when I came out to them, now they want nothing to do with me. Now, lest you get the wrong idea, they have cause to be angry. I cheated on their mom and lied to cover it for a long time. Many can put a period on the end of that sentence and say: "okay, well Paul deserved what he got." And ulitmately, that is true. However, while I am without excuse, I am not without reason or understanding. I won't go into a detailed explanation here, but when you repress yourself, it comes out in weird ways. I fought myself tooth and nail for 35 years, and failed. To give up the fight, in my mind, was to turn my back on "God," and I wanted to be "faithful." I never said "bad" things about gays to my kids or anyone else. But since I owned all those bad labels, I didn't have to. When my kids would crack a joke about gays, I would 'correct' them telling them that gays didn't choose to be that way and that they were in a hard position. That's the only defense I had for gays since I bought into the labels I had been raised with, and it was inadequate. If someone, such as yourself, had had the guts to advocate acceptance of glbt people (i.e., me), in any of the churches I attended, my story might be different. They had the opportunity. I "confessed" my ssa to my church (yep, the whole group including my future wife) at age 19.
You say you want to understand, and I for one am grateful for your presence here. Gay people probably need straight friends as much, if not more, than they need gay friends. I have spent my life in fundamental Christian circles. Not once in all those years did I ever meet a "Christian" who had an affirming thing to say of gays. That could have been a rescue for me and my family. No, quite the opposite. They reinforced the aforementioned labels and added some of their own. At best, that part of who I am was a joke among my "brothers and sisters in Christ." My sons made similar jokes growing up. So I hid until the day that God would change or deliver me from being gay. I think that the worst estrangement a person can experience is estrangement from themselves.