Originally Posted by jbtide
I'm JB-sorry this gets long winded
I am a 29 year old male who has some questions that maybe someone can help me with. I am stuggling with my sexuality, and what it means for my faith.
I was raised in a conservative Baptist home by two loving parents. I couldn't ask for any better. I became active in my local church as a teenager and became born again at age 17. Several years later, I enrolled in a conservative seminary to be a minister. I graduated several years ago. I had a hard time finding a ministry position because I am not married.
During my high school years, I had some same sex experiences, but kind of blew it off as just being stupid. When I got into college, I started to experience attraction to other men, but ignored it, for reasons that it was "gross and unnatural, and sinful".
Several years ago (around 2006), I came to terms with that fact that I had attraction to both males and females, and considered myself bisexual. I still dated females because I did not want anyone to know. I came out to two of my friends, one who is a lesbian and my closest male friend who is straight. My lesbian friend said the day she met me she tagged me as bi. I am very much straight acting, I like sports and fit most male stereotypes, so how she knew there is not telling.
Now that I am back home pursing education in the health care field, I need to live at home to save money, with my mom. My dad passed away a few years ago at the end of my time in seminary. Each time I have dated women, it has felt forced, like I'm doing it because it is what is expected of me. After a few failed relationships, I have decided to stay single. I have begun to think that I am possibly not bi, but gay. Reason being is that I am much more attracted to males than females. I desire intimacy with males more than females, and I find myself checking out men more than women.
I just can't bring myself to come out. I am not even 100% sure that I am gay. I do know that I picture myself being with a man as a life partner. I have wondered if the loss of my dad has had any role in how my desires have come about-the loss of male intimacy. I am not naive enough to think that a relationship with another male would replace my dad, and I personally find that insulting to his memory, so I do know my desire to be with men may have another cause.
I am not sure how to reconcile my sexuality and faith. Any advice and wisdom would be appreciated.
Hi JB- Welcome to Soulforce.
I'm Daniel. I went to an AoG school and came out at the age of 28 or so. In two weeks I will be 52.
A lot of what you write reminds me of how things were for me. I dated women in college and felt strange doing so, yet didn't feel right about coming out as gay. Things is, I hadn't had much experience - that is - sexual experience. However, once I fell in love with a guy- everything changed.
You put your finger on something very important- I believe- when you wrote about desiring intimacy with men more that women, which reminds of something the writer Christopher Isherwood once wrote (which I will paraphrase): 'You can sleep with anyone, but it's who you fall in love with that matters." And when you use the word 'intimacy', it sounds like 'love' to me.
The ex-gay people would like you (and everyone else for that matter) to think that gay guys are the way they are because they are searching for the love of their fathers. But that doesn't makes sense, especially in your case. You clearly state that your parents loved you, right? Why pathologize it now?
Furthermore, I know lots of 'straight' acting gay men. But that doesn't make them any less gay. They go home to their husbands in the suburbs just like everyone else. Acting is one thing. Being is another. And they are not the same thing. I also know some very 'effeminate' straight men. What does this mean? That nature love diversity. Best not to pigeonhole people.
There is another big clue in your post too. You picture yourself with another man. Hello! Stop the presses. I'd take that a big deal.
So you are having a hard time dealing with coming out to Mom while living at home. Well. That's the sanest thing you've written so far. Coming out- even under the best of circumstances (parents who already know and are supportive) can be very stressful. It can be a big deal, especially if one is from a religiously conservative family.
There is something else in your post that caught my attention. It sounds like you have abandoned finding a church because you may believe (and rightly so) that it will be - and is- too hard to find a position as an unmarried (to a woman) man. Kudos to you- I have to say- for not marrying a gal just to get a job. That would make you husband material in my eyes (don't freak out, I'm already married). Why. Because it shows that you have some ethics.
Guess what? You could be married to a man and have a church, perhaps not in the conservative denomination of your seminary, but one nevertheless. That might sound like traveling to the Moon to you, but stranger- and even more wonderful things- have happened to people.
Best I can say? Follow the call of Love.