So…I have been debating for a while whether or not I should talk about what’s been stirring inside my head for the past five months here. I know I’ve said in my first post and on the “About” page that I want to post whatever I want on this blog because I want to, and it would be for, primarily, me only. However, I’m also aware that anyone can read my blog since I both made it public and have allowed search engines to index it. Still, I want this to be another place for me to be open about whatever.
There’s only one other place where I’ve talked about this online, and that’s on my Tumblr (which I won’t link to). On there, I have about five people I know IRL who follow me, two of which I’ve discussed this with IRL; the other three more than likely found out by just following me.
You may have an idea of what I’m about to talk about, you may not have a clue and are thoroughly confused. Either way, if you’re curious, read on.
One weekend in November (five months ago), I attended this event with Intervarsity called Fall Conference at a Christian retreat center in Green Lake, WI. One of my friends, the same one who unintentionally got me into the furry thing and, coincidentally, has the same name as me (Ben), went also. I wanted him to go to this because I hoped it would be beneficial for him as it was for me; last year, at this same event, was when I decided to make my faith my own rather than follow that of my family’s. Last year was simply a renewal of my faith and reminded me why I believe in God and Jesus’ self-sacrifice on the cross.
On Saturday night at Fall Conference, they have this big worship night that goes on for a couple hours; both last year’s and this year’s was just…uplifting, encouraging, convicting…I honestly can’t exactly put this into words that will do it justice.
Anyway, during this worship night, they had a break in the singing and praising where they asked us three questions; if we had a response to these questions, they asked us to stand:
- Is there anyone or anywhere that you feel God’s calling you to be a witness to?
- Is there something specific you need to put into God’s hands?
- Will you accept Jesus as your Savior for the first time tonight?
Obviously I didn’t have an answer for the last question because I already knew this my whole life, just never took it personally.
With the first question, I instantly put a friend of mine whom I felt I was called to be a spiritual mentor towards. However, I wasn’t sure about considering Ben as well. We were sitting next to each other and, during a brief moment where we all sat down and thought about these questions, he looked…distraught, like he was really struggling with something. I had some idea of what it was because we both share the same struggles, and I also wanted to help him with anything else. So, I considered him as well.
For whatever reason, I somehow misinterpreted what the question was asking; I thought it was asking about something that would give glory to God, such as a talent or hobby. So, naturally, I answered with writing because that’s my preferred form of communication and I enjoy it too. However, when they asked us to stand up, both me and Ben stood up. I thought about what he was dealing with, what he could be dealing with, and how he’s taking this experience all in. With this in mind and wanting to help him out, I did the first thing I thought of:
I hugged him tight and didn’t let go until we were asked to sit back down.
And then I started thinking about this on the car ride back to campus, and then I thought, “Oh shit…I have a crush on Ben. I have a crush on a guy…”
As you could imagine, this was the first time I had a legitimate crush on a guy. I have questioned my sexual orientation a couple times in the past, but conditions didn’t seem serious enough for me to contemplate much about it; I just wrote it off as perversion. But this time…this time was different.
I’ve told several trusted friends about this, and I even told my pastor (of course there’s also the people I know IRL who follow my Tumblr). All of them have said they won’t see me any different should I be pansexual, bisexual, or gay, even if they may not agree or condone it. However, I do not want to tell my mom nor my grandma about this, nor the majority of my family for that matter; I’m honestly terrified of what they might do if I’m even questioning my orientation. Let’s just say, most of them aren’t…liberal.
Some may consider this as me “coming out” to these people; in a way I can see why, as there is such an orientation called “queer” that fits with where I’m at right now, unsure of what’s what. Personally, I don’t see this as coming out; I told them this because I trust them and that I wanted assurance that there are at least some people who will still love me despite which gender I fancy. It wasn’t to seek justification or approval of this, it was to seek love.
This next bit will definitely get into some personal territory, so I’ll try to keep it brief but thorough enough.
Because I have a tendency to overthink things, I thought about every possible reason why I might have an attraction to guys as well as girls; interpret them as you will. They are as follows:
- I’ve had this vice of viewing pornography ever since I was about 13; I’ve willingly viewed straight, gay, and lesbian porn.
- Ever since I was about 3, I never knew my dad because he died when I was about this age. My mom remarried and it was that way for about three years, but it was more or less just me and my mom all over again. I was fatherless in the earthly, physical sense.
- I’ve had crushes on two girls that I confessed to; both shook and almost tore apart my friendships with them. However healing has occurred between us.
- I’ve never dated at all, just got as far as confessing feelings for someone and having it go nowhere.
- Because of my unique life experiences, it would seem that I’m ultimately trying to fill a void of permanence and love, and this whole thing is just another part of my search.
I won’t deny my past decisions still affect me today, but I also have to keep in mind that my upbringing, and my whole life for that matter, hasn’t been all that “cookie cutter” perfectly aligned, as it seems to be the case for most people I know and observe.
In this exploration of my sexual orientation, I’ve been having a very hard time coming to terms with what God’s Word says about homosexuality. Throughout this inner struggle, I’m trying my best to honor and respect my faith, God, and His Word, yet at the same time, I’m still unsure about the morality of all this.
Sometimes…I just need to be reminded that God still loves me even if I do have an attraction to guys as well.
See, when I’m attracted to someone, it’s almost always because I “fall in love” with who they are: their personality, character, what makes them human. You could say I’m attracted to their mind or soul. However, I won’t deny that physical attraction has played some part with the couple crushes I’ve had, and I won’t deny that I have lusted over them to a degree, but I haven’t acted upon these desires. But I know that sex isn’t and shouldn’t be the core or reason of a relationship, a relationship is yet another way and opportunity to share God’s unconditional love towards another, only monogamous. Regardless of how you share God’s unconditional love with others, it’s NEVER easy.
To hopefully help give me some clarity in all this, I, of course, have been trying to get familiar with God’s Word itself, as you may have noticed from the few Genesis and Psalms passages I’ve mentioned on this blog. I also am currently reading two books on this topic that I’m borrowing from Ben which give a Christian perspective on the matter:
- Straight & Narrow? Compassion & Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate by Thomas E. Schmidt
- Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community by Andrew Marin
The first one, Straight & Narrow?, is what I’m currently reading and am almost finished with; currently I’m where Schmidt’s talking about the nature/nurture debate with homosexuality.
I’ll be blunt here: it hasn’t been an enjoyable read. I see quite a lot of “Clarity” in some of Schmidt’s arguments, many of which I can see are most likely still issues today, such as health concerns; however I have yet to see the “Compassion” side of his argument. Overall, his views seem synonymous with those of your typical conservative. I must keep in mind, however, to keep an open mind to other viewpoints and opinions, even if I may not fully like or agree with them.
Love is an Orientation, on the other hand from what Ben’s told me, is much more liberal and not as harsh or dense as the first book. I’ll be reading this one when finished with Straight & Narrow?, so maybe this is one will be like therapy.
This has been all that I’ve thought about thus far, though I still plan on taking my time with this, there’s a lot I need to consider and I want to try and get as many viewpoints as possible on everything surrounding this topic. More than likely, there are still other factors I haven’t thought about yet (and there are some I have thought about, just never mentioned here).
As of writing this, I recently talked with my friend, Josh, about what I’ve been thinking about and considering up to this point. He asked me something that I should really consider while exploring this: Not considering how I’ve approached this emotionally and despite what others might think of me, what would make me happy? Being straight, or being bisexual?
I currently don’t have an answer.