Friday, March 28, 2014

Families of Choice VS Families of Origins

Early in my journey of self discovery as a gay man, my identity and vision of the world, as taught by my parents was tossed on its head.  Back then I wanted to be Ward Cleaver of the old LEAVE IT TO BEAVER TV series.  I'd have the nice house.  The picket fence.  I'd be married to June who was always perfectly coiffed.  Perfect makeup with a string of simple pearls tastefully appointed around her neck.

I think all kids in that era assumed that was how life had always been, how life was at the time, and it was how life would be in the future -- until we take that next adventure beyond the veil of death.

Down deep I knew that I was very different.  I couldn't understand what that difference was.  But I knew early on that my view of the world was not what a lot of my other friends thought.  For example, one day in car pool, one of the boys in my Jr. High produced a pornographic magazine.  We sat in the back seat looking at the adults in all kinds of sexual positions.  It was the first time I had seen a naked woman with her legs spread.  My friend was going nuts at the view.  I found myself more arouse by the well built man who was with her.  His penis was magnificent.

It confirmed that I indeed, was a different sort of teen.

All my life I fought it.  I was told that marriage would fix me.  I threw myself into ihe relationship with Lovey wholeheartedly.  But, as I have written before….things have a way of catching up with you.   My gayness began to rebel.  My hormones began raging.  So I began acting on my long held desires.

Not only did I beome swept up in the things that closeted gay men do, I found myself drawn to reading materials that provided insight into my identity.  I read everything I could get my hands on.  I learned that I was not alone and that there were quite a number of other men just like me.

I also came to the point at wondering if being gay was only about hookups and getting off -- anonymously, furtively.  Over and over again.  I was frightened.  But at that time, things like I was experiencing were not things one discussed with anyone.  For the longest time, I worried.  The feelings of self loathing brought me to the brink of suicede a number of times.  It was an awful time.

Then, in the midst of my angst, the TV series, QUEER AS FOLK showed up on pay tv.  I was mesmerized.  I could not believe that there could be a group of 5 gay men…who were friends….who were loyal….and they didn't sleep together.  From my vantage point, I assumed that all gay men slept with each other.  I didn't understand how this worked.  I also watched SEX AND THE CITY.  Here was a group of straight women who were very close, who were friends, who were loyal…and they hadn't slept together.  I could not relate.  It made no sense to me.

Not until I finally began dealing with my issues in a more healthy way and that I began to develop healthy friendships did I finally "get it."  In my case, I had to become so broken and feel so useless, I realized that there were people who loved and cared about me.  The most amazing thing is that they didn't have to get naked to prove it.

Lovey was on staff at a very large church not far from our home in Suburban Virginia.  It had 1500 families who attended regularly.  I had been a member of that church for quite sometime.  I held many positions.  But she decided to tar and feather me.  As a result, the church turned its back on me…and I found that I only had the support of two straight men.  They let it be known that they cared about my well being and that they were there to watch my back.  They checked on me.  They helped me to get settled as a newly out, newly separated, gay man.

They taught me what the meaning of care and compassion really is.

So, after 9 long years of being separated/divorced.  I've experienced a lot of healing.  But I've learned that it is due to my family of choice --- the people I choose to have in my life.  The ones that know all about me and love me anyway.  The ones who do not sit on the sidelines and criticize.  These are the ones who have stood by me.  They have walked beside me.  The''ve checked on me.  They've taught me all about unconditional love.

I now work to me del this behavior to others.  I'm just sorry that it took such a colossal upheaval in my life to get me to this place.

But I'm soldiering on.

Yes, I finally understand the Queer As Folk guys and the Sex and the City girls.

Gosh I've come along way in the eight years I've been writing this blog.

Thanks for reading….


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yawn...we've heard this story before. Much more interested in all those seedy back room trysts and anonymous encounters that you always gloss over-like the beach last Summer.

10:12 AM  

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