..::|:.: Scattered Words

"in brokeness, I could see, that this was your will for me..." :: Jeremy Camp

6.05.2004

Caricatured.

I find it telling that there are those who can only deal with what I say by refusing to believe I exist. But they will have to face me someday, because I'm not alone. Maybe it won't actually be me, but it will be someone like me. You will have to wrestle with the questions I'm asking. You will have to admitt that there are people who change; people that desert what you hold to be innate and static, black and white. Strong people who don't accept something simply because it's there or others tell them to.

It's more telling that so many do the same with God. Instead of dealing with Him, they choose to believe he doesn't exits. I admitt, a perspective like that makes things so, so much easier.

Paul.

Paul isn't his real name, I'll tell you, but I've wanted to write more about him for a long time now. There are a few things I've wanted to write about for a long time now, but I've really not the time.

So, Paul. We met at, you got it, a bath house. I saw him not five minutes after I got there and started to follow him throughout. Eventually, we met up in a dark room on the lower level, he told me he'd been following me around, too. We didn't have sex, but instead went to my room, where, we also didn't have sex. We talked for a long time, then went our seperate ways in the bath house. But we kept running into each other, talking and such. Eventually he invited me back to his apartment. Then to his bedroom -- where we still didn't have sex.

We slept there together, in each other's arms. I left the next morning, more confused than ever. I'd never spent the night in another guy's bed without having sex. I didn't expect to see him again, anyway. But then, I called him, two nights later.

We hung out at his apartment. We watched movies with his friends, went out to eat, talked, etc. I said before that I've never been "out and proud" -- but with Paul, and his friends (and even his family eventually), I guess I really was out. But it wasn't me. They didn't know me. Paul didn't know me.

I hid everything from him: where I lived, what I did, what I believed (my faith), my real name... With Paul, I was a completely different person. A person I made up as I went along. Fake.

We visited his family one day -- and I came to a startling conclusion. They were nice people, I guess. His father left the family at an early age and his mom's new guy isn't / wasn't completely accepting of Paul's sexuality. Mom was more than accepting, a little too accepting, if you ask me (read: emasculating). He seemed to get along great with his older brother (by 10 years), at least I thought. Later he told me that he and his brother used to "mess around" (that healthy experimentation so many of you say is normal). My conclusion, was that these people used Paul, his brother, his mom and his dad, to fulfill their own needs. And so was I.

I knew that there was no hope for Paul and I. A long term relationship was never in our future. I would never have let it happen; I knew the whole time that I was destined to hurt him. I was using him to fill a hole in my life -- feeding of him like his entire family had for most of his life. My love / affection for him wasn't pure or patient or even kind -- it was selfish and conceited.

I stopped calling Paul pretty abruptly, and he stopped calling me when I stopped returning messages. I guess in the end, it was better for both of us to cut it off. He's free to pursue whatever with his life now, without me to lead him on. But I think about him a lot. I wish I had it to do over, so I could end things better. So he could at least hear they "why" from me (not that I'm sure I'm yet brave enough to tell him).

Wonder who he's talking about?

...a blog keeps showing up around the net. Gay bloggers seem to be supporting it by linking to it. I refuse to link to it, but I do visit. It’s a tragic blog. He has linked to me a few times (he has problems with my robust grammar)…but I will not be linking in return. He cannot be reasoned with and should be left alone. We should leave him alone. ..."

What gets me here is the tragedy part. I will never understand why it's so hard for people to get it. To get the journey, to get the longing. To get me.

I've wanted to mention this song for a long time, and I think now's a good time to do it. Then, I'm going to bed. Here are a few of the lyrics:

I've got it all,
But I feel so deprived.
I go up, I come down,
And I'm emptier inside.
Tell me what is this thing
That I feel like I'm missing?
And why can't I let it go?

There's gotta be more to life,
Than just about every temporary high
To... satisfy me.
Cause the more that I'm,
Strippin' I'm thinkin'
There must be more to life
Than what's mine.
But I'm sure there's gotta be more.

:: Stacie Orrico, More to Life

There's gotta be more.

Why do I miss it?

I find myself nostalgic for this bath house I used to frequent in school. Seriously nostalgic. I actually miss the place. I started going there after finding a series of articles online from some guy who frequented a bath house (I suspected it was in Indianapolis, where I was at the time) and wanted to tell the world what it was like.

I think it's the music that does it. I hear those techno club mixes and immediately flash back to the baths. The dark hallways, the steam rooms, the jacuzzi, the guys eyeing me up and down -- the ones who don't take no for an answer.

I literally busted a door there once, when I guy wouldn't stop get off me. A swift kick to the chest and he went flying. So, the question remains, why do I miss it?

6.04.2004

I don't want to think about this.

Which is why I haven't written about it yet. I've had three HIV tests since 2001. They've all been negative, and every time I swear that I'm done having sex with guys. The stress-- waiting for the results is enough to make me want to lie down and die. The week between the test and the results is hell, and I could really beat the hell out of myself for making such stupid, stupid decisions (sorry for the language, but I'm serious).

So, I need another test. But I'm waiting. HIV antibodies can form anywhere from 1 to 3 months from infection, so instead of putting myself through two tests (a primary and follow-up) I'm just going to wait. It's only been a month since the last time I had sex -- I'll wait until the test results will be conclusive with one test. I could go for a PCR test that's fully conclusive at 28 days after infection (it detects the virus isntead of the antibodies), but, maybe I just want an excuse to put it off longer.

It plagues my thoughts though. That's why God's plan works the best: one partner, and one partner only (your spouse in case there was any question).

First Amendment.

I'm such a fan of good old number one, as you may know. I hardly believe that anyone, even a court believes that the clear and present danger doctrine is on point in this case, but hey-- I'm not a lawyer (maybe, someday?) As if some of you don't already have enough reason to hate me :-)

To Brock.

Dude, seriously, one mortal wound at a time, okay? No one knows more about the abuse that I suffered than me. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about it. And it saddens me that you can't connect what happened to me then and what's happened in my life since. It saddens me that you can't see how that could affect a person's psychosexual development. It terrifies me that you believe a 13 year old boy is ready to have sex with anyone, let alone another kid.

As my journey brings me to those issues, as the connections are made and I'm ready to deal in a capacity that will encourage growth -- then trust me, you'll hear about it. Give me time.

What didn't work 5.

This is going to be a tough one for some of you, so bare with me. Hear me out, then fire away (as if you wouldn't anyway).

"...it seemed for a time that the answer we were looking for was to accept and embrace our supposedly innate gay identity ... those of us who did so found it to be an exhilarating, freeing experience -- temporarily. ... No longer were we hiding in shame. No longer would we beat ourselves up with self-criticism and so-called "homophobia." At last we were "out and proud."

I've never been out and proud. Never will be able to, either. Aside from the guys I've been with, I've admitted to exactly two people that I'd ever even touched a guy.

I once wondered if I could go on forever, living one life here in the closet, another in the light of day. I wondered how long I could ignore what God was saying to me, showing me. Then I wondered how long I could go on destroying myself; denying the Spirit that lived in me.

"Almost universally, we felt alienated from God and our spiritual lives. We were out of integrity with our deeply held values and beliefs that had always anchored our lives. ..."

It amazes me, sometimes, how we as Christians feel like we can never let the smile drop from our faces. If we're honest, we often find ourselves to all be broken, hurting. You wouldn't know it to step into the church, though. And I wonder if the people in my church would be surprised to read these words if they knew who wrote them. I've lived such the good Christian life in front of everyone I know, serving God and being an example for others to follow. But, the image I projected to them couldn't be further from the truth. To say I was "out of integrity" is a massive understatement. I was crippled and bleeding and learned well how to hide it. I still hide it, except for here where I write. (Part of me wonders though, why no one ever noticed).

"A common experience among us what that we experienced the gay world as a place that was fraught with promiscuity, lust, obsession with youth and physical appearance, addiction to sex, alcohol and lust. We found judgment, pettiness, spiritual darkness and brokenness. Although we experienced small pieces of healing there at times, for the most part, it only deepened the emotional and spiritual emptiness inside."

There are those here that would die fighting to proove that quote wrong. There are those here dying inside because they deny its validity.

And it's why I'm here. No statement ever rings 100 percent true, and that statement doesn't paint a 100 percent accurate tried and true picture of the gay community. I can already see the e-mails many of you are writing to me now to point that out. No need. I know it's not a crystal clear digital snapshot, but maybe a softer watercolor.

And it's in those blurry lines that I get lost. Part of me really, really wants to be out and proud. Why? Because it's the road many travel -- the easy one, the accepted one. I'm not strong, I'm not courageous and I'm not made of steel. I break real easily and I tire just as quickly. Seriously, at this point, that busy road is far far far more appealing than the one I'm on. It's rush hour but sometimes I'd gladly drive in it anyway.

When I think that maybe, maybe I could "survive" in the gay world; that I could possibly exist there (forget about being fulfilled or happy) without my nature tearing me to pieces inside, I'm tempted. When I weigh the choice of denying myself, my God, and embracing the alternatives -- well, I wonder how much I can let the scale tip before I fall off.

Then I read statements like the one above. I remember what I experienced first hand for my self; what I observed without anyone ever telling me. I remember how true it rang for me. I remember what awaits me at the end of each of these roads.

I wish I could throw all this doubt away. I wish that things could be easier. I wish the road I were on was shorter and easier to travel. Sometimes, I just wish I had a map. Good thing I'm not the one driving.

6.03.2004

Is it wrong?

This post is going in a different direction than you're all expecting. My question is, is it wrong that when I read things like this, I just smile? I'm not sure why I smile -- maybe because it validates my faith in God all the more, for some strange reason. Maybe it's because there are so many who jump to so many baseless conclusions about my faith and how I got to this point in my life? I don't know.

But then, the reality of the situation hits me. I have a hope, a peace that so many readers here just don't understand (or won't let themselves understand) and don't have for themselves (though they could). At school, during the roughest times for our community (say, when 9/11 occurred, or we experienced a death on campus or something like that) we would sing the song, "It is Well" -- to this day, I can barely think of that song without becoming all misty-eyed. I bring it up, because, well-- I don't have the words to describe what I feel when I think about where God's brought me. I'm supposed to be a better writer than this, but I just don't have the words. I'm not sure there are words.

It is well, with my soul.

The Blogosphere.

I've caused my own little bit of ruckus, it seems, with this blog (duh). I remain unapologetic about what I say -- but what's happened / ing isn't lost on me. I noticed this post last night. It amazes me for 1) its sheer length and 2) its introspectiveness.

"...there was something else that interested me in his journal, a tone of reasonable exploration, a flavor of the spiritual path that differed much from the irrational ex-gay and Christian rantings I have encountered before. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy, open-minded and searching for Truth, trying to find a balance between his spiritual beliefs and his physical reality."

I came across another, from Paul, discussing the Haloscan ads.

"I emailed the Haloscan people and they informed me that by their standards it wasn't offensive (his site doesn't actually include any hate speech) but to me the mere thought of changing something that is such an inate part of me is offensive. In reply to my email they also raised a good point in that a lot of their ads are also very liberal ads and this might offend someone who is republican, but I haven't seen any that link to sites urging them to change from straight to gay.

Now I've seen the ads (and the variations of them), thanks to all of those who found them original enough to hijack the image and post on their own blogs. The text doesn't urge anyone to do anything.

One Million Monkeys had this to say, and though I might of put it a little differently than the author did, I say more power to him:

"...I wholeheartedly defend this blogger's right to put whatever he wishes up on the internet, I also defend my right to completely trash it. So here we go."

Menina seems to resonate with 1 Corinthians 6, but Patrick didn't seem to get it. His post title, Fear and Self Loathing in DC sums up what he thinks:

"I can't understand how any organized religion can teach followers to hold themselves in such contempt."

I'm not sure how many more ways I can say that I don't hold myself in contempt. I love myself. I love the person God made. I've made choices for myself and others have made choices for me that have sent parts of my life off in the wrong direction, and I don't love that. For example, I was depressed for quite a long period of time. I hated that I was depressed, and I fought with every fiber of my being to drag myself out of that valley. It doesn't mean I hated myself, or had contempt for myself. It meant I wanted to change.

Well, after all that, these past three days in June have brought more page views than the entire month of May. I really didn't expect this, and I think God's growing it into something I never could've imagined. I told a new friend recently that I'll let God take this journal where He will.

6.02.2004

1 Corinthians 6 again.

I've posted this before, but I wanted to again. It makes me cry, but-- I just need to hear it. I need to be reminded of it.

"There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, 'The two become one.' Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever--the kind of sex that can never 'become one.' There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for 'becoming one' with another. Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body."

There are other translations, but I'm a big The Message fan -- it makes the Bible come that much more alive for me to get Peterson's take on it.

Another thing.

Found this one from my technorati profile:

"... Well, I think I've added him for two reasons. One, because he's exactly my age. The other, is because he's trying. He's trying hard. ..."

I've found a couple more, actually -- but since they're not in English I'll wait until I figure out what they say. There are the usual "what an idiot" posts out there, too. But I can only post so many of those. I do get a kick out of 'em, nonetheless.

On second thought, here's one to sleep on:

"I am such a loser because I am trying so hard to be straight but I am so faggot"

The eloquence astounds me. Sigh.

Last night.

It was hard. I took a nap in the afternoon and I had this dream. You don't need details, I'm sure you can imagine it (if you can't, all the better for you). Point of the story, the desire is still there -- and very strong. I can go and go and go, ignoring it and abstaining, but that doesn't change that it's still there. It's the heart with which I must contend. So much easier said than done.

I've been thinking about friends, too. I've lost quite a few, for stupid reasons (or rather people I thought were friends). I find it hard to trust people because of that. Then, certain things remind me of my friends, people whom I haven't heard from in months -- and I grieve. That's all I can say, I grieve over this loss. I just want to lay down and cry right now.

What didn't work 4.

Indulging It
At one time, many of us were convinced that indulging our desires for homosexual expression was the only way to satisfy them and get relief from constant yearning for male attention and affection. And in fact it did bring relief -- momentarily. But those of us who did indulge those desires often found that, when the fleeting embrace or erotic experience was over, we felt more lonely and desperate than before. The "hole" inside our souls that we were constantly trying to fill was deeper and emptier than ever, and we were desperate for more. It became easy for us to fall into addiction and dependency.

Even those of us who found a romantic partner who seemed like he would always be there for us often found we could never get enough of him to fill the emptiness inside ourselves. The true need buried deep inside was a little boy's need for love and acceptance from his father and from the other boys and to fully and proudly embrace his masculinity. Sex with another man only alienated us from ever really finding the real solution to our needs.


This one, I tried. And they're right -- it didn't work. It's actually what's led me to where I am. More so than what I've read in the Bible and heard at church. Think about it this way -- I've known what God says about my behavior for a long, long time. I knew and I ignored it. I did what I wanted anyway -- and I came up empty.

I indulged for years. Knowing the risks, knowing the harm. I still remember my first gay club. I remember being asked to go home with three different guys. I remember my first bath house (I'll spare you those details). I remember my first gay bar.

I was think about that old school DC Talk song -- "I Don't Want It" or something like that. There's that one line, "too much skin is in your vision..." It rings very true. The idea that I'll be living with these images for the rest of my life (or a really long time) is -- unsettling.

6.01.2004

What didn't work 3.

This one's kinda long, and it doesn't apply a whole lot to me. My prayer life is probably the most lapse part of my faith. Not that I don't pray -- I just don't seem to have that consistent everyday same time same place kinda prayer life everyone seems to be telling me that I should have. So, I'v never tried to pray my gay away.

But I need all the "fuel" I can get.

Trying to Pray It Away
Almost all of us at one time hoped and prayed that God would suddenly change us, that if only we had enough faith, we would wake up one day and find our homosexual desires miraculously gone. Yes, those are those who testify of such miraculous, sudden recovery, but it certainly doesn't seem to be the norm -- and certainly not without a lot of hard, personal and spiritual work leading up to that "overnight" recovery.

In fact, many of us came to see that we had been praying the wrong prayer for many years! Rather than asking God to change us, we needed him to show us the steps he wanted us to take toward change -- and then trust him enough to take the very steps we feared most. We needed to be humble enough to learn the lessons that the struggle was designed to teach us -- and then move on.

As Ben writes:

"Like so many others, I once begged God to change me with a single touch, the way he healed the blind man. I prayed and read scriptures hoping that would change me, but all the while I remained locked in isolation and shame. Ultimately, I learned that trying to heal my emotional wounds through spirituality alone was like putting a cast on my arm when I had the flu. I was treating the wrong problem. I was emotionally broken and weak, but in many ways spiritually strong. Trying to strengthen myself spiritually, alone in my room in prayer, wasn't going to heal the isolation I felt in the world of men. I started to change when I saw the Lord as a guide who would lead me through a healing journey if I did it his way, not mine."

For most of us, praying and building a renewed spiritual life would become the fuel that powered our journey out of homosexuality and the map that guided our way -- it was seldom our journey in itself.

And...

I'm not Catholic, not that I'm really offended by the idea -- but why is everyone else allowed to be wrong and I'm not? Want mustard with those daisies?

Things I've never said.

Or if I did, I didn't mean to. Setting the record straight:

*I've never said that all gay men were abused as children. I was, and I'd be a fool to ignore the role that has played in my spiritual/emotional/sexual development.
*I've never said that I hated myself. I don't. I really really don't. I hate some of the things I've done. I hate some of the things that've been done to me.
*I've never said that anyone is telling me whom I should be. These are issues of my heart, of my health -- of my faith. Despite popular opinion, I really can think quite critically.
*I've never said that all gay men are *extremely* promiscuous. I say extremely, because honestly, I view anyone with more than one sexual partner as promiscuous. I've said that I was promiscous. And I was. I've said that most gay men I've encountered, be it in bars, clubs, sex clubs or the metro or where ever, have been pretty much the same.
*I've never said that I was mistreated by other children because of my sexuality. Do all gay kids have to suffer or they're really not gay? I was actually okay most of the way through school. I wasn't extremely popular, but I wasn't disliked, picked on or abused more than any other kid. I took my fair share and even dished it out on occassion (kids can be total you know whats sometimes). You guys are right then, I must not be gay. Phew. That's a relief.
*I've never said that if you're gay you have to change. I might believe that. But I've never told you that. If you tell me you're happy, then so be it. God gives you the choice to do what you will with your life -- why should I assume to take that choice from you. I might think you're wrong, but since so many of you tell me how wrong (stupid, idiotic, sad, pathetic, moronic, etc.) I am, I really don't feel bad thinking similar of you.
*I've never said that I have all the answers. I really don't. When it comes to Christianity, the Bible and apologetics -- yeah, I'm quick on the draw. That comes from years of study and I can argue with the best of 'em. Trust me. I am supposed to have a ready defense, to be able to give answers to those who ask about the hope that I have. Don't fault me for it.

That's all I can think of for now. There's more, I'm sure. If I think of anything else, I'll add it or create a new post later.

What didn't work 2.

Using Willpower
We certainly never consciously chose to be sexually attracted to men. Neither could we simple choose to change and be attracted to women instead. At best, willpower could only help us resist the urge to indulge whatever sexual desire we felt in the moment. It could not bring long-term healing.

Rather than work on our will, or our mental control, we found it much more effective to work on our heart, or our emotional and spiritual desire.

I'm so glad someone has said this. I think it's a point missed by most on both sides.

And I think it's what a lot of people here miss about me. They tell me in comments and e-mails that I'd be happy if I only accepted who I am. I have and I am. I am a man of God. A man of God with a wounded, broken heart that I've worked so hard to protect. I've kept if from everyone -- even God. I'm changing that. I'm choosing to change that.

At its foundation, this struggle isn't about my sexuality. Amber said it best: it's about how I respond to God. Of all the people here, the one in the best place to know what God wants for me is me. I've spent nearly half my life with God, and I know Him pretty well.

So, looking at this -- I'm a long, long way off. My willpower is pretty good right now. But self-discipline is only one of the many, many things I need to learn. My devotional time (as much as I hate the word devotional) is pitiful to non-existent. I used to take walks. Long walks, just talking to God (normally telling Him how angry I was at Him for all the things He's let happen to me). I don't do that anymore. I have to force myself to pray, to study my Bible.

Illiterate.

I need to learn more languages. I've found this site, which I think is in French and this one which I believe to be Dutch. There's that one in Estonian, too -- and someone commented here in Porteguese once or twice. I kinda like knowing what's being said, but I never really took into consideration the whole language barrier thing. I've gotten hits from almost 30 different countries so far.

What didn't work.

One reader introduced me to this this site. They've got a whole page about, what didn't work -- and I thought I'd go through each of them as I've seen them in my life. Here's the first:

Denying or Suppressing It
Pretending there was nothing amiss in our lives was like ignoring a growing tumor. Refusing to deal with our homosexual problems ensured that they would continue to thrive and multiply. We could resist for a time. We could look the other way. But that only gave our problems time to fester and grow worse. We could abstain from homosexual behavior, but that didn't resolve the feeling. Avoiding the problem could never fix the problem.

A lot here would say being gay isn't a problem. I believe if they'd just trace the roots of their psycho / sexual development, they'd find some very interesting things out about themselves. Then there's that, the APA removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. They also removed pedophilia from their list of disorders as well, if I remember correctly.

I think the point here is that homosexuality is really the tip of the ice berg. I've seen that. No matter what any of you might say, I can't ignore the role being sexually abused as a child played in my sexual development. And if you try to tell me it had nothing to do with my being gay, well -- you're wrong.

I'm not sure though, that I ever tried to surpress or deny the problem. I was never like, I'm not really gay, so I don't have to deal with it. I've always been, I'm gay and I need to find a way to fix this. I have though, been very lazy about it for a long time. It's been years (1998) since I first told a counselor I was gay. Seven years later and I'm still pretty much trapped.

5.31.2004

100 entries, 31 days, no sex.

A mini milestone, I guess. It's been overwhelmingly easy, so far (knock on wood). Not that I can report a whole lot of change, really (other than the easy part -- it's usually really, really hard). It's been a good trip, and I look forward to the next 100 and the next month. Here we go.

More I don't agree with.

Normally, I'd let this go -- but it's getting so much attention.

"Whether it is genetic or whether something occurs during a critical time of fetal development, I don't know. I can only tell you with an absolute certainty that it is inborn."

I wish I could be that certain about things in my life. Inborn? Absolute certainty? What have all the scientists around the world been missing? She's got this nailed, so they should listen to her. Inborn indeed. I repeat what I said a few weeks ago -- that doesn't mean it's valid.

You use religion to abdicate your responsibility to be thinking human beings. There are vast numbers of religious people who find your attitudes repugnant. God is not for the privileged majority, and God knows my son has committed no sin.

It's my faith (a word I choose over 'religion') that's made me a thinking human being (though later she calls her opponent a "deep-thinker"). There very well maybe vast numbers of "religious" people who find what the Bible says repugnant. A lot of people thought most of things Jesus said were repugnant. And in being homosexual, I don't believe this woman's son sinned -- she's probably right when she says he didn't choose what kind of life he was handed. But he does have a choice on how he acts based on the life he's got. There in lies the sin.

"You have the audacity to talk about protecting families and children from the homosexual menace, while you yourselves tear apart families and drive children to despair."

Not so sure that children are being driven to despair because they're told thay can't be gay. Being told I can't be gay isn't what makes me despair -- it's being told that I should be. It's being told that I should deny my faith and everything inside of me to embrace a lifestyle that's brought me nothing but anxiety, fear and pain. It's being told that I'm stupid for believing in a God that wants the best in the world for me.

True, what this kid's had to endure is unexcusable, vile even. I make no excuse for it -- but I've got news for everyone out -- it's not just Christians who treat gays with contempt (and I contend that most really don't). We're just the scapegoats. So be it.

She has every right to defend her son and to expect him to be treated like a human being -- I'd do the same for my children. But pointing fingers doesn't make her a hero -- it makes her scared, reactive. I can't fault her for that, but maybe we should all stop looking for people to blame.

More speculation.

I've been reading more and more about "myself" and the idea that I might not be real. It's curious, 'cause of all the possible reactions I anticipated to my blog, this wasn't one of them. And I'm usually pretty good at forseeing that stuff.

It reminds me of what the author of Hot Abercrombie Chick went through on her / his blog a while back. Apparently no one thought she was real (or at least if she was a girl or a guy). How ironic.

Manhood.

"Manhood is a sustained act of character. It is no easier to become a man than it is to become virtuous."

From a comment left by a reader (who was quoting something else). It's a point well taken; definitely not something that's lost on me.

Then I flashed back to one of Brock's comments, that linked to this article. She makes a point about choice that resonates with me in some ways. If masculinity is really so hard to obtain, why do so many boys grow into physically, spritually and emotionally healthy men without so much as giving it a second thought? Why do some of us (me) get the shaft -- sent spiraling into a life that's very painful, both spiritually and emotionally?

Now to be honest, the rage expressed in that article says something about the mom who wrote it -- and I can only imagine what kind of parent she was -- perhaps a bit too protective of her son? I don't know, I've never met her -- it was just a very emotional response.

Terry Mattingly.

I found his blog thanks to the guys over at Gay Spirituality. I met Terry once, he came to my school and spoke on God, VanHalen and something else that I can't remember. His basic premise was how the church was unsupportive of its young people being called into "non-ministry" positions like journalism -- if there is such a thing as a non-ministry job for a Christian.

On a weirder note, I can no longer log-in to Blogger through IE. Netscape works, though.

Tell her how you feel.

Was watching a movie tonight (two in three days, I'm on a roll), and one of the characters told another character to "tell her how you feel..." It made me think.

I want to have feelings to tell somebody about someday. It ticks me off that it's first nature to so many guys -- and they don't realize what they have. This is hard to explain, what I'm feeling. Kinda like I'm trapped in a straight jacket -- like everything I want -- everything God put into me -- is just sitting there under the surface, trapped and repressed.

Then, there are the times when I lay down at night and I just picture myself laying in the arms of half-naked guy. Not having sex, but just being held. It's weird, but it's sort of like this sexual dichotomy is starting to wage war inside me. Things are happening. For the first time in my life, I'm really at a loss for words to describe what it's like.