Monday, October 31, 2005

Some affirmation, and The Way I Was Made

I want to live like there’s no tomorrow
I want to dance like no one’s around.
I want to sing like no one’s listening.
Before I lay my body down

I want to give like I have plenty.
I want to love like I’m not afraid.
I want to be the man I was meant to be.
I want to be the way I was made.

(Chris Tomlin, The Way I Was Made,
from the CD Arriving)
Today was an amazing, powerful day.

Recently, I'd been hearing a song by Christian song-writer and worship-leader Chris Tomlin - and it had been pushing me to actually take some action about the coming out process I started way the hell back at the end of last year. Then my dear friend (and coming-out advocate) Tom S. posted this powerful article about coming out - and I really started to realize how much I needed to stop talking about getting ready to think about preparing to come out, and just get "into action," as the text of recovery says.

So today, I came out to two of my AA sponsees - both of whom I had hoped would be open and affirming, but I just didn't know, you know? One I had known and sponsored for a year - in fact, I came out to him on his one-year sobriety anniversary. The other I've known for just a few months - but I really had not wanted to even discuss my orientation until both of them were on somewhat solid ground in their sobriety.

Both guys were completely cool - it was gratifying in powerful ways. Funny part was, unbeknownst to me, the one-year guy actually had another AA member out me over breakfast after a meeting last December (though I'd never actually come out to him), so it was a complete non-event. It was particularly gratifying to hear the words, nonetheless - I'd actually steeled myself to have either of them say, "That's fine for you, no problem - but I need to find another sponsor." I didn't prepare myself for that because I wanted it to happen - but I was expecting the worst, even as I was hoping for the best, I guess. Anyway, it was proof of the AA truism - I've lived through thousands of struggles and tragedies - most of which never actually happened.

In talking with Tom and his partner afterwards, it turns out that several other folks in our AA circles had already pegged me as gay, without saying anything. While I'm not overly surprised, I guess I am a little's not like I'm walking around humming Barbra Streisand or anything. And I'm definitely the least in-shape, most fashion-impaired gay man I it will be interesting to see what set their gaydar off.

There's loads more to write - but it's way too late to do it. So (early this morning) I just thank God for friends who encourage, and friends who accept, and a God whose love follows throughout this "great adventure."

Working for an "Outie Award" recipient...

I've only been in my new job two full weeks - and yet on Thursday, I found out that my new temporary employer, Hewitt Associates, has been named in the Out & Equal Workplace Advocate's Outie Awards for a "Out & Equal Award for Significant Achievement." The Out & Equal press release says:

Hewitt Associates has contributed significantly to making the world a better place to work for its LGBT associates by working at creating an environment safe enough for anyone who wants to be out to do so without any fear of repercussions to their career advancement. The Affirmations exhibits have been a highly visible, high impact, bold way of doing this.
I'm sure it's just a coincidence that October 1st, there was less than a 50% chance of me going to work there; that only on October 14th, did I know for sure that I was starting on the 17th; and that by October 25th, the "Outie" press release was out.

Yeah, right...