Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lance Bass to People: "I'm Gay"

Gay community to People: "Well, duh..."

Welcome home, Lance. You only beat me out by 20 I can only welcome you. We all stay in until the cost of staying in gets too high. I'm glad your "bottom" (pardon the phrase) came sooner than mine did.

As the folks from Southwest Airlines say, "You are now free to move about the country" - out and "free at last."

Oh, and a personal note to People: could you have found any picture that made Lance look less mainstream and more "gay" than that one? Maybe one of Lance in a pink tutu?...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Yes, it's been a long, long time....

...and I will eventually share a summary of all that has gone on over the last two months. Right now, I'm just trying to "pull the nose up" and pull out of the flat spin I've been in for, oh, months.

But there is good news.

In blog-surfing, I discovered RocketKid's blog. A young gay man who is "out" at a Christian college. A guy who seems to have surmounted, at his tender age, all the BS I bought into for so many years. And a great vlogger (video-blogger, for those of us on the late-adopter end of the scale.)

He went to a wedding of a friend - a good friend. And yet the friend's family were of that conservative Christian ilk who see gays as the enemies of God, the enemies of marriage...just "the enemy." His friend's father was the officiating pastor at the wedding, and made sure to point out that the boy-n-girl were perpetuating God's will, while us fags were tearing it down, and so on.

And RocketKid was hurt. Again. By the church that he obviously wants to believe in.

I posted this on his blog, but I want to say it here, as well.

For a number of years, while I was waiting for God to "heal" me, I joined a bunch of men from my Promise Keepers conferences.


Why? Because I loved the worship, I loved the music, I got high on the energy. As a person in recovery, I understood the need for constant repentance and recommitment to a spiritual life, and that was consistent with the PK message. Back then I'd decided, somewhere along the way, that I wasn't going to be gay, but I was going to be gay-affirming - a "let your light so shine before others" kind of thing. So I just let the anti-gay sewage flow in one ear and out the other. But part of it still stuck in my head and my heart, like maple syrup on a spoon. Yeah, "we" are acceptable to God as sinful folks, but "those folks"...oh, there won't be a fire hot enough for THAT crowd.

And it hurt.

It still does.

The problem is that so many so-called Christian ministries seem to need an enemy, a devil to drive people to God. Everyone knows that nothing promotes unity like a common enemy. And the GLBT community has fulfilled that role for years. We have been the "them" to the Christian "us" for so long that most Christian folks believe it as part of the gospel.

A friend of mine pointed out that being gay is not everything in my life - but it's a part of everything in my life. It would be like trying to take the beef out of beef stew. Even if you tried to pull out all the beef, the flavor of the beef has soaked into the carrots and potatoes and all the other vegetables in the soup. No matter what you taste in the soup, you'll taste the beef there, too. (We'll leave any off-color jokes about "pulling meat out" aside, won't we?)

Another friend said it would be like pulling all the blue threads out of a tartan-plaid fabric. Without those threads, the fabric would fall apart.

Nevertheless, I bought that lie for years - that my same-sex attractions were something I could stuff, bury, hide away somewhere. I wasn't sexually active, and wasn't really at risk of it - so who cared?

I did. God did. God made me this way. To hide this part of my life is insane.

My friend Tom said it best, especially here. The world needs to see us - all of us. When I started the coming-out process about 18 months ago, I knew I wasn't doing it because I'd found some gay dreamboat. I was doing it to be more open and honest with others. My prayer was that when the question came up, people who knew me would be able to say, "Hey - they're talking about Steve. And that's not how I know Steve..."

There's a t-shirt at a store called GayMart here in Chicago that says it all:

"We are your sons, your daughters, your mothers, your fathers, your neighbors, your coworkers, your friends. We are here to love - and we are here to stay."