Saturday, March 24, 2007

I can't, God can...

...I think I'll let him.

That, summarized, are the first three steps of the 12 step program of recovery. And I am immersed in it, swimming in it, this weekend at the Together We Can GLBT recovery conference in Troy, MI.

It's been an eye-opener, to be sure.

I am with a fairly large contingent from my home group, the Live and Let Live gay AA group in Toledo. And I've been introduced to a whole level of camp and queeny behavior that I knew was possible, but never really experienced before. To be honest, I don't often refer to any man (gay or straight) as "girl" or "sister," so when I hear things like "oh, LOOK at that girl go," stupidly enough I'm looking for, well, a girl.

I'm getting past that.

The other thing is the freedom to look at other men. There are some beautiful men - and a whole bunch of average guy-next-door guys - and it's just o.k. to be looking. In fact, it's expected. No fear of "WTF are YOU looking at?" up here - which is a whole new level of freedom, to be sure.

And it's the chance to address so much of my past - or lack of past - sexual life. Not that I'm expecting to find any treatment for that celibacy condition I've been dealing with (for, oh, a decade and more...). But the chance to at least explore that - and hear the experience, strength and hope of others - is going to be a great thing.

Last night, the Alanon speaker spoke of the the promise of Joel 2:25 - I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten - and my prayer, for this weekend, is that this can be a start. My goal is to listen, learn, and spend a whole lot of time laughing.

I hae to admit, though, that tonight will be an interesting experience. There is, after the banquet and speaker meeting, a dance. And for those of you who have been out for a while, this may seem strange for a man a week away from his fiftieth birthday - but I have never danced with another man. Ever. I have never kissed a man, other than the peck-on-the-cheek "hello." And I haven't had to ask anyone to dance that I wasn't already at a dance with since high-school.

I am suddenly struck back to 14 years old. Sober.

Pray for me...for the willingness to dance, to ask others to dance with me, to get into the mainstream of my new life. If ever there was a time to do it, it would be now.


  1. (((steve))) i posted that simple pray a couple of weeks ago. i love it.

    tell me -- how'd it go? please don't say you were a wallflower, but that you had a marvelous time and it will leave an indelible mark forever.


    i love you,

  2. simple prayER. simple prayer.

    (God, i hate typos...) (note to self: proofread!)

  3. Damn Steve,

    It's been quite a while since I read this column of yours. I'm impressed that you're at a GLBT conference. I can barely bring myself to go to the group here (by the same name strangely enough) evey few years for one meeting.
    By now you've been to the dance and had whatever experince with it. Hope you didn't make to big a deal of it whichever way it went.
    Love you

  4. Good to see you back at this post. And OUT with a crowd!