Saturday, November 27, 2010


Friendships are like people. I guess that stands to reason since friendships exist in the lives of people. Friendships can be casual or life long. They can change our lives and change the lives of others without our even realizing it.

A few years ago, I came across this story on line. I don't know who wrote it. I don't know if its a true story or not. But its a story that every person should hear and every person should understand. If anything, its more timely today than when I first saw it.


One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my
class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he
was carrying all of his books.

I thought to myself, 'Why would anyone bring home all his books on a
Friday? He must really be a nerd.

I had quite a weekend planned: parties and a football game with my
friends tomorrow afternoon, so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.
As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward Kyle. They ran
at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he
landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in
the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw terrible
sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him.

So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his
glasses, and I noticed a tear in his eye. As I handed him his
glasses, I said, 'Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.'

He looked at me and said, 'Hey thanks!' There was a big smile on his
face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it
turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him
before. Turns out he had gone to private school before now. I would
have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all
the way home, and I carried some of his books.

He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to
play a little football with my friends and he said yes. We hung out
all weekend and fucked around all the nights. As I got to know Kyle,
the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him also.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books

I stopped him and said, 'Boy, you are gonna really build some serious
muscles with this pile of books everyday! He just laughed and handed
me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we
were seniors we began to think about college, sex and girls. Kyle
decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would
always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was
going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about
being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so
glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak on Graduation day,

I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really
found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked
good in glasses. He had more dates than I had, and all the girls
loved him. Sometimes I was jealous and today was one of those days. I
could see that he was nervous about his speech. I smacked him on the
ass and said, 'Hey, big guy, you'll be great!

He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and
smiled. 'Thanks,' he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his
throat, and began: 'Graduation is a time to thank those who helped
you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers,
your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends... I am here
to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift
you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.'

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the
first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He
talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his mom wouldn't have
to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me
and gave me a little smile.

'Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy
told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his mom and dad looking
at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did
I realize it's depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture
you can change a person's life. For better or for worse. We are all
in each others lives to impact one another in some way. Look for good
in others.

Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have
trouble remembering how to fly.

As, I mentioned, I don't know if the story printed above is true or not, but I know it could be. I know it could be because a similar story happened to me.

About fifteen years ago I met a guy. It seemed like a casual meeting. That the meeting took place at all was circumstantial. It was not a meeting I could have predicted. We had little in common. He was about 12  years younger than I. He had young children. Mine were grown. He was still very much a part of the busienss world in a high powered job with a national company. My career was winding down down toward retirement. He was athletic and loved loved all kinds of sports. Athletics had never been my strong point.

But for some reason there was something about this chance meeting right from the first. I had no idea what it was, but I was highly aware of it, whatever it was. At first our talk was just small talk that commonly takes place between two people who have never met before and are casually getting acquainted. But then he asked if he could talk to me privately. I agreed not knowing what was coming.

In private, he confided in me that he was planning to kill  himself. He knew how. He knew when. He knew why. He was just waiting for a family wedding to be overwith so that his death would not put a damper on what should be a happy day.

He was going to do this because he could no longer live with his sexuality. He was a married man who could not rid himself of the desire for male/male sex. He felt he was a monster. He felt he was going to Hell. He figured he might as well get it over with.

I was shocked, but at the same time I recognized that he had no reason to tell me all this other than as a desperate plea for help.

That help was to take years of hard work for both of us. It took  patience and a willingness to get involved on my part. On his part it took a willingness to believe that his life could be different even if his sexuality couldn't be. It took a willingness to consider new paradigms of faith and self worth.

For the first few years, I was naive enough to believe I was simply helping him to understand and accept himself for what he was and help him to understand all the reasons he had to live. Much to my surprise, the time came when I realized he had been helping me all along. We were in a real life symbiotic relationship and my efforts to change his outlook on life were allowing him to change my life as well.

This real life experience taught me that none of us are truly isolated from each other. All our lives are intertwined. We are our brothers' keeper and our brothers are not just our biological brothers.

In a world and a time when bullying, in person and on line, is reaching critical mass in the lives of young people across this nation; and in a time in which great strides are being made in societal acceptance of homosexuality, there is  at the same time a backlash of hate,. In such a time friendship can be a matter of life and death. To know that someone cares or conversely to feel that no one cares can be the difference in a person making a decision to live and face his  situation or die at his own hand.

My friends sexuality, ended up costing him almost everything he had. It did cost him everything he owned. It cost him many of his so called friends. But he came to know himself and for the first time in his life he came to know what it was to be  happy and to know that happiness was more than what he owned or what he was. Happiness was in accepting himself and being himself.

No one should be judged based on his sexuality. No one should be made to be a second class citizen becaue of his sexuality. No one should be disallowed to contribute to society because of his sexuality. Much that we value in life from fine art, to music, to architecture, to poetry is the product of the homosexual mind. All our lives are better because of those contributions throughout the ages.

No one should choose his friends based on sexuality, and no one should withhold his friendship from another based on sexuality either. We should all be aware that our attitudes and our actions can have profound effect on the lives of others.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Majority of Americans Believe Churches Contribute to Gay & Bi Suicides

According to an article on Belief Blog, two thirds of Amercian believe churches contribute to suicides among gay and bi persons. (The blog article is posted below and can also be seen on line by clicking here .

I am happy to say that my own local United Methodist Church is tolerant of gay people and several members are both openly gay and openly accepted in the fellowship of the church. Yet at the same time church hierarchy has not reached the level of acceptance that many of the members in the pews have reached because church dogma still discriminates against gay and bisexual persons by not allowing them in clerical positions. (Of course there are gay and bi clergy who serve quite well, they just do so under the radar of those who would disciminate against them.)

As a Christian, I often ponder the question of whether, on balance, religion is and historically has been a force for good or a force for evil in the world. There is no doubt that religion and religious people do great good in the world. Again, my own local church is responsible for feeding many who would otherwise be hungry and clothing many who would otherwise be without. That is no small thing in our community.

On the other hand, there are the Reverend (I use the title with great derision) Phelps' of Kansas (and the world) who go out of their way to spead hate in the name of the God of love and peace.

To those who are not Christians and know little about Christianity, I can only ask that you be aware that real Christians do not see themselves as saints. Indeed they do not see themselves as any better than anyone else in any manner whatsoever. They simply see themselves as sinners seeking redemption. Among the ranks of Christians one will find thiefs, liers, adulterers and people of all sorts doing all sorts of evil. But on their best days these sinners are also feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and conforting the weary. And they strive to make their better days outnumber their bad days.

Because this country is still overwhelmingly a country of believers, perhaps it is a sign of hope that two thirds of the people in the country (a large number of which mathematically have to be Christians themselves) see that the church universal and Christians personally are not following the example of Christ when it comes to dealing with those whose sexuality is outside the mainstream.

See the article below.

Two out of three Americans believe gay people commit suicide at  least partly because of messages coming out of churches and other places of  worship, a survey released Thursday found.

More than four out of 10 Americans say the message coming out of churches  about gay people is negative, and about the same number say those messages  contribute "a lot" to negative perceptions of gay and lesbian people.

Catholics were the most critical of their own churches' messages on  homosexuality, while white evangelical Christians gave their churches the  highest grades, the survey found.

The Public Religion Research Institute asked 1,017 Americans their views  on religion and homosexuality between October 14 and 17, in the wake of a highly publicized rash of suicides by gay people.

Gay rights campaigner Dan Savage said the idea that churches send out an  anti-gay message "totally jibes with my experience and that of millions of  other gay and lesbian people."

He cited Joel Burns, a Forth Worth, Texas, city councilman whose  emotional tale of being bullied as a young gay man went viral on the internet.

"He remembers being told to go home and commit suicide and that he was  going to hell," Savage said, adding that the source of such attitudes "wasn't  in algebra."

Leaders of the Christian right "have redefined Christianity so that it is  about being anti-gay," he said.

And he cited other poll findings that suggest more Americans than ever  before define themselves as having no religion.

"When you dig down, you found people who said they were Christians who  didn't want to be identified with being anti-gay," he argued.

But Jim Daly, the head of Focus on the Family, argued in a commentary for  CNN that Christian churches are not to blame.

"To violate the dignity of another person, in any form or fashion, is to  contradict the very basis of Gospel-centered living. And to suggest that an  orthodox understanding of Christianity encourages abuse against homosexuals is  a sad misreading of the very tenets of the faith," he said.

"Some self-described Christians do not act in Christ-like ways toward  those who are different than they are," he conceded.

"They save their harshest judgments for the sins they don't struggle with  themselves. That is not biblical Christianity in practice," he said.

Only five out of 100 people gave churches generally an A for their  handling of "the issue of homosexuality" in the Public Religion Research Institute survey, while 28 percent said their own church handled it well.

One in three people said that messages from places of worship contribute  "a lot" to higher rates of suicide among gay and lesbian youth.

Another one in  three said they contribute "a little." Only one in five said they do not  contribute at all. The rest said they did not know.

Americans were equally split on whether homosexual relationships between  adults are wrong, with 44 percent saying yes and 46 percent saying no.

The sampling margin on the survey, a joint project of PRRI and Religion News Service, is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Chains That Bind Us

In a conversation with a married bisexual man a while back, he referred to his life as a prison of his own making. Though he used this reference in passing and as part of a much wider discussion, it was that he considered his life a prison of his own making that I remember most about the discussion. The term burned into my mind and caused me to think and reflect over my own life and the lives of some of the people I know best.

I guess, to be honest, the use of that analogy stuck me because I immediately applied it to almost half of my own life. For almost 30 years, I was in a prison of my own making. That is not to say that the cirucumstance of my life did not contribute  to the construction of my prison. It did contribute greatly. But it was I who built the walls around a portion of my life and it was I who chained myself to those walls.

Over the years, I have been in the postion to and have had the privilege of talking to hundreds of men about their most intiment thoughts, desires and fears. Men do not talk easily about such things, and it means a great deal to me that I am able to foster a degree of trust  in so many guys that they are comfortable in sharing with me things that more than likely they have never shared with anyone else.

It occurred to me almost immediately that while men have shared their triumphs and their successes with me, more often than not what they have shared with me is the story of the prison they have built for themselves within their own lives and their persepctives from the wall to which they have chained themselves with heavy and burdensome chains of their own making.

Some might say to me, yes I am in prison and yes I am chained by heavy and budrdensome chains but it is certainly not of my own making. God or the circumstances of my life have done this to me.

That argument just won't hold up under honest self reflection and evaluation. Everyone, no matter who he is or what the cirucmstances of his life may be, is faced with adversity. Life can only be lived in the face of adversity. It can only be lived well by overcoming that adversity. To the extent that we find ourselves happy and successful in our life is in direct ratio to the extent to which we have overcome and indeed capitalized on the adversity we have encountered in our life. And conversely, to the extent that we find ourselves unhappy and unsuccessful in our life is in direct ratio to the extent  which we have failed to overcome the adversity we encounter in our life.

When I was a child, I was blessed with a loving and caring mother who took great pains to see that I was never without support and a sense of belonging. I appreciated that and I loved my mother dearly  for the love and support I knew she provided me.

At the same time, I was blessed with a strict and demanding father though I did not count that as a blessing at the time. While my mother showered me with measureless love and care, my father made it his business to teach me that the world was a cold and cruel place and it didn't give a damn about me. My father knew the only way to survive the adversity the world had to offer was to kick myself in my own ass and stand up on my own two feet and do what I had to do to achieve the life I desired.

The lessons of my father were so cold and so hard that I grew up thinking he didn't love me at all. He just existed to make my life miserable and he took joy in doing it, I thought. It was not until I was in my 30's with children of my own that I came to reaizle that my father loved me as much as my mother had, but he saw his job as different from hers. Her job was to support me always and to be there whenever I needed her. His job was to make me tougher than the world I was going to have to take on as an adult.

The lessons my mother taught me were invaluable to me, but it was the lessons my father taught me that moved me from a child born in a little shack next to a railroad track to an educated and successful man.

I have become convinced, that  part of what is wrong with this country currently is that there are too many boys who have grown into manhood having been raised by their mothers absent of a father. Either the father was physically absent or he was effectively absent because he put all his time and energy into making a living. Boys need their fathers to teach them the lessons my father taught me.

The other thing that is wrong with this country is that there are too many boys (and girls) who have been raised by parents that chose to be their "friends" rather than their mentors. There are too many parents who are unwilling to impose the discipline on their sons necessary for meeting and dealing with adversity head on and coming out on the winning side.

In my own case, I learned the lessons of my father well and applied them to most of the areas of my life. The one area to which I did not apply them soon enough was in dealing with my sexuality.

When I discovered that even though I was a married man with a beautiful wife who gave me everything I wanted sexually, yet it was not enough, I was shocked and bewildered. What kind of monster was I that I could enjoy sex with my wife and then go to sleep and dream about sex with a guy?

As a man, this upset me. As a Christian, it placed me outside the boundaries of everything I had been taught concering my religioius faith. The pain was so great and my bewilderment so complete that rather than meet this adversity head on, I began to build my own prison for that part of my life. Block by block I built up that prison. Link by link I forged the chains I used to bind my body and my desires to those dark dank and cold prison walls. Only in my dreams at night could I be free and even that was a mixed bag because in the morning the dreams only supplied more bricks and mortar for higher and stronger walls for my prison.

This went on for almost 30 years. When I was 49 years old, I got my first computer. I discovered, much to my amazment, I was not alone in my thoughts and my desires.There were millions of men just like me. This discovery was the first crack in my prison walls.

Over the next three years, I began to tear down those walls bit by bit. I have never been so scared in all my life as I was when I made those first faltering steps into my bisexuality. Luckily for me, I found some great men along the way who helped me to understand myself and show me the options for dealing with my situation. Most of these men were other Christian men. A few were not, but we were all in a common situation and as in any adversity, the more heads you put together, the better your chances of success and success was finally mine.

I knew I had been hurting for 30 years. I didn't realize how badly I had been hurting until the hurt went away. I didn't realize how peace of mind really felt until I found it. For me peace of mind came though acknowledging to myself that I was a bisexual man, not by choice but by birth, and by acknowledging that my bisexuality did not make me a bad man, it just made me me.  It came with my acknowledging to myself that in fact my bisexuality was a gift not a curse and that there was a purpose for it. It came by acknowledging to myslef that I could love my wife, meet my responsibilities to her and my family and at the same time enjoy my buddy and satisfy the hunger that I had so long denied.

Now, I have the opportunity to converse with many guys who are struggling just as I did. A few of these guys, given just a bit of support and just a ray of understanding that they are who and what they are for a purpose, can use that support and understanding to tear down their self constructed prisons.

Unfortunately, most cannot and will not. Too many have used their misunderstanding of their religious faith to fashion chains that are almost impossible to break. Others have used the boundaries of so called societal norms to do the same thing. Whatever the source of the raw material, the chains are equally as effective.

For me, I was actually able through a lot of study and reflection to turn my religious faith into a new paradign. I came to see that I was what God made me to be; and that he made me, as I am, for a purpose. My bisexuality was not a curse, it was a gift. A gift meant to be used for good. I found that good in helping other guys who are struggling with their own sexuality  to learn to live with it. That does not mean they learn to live with it in the way I live with mine. But they learn to live with it in a way that works for them. There is no one blueprint. There are many.

For guys who are not men of faith, the process, I think, is similar. Perhaps it is even a little bit easier. You only have this one life. You only have today. There is no promise of tomorrow. You get one shot at the brass ring. It's best to reach out and grab it. Life is way too short to be unhappy. Have the courage to make hard decisions. Have the courage to be happy and content. Don't settle for a meager existence when you could have an awesome existence.

My only regret at this point in my life is that I wasted 30 years. How I would like to have those 30 years back. It would be even more tragic to waste a life time.

Let me hasten to add, I am not encouraging anyone to rush hog wild into a careless and hedonistic life. There is no sense of self fulfillment and certainly no peace of mind to be had in such a wasted life. Guys who tear down their prison walls and throw off their chains and enter into such a self centered life as that simply trade one prison for another and one set of chains for an even heavier set of chains.

The kind of action I am urging is action that affirms yourself and at the same time fullfills your responsibilities to others. However, keep in mind that your responsibilities to others may not always make those others happy in the short run when you begin to carry them out. Good medicine does not always go down easily and it is often bitter, but in the long run it brings you back to health. Such is it with dealing with your sexuality.

Above all, do not be afraid to step out beyond  your confort zone. As long as you are comfortable, you will never make any real progress. At the same time, be very very careful with what you say to those you love. Once said, nothing can ever be unsaid. You will have to live with the results of your words for the rest of your life. Whatever you do, do not make your burden someone elses burden on the premise that it is the honest thing to do. Most of us have things in our lives with which we should deal privately. If you find you must share your inner most thoughts with someone, be careful to consider the possible implications. Consider sharing them with a trusted friend or even a psychotherapist before you lay a burden on a loved one that they cannot understand or cope with.

As the old saying goes, "lead, follow or get out of the way." For married men dealing with sexual desires for other man I think that old saying translates in to get off your ass and do something constructive about it. Don't just wallow in your unhappiness. By all means, if you can, put the thoughts behind you. Forget them.  Don't look at porn or do anything else that encourages  those thoughts. If you can manage that, its the simplest way to deal with it all.

Unfortunately, almost no man can do that. You will find with each passing year the thoughts get more demanding and your prison gets more solid around you. Finally, it becomes the immoveable object against the irresistable force and that is a cataclysm just waiting to happen. Guys that let themselves get to that point do crazy and dangerous things.

Its much better to tear down the walls and to break the chains that bind you when they are only difficult to manage and not impossible to manage.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Nature of Men

I read of a new research study the other day that is the latest in a long line of studies which find there is no such thing as bisexuality. According to this and other studies before it, men are either heterosexual or homosexual.

Those who consider themselves bisexual are really homosexual men who have not yet come to a place in their lives where they can admit to themselves that they are homosexual men according to these studies.

I guess if I had to sum up what I have to say about this and other so called studies on the matter it would be  a two word term we use often here in Texas -- bull shit!

Saying that there is no such thing as bisexuality is like saying there is no such thing as ice. There's only water. And in a way, that's a pretty good analogy. In fact, there is only water. But water which is a common element can take many forms. It can be liquid, solid or vapor and many other things through applications of modern chemistry.

Such is the condition of human sexuality, especially human male sexuality. The sexuality of the human male is complex to an infinite degree. There are almost as many permutations as there are men. Admittedly, there are men in need of reading well conducted studies to help them figure out just who and what they are; but the men who need such help the most are the least likely to get it by reading some supposedly scientific study.

On the other hand, there are men like me and thousands and thousands like me who don't need some pseudo scientific study to tell them the nature of their sexuality. That is not to say that I and those other tens of thousands of men have been blessed all our lives in knowing ourselves and our sexuality. Far from it.

But it is precisely because we have examined our sexuality personally, intimately, painfully and at great personal risk over a lifetime, that we don't need such studies to know that bisexuality does exist and some of us, more than likely a great number of us, are in fact bisexual men.

The sexuality of men and women are radically different from one another. The difference in a man's sexuality, I think, begins to take shape as a young boy. I know I began to develop my sexuality at least as  young as age 4 and perhaps even before that. Most baby boys are born with an erection. At the moment of birth, the baby boy presents with a solid erection. Much of what makes him a boy and much of what will eventually make him a man centers around that  ability to present an erect penis and the hormonal and physical systems that work in the background of his mind and body to produce it, not just at his will, though he is quite capable of producing it at his will; but also,  just as importantly, capable of producing it against his will and at times he would least want it to present.

Admittedly, boys differ in the timing  of really discovering their penises. I have talked to a  lot of guys about this; and some, like me, discovered it by age 4. Many discovered it around age  6. Some really never discovered their penises as an instrument of pleasure until they were 10 to 12 years of age.

But no matter when the discovery acutally takes place boys grow into men overwhelmingly affected by their penises. It is always hanging there accompanied by the testicles in his scrotum. It is always obvious. It is something that even a young boy learns to  protect and defend because not to do so can cause great pain.

At the same time, because it is always hanging there, most boys, even young boys, discover by accident or design that the penis can easily be made to feel very very good. Does there exist a man who as a boy did not contemplate his penis as he sat naked in the bathtub and began to realize that this was a pretty wonderful thing he had going for himself?  Little boys are told by their mothers to "clean up," to wash themselves. It doesn't take a boy very long to learn that a little soap on his penis can be a very good thing. A little boy may not like to wash his face, but I guarnatee you , given the privacy to do so he likes to make sure his penis is very clean. It is rewarding to do so. At some point, the young man discovers that not only can this remarkable appendage be made to feel good; it can, with the right manipulation send almost unbearable pleasure streaking throughout his body curling his toes, causing him to involuntarily go rigid  with pleasure, even to invountarily cry out. At first, for a younger boy, there is no outward or visible  product  of this orgasm except as described above. But as a boy approaches his tenth or eleventh birthday that is likely to change. The orgasm is accompanied by an emission of fluid from his penis that makes the orgasm even better.

The other thing that happens in the lives of many boys because their penises are always hanging around is that they learn that other boys  have them too and that what can be fun as a solitary exercise can be even more fun when shared with friends. In my case, in the small Texas town where I grew up there was a whole gang of us who had lots of fun together. We didn't love each other, we were not emotionally tied to each other. We were just being boys. We were doing things boys do. We were doing things men do too.

Because we did this things as play, even called it "play," homosexual activity came to have its own place in our lives and in our psyches. For guys, sexuality can be romantic and emotional, but it can also be comletely divorced from romance and emotion. Such is usually not the case with women and their sexuality.

Later, in my case and as far as I know, in the case of all the other boys who played in that little Texas town, a strange thing began to happen. In spite of all the boy on boy play which did not involve emotions or romance, we began to have thoughts of another type of sexual activity which did. We were drawn to it. We discussed it at length even as we had each others cocks in our hands. This new interest was sex with girls. We all had all the sex we wanted with each other. It was a daily thing, but all that sex didn't have any effect on the new interest, the new goal of having sex with a girl, of romancing her and becoming emotionally involved with her.

In my own case, I was interested enough to play kissing games with girls by age 10. By age 12, I was interested in a whole lot more; but in that day and time ,12 year old girls might or might not be interested. Interested or not, they were not going to make anything easily available on a daily basis as my male buddies did.

By the time I was 14, I had a drivers license and access to a car and began to date. By the time I was 16, I had met the girl who was to become my wife; and by the time I was 18, I was married.

My wife enjoyed sex. And she was very very good at it. Nothing I desired was denied to me by her, yet as much as I came to love heterosexual sex and believe me, I love it and as much as I came to love my wife and I do love her, all this did nothing to satiate the desire for sexual activity with guys. And I admit this was a big surprise to me.

It took me 30 years to figure out on my own without the help of so called scientific studies that I was a bisexual male. I don't know what else you would call someone who loves both straight and gay sex. I don't know how else you would classify someone who can and does respond willingly and enthusiastically to both men and women sexually. I don't know what term you would use for one whose desire for one has absolutely no affect on his desire for the other. Such a person is not just heterosexual. Such a person is not homosexual. It seems to me that such a person is indeed bisexual.

Human sexuality, especially human male sexuality is not a place on a line. Instead it is a long length along that line from straight to gay and like any line, there is a middle point on the line of male sexuality. That middle point, one might say even that mid length along the line, is bisexuality.

Without a doubt, there are married men who call themselves bisexual as a matter of convenience, denial  or fear. My first adult male buddy was such a man. Our relationship lasted for ten years. At the time we met, he was not yet ready and indeed he was not yet capable of admittedly seeing himself as a homosexual male.  In his case, and I think it is so in most such cases, he became capable of seeing himself as a homosexual male before he became capable of telling me or anyone else he was a homosexual male. But in the end, he did tell me he was a  homosexual male and that to be happy, he had to find and make a new life with another homosexual male. That was a place I could not go. It was a goal I could not share. Emotionally and romantically, I was tied to my wife, not to metion legally and socially. And that is where the big difference between homosexual men  and bisexual men and heterosexual men presents itself. Homosexual men can relate romantically and emotionally only to men. Bisexual men can relate to either a woman or a man in such a manner and heterosexual men can relate emotionally and romantically only to a woman. For me, what he and I had been doing all those years was the same thing I did as a boy, it was play. In fact it was play for him too. He did not love me. He was not romantically bound to me, though there was a strong emotional tie to me and me to him that lasts to even now. But he needed a romantic sexual partner to whom he could relate and he came to realize that partner would be another man. The day came when he was able to tell his wife, his kids, his siblings and his parents that he was a homosexual man.

Fortunately for him, he was a very lucky homosexual man. Everyone in his family, except for his wife, stood beside him and supported him. That support did not mean the transition was  painless. It was not. I have never talked with any man who  has not had to overcome adversity of some sort because of his bisexuality or his homosexuality. It just doesn't happen. In fact, the adversity that always accompanies  a man's discovery that he is something other than heterosexual is enough reason in and of itself to make the premise that such a discovery is a choice utterly rediculous. Who whould choose such a thing? Who would give up so much voluntarily?

Recently, Pastor Jim Swilley of the Church in The Now, a Georgia megachurch publically announced  that he is and always has been a homosexual. According to Swilley, he was ultimately motivated  to come out becasue of the resent spate of suicides by several young homosexual boys. His action, he said, was intended to join other high profile men in proclaiming to young homosexual men that life does get better and life as a homosexual man can be successful and rewarding. Swilley's announcement to his church is available on line and is worth listening to by any guy who is struggling with his homosexuality or bisexuality. It can be found by clicking  here.

Predictably, the harshest response to Jim Swilley has come from so called Christians, many of whom have gone out of their way to interpret his coming out in the vilest of terms. The Christian Right is always quick to publically proclaim they hate the sin, but love the sinner. I would dread to see and hear the reaction of the Christian Right if they hated Jim Swilley. The manner in which they have expressed their love for him is shocking.

While Jim Swilley's brand of religion is not the kind with which I would be comfortable, his understanding of the Gospel of Christ is much sounder than that of the Relgious Right who have so hatelfully singled him out as one to be reviled. Swilley understands that no one, including Christian Pastors is without sin. Those who revile him are quick to give extra weight to real and perceived sins which they decide deserve such empahsis. Swilley understands that no one can be good enough to deserve salvation. He understand that the Gospel of Christ teaches we all are saved through grace and that nothing separates us from the grace of God -- even homosexuality or bisexuality.

I  don't know for sure why Jim Swilley decided to come out of the closet now after more than 25 years in the ministry.  Since I don't know, I  guess I'll take him at  his word until I'm proved wrong to do so. Why would a man who is at the penticle of his career do something that could destroy it? I think a conscientious man whith a genuine concern for other young homosexual and bisexual men might do such a thing!

Swilley  is certainly not the first Christian Minister to come to the public's attention and he won't be the last. Ted Haggard and others have had their own sexuality publically scrutinized before. In my way of thinking, Swilley is a cut above the others because he didn't say he'd change and didn't ask forgiveness for who he is. Instead, he asked for understanding and he asked those closest to him to think about the fact that he is today, the same man he has always been. Nothing has changed except now they (and everyone) know.

There are other things I think we are all beginning to know. Those who scream the loudest about what the Bible has to say on any give subject are those who know the message of the Gospel least. Those who are the most hateful and vehement in their condemnation of homosexuality and bisexuality are those most likely fighting their own demons and are themselves consumed with fear and loathing of their own sexual thoughts and desires.

The nature of men is such that we all should spend less time condemning one another and more time learning to accept one another. I have heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual friends who are all very dear to me. They all fill a place in my life. Those who are homosexual or bisexual take nothing at all from my heterosexual friends. They give much!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Politics, Bullying, Sin & Suicide

Politics, Bullying, Sin & Suicide are everywhere one turns these days. After next Tuesday's election perhaps we'll get a few weeks break from politics before the campaign for the 2012 elections start, but I doubt it really.

In Sunday's Houston Chronicle there was an editorial by Leonard Pitts, Jr. The title of the editorial was: "Arkansas school official is now the new face of hate." The editorial was  prompted by a public rant from Clint McCance, Vice President of the Midland School Disstrict in Arkansas. Mr. McCance apparently felt put out by a call for people to wear purple as a means of highlighting the bullying problem in the the wake of five recent suicides by gay teenagers. He went on Facebook to vent.

"Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide," he ranted. "The only way im (sic) wearin (sic) it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant (sic) believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves (sic) because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE. It pisses me off ... that we make (sic) special purple fag day for them. I like that fags can't procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other AIDS and die. I would disown my kids if they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs."

I hardly know where to begin. As in so much that is political these days, I don't know which worries me more, the people that elect the idiots and the biggots and the incompetents to pubic office or those that are elected! Mr. McCance, like so many in local, state and national elective offices certainly has no business representing the American people in any office whatsoever. As for his kids, where will they find solid Christian beliefs to immulate? Certainly not from their father, he has none himself!

Mr. Pitts related a story concerning President Kennedy. In a meeting at the White House, the president told civil rights leaders they ought not be too hard on Bull Connor. Connor, he said with a grin, "Has done as much for civil rights as Abraham Lincoln."

Theophilus Eugene Conor was commissioner of public safety in Birmingham, Alabama. When one sees archival footage of children being menaced by police dogs or bowled over by water from fire hoses, one is seeing the handiwork of Bull Conor. Bull Conor's authorizing of such action became the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. That news footage on televisions around the world awakened the nation and hastened civil rights legislation. The President's point was that none of it would have happened but for Birmingham's top cop, who laid out the rawness of his hatered for all to see.

Mr Pitts goes on to suggest that Mr. McCance may play the same part in the movement to end discrimination and hate based on ones sexual orientation.

When I was a child, I was often told that God would use me. I was told God wanted to use me as a good example for others. But I was reminded that he would use me as a bad example if he had no  other choice. Here's hoping that God sees fit to use Mr. McCance as a bad example to the world.

Mr. McCance hates homosexuals and takes comfort only in the fact that they can't procreate. Can you imagine what hate he harbors for those of us who are bisexuals and do procreate? Of course Mr. McCance is showing his ignorance in more than one way. My best friend in the world as well as several other personal friends are gay and the father's of children.

I have lived in the American south all my life. America is a Christian country as we have discussed before and the heart of American Christianity is the American South. Yet, just as black people were not allowed to worship in white churches on Sunday mornings prior to the late 1960's, gay and bisexual people are often not welcomed to openly worship in the churches of most major denominations. American churches, especially those that represent the Christian Right and the fundamental view of Christinaity say they hate the sin and love the sinner, but I'm afraid Mr. McCance is the real face of those who say they hate the sin and love the sinner on Sunday morning, but hate what they consider to be a sin and also hate the "fag" Monday through Saturday.

I am a Christian man. I'm in church every Sunday not just to sit in the seat but also to serve as a leader within our congregation. I am proud of the fact that within my little corner of the Christian world, gay and lesbian people are welcomed into our United Methodist worship services. I am proud of the fact that we  have a minister who unlike most Christian ministers knows that God loves gays and lesbians just as much as he loves any other person. Yet, even within the United Methodist Church, at the national level, discrimination against gay, bisexual and lesbians is still the norm because the church will not allow such people to serve as pastors. It's not that there are not bisexual, gay and lesbian pastors in the Methodist church, there are. I know one or two personally. But they are there because they have been able to keep a part of their life secret.

It amazes me that those who are national leaders of the church do not fully understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They don't stop divorced people from being ministers. They don't stop people who smoke cigarettes from being ministers. They don't stop people who commit other sins in the eyes of the church from being pastors, but contrary to the word of God, they choose to elevate what they suppose to be the sin of bisexuality or homosexuality above other sins and single out those sinners for special discimination.

The Bible itself clearly teaches that in the eyes of God sin is sin. There are no great sins and no small sins. ALL are sinners and all are equal in the sight of God. But as Christians, we don't like that. We don't like that we should be compared to "those" people.

Fortunately, discrimination and hate based on ones sexuality is reaching critical mass in this country. The time is near when one's sexuality will have no impact on one's career, his religion or his community status.

For now, many of us as married bisexual men feel for one good reason or the other that we must remain in the closet on this issue. That does not mean we cannot affect the battle. We can. We can affect it with our vote and with our open call for an end to discrimination in whatever form it may exist, even in our churches. Many of us are in postions of power and as  powerful men we can exert subtle pressure or even  overt pressure for change and the acceptance of change. This blog and the BisexualBuddies Yahoo Group that I have moderated for years are just my small contributions to affect change. I certainly don't think I've changed the world, but I know for certain I have affected the lives of a few other men as individuals in a  positive way because they have told me so.

No one should be have to suffer at the hands of a bully for any reason. Only God should judge us for our sins. No one should be placed in a position where death seems better than life because of his sexual desires. It just should not happen. And whether we are gay, bisexual or straight, we all should be able to support that stance openly and vocally and we should say to the Clint McCance's of the world that  your day is over. Your way  of thinking is over. Get use to it!

By the way, just so I not dismissed as just another bleeding heart liberal, let me confirm that I am a Republican. I'm not a Right Wing Republican by any means, but never the less I am Republican and I vote Republican. I disagree with much that the right wing of the Republican party avows. But I'll be damned if they or anyone else are going to tell me how to think and what position I take on any issue. All Americans need to consider the same stance be they Republican, Democrat or Independent! The time for each of us to step up to personal thinking and personal responsibility is at hand. The future of our very way of life is at stake if we do not.
Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott