How do you know who you are supposed to be? What determines who you are? What one looks like, what one feels, what one sees, what one reads, what one hears from others?
How does one reconcile LOVE coming from certain people, and hatred and revulsion from others?
Looking back, to those early days, I had very few friends growing up. I did not arrive into friendships until I had hit the 6th grade. And it was upward and onward from there.
I knew I was GAY very early in life.
What does a child do, who has time on his hands, and a house full of information to be had, if you knew where to look ?
Nobody thought twice about the consumption of reading material located throughout the house. And nobody gave a second thought to what kind of reading material it was either.
Back in the day, I had a transistor radio that I used to listen to in bed at night. But more specifically, it was what exactly I was listening to that mattered.
I knew I was gay, but I never spoke that word to anyone at home. But parents are not stupid nor ignorant. And in my teens, my father figured it out for himself and began to beat me and abuse me mercilessly and senselessly. The abuse my father handed out began when I was a small child and he would chase me around the house with a bat trying to kill me, saying that “I was a mistake and should never have been born.” My grandmothers stood in the way of my father and his bat every time he did that.
He maintains that line to this day, in 2016, and I am nearing the fifty mark next summer.
I am still that mistake, and the cause of everyone else’s problems.
It is All My Fault.
Not sure where that came from really.
I played the heterosexual dating game through junior high and high school.
I attempted to follow God into Seminary, and I failed in that work. Seminary was not the safest place and not the most sacred location either.
Homosexuality was alive and well under the cover of darkness. Who knew they were going to ordain so many pompous, arrogant, entitled queers into the church back then?
That is the God’s honest TRUTH.
I had not come out of the closet yet. I was still an impressionable young boy at age nineteen.
When I came of age, at 21, knowing I had to leave home, and never return, the one piece of advice I listened to, was from my shrink,
who told me that the only way into the gay community was through a bar and a couple of drinks. The rest they say is history.
What was being Gay ? Same Sex Attraction (SSA), Sex, Drugs, Alcohol…
I lived that lifestyle for just six years. When I turned twenty six, everything changed.
Having the beautiful boyfriend was all the rage in my twenties. And it seemed, that it was not the single gay that was attractive to most young gay men. It was the “coupled” gays that were the most attractive. Breaking up a couple who were dating was the holy grail in the community I was part of.
I was not the prettiest gay boy, but I was attractive for a while, until I became a worthless drunk.
I had never succeeded in having relationships worth any substance.Alcohol fueled the desire for sexual attraction and sex itself.
And it was my own undoing that brought me to where I ended up eventually.
Everything God gives us is a blessing. It might not seem that way as life happens. But in hindsight, getting sick was truly the best blessing I could have asked for.
And I guess, in a way, I was just asking for it, wasn’t I ???
Stupid. Just Plain Stupid.
When James committed suicide, I was twenty five years old. I had reached the first tragedy in my life.
And I drank myself into the ground over that and ended up in therapy.
The day I was diagnosed with AIDS, at age twenty six, the world stopped spinning.
It just stopped.
Where does God play into this story ?
Memere made it perfectly clear to me that she was IN with God. She had that magical connection.
She believed in God and that with that faith, she would give me superpowers to defeat the hatred and abuse I suffered as a child.
I would need that God.
I did not know where God was when James died, and I surely did not call out to God, nor utter a single prayer either.
When I told my family, friends, and fellows that I was sick and was going to die, everyone scattered, nobody hung around nor did any of them want to.
Hindsight is 20/20.
I know God performed a miracle in my life. If God was ever human, he arrived in the guise of Todd’s wise supervision and love.
I prayed day and night for life, and God was right there in the thick of it walking me through the darkness.
If Todd (read: God) had not stepped in and did what had to be done, I would have died with all those men who did die in the end.
I know today that God exists. That I met him in the flesh.
When one is diagnosed with AIDS, the non-negotiables went out the window. The dynamic of what we are and who we are changes forever.
The Post AIDS view of sexuality in my life speaks volumes as to what was more important during rough times.
And I see the wisdom of that blessing now.
Working in the bar, was practice in serving the least of these to the best of my ability. I was protected from anyone who would do me harm, by Todd.
Knowing how to take care of others, was specifically important, because in the end, I would know how to take care of ME, should it come to that. Thank God it did not come to that.
As long as Todd was in my life, I wanted for nothing. I had dignity, guidance, love and respect.
When he moved away, I did not know how to carry those forwards for myself.
I lost myself, turned inwards and took back my will and in an insane moment, tried to fill the hole in my soul. And that did not work out at all.
I returned to the scene of that decision, alone and single.
When I took my last drink, I knew I was done.
For the first time in recent memory I called out to God, I needed heavenly help. I prayed three prayers in a specific order.
And God is always listening, and to prove to me that HE was there, he shifted the universe and handed me everything that I needed. God heard my prayers.
That superpower Memere gave me, was still working.
When I got sober again, I was no longer alone. I had people in the rooms who took care of me.
I moved to Montreal, and later met my now husband.
The day I saw Hubby, I passed him in a church doorway, and I knew then and there that this was it. The rest, they say is history.
Soon after we met, within the first year, he was diagnosed with Bi-Polar depression. And I was alone. I chose to stay and take care of him. I wasn’t going to leave. I spent every night, sitting here in the dark wondering what to do? I kept close to the rooms, I prayed and I listened. God kept me sane and He cared for me, through the dark times.
What happens when the gay lifestyle (read: Sex) turns into care giving and support? Sex goes out the window. I was no longer drinking or drugging. Both of us are sober today.
I think God knew what He was doing.
When you take away the sexual dynamic from the equation of life, who and what you are changes as well.
I am going to be 50 next year. I am no longer a “viable member” of the gay community. I am well “Over the Hill” by the standards of the young gay community.
I don’t walk around Montreal, with the eyes of sexual attraction. Montrealer’s are beautiful people.
I have someone in my life that I love. Once that happened, sexual attraction for others, ended. Once you commit, you commit.
You don’t need any one else. Tainted as I am, who would want me.
I am a tainted man, which makes me sexually unattractive to the many. Hubby accepted me unconditionally. Without question.
If my marriage ever ended, one way or another, I would never go back into general population. That is not even a possibility.
Our relationship began on a wind swept cold and rainy day, and an angel lost in the park close to home.
That one event turned two humans into a couple. It was An Angel, Faith and God.
I’ve been married for twelve years this November 2016.
I’ve come to realize, in the rooms of the fellowship, that we are all human beings, who deserve dignity, love and respect.
I don’t have many gay friends that I can count on in a pinch. Two men come to mind.
I know many people in the rooms. But I rely only on a handful of men and women I can call at any time if need be. They are reliable. The rest are not.
With the dawn of gender fluidity, the whole question of who we are, what we want to be called, and what is politically correct, are all the rage.
I AM a child of God, created in his image. I am a human being worthy of Love and Love from God.
In all my years, today, I have lived through the darkest times, and I survived the threat of death. I conquered my addiction to drugs and alcohol.
What is important in life is very simple. Caring for my husband, being of service to my fellows, and living Godly principles.
The way I see the world has changed, and the way I see myself has evolved. The turning towards God and a life of faith is the transition I am in at the moment.
I’ve met The Elders – they appeared at the right moment, and I was open to conversation. Which led to where I stand right now.
And I have been listening for God’s voice. I am always listening for it, and if I don’t hear it, I sit with my friends and listen to them.
Recently, I heard God’s voice and he said to me that “I am enough for you.”
There is nothing I need except God’s love and direction.
I just want to know that my life has not been lived in vain, that God does love me – all of me. He knows everything and is all forgiving.
I’ve seen so many changes in the world and as those dynamics change, we change with them. At some point, we all have to figure out what we are going to do with our lives as we grow older. And I surely am not going to sink into the pit of obscurity that many of my older friends have sunk into.
As long as there is air in my lungs and I can get out of bed in the morning, I will serve God to the best of my ability.