I will admit that I am definitely in a time of loneliness right now. “The Long Loneliness” Dorothy Day speaks of has wrapped around me like a blanket on one of these rainy San Francisco nights.
My decision to try to go back to church has taken a year to discern. Ever since being “out,” I think I have only gone about five times. Each time has been a painful experience and reminded me of so much hurt caused by years of thinking I was “sinful.” As I am getting used to people in San Francisco saying they are spiritual and not religious, agnostic, or atheist; it makes me reach for my faith more than ever. As the Apostle Paul writes in his letters to small communities, be prepared to defend your faith! It is almost as I am defending my faith against myself. It isn’t about proclaiming it to others. As I wade in my own loneliness, my weaknesses are highlighted. My desperation is awakened. My resistance to this only makes me wonder more.
It is hard to be okay with being gay. It is impossible to reconcile musicals and sports, art and politics, clothes and materialism. Every advertisement and cultural value tells me how I should be a man. In the gay community, “straight-acting” is something you should aspire to be. The gay male community has made its own apartheid system by creating categories of worthiness. Am I a twink? Or a jock (no, I am not ripped enough to be the jock), I have two limp wrists, my voice has too much of a lisp and the stereotypes most gays despise because of years of schoolyard bullying.
There is racism, hatred and silent oppression in San Francisco. How offended my gay brothers will get while they read this? He must just be another one of those hetero-normative justice freaks. I do value monogamy (though difficult to practice), I do value long term, sustainable relationships (though I have never had one with a man), and I do value my body (though I don’t always treat it like I do). All of these struggles are products of abuse, as I am sure everyone who acts in these manners has faced some form. I ask myself why I believe in these things and a lot of societal constructions come to mind, but it is something more than that. It is because those values help our community. We know “two are better than one.”
It is a thin line that bends on being righteousness that I walk; how to not come off as superior or even inferior. I am seeking peace. I am seeking bridges for us to walk on together for the common good. It is hard to be alone, but with faith, I know I am not alone. My faith in God has weathered a lot to get to this point and I recognize that desires to be spoken or written. It is written.
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