I tried to be straight.
Oh, you didn’t know that, did you? Never imagined that? Of course you didn’t. You’ve only met me as I am now. When I was becoming the person that you are still learning to be – the person that knows the difference between Velcro and laces, the difference between multiplication and calculation… I was sorting out what I wanted my legacy to be. I had some options: if it would be me by myself, me surrounded by people who loved me but didn’t resemble me, or if it would be me surrounded by people who loved me and did resemble me but didn’t know me.
I think you know now, or at least you’re learning, that it’s not that simple but it didn’t feel like it at the time.
No, I am a person who has always thrived in the black and the white. I have always taken the harder path – the more the brambles, the thicker the thickets, the better. Because how else would I prove my worth if not through punishment and trial? This is what comes from a child of religion, of the fallen flesh, and who recognizes that redemption is only granted after tribulation.
And I had tribulation.
I tried to be straight and I failed so miserably I nearly killed myself. No one in my life then, even now, could have imagined the times that I lay on my bed and wished a sleep to never wake. The times I judged the distance between one footstep and an oncoming train. The times I pressed the gas a little too hard, took a curve just a smidge too fast, and hoped to God it took me.
It didn’t. I’m still here. And I am still gay. And I guess, I suppose, that I have come to grips with that. I’m alright with it.
It will never be easy. Do you know why? Because we don’t live in a post-gay world. We don’t live in a world where religion, important that it is, is not the driver of our laws — the laws written on our books and the laws carved on our hearts. We don’t live in a world where we let people live as they choose to live and don’t get in the way.
But you know what? That’s okay. That’s alright, too. Because I know who I am and I love me as I am. The rest I’ll leave in Hands bigger than mine. The rest I’ll leave to final judgments–we all stand on our own before our final Judge. Between then and now, I’ll simply love the best and most honest way I know how.
I now drive at the speed limits (mostly). I now sleep peacefully (mostly).
I am fallen but I am loved.