On this initial entry of our opportunity for discussion, I wish to briefly reference the pain and suffering of finding oneself in the brotherhood of being gay. Behind this world of hurt lie a multitude of major questions: “Why am I gay? Why am I drawn this way instead of the other. Why is this forced upon me and will not go away? Is there any hope of change?”
From his personal experience, in his seminal book entitled Virtually Normal, author Andrew Sullivan described well the unfortunate awakening that happens to most men like himself. “I could no longer hide from this explicit desire: there it was on paper, in my brain, before my eyes--- an undeniable and powerful attraction to other boys and men. And of course, with all of this came an exquisite and inextricable sense of exhilaration as well as disgust. It was like getting on a plane for the first time, being exhilarated by its ascent, gazing with wonder out of the window, seeing the clouds bob beneath you, then suddenly realizing that you are on the wrong flight, going to a destination which terrifies you, surrounded by people who inwardly appall you. And you cannot get off. You are filled with a lurching panic. You are one of them” (P 10-11). The depth of anguish at finding oneself thus inextricably positioned is hard to describe.
You know you did not choose to be different, but how was it that you could go so against the norms of nature? Recognition of the requirement of opposite genders for regeneration, as noted among birds bees, trees, flowers, in fact, in most organisms throughout nature, won’t allow you to forget. You are likely inclined to ask, “Why, why am I so remarkably out of sync? Why am I compulsively driven to the alternative?” And, while you can’t hide from nature or yourself, you sense implicitly a desperate need to hide your certain uniqueness from all other humans.
The pain of being unlike and apart is palpable, as achingly deep as it is pervasive. Nonetheless, the drive to experience same-gender intimacy persists and is likely to remain, because that which is secret is held close; it never leaves your side.
For those of us who have traveled this path, our pain may have been influenced by an early and incorrect view we have internalized about ourselves and others. Experiences may have encouraged us to believe untruths that led to distortions in our relationships with self and others. I see a lot of pain caused by gay men beating up on themselves and hating themselves for being gay and resenting the journey they feel railroaded into, as well as a host of other reasons as well.
For now, the following assertion by George Bernard Shaw seems quite relevant to our discussion: "Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance."
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