Friday, February 5, 2010

I’m Gay and I have Faith

What Does it mean to have Faith?
“And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” Alma 32:21
From as young as eight or nine I remember my mother exploring different forms of faith, mostly of Eastern origin. As a younger women she explored Western religions and aligned herself with the Church of England. I enjoyed the journey’s my mum took and I think the whole process exposed me to alternate ways of thinking and a more sensitive approach to the differences in people. Dad left when I was about three, I’ve not really had much to do with him, even to this day. That’s possibly a whole other book.

The big change for me came when we moved from the far south coast of New South Wales to Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city. There was a lot more to see and to be exposed to in a city that size.

It was probably soon after moving to Melbourne when I was about ten years old, I realised that I liked other boys. I’m not sure it was a conscious thing where I thought, “I’m gay” and I don’t like girls, I think I probably liked both. I do remember making out with an album cover of Leif Garret when I was eleven. I also remember having a crush on particular guys at high school as well as my P.E. teacher, I also had a crush on a few girls.

As a developing teenager this was a little confusing. The kids at school perhaps knew long  before I did, I was called a “poof”, “faggot” and many other things. I think I was a confident kid, I never really had a ‘group’ that I would hang with at school. For a couple of years, in my senior years, I had lunch with some of the teachers each day, the conversation was far more stimulating and interesting than mingling with the meat heads in the school yard.

I kissed my first girl in my senior year at high school, I was a later bloomer. It was nothing to write home about and I was probably more interested in a couple of the guys at the party where it happened, but nothing happened with the guys and nothing happened with her.

Midway through high school, I discovered The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). I was working part time at an Apple Computer store and the owners were members of the Church. They were a great group of guys and I worked there for about twelve months before I decided to learn more about the LDS Church.

Hindsight can often be a valuable and worthwhile exercise. As I look back over this period, I was 15 and 16 years old. The members of the Church introduced me to the full time missionaries whose job it is to teach those who are investigating the LDS Church. It was at this point that I started to have very mixed feelings about men. As a young man I was enjoying the attention of guys in their early 20’s, great guys whose motives were to simply share the gospel.

We had some very intense conversations, very deep and spiritual conversations which by their very nature bring you closer to someone than through normal discussions of politics, sports or economics. I said before hindsight can be valuable. Looking back now I think I had a merging of two needs in my life that somehow came together in an unusual way - keep in mind I was 15 and 16 years old.

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