Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I work with this guy who is..."overtly straight" to the point of being hella annoying. For example, working in the convenience store industry, we have the opportunity to see many lovely co-eds(being in a college town and all.) Anytime a female enters that has been blessed by God in the bossom, he starts salavating and points it out to me. *Quick Side-Note: I am not out to many, and I do my best to keep my work and personal life separate* I do my best to entertain his hormonal surge at that moment with comments like, "Uh huh," "Yep," and my favorite, "Hmmm...Interesting." This lack of interest is kind of my cry for him to leave me out of the loop on the "Who's Who Among Springfield Boobs."
The other day, while taking out the old magazines and stocking the new, a lady I work with was tearing the cover off a Hooter's magazine when a scantily clad centerfold fell out. She asked me if I wanted it, and without hesitation I said, "No, 'Daniel' would like that kind of thing though." *His real name is not 'Daniel'...just been reading enough Dear Abby to know you change the names! Immediately realizing that I would have outed myself to anyone with half a brain, I was horrified. Luckily, working in the convenience store industry, half a brain is not a requisite for employment. When 'Daniel' got the picture he was elated.
Later he asked me if I wanted one. Once again, without even thinking, I quickly said, "No." Then my co-work asked why, was I gay or something. I still don't know what the "or something" option was, but really wish I could have gone with that. After several seconds of dead silence, we were interrupted by a customer, thank God! Usually I am quick with responsed to hide my sexual orientation, but it's like the part of me that generally worried about what others thought had been shut off. My later response to him was, "It just doesn't do anything for me, but thanks." I did successfully evade the question at hand; however, he did appologize a few minutes later if he "Offended me."
Until this point I had not been offended. Stunned, yes...but offended, not so much. I took it as him appologizing for the insult of insinuating I was gay. Do we really live in a society where it is more important to appologize for thinking someone is gay, like it is the ultimate put-down, than it is to appologize for invading someone's personal life, especially when they try extremely hard to check their personal life at the door.
I decided to not let it get to me...but it did. It's amazing how in our culture it is not only ok, but expected that straight guys flaunt their sexuality everywhere, even the workplace, and the gay population is expected to "know their role." What role is this? It's the role of second class citizen who MUST watch making comments that could put non-gay in an uncomfortable situation. Can you imagine me taking a copy of Muscles of the shelf and asking my co-worker if he'd "ever seen a pair of pecks that hot!" Or even better, when one of my attractive male customers enters, ask 'Daniel' if he's a "top or a bottom" while biting my bottom lip in anticipation. Granted I don't have the guts to do either of those things, and also respect him enough not to. Oh well, just another thing the straight culture has to learn!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Anyone who has ever been in Love in Action, and I'm sure any other ex-gay ministries knows about re-introductions. A re-intro is where you share EVERY past sexual "sin" that you have ever committed to a loved one, friend, or anyone you wanted to have contact with while in Love in Action(yes, unless you tell your parents everything you've ever done sexually, or at least to the point that your counselor is content with, you cannot speak with them for the duration of your stay at LIA.) I didn't agree with it, believing firmly that confessing my sins to God was sufficient enough, not to mention a group of my peers, counselors. The logic behind the whole thing is that whom ever I tell is going to be my accountability, and my accountability needs to be fully aware of "what I'm capable of." So, being the obedient person I am, I told not only my parents, but 2 of my pastors, my brother, and my best friend. None of these people had any idea what to expect of my seemingly harmless "re-intro." Little did they know, everything they never wanted to hear was about to be exposed. I had to talk to these people I loved and that cared for me. I felt so alone and filthy at times, it was important to know that people loved me. Ergo, I got over the hesitation of telling them everything, so I could just hear their affirming voices. This, to me, is another example of exploiting the vulnerable. I believe this was partially(not the sole purpose, I don't think) to humilliate us in hopes that it would stop us from behaving "badly." Now, everytime my parents and I get in an argument over me making decisions for myself or I try to tell my best-friend about a choice I am making, they use what I told them in my re-intro against me. I admit I have done some horrible stuff...things that make me cringe, and at times I don't believe that they factor in that people grow and change. The things in my past do not make up who I am today. I have learned from many of these mistakes, and if anything, I believe I will be a better, stronger person in the future having had these experiences.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Depression sucks. I have suffered from depression for about 5 years now. I also have diagnosed Tourette Syndrome, OCD, and while at Love in Action, was diagnosed as Bi-Polar(Not by LIA Staff, but by Psychiatric professionals!) I stopped taking my meds about two months ago, as a protest against my mother really. Everytime I disagree with her or have any problem in my life it's the same thing: "Are you taking your meds?!? You must not be, otherwise you wouldn't be like this!" So, as childish as it is, I stopped taking them. Plus the side effects were getting me down.
My life, being as crazy as it is right now, didn't need the added pressure of depression, so I decided to make an appointment. It was sooo difficult to do because I literally have no ability to follow thru with even small tasks, an effect of my depression. While in the doctor's office, I had an overwhelming sense of fear and disgust of myself. There was a few ladies in there and they were really in need of some major psychiatric services(Not to judge, I mean they were in the shrink's office!) I couldn't help but wonder...am I one of those crazy people? Maybe I just hide it better. I feel really crazy right now. I cry over the smallest things, I have no zeal for anything, and I have been having a lot of obsessive thoughts...even more than normal.
While the doctor(actually she was an RN something or other...good enough to write scripts, basically) was asking me crazy, I got frustrated. She was asking me the fluff questions: are you suicidal, are you hearing voices, etc. Not once did she ask me what's going on with me, what the root of my depression is, etc. She asked me if I was suicidal. I hesitated because I didn't know how to answer that question honestly. I am NOT suicidal, BUT I have thought lately(a lot) that things would be easier if I wasn't around. I told her this, and she didn't even suggest counseling. By the end of our session while she was walking out of the room, I asked her about it because I know I need something, not just meds. She said "Oh, that's a good idea. I meant to suggest that." I ended up suggestion my own place to find counseling and she said it sounded good. She didn't give me a name, number, or anything. For someone like me who is struggling with feelings of hopelessness and having difficulties following thru with simple tasks, it really sucks to have someone you pay to help not show genuine(or any other form) concern and notice I'm crying out for help.
I ended up calling my mother, whom I haven't talked to civily in weeks. She worked for the Missouri Department of Mental Health for 14 years or so. I was desperate for help. She also suffers from depression and can empathize. She pointed me to a few different places, and I am still trying to get into a real psychiatrist and find a counselor whom I can talk to about this stuff in my life. I know that I can't give up right now. As corny and cliche as this may sound, I am in the fight of my life. I am not a quitter, and I hate to lose. Quitting is not an option, and regardless or who is for or against me right now, I have to be for me. I have learned that at times I am going to be the only one on my side, cheering me on.
This post has turned out to be long, but it feels a lot better to put my thoughts and feelings into words.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It's amazing to me how much misinformation was presented at Love In Action. So many things that were taught concerning the psychological aspects of being gay I have found are wrong. I am taking a Psych class and doing a lot of studying. John Smid is just plain wrong, and I am concerned about the people currently going thru the teachings. What can we do to let people know the truth? As taught by Love in Action, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."
Has anyone ever tried to sue Love in Action? Someone suggested that to me recently. I am not a big fan of the whole "sue crazy" nation we live in; however, having gone through a program that claims to be a religious organization/church, and denies providing psychological services(correct me if I have that wrong.) I think it's fair to say that I was damaged going into LIA, and came out even more so. I was the prey of a predatorial group, seeking weak, wounded individuals who are deeply in need of having a void filled. EVERY person in LIA that I can remember had just recently hit their rock bottom before deciding to attend the program. God, I feel like a fool. So naive and childish. What can I do though. It's in the past, and I have my future ahead of me. Would suing LIA put an end to this, or at least bring about awareness? I wish I knew that they didn't promise "curing" of homosexuality before I went and thrusted myself into debt. The admissions people didn't mention that once. They just made it sound as if God would take away all my problems thru them, and them alone. Does anyone have any ideas, suggestions, or comments?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hey all. I'm sorry I've been slacking on my posts. Ok...slacking is an understatement. With work, school, family, dating, etc. my life has been crazy. I am currently trying to get back to some normalcy...whatever that may be.
I have not talked to my mother in almost 3 weeks. I came out to her for the 4th time, and she didn't take it well. She told me that I only think of myself. I reminded her that a major reason I went to Memphis and attended Love in Action was my wanting to please her. She, in turn, cut me off. For example, I put my high tuition for Love In Action on credit, with my parents promise to pay for it when they sold their home. They were making payments for me; however, after telling them that I was going to live my life for me and pursue happiness and be myself, they stopped making the payments and told me they will not pay for something that didn't work. So...here I am, in college and working full time with a mountain of debt. I have been overwhelmed with this, but honestly, there is nothing I can do. I've been thinking about selling my story to someone and trying to get a Lifetime movie made or a book written. Anyone have any suggestions?
I am also dating again. I'm not really worried about finding a relationship anymore. I think it's because I still feel the burn of my last. I'm just having fun, building friendships first. I actually have a date this evening. It's strange, after going thru a program like Love in Action where the homosexual lifestyle is villified so much, to be slowly stepping back into it.
I talked to my dad last night on the phone. He is being very loving, not supportive; however, I am not expecting him or my mother to accept me being gay. He told me he was operating under the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy. I did tell him I'm seeing a guy last night(slight embellishment, but needed to see where the line is for our talks...needless to say, I found it!)
I will try to do better at this whole posting thing!