Friday, November 25, 2005

44. 10 080 Minutes

Man, this has been a week.  I’m exhausted, and I just tried to take a nap, but between the sirens outside (what on earth is going on?!?!?) and my phone ringing constantly, I’ve had to give up on that.  

I don’t even know what to say about this week.  It’s just been a whole series of mini-events.  Like the event with the nude, developmentally-delayed preschooler and the toilet which I won’t get into here, but suffice it to say that it was unpleasant.  Or the event that involved my passport renewal and the upending of all my drawers and files onto the floor in search of a document that turned out to be in my car (my home hasn’t recovered from that really… it’s still a mess).  

And of course, I saw Rent – the title to this post is a nod to that actually.  I haven’t sobbed like that in a movie since… well, I’m not sure if I ever have.  Not polite, dignified public tears, but the gasping-choking sobbing that had me feeling embarrassed because I was in a room full of strangers.  Not that the movie was depressing, I actually found it very uplifting, but there was a sad part which I’m not going to tell you about because if you’ve seen it you can probably guess and if you haven’t seen it… well, you should.    

Oh, and today I found out I made it onto the radio!  Well, the fake radio, but still… has a radio podcast every week, and I had called in a response to one of their questions and they used it on the show – if you want to listen to it, head to their GCN radio page and listen to the November 25, 2005 episode on being in the closet… I’m the only female voice, so I won’t be hard to spot… and you’ll learn my first name (gasp!).  

Anyway, that’s it.  I just wanted to post because I haven’t posted in a while and I thought I should.  I hope all of your weeks have been less ‘eventful’ than mine… unless it was full of awesome events in which case I’m happy for you.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

43. Hole Hearted

First of all, I want to let you know that Roy Clements’ webpage is up and running again, so if you want to hear some good preaching by an evangelical gay preacher, head on over there.  There are a lot of other things on his page too, essays and Bible commentaries, so take a look around.

In other news, I’ve been walking around today with a bit of a hole in my chest.  (A metaphorical hole of course!)   I keep finding myself on the verge of tears and I’m not entirely sure why.  It’s not pms, cause… well; it would be a little late for that.  It’s not my mom and all the stuff going on there, because I was talking about that situation with a friend this afternoon and it actually brought me out of my funk… but I’m back in it.  

I think I might just need to get away, which is kind of convenient because I’m planning on going away soon.  I think I’ve just been still for too long.  When I’m still I can’t help but look out over the vast expanse of my life and the horror of it overwhelms me.  Is this what God wants for me?   This aloneness?  This half-life?  Hoping my happily married friends will show compassion (pity) on me?  

I’m not lonely, I’m alone… and if celibacy is the way then I will always be alone.

Ugh.  I think I’m going to take a nap.  

And then I’m going to leave the country.

Friday, November 18, 2005

42. Oy

It has snowed here again, and this time it is remaining on the ground so things are looking up for me.

I had a disconcerting experience today that I would like to share with all of you… it has nothing to do with being Christian, Gay and Confused, it was just disturbing.  This afternoon I was looking after 2 kids of a friend of mine.  I normally don’t resort to TV or videos with kids I’m babysitting, but well, the little girl I had this afternoon was so thrown by my presence that I thought I’d put on something familiar so maybe she would relax.  She wasn’t crying or anything, she was just staring at me in confusion.  So, anyway, I put on Sesame Street… it worked to a certain degree, she started laughing and pointing and coming out of her shell a bit, so that was good.

I, of course, as a 30 year old woman have not watched Sesame Street in years so it was really weird, but kind of nice, to see all those old and yet very familiar faces – Maria, Gordon, Susan, Luis, Bob… and, of course, all the Muppets I remember.  But then there were all these new Muppets that I have never heard of which kind of weirded me out.  The worst was yet to come though.  

There was this one sketch they did about a karaoke night, and one of the singers was a black guy in his 20s named Miles Robinson.  I sat there for several minutes trying to figure out how come I knew that name.  And then it hit me… and it hit me hard.  I remember when Miles was a baby!  He is Gordon and Susan’s adopted son.  That’s how I originally learned what adoption was.

I’m old.  I’m really, really old.  

That sucks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

41. November Blahs

I am not a big fan of November.  As a matter of fact, it is my least favourite month… it’s that sort of limbo stage between autumn and winter.  All the leaves are off the trees, and the grass is turning brown, but there’s no snow yet.  Everything just looks like a barren wasteland.  Yesterday I was excited because there was snow on the ground, but this morning it rained and now it’s just dead outside.

Can you tell I’m not in the greatest of moods?

Of course, it doesn’t help that my mom and I are at loggerheads again.  The frustrating thing is I feel so emotionally worn out by it all that I get off the phone and I’m crying and I’m angry, but I really can’t tell you why.  I mean, I can tell you that my mom and I just fought, I might even be able to tell you the general gist of what we fought about, but I can’t really tell you why we were fighting… if that makes any sense.  Yesterday I was talking to a friend and I started to cry about it and she, of course, asked me why I was crying and I said “I have no words, only tears”… which is either really poetic or really cheesy, I can’t decide.  Regardless, it was exactly how I felt.  Thank goodness she didn’t push it because I think I would have completely broken down on her.  

Anyway, I actually have something relevant to this blog to share.  I’m going through a bit of an insomniatic phase, so I’ve been listening to a lot of sermons online – yeah, I know, I’m a bit of a freak.  I’ve been specifically listening to sermons by evangelical gay-friendly preachers – cause, well, there aren’t any in Ottawa that I know of, and I am just interested to hear the sorts of things they have to say.  I found a few sermons on on their sermons page – if you are going to head over there, the sermons by Roy Clements are very good… not that the talk by Ralph Blair isn’t good, it’s just not a ‘sermon’ per se… it’s more of a lecture.  I actually really enjoyed Roy Clements’ sermons, and went to his webpage and listened to a bunch more (his webpage seems to be down right now, hopefully it will be up again soon).   I’m sure many conservative Christians will find this hard to believe, but I found myself feeling quite convicted listening to his sermons – they’re not about ‘gay stuff’, he’s just a good preacher who happens to be gay.  Apparently Roy Clements was quite well known and respected in the UK as an evangelical preacher before he came out, left his wife, and entered into a ‘celibate friendship’ with a man.  (I’m not sure if it’s still a celibate friendship, but everything I’ve been able to find about him uses that phrase so…).

Another thing I listened to one night in the wee hours was the presentation given by Tony and Peggy Campolo discussing this issue.  They are on opposite sides of the issue, Peggy is Side A, Tony is Side B… and he is probably the most purely Side B straight Christian I have yet to encounter.  Most of them are actually Side X when you get right down to it – they think that we really should try to be straight, but until then (or, you know, if it doesn’t work or something) we should just be celibate.  Anyway, it actually is a good presentation, and one I wish more people would listen to, if only to hear how people can disagree and still be civil to each other… or how someone can take a conservative stance without being homophobic.  

Anyway, after listening to the presentation the other night I realized that I was listening to a presentation given before a mostly gay audience, and I’m sure that shaped the tone of what they had to say, so I went looking for a presentation given before a straight Christian audience.   I didn’t find a page with the two of them debating again, but I did find a talk that Tony gave at a national pastor’s conference on “Struggling with the Gay Issue”.    It is much longer than the presentation that he gave with his wife, but it was comforting to hear him say pretty much the same thing to a group of straight people that he said to his gay audience.  He was actually kind of harsh with his straight audience, calling out a lot of the hypocrisy that drives me nuts, as I’m sure it drives many other gay people nuts.  

No real insights or anything, I thought I’d just share some of the things I’ve been listening to recently.  

Saturday, November 12, 2005

40. Rescue Heroes

A few years ago there was this book that was making the rounds in Christian circles that I kept hearing about – Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secrets of a Man’s Soul.  There’s a companion book for women, but… well, no one I know read that one.  Anyway, I was at a church retreat when one of the girls who was there brought this book up.  I should point out that she was not happy with it, I don’t know if she had read the entire book, but she had read the blurb on the back and it had made her angry to think that all these Christian men were reading this book.  She summarized the back of the book for us, but due to the magic of the internet, I can quote it directly.  

“…every little boy has dreams, big dreams, dreams of being the hero, of beating the bad guys, of doing daring feats and rescuing the damsel in distress.  Every little girl has dreams too; of being rescued by her prince and swept into a great adventure; knowing that she is the beauty.”

I remember sitting there thinking, “Really?  Do most girls feel like that?”  I think (but I can’t be sure) that this was before I had come out to any of my Christian friends, because I remember being frustrated that I couldn’t question them on this, because I was wondering if the reason I was different from what this book described was that I was gay.  Now, like I said, the girl who brought this book up at the retreat obviously disagreed with the generalities that this book spoke in, so I know I’m not the only female who does not conform… but I don’t only not conform, I’m opposite.  I have never dreamed or fantasized about being rescued by a handsome prince (or even a beautiful princess).  I fantasize about being the hero… and always have for as far back as I can remember.  In grade one I remember all the kids in my class wanted to play Star Wars, which was totally cool by me.  But they made all the girls be Princess Leia, and basically just stand by the fence while the boys got to fight each other to rescue us.  I hated it.  It was boring, I wanted to be fighting to rescue her… and not because I wanted to rescue a princess, just because I wanted to be the hero.  Growing up, one of my favourite things about Christmas was the rolls of wrapping paper – they were my light sabers, I used to fight Darth Vader and the Emperor in my room by myself because no one I played with would let me be the hero.  Another recurring fantasy I remember, going well into my early teens (yes, I know… a bit juvenile) was that I was Superman’s daughter and had inherited some of his powers and I would fly around fighting injustice.  I can also tell you that most of my molars were kicked out by bullies in grade 2 and 3.  I would see them picking on a little kid, or a kid who was different in some way, and I would go after them, insisting that they change their evil ways or face my wrath (such as it was).  I was actually never successful, not even once that I can remember.  They would just laugh and hit me, or punch me, or (most painfully) kick me in the face.  I have many memories of going inside during recess with a bloody mouth and holding one of my teeth in my hands… I would always tell the teacher on duty that I fell.  No matter how many times they knocked me down I kept coming back, I so desperately wanted to be the hero, to fight for those who couldn’t fight for themselves.  And it had absolutely nothing to do with the gender of the person I “rescued”; it was just that the role I wanted to fill was that of the hero.  

It still is.  When I come out of an action movie, or a superhero movie, my mind goes off on these wild adventures where I rescue the oppressed from their evil overlords.  Is this a ‘gay’ thing?  I read somewhere on one of those exgay sites that gay men would know that they were ‘cured’ when their desire to be protected turned into a desire to protect.  I wonder if the literature is merely the inverse for gay women, do they say that gay women will be cured when they achieve a desire to be protected?  And is this legitimate?  Not that gay women can be cured, because…well, you know where I stand on that, but is that a natural heterosexual distinction?  Men want to protect, women want to be rescued… is that part of what it means to be straight?  Or is this just part of the ingrained sexism in our culture?      

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

39. Unpacking

So, my dad has come and gone and I would like to thank all of you who prayed for me.  Dad and I had a good time, and so I know God heard all of our prayers.  

I’d also like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Eric over at Two World Collision… there’s a party going on over at his blog, with drinks and everything, so go check it out!  

Speaking of Eric, a few weeks ago he asked me a question I think I’ll take the time to answer now… sorry it took me so long.  In one of my previous posts I made this statement, “The ‘fence’ I build around developing an attraction to a woman is not to protect myself from sinning; it’s to protect myself from getting hurt.”  Eric asked me if I had “unpacked” this any further, and well… I hadn’t.  So, here I go unpacking.  Consider it a birthday present Eric!  

I guess I’ll talk about the ‘fence’ first.  When I meet a woman I think I might become attracted to, or I realize that I might become attracted to a woman I know I try and stop the attraction from happening.  I’m not even entirely sure what all I do to accomplish this.  In some cases it’s as simple as avoiding the woman, but in most cases that is simply not feasible – at least not without being rude anyway.  I think that there are probably a lot of mental gymnastics that go on that I’m not even aware of, but that I know exhaust me.  

The worst thing about it though, is that I’m not even sure the fence works.  I haven’t been seriously attracted to anyone in a few years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s working.  Case in point, while my dad was here we watched a lot of movies – something   he doesn’t really have time for at his home.  One of the movies we watched had a woman in it that I found very attractive, and every time she was on the screen, I felt myself starting to smile… and if she smiled then I couldn’t help it – I smiled back (she had a fantastic smile).  I was intensely conscious of it because I was sitting there beside my dad who has no idea (and would likely be horrified if he knew) that I’m gay.  I tried to stop myself from grinning at this woman, and on a few occasions I think I was successful, but for the most part I really couldn’t help it.  I couldn’t help feeling the attraction and I couldn’t help but react to what I was feeling.  Even as I type this out I am realizing that there are people who will read that and go “aha! Sexual addiction, I told you so!”, and well… I just think that’s ridiculous.  Straight married people feel attraction to people who are not their spouses all the time, and no one would call that a sexual addiction, it’s just normal.  We cannot control our attractions; we can only control our actions.  (Wow, that rhymes… it should be a slogan for… for… well, for something or other)  Anyway, that’s not the point.  The point is, I couldn’t stop myself from feeling something (minimal as it was) while watching this movie, so I’m not sure I would be able to stop myself from developing real feelings for a real woman.  All that mental effort I put in might not even be worth it.  

The other thing I wanted to ‘unpack’ a bit was the second part of that sentence, “…it’s to protect myself from getting hurt.”  I was writing about something else entirely in that previous post, and so I really over-simplified this.  First the obvious. Any time you have feelings for another person (be they romantic feelings or not) you open yourself up to getting hurt, so there is some definite truth in what I said.  Especially when you consider the fact that due to the circles I travel in, chances are any woman I develop feelings for is going to be straight, and unrequited affection always sucks.  But it is way more than protecting myself from ‘getting hurt’.  There are other… complications.  You see, I am a girl… and while I may not be the most girly girl out there, I still am a girl, and as such when I have a crush on someone I want to talk about it.  (I realize not all girls are like this, but most girls I know are… and guys may be like this with each other, but not being a guy, I really don’t know about that)  Not talking about it is kind of like trying to hold in a sneeze.  Actually, I cleaned that up a bit… it’s more like really having to go to the bathroom and holding it in.  It becomes all you can think about, whereas if you could just pee when you felt the need, things would be fine.  So I don’t want to develop a crush on anyone because I don’t want to have this thing I can’t talk about hanging over my head.  

Actually, I do end up talking about it, just not with any of my Christian friends.  I can’t tell any of them about any feelings I have for a woman unless I’m ‘confessing’ it as sin… so unless I want to feel guilt and shame for my feelings, which I really don’t believe are sinful, I have to find other people to talk to.  I end up talking to my non-Christian friends, who, of course just wonder why on earth I’m not ‘doing anything about it’, i.e.: asking the girl out, or at least going to places where I can meet other gay women and have less futile crushes (something that I, in my ‘confused’ state, am not ready for).  I know that some of my Christian friends (and they are probably the ones who read this blog) would not want to make me feel guilty for whatever feelings I may have, but to be perfectly honest (and I realize I might be projecting my fears onto them here), I don’t trust that they wouldn’t be thinking that I was sinning by feeling whatever I felt.  Basically I don’t trust that they wouldn’t be judging me, and feeling judged sucks.  That might be my own issue though.  So… the ‘fence’ I build is built to protect myself from having to feel isolated from the Church by having to hide yet another thing about myself from them.  I just found a post on Ash’s website that talks about this same thing.  

So, there you go… unpacked.  I hope I answered your question, Eric.  And I hope that today was a wonderful one for you! Happy Birthday.      

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

38. An Interlude

This is a post to basically let you all know that I am not going to be posting for about a week… I probably won’t even be online for most of the week starting tomorrow at around noon. My dad is coming to visit, and my computer is in my spare room, which happens to double as an office.

Anyway, I thought I’d give you all something to amuse yourselves with. I think I love these two boys – anyone with this kind of a sense of humour is alright by me. You have to watch it through to the end to see the ‘bloopers’. The fact that they choreograph themselves is amazing. I have a new set of heroes.

The real star of this video is the guy sitting in the back, on his computer as if nothing is going on. If you click on the video while it is playing, it will open up a new window with a page with some more of their videos on it. He seems to be in the background for all of them. How he manages to not crack up is beyond me. Honestly, these guys have given me so much joy, which is great because I’m kind of nervous about my dad’s visit. So, hey, after you watch the video if you want, you could pray for me. :-)