Thursday, July 28, 2011

On Being Gay and Christian...and Published?

John Shore
John Shore, a career writer (currently on his own blog and for The Huffington Post), recently advertised that he was looking for LGBT Christians to "Tell Evangelicals (and the World) Your Story".  I stumbled upon it several weeks ago, and thought it was a good idea, but in the midst of the craziness of life decided I simply didn't have time for it.

But last week when I was vacationing in Vermont, I ran across another blogger (Misty at "More Musings on Christianity, Homosexuality, and the Bible") who mentioned that John was still looking for contributors for his upcoming book on the subject. So I shot him an email to ask if he was indeed still looking, and he quickly responded that he was.

Since I had already been chewing on "my story" for essay responses for my application to graduate counseling programs, I was able to fire off something substantive for John in only a couple of hours.  Today, John posted it to his popular blog: "Who Would Dare Argue This Gay Man Isn't Christian?" 

Thus far, the responses have been quite good...just waiting for the fuddy duddies to chime in.  (Let's pray they stay away though...I don't want anything ruining my mood!)

I know there are few of my faithful followers who identify as both gay and Christian (and some who - like me - are somewhat leery of identification with the latter)...I hope you share your stories as well!  The more the better, I say.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


About a week ago, I was hanging out with a couple from our discipleship group (T & S).  They are the other younger couple in the group along with J and I.  We've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them over the past year or so.  In fact, the wife (S) and I have quite a bit in common, from temperament, to anxieties, to interests in counseling.  As such, she's been great about making sure I know I feel welcome to chill with them since my hubby and I have been separated for the summer.  So I took them up on their offer Sunday before last; I grabbed up the doggy, and they brought along their reluctant toddler, and we all went for a walk on the local trail.

It was nice just to be out of my brooding shell for a bit, and to chit-chat with dear friends.  But near the end of the talk, T asked me a random question: "do you feel like you're middle-aged?"  To which I retorted: "are you trying to get beat up?!"  WTF?

Turns out, he wasn't asking if I felt as old as I looked :)  He was just relaying a scientific fact that he'd recently been pondering: as we get older, our perception of time increases, which presumably means that "middle-age" may feel a lot sooner than it numerically is.  (My guess is that he shared this because we share a deep appreciation for science and mathematics).

After my sarcastic response, I did admit that I indeed felt middle-aged.  Moreover, it's actually been somewhat difficult to deal with being a post-30 male.  As they pressed for details, I began to share with them how I had some significant dreams growing up.

When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be an actor.
But my dad told me "acting is lying, and Christians don't do that" (no joke), so I abandoned that dream.  To this day, I still sorta wish I had been a philosophy/theater double major in college.  Instead, I was a biochemistry major (Spanish minor).

During junior year, I took a Sociology class, and loved it so much, that I seriously contemplated dropping biochemistry, and being a sociology major.  Similarly, half-way through pharmacy school, I contemplated dropping out and going off to get a counseling degree.  I can't say that I regret sticking it out (there's something to be said for finishing something) and going the psychopharmacology route.  No doubt, this will serve me well in the future.  (I've recently taken the GRE, and am now all set to apply to counseling programs!)

After spilling my guts about grieving the loss of some of those dreams, I began to talk about my biggest difficulty with being 30: I feel incredibly "ORDINARY".  Intellectually, there's nothing wrong with this.  Yet, I've always felt like I would be someone great.  At first I thought I would be a famous actor, and then in college, the plan was to get a PhD in genetics and go on to earn a Nobel Prize.  And with each passing year, it's as if the proverbial bar got set lower and lower, until I was stuck in the land of ordinary.

And here I am now, nearly 32.  Let's face it: it ain't gettin' much more spectacular.  Every day that passes, more decisions get made.  The more decisions get made, the more alternative decisions become impossible.  The world is filled with fewer possibilities; our dreams get crowded out by reality.  Extra-ordinary cannot be attained.

When I finished speaking, T & S began to commiserate with me about these things.  It was astonishing!  Up until that point, I had only ever articulated these fears and frustrations with J - who is still in his late 20's, and I think perhaps cannot fully relate.  T & S have both hit the big 3-0 though, and it was refreshing to know I wasn't some solitary freak dealing with this!

At the end of that conversation, I went home and reflected on it more.  It seems as though I can sum up early life's great struggles in this way: the mid-to-late 20's seem to be about discovering who you truly are (feel free to access my old Xanga blog if you want to know more about the existential angst of that process for me!)  By extension then, it seems natural that the 30's are about coming to terms with who you're not.

And viewed from that perspective, maybe being "ordinary" isn't so bad.  After all, when you're ordinary, you're not alone...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rising From the Ashes...

Wow.  It's hard to believe it's been over four months since my last post.  How exactly did my life get so busy?  So busy that the thought of banging out a few keys for public consumption felt like dreadful work?  Please forgive me, blogging buddies and faithful followers, for abandoning you.

I've abandoned quite a few people lately, actually.  I feel like my world has gotten very small.  So much so that when J went off to VT a few weeks ago, it took me several days to figure out who I could actually talk to or hang out with.  In my bachelor days, whenever I found myself feeling lonely and needing some company, I would always call Diem (pharmacy school days), or Christy.  Man...I had some good times with those ladies :D  I miss them terribly.

Don't get me wrong.  It's not like I don't have friends around here.  But what made Diem and Christy so special was that they both knew me so intimately, that I felt free to be my total, miserable, lonely self around them.  But it takes so much damn time to establish that kind of intimacy with another human being, and when you're simply don't have that kind of time to invest in other people.

And then of course, there's the typical D.C. busy factor.  When I wasn't reverting to my natural, introverted, leave-me-alone-so-I-can-brood-in-peace self, I had to face the fact that some of the people I wanted to hang out with were at events, or with their own significant others, etc.

So I suppose it's been a rough few weeks.  And it has seriously fucked with my head.  I've had all kinds of amazing, wonderful thoughts and feelings.  But I've also entertained some horrifying, ghastly thoughts and been to the Valley of the Shadow of Death a few times.  (And NO, that is not a reference to feeling desperately suicidal!  It's just my figurative way of talking about going to that scariest part of my psyche that I usually am able to avoid by focusing on work, my husband, church, helping others, and all manner of other "distractions".)

Also, since last I wrote, I've (in some cases we've) managed to:

1.) Employ a late wedding gift given to me by a phenomenal psychologist friend: Relieve Anxiety with Medical Hypnosis... it's actually been very helpful.
2.) Start a new prescription: buspirone (for anxiety as well)
3.) Shave my head

4.) Buy a townhouse
5.) Move into said townhouse within 24 hours of settlement
6.) Drive J up to VT for the summer 48 hours after moving into said townhouse
7.) Take the GRE (Quantitative: great; Verbal: meh; Writing: TBD)
8.) Start looking into counseling programs I'm going to apply to (so far it's the MS/PhD in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University Maryland and the PhD in Counseling Psychology at University of Maryland)

And last but not least, I've begun to emerge.  I've been making contacts with friends I haven't had a soulful conversation with in months...even years.  I kinda forgot how much I missed them.  I suppose being alone for a bit doesn't have to be the very worst thing that ever did happen to a person. Not fully anyway.  We've still got a long way to go.  At some point I'll need to address the myriad mindfucks that have recently accumulated...