This weeks English class blog question caused me to pause for a minute.  What event did change me?  The simple answer, all of them, and none of them.  Let me explain.  This summer I focused heavily on myself, my problems, and my past.  Not in an egotistical way, but one that would help better me as a person.  During that time time I started to go back and track growth throughout my life.  It showed me how much I had already changed, areas I should revert back to, and areas where I was wrong both then and now, and still needed evaluating.  Even though all of them helped shape me into who I am, no single event defines who I am.

For my response to the blog question though, I would have to answer; The event that defines who I am, would have to be coming out as a gay man.  Now above I said no single event defines me, and coming out was no single event either.  I had several coming outs, which used to be the norm, but now-a-days kids are coming out younger and more to everyone at the same time, rather than in waves like I did.  The process of me coming out was around a two year period.

Everyone always wants to know, did I always know I was gay?  The answer, yes.  Or, as aware of my sexuality as any young child is.  I remember being 5 to 8 years old, my aunt bought me a human physiology CD Rom.  You could see all the different parts and systems of the body.  Bones, nervous system, the veins, as well as being able to see the man (or woman) completely nude.  It was an educational disk, and I learned a lot about bones which I always found cool.  But I also liked to look at “Adam,” as the male version was called.  Adam usually had a fig leave covering his privates, but with the click of a button you could remove that.  Not knowing about sex or even sexuality at the time, I didn’t know why I liked Adam and not Eve, but that was just how it was.

Fast forward to my early teens and I had confusing feelings.  All the guys around me suddenly became interested in females, when just the summer before we thought they were gross.  I was confused further when I became more interested in my guy friends, than I did about the girls they were talking about.  I always kept it hidden, it was my dirty secret, no one could know, and no one did know, not for a long time.  When I was 17 I confessed to my parents that I was “struggling” with homosexuality, and I wanted help.

Anytime you suppress a part of who you are, a defining characteristic, you run into problems.  Stress, depression, anger, bitterness, and the list could go on.  With more years of “struggling” with my sexuality, of seeking help from professionals and other gay men that had “left homosexuality,” years and years of prayers and tears, I still was unable to change.

I spent my first two years at a pretty famous Christian college, and sought help, prayer, and the bible for answers.  But while I watched prostitutes, drug deals, and woman abusers all seemingly grow and change, the one “sin” that was never able to be helped was that of one man loving another.  I stuck with the college though, confessing to more and more people I was “gay, but working on it,” and went on to apply and be accepted within the school for missions work in Brazil.  That fall I had five online courses, a full time job, I was working on support fundraisers and news letters, and I was busy going around to other churches and groups of people to raise awareness and support.

In February of 2011, a month before I was due to go to Brazil, the school called up and dismissed me.  They wouldn’t give a straight answer (and still won’t to this day), but I was being “let-go” (as they called it), because of my sexual orientation.  Something that is literally not able to be controlled.

In hindsight I probably could have legally pressed them for that, but at the time I was too hurt to even tell anyone.  That might have been difficult at the time to handle, I see now that it was the catalyst that would start my growth, or probably more aptly, my re-birth.  No, I am not talking any form of mythical Phoenix death and re-birth, but a new start and out look on life.

Fast forward another two years, to the present day, and you have a maturing and proud homosexual man.  One that is not afraid to be different (where I used to hate being different), one that is not afraid to be true to me (even when others don’t accept me), one that realizes being gay isn’t a choice, and ISN’T a sin.  In other words, a brand new man.

It may not have been a single event, or even a short period of time, but coming out has defined who I am today, and it has taken years, more than a decade honestly, to be able to say this, but I am proud to have been born gay. 

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