Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When a straight blogger comes out

I love reading the blog posts of Dan Pierce who writes the wildly popular blog "Single Dad Laughing."

In just a few years he's developed a very large following, and his writing is full of fun, laughs and heart as he chronicles life as a single dad.

He also made a lot of "blog noise" with what is probably his most famous post "I'm Christian Unless You're Gay" noting the often seen hypocrisy and thoughtless comments by some on the religious right and sometimes within ourselves.

Today, he posted what may be his most personal blog post to date as he comes out as bisexual. The post is lengthy and thoughtful as he offers an almost stream of consciousness of coming to grips with his sexuality at the age of 32. And how he's endured the pressures and pain of family and friends either laughing at or openly denigrating the LGBT community.

I imagine the majority of those comments he's witnessed and suffered through came from people who may have thought they didn't know anyone in the LGBT community.

Now they do.

I know it took a lot of courage for Dan to not only "own" who he is for himself, but also to his family, friends and public who know him for his blog. I also know that "it gets better." It's not a cliche, it's truth.

Dan's coming out will have powerful impact not only on his own life, but his readers as well as they realize that the man they've come to know through reading his blog is still the same man. And even better, they have just a little more insight into who their LGBT neighbors, friends and family may be.

Here's just bit of Dan's courageous post. You can read the whole post by clicking here. Why not go take a read and leave a supportive comment. At last count, there have been over 900 comments in less than two hours. All of the ones I read were positive. Go show Dan some internet love and give him a pat on the back.

Bracing myself against both sides of my bathroom sink as I scrutinized something significantly deeper than my own reflection, I finally whispered aloud my first truly honest thought about my own sexual orientation.

You see, I’ve never wanted to be anything other than straight.

Since I was eleven years old, I’ve been desperate to only be attracted to those of the opposite sex. I’ve masked and obscured any feeling I’ve ever felt that threatened my place within the realm of what I’ve been coached is both normal and acceptable.

Several months ago, I was finally forced to an edge where I couldn’t pretend any longer. The act of pretending had pushed me continually deeper into life-threatening depression, and it was time to figure out how to admit my own secrets to the world, and far more importantly, how to admit them to the one person who could never be at peace until I did.

To do so became my only option if I ever wanted to be authentically happy, if I ever wanted to be authentically intimate with another, or if I ever wanted to finally stop existing as a fake.

And so, I’ll just say it.

I’m not straight.

Those words are by far the most difficult words I’ve ever typed, and I know they’ll be far more difficult to share.

[snip]

A few months ago, I used an admittedly effeminate hand gesture at family dinner. I naturally use it all the time, only this time it was shortly after the emotional shift toward coming out had started to happen within me.

My brother saw me do it. He laughed uncomfortably and then all too seriously said, “please tell me you’re still straight.”

There are many that have worried about my sexuality for a long time now. And the way he said it, I intrinsically knew that to be anything other than straight might do great damage to something between us. I just laughed it off. I wasn’t ready to tell him yet. I couldn’t tell him yet.

Dear God, please don’t let me be anything other than straight.

The thought pierced me then perhaps more than ever before, though I’ve struggled against the current of such thoughts thousands of times over the past 21 years.

Since that moment, I have been particularly sensitive and observational of such statements being made by others. My heart wants to tune them all out. My mind tries to absorb every one of them. It’s been a never-ending tug of war between the part of me that wants to maintain the love and admiration of those around me and the part of me that franticly seeks freedom to finally be who I have always dreaded that I am.

“I can’t stand fags,” a friend said so nonchalantly at game night one Friday evening. He then listed his reasons for his revulsion and the table got lost in jubilant conversation about how many gays there are where we live nowadays. Many thoughtless and vicious jokes were made within the group, all proceeded by raucous laughter. I laughed at some of them too so they wouldn’t suspect the truth that was melting me.

Dear God, please don’t let me be anything other than straight.

I brought a woman to a social event. I really liked this woman. I was very attracted to her. You see, I’m attracted to men, but I’m also very much attracted to women. Some friends we were with began joking about how we were all probably secretly bisexual. She turned to me and laughed, “there is no way I would ever date someone who was like that.” My heart bore its way into my stomach, and I did my best to maneuver the discussion elsewhere.

Dear God, please don’t let me be anything other than straight.

I was at dinner with some close friends. “I’m pretty sure those guys over there are gay,” one of them said, motioning to two men who were laughing together at another table. “It’s so weird and unnatural and I don’t think I’ll ever understand how people can be like that.” I assured them I didn’t understand it either.

Dear God, please don’t let me be anything other than straight.

Read the rest at Single Dad Laughing.
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