Certainty In An Uncertain Future

Gay Time Traveling

It’s done! Well, turning in the manuscript of the memoir is done. I turned it in late Thursday night, which was a great feeling! But, of course, now the real work begins with all the professional editing, planning, getting the word out, etc. But today, I am enjoying this feeling of accomplishment as much as I can.

The memoir has a section about how I feel like a gay time traveler. I write about being out as a young gay teen, young adult, then going into the church closet for over twenty years, to only come back out at age forty-seven. When I came out of the stained glass closet, the gay world had completely changed in many positive and progressive ways on all fronts. Of course, some of the same cultural dynamics still exist, but the visibility, rights, and resources blew me away.

The toxic ideology that I ascribed to all that time (exgay/conversion therapy) tricked me into believing that I couldn’t be a part of that, so I wasn’t. My blinders kept me from seeing all the beauty and joy the LGBTQ+ community had fought hard for and made progress on. That same ideology had me opposing many of those efforts while I was in the church closet. I will regret that for the rest of my days.

So, when I came back out and grew out of the self-loathing version of myself, I could engage in a gay world I never thought possible: healthy, whole, faithful, fun, etc. I could take part in many benefits and blessings I had opposed, and I am grateful I have the right to change my mind and live authentically now that I am back where I was always meant to be.

Karma

I am not a fan of when people say Karma is a b*tch. Karma can be harsh, but personifying it as an outside force seems off to me. Many religions teach some karmic lessons. My faith tradition is “You will reap what you sow.” That principle has been taught very thinly, in my opinion. It’s incredibly complex, and most of it isn’t even supernatural and is based on personality and relational approaches/dynamics. In the bigger scheme, definitely supernatural (to me), but we have more control over the energy we produce than just the whims of a faceless detached spiritual power.

On June 24th, when the Supreme Court reversed Roe V. Wade, I experienced something old as new again. My first concern is that while I do not like abortion, I fully support a woman’s right to decide for herself (not big brother) and that it should be legal and safe if that is what she chooses. My very close second powerful concern is that Justice Clarence Thomas openly called for this decision to open the door to nullify marriage equality. This would nullify Dan and my marriage immediately on a federal and state level. Florida banned gay people from marriage up until the Supreme Court said otherwise. If they reverse that decision, I understand that Florida’s ban would be back in place. Then the Texas Attorney General said he would be willing to defend sodomy laws to overturn another SCOTUS decision saying you couldn’t make what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom illegal.

When it sank in that these powerful voices were hellbent on nullifying our marriage and making our expressions of love illegal, I felt the ice-cold grip of fear settle over my spirit. I remember in the ’80s when every time you went to a gay establishment, you ran the risk of being beaten, harassed, and sometimes killed. I remember being the victim of physical assault and physical assault with a deadly weapon, and the cops either did not come at all or when they did, they laughed at me and said I deserved it.

These policy moves, if made, will encourage those who would love to bring all of that back not just to persecute but punish people for simply being who they are and loving who they love.

Then I realized the angry and fearful tears that formed in the corners of my eyes were what my past activism had done to others. That vice grip around my heart is what I once helped enliven in others’ hearts during my exgay advocacy days. I supported the ban on gay marriage in Florida when it passed and often spoke out about it publicly. This deep fear and guilt and the possibility the evil policy I once supported may come back is part of my reaping what I had once sown.

And I hate it. But, I know I deserve to experience this most unpleasant fear.

I lived out the results of that fear unchecked in the ’80s, and while it was fun to travel forward in time, I have no desire to go back to that systemic homophobia empowering the highest laws of the land.

Certainty

I apologized for my past public policy involvement in interviews and on an old blog, but I could never apologize enough. Also, I can see Karma as a b*tch or a Teacher and Wise Counselor. I am choosing the Teacher/Wise Counselor. And what I believe She is teaching me is to use my past experiences, both good and bad, to do better. I will draw upon my experiences with systemic homophobia in the ’80s as a gay man and my experiences as a self-loathing activist that reinforced that systemic homophobia for over two decades. I will combine that with my present reality as a somewhat healthy and responsible gay husband/bonus dad/adult and oppose all attempts to go backward in time with an informed viewpoint covering a lot of ground on all sides of the issue.

The future is uncertain, but I am confident I will defend my marriage, family, community, and right to be treated equally.

This time traveler refuses to go back in time.

2 responses to “Certainty In An Uncertain Future”

  1. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your memoir when it comes out!

    Like

    1. Thank you for reading the post and the memoir when it comes out 🙂

      Like

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