Four years have passed since I came out to my wife; three years since I started writing this blog. And through much of that time I’ve felt like things were moving excruciatingly slowly. In comparison, though, the past 12 months have been a whirlwind. Highlights:
- Last summer I came out to each of my four kids and was overwhelmed by their love and support. More than anything, I think this step is what set in motion the further changes to come. Once my kids knew, I no longer cared who else might find out.
- Last fall, I attended a conference by the Reformation Project, and for the first time ever found myself surrounded by LGBT people. I never realized the weight of the burden we carry living in a world where heteronormativity is always assumed, until I found myself in a place where it wasn’t. It was beautiful.
- In January, attended my first Gay Christian Network conference, where I met two other guys in similar situations to mine. We shared a lot in terms of our religious and family backgrounds, and getting to know one another and sharing our stories was incredibly powerful.
- In March, I found a local gay volleyball club (they have them all over the US – check out nagva.org) and started going to their open gym night. Coming out to my kids last summer gave me the freedom to begin pursuing friendships with other gay people.
My involvement with this volleyball club has been completely life-changing. They welcomed me warmly, and in a matter of weeks, I found that I had more gay friends than I could have ever dreamed of. When I’m with them, I feel I can let down my guard and just be me. The pretense drops away and I no longer feel the urge to “act straight” – a self-protective mechanism I’ve carefully cultivated over the years. And it feels wonderful!
My blog posts may have become less frequent, but that’s not a sign of anything bad. Instead, it’s because I’ve found richer and better ways to process my thoughts and feelings as I continue along this unpredictable and adventurous path.