Thursday, February 24, 2011
Thank God Almighty I'm free at last!
My daughter and I were having lunch the other day when she made an observation. She said, "Dad, you've changed. To me you've become too gay." Her statement set me back a bit. "What is too gay?" I asked. "Well, you know, all you talk about is gay stuff. All you do is gay stuff. It's like your old life doesn't exist anymore."
Honestly, her comment caused me to think and think deeply. After pondering her words for several days, I came to the conclusion that my daughter, in fact, was right--at least to a point.
My old life no longer exists. The straight closeted father she has always known and loved shattered and died when he hit the wall. Those broken pieces that made him and his life can never be reassembled. Ever.
In its place I was born--a new man, a happy man, a man at peace with himself and the world--a totally gay man. I have little if anything in common with that false and spineless man of the past.
And what is the result? I live in a gay neighborhood. My friends are almost all gay. I date gay men. The movies I watch are gay movies. I typically eat in gay restaurants. I read books about gay issues. I sing in a gay men's chorus. I'm a member of a gay business association. I volunteer at the Pride Center and give money to the Utah Aids Foundation and Equality Utah. As I've discovered, several of my clients are gay. I even write a gay blog.
The only straight things with which I'm involved at this point in my life are my family and the LDS Church and these affiliations are strained at best. My family loves me and tries to include me and I them, but the wounds from my coming out and the subsequent divorce are still healing. That inevitably impacts our relationships. Then there's the Church. When I attend my meetings each Sunday, I feel utterly alone and terribly uncomfortable. I'm hoping, with lagging enthusiasm, that things there will improve with time.
The fact is, I have evolved from a cowering closet case to an out and proud gay man. I revel in being immersed in a gay life and gay world that I actually understand and where I have confidence that others understand me.
I have chosen all this. If it means that I am too gay, so be it. For the first time, I am free to choose and I revel in my freedom as I revel in the words of the old spiritual, "I'm free at last, I'm free at last. Thank God Almighty I'm free at last."
I'm Free At Last--Southern Sons