Saturday, April 17, 2010

What It Means To Be Side B

So, I have to thank everyone for their prayers and concerns after yesterday's post. I really am feeling better, and the support here, on Facebook, and in e-mails has been overwhelming, especially since Neo linked my blog on a "Boundless" post about Jennifer Knapp. Thanks, Neo! I'm getting more traffic than ever before.

In a private response to my last post, a dear friend of mine, who would also identify as a gay celibate Christian (also known as Side B by the elect at the Gay Christian Network, as my friend Joe would put it) wrote a great definition of what it means to live between these two worlds. I just thought I'd post it here. If he gets mad at me for posting it, I'll take it down, but I doubt he will. Hope everyone has a blessed day.

We're different. We know this. Somehow, we have found peace with our faith and our "gayness." I truly am happy knowing I finally peaceful with my sexuality and the God who loves me, in ways I cannot even measure. Still there's that something missing. We're not the guys who can just ignore the fact that we're attracted to other men, we can't (like others) suppress what we are. And we're not like the guys who can just engage and emerge head on into the gay lifestyle, as far as pursuing guys and being physical with our partners, etc. So we find a common ground... We'll be who we are but pursue a celibate life. Yet something remains. A desire for companionship, a hope that one day we can hold the heart of another, and he can hold our hearts.


JBarn said...

I've just recently started "coming out" to those close to me, and I think the term "different" fits well. Oddly, I find the term someone nice, because I know I can give a different perspective than my "normal" Christian friends. Right now, I'm enjoying the weight being lifted off my shoulders from burying this secret for so long. I know dark days lie ahead for me, but at least I'm moving forward.

Thanks for the great posts.

naturgesetz said...

Your friend puts it very well.

I do believe that it is at least theoretically possible "that one day we can hold the heart of another, and he can hold our hearts" in a chaste and celibate relationship; but I gather it is difficult and rare.

DavidMichael said...

Depression comes from unresolved anxiety or emotions such as anger, sadness and even unresolved rage. Our "views" create our emotions, hence you may be suffering from "the struggle" via it's "views" far more than you may realize, or maybe some other deeply covered up issue or even a collection of such. I went through great depression until I resolved a sexual abuse issue, which is very common with that situation. Jesus played a huge part in my recovery. The anger was so deep and buried and so strong it short circuited me to couch potatoe, which was very abnormal for me, hence therapy was in order.

I don't believe any gay person "should" be celibate. We see God's love reflected in a lovers eyes as well as others, this is not a sin. Love and unity with physical expression never are sins. This is why we are to pair up, so that loneliness will not overcome us on this difficult trek. It is the natural order.

There is a big difference in a single person who is open to a relationship, and a single person who shackles the self never to have one. That is actually attackful on the loving self God created from my point of view. The love does not flow. God's love is damned. One leaves God's door open so he can help send someone to share and unite with on every level. The other closes off the possibility for God's love to shine in union. Hence low emotions and depression would surely follow for you. This is not God's way.

My stance for advice for you would be to keep Jesus as your spiritual number one, and consider pushing the reset button on the rest of the biblical stance on your physical number one, it simply does not fit for gays in general. We've lived in the dark ages long enough. You really don't have to suffer anymore by keeping sexual fear alive.

If you think suffering is important to your life, you won't have any problem creating it unconsciously. But to consciously make it your creed through sexual relationship starvation my have you in full on overwhelm, another strong symptom of depression. You are constantly doing battle with your opposing viewpoints, whether you choose to admit it or not.

"You can have your cake and eat it too". That phrase is made for people who take too much. In your case, it would seem you take too little. Balance is always the high road. Prayer is admiral, however, so is common sense. We weren't given the ability to reason to throw it out the window.

I humbly submit these thoughts to you in your time of question and despair. I certainly hope they do not create more conflict for you, as this is not my intent by any means. You are my brother in our family of Christ's love. You deserve all the accolades that go with such a wondrous privilege and honor. You are not meant to go missing in loneliness despair and isolation. You are entitled to have a physical male number one if you so choose. It is your birth right. Embrace it.

May God's grace walk before you on your path Jay. My best to you on your journey.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you're overlooking the ability of God to bring such a person into your life? In a comment to an earlier post of yours, I remarked about my longterm marriage (36 years next month).

I was very much like you. In fact, I can remember at one point vowing to God that if He would bring someone into my life, I would never forget what it had been like o be a lonely person....wanting a companion. He did bring that woman into my life (along with three gorgeous daughters and now four grandchildren).

You may not envision that as YOUR particular answer, but don't rule out loving a woman to the extent of wanting to spend the rest of your life with her.

You are young. My advice is to wait and pray. I believe God put feelings of loneliness such as you're experiencing in our hearts just so He could fulfill them.


Joe S said...

A celibate 'identity' is as tricky as an exgay or SSA one. It always reminds you of what you are denying yourself or giving up.

I'm not suggesting words have magical powers but 'single' and 'married' are the only two labels recommended by the Bible.

But hey, the term 'single' also has it's drawbacks - especially if it feels enforced :)

Much love

DieterSS said...

I also feel much depression w being Side B. I think the depression is the "fall". I feel lost agitated sad lonely, it's pretty horrific, especily when I see happy gay couples having great lives. I'm also seeing his sugarcoating it is harmful. Anyway I'm just feeling like I have made some damaging decisions and want to share. This is a harsh road. Any input would be helpful as prayer only goes so far. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hey Jay,

Your previous post, 'Number One', very much resonated with what I have struggled with in the past, present, and I'm sure, in the future. I am female- middle aged, celibate, christian, same sex attracted. I have many,many great friends-we are talking the kind of friends that they claim you probably can only expect to find like 1 or 2 in a lifetime but I've managed to find them in the double digits, for real. But I have those times, such as what I am going through now, that besides my sister & her family, I'm not that 'number 1' either and it really hurts despite all of the great family/friends I have. Thanks for putting words to what I was feeling but unable to articulate until now. I think it will always be part of the territory (as long as I make the choice to reamain celibate) and thankfully for me it's only at certain times that it seems worse than other times.