Monday, November 30, 2009

The Carousel Ride

I wrote the following poem as a young teenager. At the time I knew where my feelings lie but was in complete denial of my sexual orientation. I saw my brothers and felt they were the lucky ones and wanted to be more like them, I felt alone and was letting life pass me by. I now feeling that coming out is like learning to enjoy the carousel ride rather than merely being stuck on it. Once you are out and able to accept who you are one can truly begin to enjoy what life has to offer. I now see the beauty and am continually learning to enjoy this ride called life. As this week progresses I hope that as my family learns about me they are able to recognize that the positive changes they have recently seen in me come because I have finally accepted who I am, regardless I will continue to enjoy the ride.

The Grand ol Carousel

The world is like a giant carousel turning round and round each day.
Creatures sit high upon it's back going round while up and down.
These may be made of wood or stone, it really matters not.
For both look alike to the untrained eye as they whirl by and by.
If you ask each horse what it feels like to be on this carousel
It might amaze you what they say as they go around in flight.
Some will say life is great, you get to ride for free.
While others say it is hard to face each dawning day.
Some will talk of the wind they feel as they as they gently glide around.
While others feel that going up and down has spent their day in waste.
This one see's the ride as hell, unbarable each day.
And then there's he who rides and looks with eyes wide as can be.
To see the flowers and the tree's with each new turn about.
He see's each blade of grass and thinks This one is real grand
It was not here last time around, it must have grown so fast.
He views the world as his training ground, a grand ol place it is.
God must love him to give him such a life.
This guy see's his brothers, in front and back behind.
Each one painted differently so gallant so divine.
He wonders what he might look like, and feels he must be nice.
For God made him just like the rest, each a beautiful sight.
And then there's he who cannot see himself as pretty as the rest
The others look so happy there, He must have been made with haste
To be so sad and miserable He cannot be like them
He must be the only one whose paint has faded so
Why cannot he be like the rest, beautiful and happy too?
Why is he the only one that goes up and down with haste.
The others move higher than he, or perhaps they move not at all.
Oh yes, they are the lucky ones, to sit firmly planted in their base.

Why oh why could he not be them instead of who he was.
For a moment let Us turn unto the one who made this magical thing.
He must have thought how nice it was to sit and watch each horse
As they moved round on this carousel, His greatest creation yet.
He must be proud of each great horse as they pass by His own view.
The love that went into each one still flowed throughout his soul.
Each one different from the rest, yet somehow still the same.
He hears the horse that cries out loud, saying life is hard, unbearable
Sadly this one somehow misses His creator sitting high upon the hill.
He is so caught up with his woes he cannot see past this carousel
He cannot see the beauty that God placed everywhere.
He knows not the reason he goes round and round...
It is so that he can see the world, all there is see.
The horse that sees this ride as wonderful thanks his master dear
He understands that He was placed carefully, in the spot that was the best.
To show him all that He had made, the creator placed him in it's midst.
He shared with him this mighty sight how lucky could he be!
Finally the day came nigh when the ride stood still
it would not move again.
The creator took each horse and showed them to themselves.
They ooh'd and awe'd as they realized each one was the best.
The one who thought he was so bleak turned out to be the grandest of them all
Yet somehow as he gazed upon himself a sorry sight he saw
What had he missed? And then he realized, He would never know.
The others spoke forever of the sights they saw each day.
They gave thanks and gratitude to the creator of it all
For allowing Them the chance to ride, this grand old carousel.
And now he realizes that joy has passed him by.
He will never get the chance again to ride the carousel


FB friends, I've realized that it's easy to let our imaginations get the best of us, it just kind of takes off and runs wild with absurd thoughts. I think that's what I have let happen where telling my family is concerned. There is no way of knowing ahead of time what the outcome will be so why let ourselves go crazy worrying about it, dreaming up every horrible scenario possible. As a teenager I remember seeing a poster in the store with the big ol grizzly bear rubbing up against a tree scratchin' his back. The phrase on the poster read: "What do you mean don't worry about it? The things I worry about never happen." As if the very act of worrying about it was what caused it not to happen, NOT! As a young man this made an impression on me and caused me to think about the time I wasted worrying about things that never happened. Somehow things managed to turn out OK every time. No matter my families reactions I am sure life will continue to move forward and I will continue to laugh, smile, cry, etc. I think when we stop worrying and fretting we see more clearly and oft times the answer is right in front of us.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Telling the Family

It's time to tell the family! I don't know how they will take it but most likely not well at all. My family's way of dealing with difficult issues is to first try to be the saviour of the moment but then abandon the "Offender" when their efforts fail. For after all if one is not living up to church standards then he may be a bad example for the rest and or even try to convert the kids to their way of thinking. I am comfortable with my sexuality and will not allow the family the opportunity of trying to help heal me. When they discover that I have no desire to change that I will be embracing this life I can only imagine how they will respond. One of my dad's brothers was a trans and he ended up alone to the end. He was recently found dead in his apartment and he was so far "gone" that they could not determine the exact cause of death. He was so alone in life that he lay in the apartment for weeks before anyone knew that he was gone, and that only because the neighbors complained of the smell. My father tried to help his brother "change" when he first learned of his "illness". He had left his wife and driven to Colorado seeking a sex change, when dad found him he brought him home and put the man through hell trying to change him. He literally drove his brother from his life through trying to "help" him. He tried to make it look like he had done everything in his power to love his brother but his brother had chosen to leave the family behind and follow his deviant behaviors. His brother only lived a few miles away but he no longer had anything to do with him. Uncle Gary was not welcome at family functions because of the influence he might have on the kids. Is this what lies in store for me? I fear it is, but I will no longer let the fear keep me in hiding. It is time that they know who their brother, uncle and son is.

My greatest fear is that my siblings will keep me from their kids. I love my nieces and nephews with all my heart. I have spent a lifetime loving these kids being much more than just the average uncle, and I will most likely become the apostate one as taught to them by their parents. Many of them are still young enough that whatever their parents say will be taken as fact. I have been "Uncle Richie" for too many years to lose these kids, but am trying to prepare myself for the fact that it could happen.
Wish me luck friends, I have a feeling many of you totally and completely understand.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Lion and The Gazelle

With yesterday's post in mind, and considering the fact that balancing your religious views with what your heart tells you about being gay, it is important to know before the journey begins how difficult it will at times be. Anyone who has run a marathon or triathlon knows that they will eventually "Hit the Wall" somewhere along the way. This is where their body and mind want to quite, it feels like they cannot go another inch. It is at this precise moment that one must grasp a hold of all the inner strength they possess and"push through" to the next level. Those who surrender to the pleadings of a tired body and mind will never know what it feels like to reach the finish line. At the precise moment you want to quite, your body and mind are in such pain that your perception of reality and the final outcome of the race is somewhat eschewed. Knowing ahead of time that this is going to happen you are able to psyche yourself from the beginning to push through. Before you know it you have gotten your second wind and you have what it takes to finish the race, to stand amongst the winners who know what it feels like to cross the finish line. It matters not whether you come in first or four hundredth you are a winner if you endure to the end. So it is with the emotional roller-coaster ride we call life. Everyone has their crosses to bare, ours just happens to be dealing with being gay and having deep spiritual roots in a church that often condemns us. What ever our faith we must not allow others to rip it from our soul, yet at the same time you have to remain true to who you are. Find the balance and you will find the peace. With the oft times harshness of this race called life remember the principal taught in the story of the Lion and the Gazelle.
When you want to slow your pace remember that every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows that it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. My fellow Gay Bloggers, It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: When the sun comes up we had better be running.
OK so I got caught up in a preachy mood, most likely I am just preaching what I need to hear myself, so self listen up and take note!

Friday, November 27, 2009

What is Real

In my last blog I mentioned that I am beginning to feel like I am losing my religion. For anyone who has been there you might understand how this tears at ones soul. I say this yet at the same time feel a great peace with the direction things are heading. Talk about a Dichotomy. When one stretches and grows it is often painful, yet rewarding. Traveling this road reminds me of a particular scene in the story of the Velveteen Rabbit where the skin horse and the rabbit are conversing one with another:

“What is real,”?
asked the Rabbit one day when they were lying side by side.
“Does it mean hearing things that buzz inside you and a stick out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you’re made,” said the Skin Horse
“It’s a thing that happens to you.
When a child loves you for a long long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful
“When you are real, you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time.
That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have
sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept.
Generally by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off and your eyes drop out and you get loose at the joints
But these thing don’t matter at all because once you are real you
can’t by ugly, except to people who don’t understand . . . .

Pain and heartache are at times a constant companion on this road. Full acceptance of oneself is a long process and doesn't come all at once. And yes it does at times Hurt. That is why many people give up before reaching the end, the self love and peace may not come to those who break easily or have to be carefully kept. This is why many gay men within the church don't make it on the road to closetless gaydom. Metaphorically speaking by the time an individual has accepted who he is and become "real", most of his hair has been loved off, or more likely torn out by his fellow brother, his eyes have often dropped out (or been plucked out by a well meaning Bishop) and he may feel completely loose at the joints from having been tugged and pulled in a thousand directions by the Bretheren's Many Preachings.

Knowing this is what the path holds in store, one must remember that in order to reach the desired results he must remain true to himself and not lose sight even through the harshest of storms. Always remember that the end result is Peace. Once you have experienced the peace of knowing who you are and have felt the Love that your Heavenly Father has for his "Gay" child none of the rest matters because you finally realize that you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand. The anger towards those ignorant souls subsides because you begin to realize that they just don't understand, therefore it doesn't matter if they think you are ugly. Those that matter see the Beauty within your soul!

Is it possible that I am not "Losing my Religion" at all but merely experiencing the pains that accompany growth?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Question of the Day

So far I have tried to keep all of my posts fairly positive however today I have a question that may not come across as such to some. If this (the gospel as found within the church) is supposed to be Gods plan of Happiness, then were is this happiness in His plan? OK like I said possibly not that positive of a question but it's how I am feeling today. Let me explain a little more; If God's Plan of Happiness excludes any particular group, in my case gays, then what good is the plan? I know we are told that it's "OK" to have "SSA", that the sin comes not through ones feelings but the actions that accompany those feelings. STR8 boys are told that the plan of happiness culminates with marriage and children yet that is exactly what church policy denies it's gay memebers. How is it possible for the spirit to scream the absurdity of this to my soul yet bare witness of the truthfullness of it to my church leaders? Who is right? They or I? Ah the perplexity of it all. If anyone has what they consider to be commonsense, hard, informed, just, justified, levelheaded, logical, rational, reasonable, reasoned, sensible, sober, solid, valid, well-founded insights please feel free to share them in the comments section or what the heck just email me at I would love to hear how you feel. Rich

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One Way

I've been following a few blogs as of late, it's always nice to read about others experiences that seem to be similar to your own. The following is a comment made by Chris in His blog "Good To Be Free". The term "Cleave Point" is found in another blog by Scott Dichotomy where he talks about the steps to apostasy as pointed out to him by a "concerned" friend.

[1. Find a cleave point. 2,Elevate that cleave point to imperative status. 3. Seek out others who agree with that cleave point. 4. Search out every possible support for that cleave point until convinced it is absolute. 5. Leverage that cleave point as a wedge between you and the leaders of the church (past and/or present, local and/or general). 6. Stop serving in callings and/or make substitutions in your church duties. 7. Some trigger event produces a final rupture. 8. Publicly denounce church policy and/or leader(s). 9. Leave the church (voluntarily or not). 10. Let bitterness and resentment drive further alienation with both the church and continuing members of the church--including family and former friends."]

Chris's Comment:

"So I guess this is my cleave point. (the thing that Chris is having a hard time with) I do feel like it is cleaving me, not only away from the church, but from myself and my family. I don't want to leave all the good that there is in the church. Is there only one destination on this road, or can I find a different end? I hope that I can."

When I read this it really hit home. I do not want to leave all the good that there is in the church myself. But at the same time there is a lot of confusion. I too feel that I am on a road that will not let me return to my "old" way of life. I am not sure that I would ever want to return. I too wonder if this road has only one destination or if possibly another might be found without having to give up my new found freedom and self acceptance? I too hope that I am able to do so. But regardless of the outcome, I am who I am, A Child of God who just happens to also be Gay! God bless the day that members of the church can accept each other as Christ does without the self righteous piety.

Thanks Chris and Scott for some insightful thoughts to consider.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For those of you who read my Blog on October 10th, I now have 85 lbs of "Safety Net" OFF! Isn't is amazing what you can do once you "figure" things out!