Sometimes the reason we keep secrets isn’t because we’re ashamed of them, but because we’ve been conditioned to believe that we are supposed to be ashamed. Sometimes certain things seem like a big deal not because they play a large role in our lives, but because others will inflate what the thing really means and draw conclusions beyond the reality.
For as long as I can remember, I have been more drawn to girls than to boys. With the exception of Chris and a few others, all of my intimate interests have been women. I was never satisfied with my female friendships and always felt confused about why. Was I expecting too much? Demanding too much attention and affection? When I started having best friends, I devoted myself to them like a lovesick puppy. Every love song meant more. I couldn’t imagine life without that particular person at that particular time. When the friendship inevitably ran its course, I felt crushed, like a person does when they go through a breakup. I always seemed more hurt and lost than the object of my affection and it troubled me.
When hormones made their grand entrance, I rarely fantasized about men. When I did, it was always in a situation where I was being rescued by, or rescuing, a woman from an assault committed by a male. Even when I was in my first relationship and had more sensual feelings towards him, the fantasies about women never lessened. I was confused. When I went to a spiritual counselor, she led me to believe that these fantasies were driven by a fear of men, not a predisposition for women. I accepted it. She also told me that the fantasies were a demonic manifestation. I was afraid of my thoughts. And my dreams. I couldn’t control my dreams. It was exhausting.
When I had addressed the reason behind my fear of men (a negative childhood experience) and became interested in having a relationship again, I expected the “lesbian spirit” to go away. It did not. It was becoming increasingly sexual in nature. Hadn’t I done everything right? I had gone to various deliverance ministries and prayed against demons till my head ached. What was left?
When I left my hyper-spiritual ministries and backed away from long, exhausting prayer sessions, I started to feel more at peace with myself. Maybe it was time to just accept my sexual feelings as a part of me that wasn’t going to change, and that wasn’t some spiritual oppression polluting my soul. It wasn’t like my desire was hindering me in any way. I wasn’t even actively pursuing a relationship with a woman, rarely did my sexual thoughts even lean towards girls that I knew, it was all actresses, musicians, or people who have passed quickly through my life.
The reason I’m opening up about this isn’t because I feel like it’s some big revelation that shatters my current life. Sexuality is not composed as simply “straight” or “homosexual.” Most people fall somewhere in a spectrum, and it isn’t always the same for each individual person either. I definitely don’t fall in the straight category and I don’t think it’s a big deal. I don’t “struggle” with homosexual desire, because I’m perfectly fine with it. I’ve chosen the person I’m going to stay faithful to, and I’m just as likely to leave him for a woman as I am to leave him for a man (not likely at all). I happened to fall in love with a man. I could have just as easily fallen in love with a woman. Honestly, the thought of that possibility kind of terrifies me, because the consequences of that happening are unimaginable to me, in terms of how people would react. It was very convenient that Chris is a man.
I’m opening up because I’ve been open about a lot of things, and keeping this back made me feel like I was ashamed of it, or at least, that I should be ashamed. It’s a part of my life, so why should I censor it out? Why should I just sit back and stay quiet about my personal experience with homosexual desires while people argue about it in a purely theoretical fashion, treating it like something that can be prayed away, or like a bad habit that if ignored or fought against, will fade away? People cannot control their desires. What we can control is our actions, and that is a uniquely personal journey. This has been mine.
It’s 2014 in two days, and I’m done keeping this secret.